This past week, I was able to visit the adorable town of Beaufort, South Carolina. It was on a trip for Simply Southern Mom, so we were hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, which happens to be made up of wonderful and friendly people. Actually, pretty much everyone we met in Beaufort was exceptionally friendly and went out of their way to help us, even when they didn’t know we were there to write about their town. It was the “Southern Hospitality” you hear about.
Although Beaufort is a small town, there’s a lot going for it. It was the location for several movies (including Forrest Gump); it is close to Penn Center, which is a great place to learn about Gullah Geeche culture; it has amazing restaurants; it was home to Robert Smalls, who our tour guide called “The Indiana Jones of the Civil War.” That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too.
One thing that our hosts wanted to express to us is that Beaufort is authentic. What you get when you visit Beaufort isn’t just another tourist experience. It’s the way of life here. Although a lot of towns make this claim, Beaufort actually manages to stand up to it.
The water is important here. It’s a mooring point, where you can park your boat for the winter. It’s a place to kayak and paddleboard and relax. It’s a way to travel. It’s a source of food, history, and superstition. Does it sound like I’m selling Beaufort too strong? Well, I actually don’t get anything for this post, and no one knew I would be writing it. I wasn’t even planning to when we arrived! I do my duties on the bigger blog.
We took a dolphin cruise with Captain Dick, who told us the history of areas we passed and pointed out some cool wildlife. We didn’t actually see dolphins, but Critter fell asleep on the cruise, which is impressive because she never naps in public.
We stayed at Anchorage 1770, which is surprisingly kid AND pet friendly. It’s a bed and breakfast, and they offer small plates on their amazing porches during the afternoon and evening hours. The owners here were super sweet— we had a goodbye luncheon with them on our last day— and the staff was amazing. That’s not an exaggeration. One morning during breakfast, our waitress Mary Ellen asked if we’d like a banana to mash up for Critter. We said sure, if it wasn’t a problem. Well, the kitchen was out of bananas, so Mary Ellen brought us the banana from her personal lunch. Obviously we said that we couldn’t take her banana, but she insisted.
Anchorage 1770 has definitely earned our repeat business.
One of my favorite stops was Scout Southern Market, which is famous for its sweet tea floats. It’s cold-pressed tea and your choice of lemon, peach, or mango gelato. I got peach, because why not? It was so good!
However, the shop owner reminded us to mention that the rest of the store is just as cool and memorable as the sweet tea floats. She’s right, of course. I could have spent so much money on candles that actually smell exactly like sweet tea, tote bags with funny sayings, home decor, and these pillows that would make a perfect gift for my mom. Mom says “bless your heart” so much that it’s a running joke in our house.
As far as food, you can’t miss Chocolate Tree, which is supposedly the chocolate used in the chocolate box scene in Forrest Gump. Then there’s Lowcountry Produce Market, which is pretty similar to Daily Ration, so I automatically loved it.
Another cool thing about Beaufort that I can’t help but tell y’all about? There’s a Little Free Library! Actually, there’s several, but one is on the Main Street downtown. It will, of course, get its own post later.
There is also plenty of awesome places that do a great job with gluten free but aren’t Lowcountry Produce. Saltus Grill has classy date night food, and Herban Marketplace is great for grab and go food if you want go on a picnic. I got a sandwich plate and water for $10.
Have you ever been to Beaufort, South Carolina?