48 Hours in Beaufort SC and 5 Unusual Things to Do

The bird watching in Beaufort is fabulous
The bird watching in Beaufort is fabulous

I got the chance to slip away to Beaufort, South Carolina, this past weekend. There, I joined my sister and my mom on a girls’ getaway to do some family business. We were able to sneak in a bit of fun, so here are my 5 unusual things to do in Beaufort, SC in 48 hours.

First, be sure you’re pronouncing its name correctly. Put on your French and ignore your Southern. Beaufort is “Beau-fort” as in Beau-ti-ful, a city that stared in Forrest Gump, The Great Santini, The Big Chill, GI Jane, Platoon and Forces of Nature, among others. Now, let’s delve into the 5 unusual things to do with your 4 hours in Beaufort, SC. I also include a few things around and near Beaufort, but I don’t touch Charleston.

1. Spy baby great blue herons in Port Royal.

If you visit Beaufort, SC in the spring, be sure to take a short walk along the Cypress Wetlands in Port Royal. This short 1/2 mile trail around a cypress head in the middle of Port Royal offers a wonderful Snowy Egret and Great Blue Heron rookery in the middle of an alligator habitat. Avoid the gators and snap your own pictures of the hatchlings in the middle of the swamp. We walked at dusk in March with a light breeze, and happily, not one mosquito or no-see-em visited our bare arms.

If you like walking, you might also like my article, Take a Good Walk Beaufort, SC.

2. Listen for the yells of the Marine Staff Sergeant at the boot camp recruits on Parris Island.

5 unusual things to do in beaufort
Climb up the lookout tower and hear the Marines

While at Port Royal, head out to the Port Royal boardwalk and observation tower. Climb the tower and get great views of Harbor River and low country. While on top of the tower, listen for the sounds of munitions as the boot camp soldiers practice and obey the orders of their commanding, and often yelling, Sargent. It’s a fun thing to do in Beaufort.

3. On your way back into Beaufort, stop in where Forrest got his Box of Chocolates at The Chocolate Tree.

A box of chocolates awaits you at the Chocolate Tree in Beaufort, SC

I’ve never found dark-chocolate covered Brazil nuts. But I did here at The Chocolate Tree. Try them, they are divine. You may recognize the box of chocolates for sale at The Chocolate Tree. This famous chocolate store is where they bought the chocolates for Forrest Gump in the movie Forrest Gump. It’s where Tom Hanks states, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Go re-create the scene and enjoy a box of chocolates in Beaufort, SC.

4. Hike the driftwood forest near Beaufort, SC.

A nearby hike in Beaufort SC takes you through a driftwood forest.
A nearby hike in Beaufort SC takes you through a driftwood forest.

Now my Most Favorite Place in at least the South, the driftwood forest shares the coastline with the Hunting Island Light at Hunting Island State Park. I couldn’t get over the beauty of the gnarled trunks and sun-bleached shapes along the shoreline. Bring your camera and plan at least an hour, if not three, to enjoy the walk and shapes.

5. Tour the antebellum homes in Beaufort’s historic district.

5 unusual things to do in beaufort
Camellias highlight the trail in the historic Beaufort district in South Carolina.

There are a few tours to take, or you can walk the area yourself. Find the remains of slave/master culture, especially the small windows in the tops of walls in the slave homes. Take a moment to be grateful, again, for the freedoms we have.

And finally, I added a bonus number 6.

6. Eat a great meal in Beaufort, SC

5 unusual things to do in beaufort
Nothing says Beaufort, SC like a bucket of oysters.

Finally, if you’re hungry and must have a delicious crab burger sandwich, shrimp po’boy or some she-crab soup, be sure to stop at what the locals call, JCT. I hear the oysters are fresh enough to slap you!

Next time you’re in BEAU-FORT, SC for 48 hours, be sure to try these 5 Unusual Things to Do in Beaufort, SC. What did you do?

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