Take a Good Walk Beaufort, South Carolina
You can download an interactive walking map of this route by clicking here.
South Carolina has much beauty, from high lakes to low country, and there’s a bounty of walks in charming towns all over the state. On my most recent trip, I enjoyed the Beaufort area, where I uncovered a great 2.75 mile walk that really highlights how to take a good walk South Carolina.
Beaufort’s Better than Charleston
Beaufort sits in the low country to the southwest of Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a beautiful road trip down through the lush marshes to the quaint and charming, seaside town of Beaufort. A nice southern beach town without the pretentiousness and costs of its bigger sister, Charleston, up the road, Beaufort knows no strangers. The locals welcome your stay and indulge you with southern charm. Feel free to chat up anyone who will greet you.
As for finding a good place to walk, Beaufort highlights its waterways by ringing it with wonderful wide walkways dotted with southern swings of charm and kitsch. Its waterfront is short but scenic. Down the road in a tiny community named Port Royal, though, is where I found one sweet walk that measures just about 2.75 miles.
Cypress Wetlands with Alligators and Herons
In Port Royal, right in the middle of this quaint village, is a cypress swamp called Port Royal Cypress Wetlands. In the middle of the swamp lives a rookery of Egrets and Great Blue Herons who taunt the beasts of the south, alligators. Look for alligators along the edge of the swamp or hanging out just under water with their snoots poking up.
Circling the swamp is an asphalt/boardwalk/concrete path, which rings through a neighborhood, and then recovers itself behind the local YMCA. You’ll see wading birds, swamp turtles, and if lucky, a gator or two. On my March walk, a light breeze blew at sunset and the mosquitoes and no-see-ems stayed away. I imagine, though, you’ll want to have bug spray handy.
The Port Royal Beach
Whether in the evening or at sunrise, continue the walk from the Cypress Wetland out to the beach. It’s not too far away. Head south down Richmond, west on 14th Street, south on London, and follow the road through the adorable Port Royal neighborhood. Quaint southern cottages of pinks, yellows and blues dot your path. Be sure to wave to the folks hanging out on their porches. Follow the road along out to the beach. Be sure to stop in the Last Chance Bait Shop, say hi to the locals and check the tides.
You’ll make your way out to the beach. Unlike the wide beaches of the Atlantic, this small spit of beach offers good oystering and crabbing if you’re game. Walk along the elevated boardwalk up to the tower. As you climb the many sets of stairs up the tower, look for the love poems and graffiti on the steps as you overhear munitions fire and Staff Sergeants command from Parris Island’s boot camp across the water.
A Charming Village
After taking amazing, picturesque shots of the 360 degree few of the low country, head back toward the Cypress Wetland. (The best time to catch some good images is at sunrise!) But this time, walk north up Paris Avenue. When you get to 8th Street, be sure to stop in the cutest dress shop, Nuances.
The community loves Nuances and has helped it stay in business and support the local owners a few times. Check out the darling women’s clothing and shoes, and don’t pass up picking up a pair of earrings with interchangeable bedazzlers. Once you’ve gotten your get-away outfit, head back to the Wetland by way of 14th Street, enjoying a few more stops at any of the tiny shops along the way.
Keep your eyes out for locals riding their bikes with bottles of wine. They may just invite you over to their porch for a glass and a sunset. Say yes; you never know what might become of your new friendship!
Here’s the map of a good walk in South Carolina. I hope you enjoy it, and let me know what you uncover!
To download this map as a virtual map with instructions and guide, click here.