Out and About in Beaufort, SC

Tom and I recently had the chance to go on a “day date” in Beaufort.  My family owns a beach house only 23 miles away on Fripp Island, but spending an entire day in town is a rarity.  Beaufort is a lowcountry gem, located approximately halfway between Charleston and Savannah.  It’s a charming little spot and it’s absolutely worth the visit if you are ever in the area.  We had a peaceful and delicious breakfast at the Beaufort Bread Company, we did a little window shopping on Bay Street, I got a haircut at Bangs, we lingered over lunch at Wren, we admired the historic homes east of Carteret Street, and finished the day with ice cream at Yoyo’s.  

Here are some of my favorite places in town that I think you’ll enjoy too:


Beaufort Bread Company:  This place has amazing pastries, they make their own sausage, and everything I’ve ever eaten has been amazing.  Tom got the breakfast burrito and said it was the best one he’s ever had.  Don’t let the strip mall location fool you, it is delicious and worth the few extra minutes past Beaufort to get there.


I’ve had lunch here twice and have thoroughly enjoyed it both times.  The decor is gorgeous and they offer a great selection of Southern-inspired food.  The chicken salad sandwich and the Southern Pier 11 sandwich are my favorites.  Their bar looks amazing but unfortunately I’ve been pregnant both times I’ve been here, so didn’t get to enjoy that part of the restaurant.

Lowcountry Produce:  

This is a great gourmet grocery store with a restaurant that serves delicious food.  I’ve had breakfast here a few times although I don’t think I’ve had lunch here yet.  The glazed yeast donuts are to die for.

Common Ground:  This is a cute little coffee shop that also has an amazing gelato bar.  Yoyo’s is great for fro-yo or ice cream, but I think Common Ground gelato may become a regular treat when we are in town.  I haven’t tried the coffee here yet but I’m sure it’s great.


Scout Southern Market:  

This is my favorite store in town.  I love EVERYTHING about this shop and dream about taking a nap on their hanging daybed draped in blue, pink and white shibori fabrics.  Even if you don’t buy anything it’s lots of fun to look around.  They sell macarons in the back of the store and they are delightful, and they also have some dainty gold jewelry with shapes of states or even “mama” on them.  Tom bought me the “mama” one on this visit and I can’t wait to stack it with a few of my other favorite necklaces.

Lily & Lou:  This is an adorable Southern children’s boutique in town and they do on the spot monogramming for you on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  I bought baseball caps for Jack and myself and had them monogrammed and picked them up just 30 minutes later.  If you like smocked clothing (think Beaufort Bonnet Company and similar-type styles) then this place is great for your little ones.  Perfect for a unique baby shower gift too.

It’s Retail Therapy:  This was my first time walking into this shop and I have no clue why because everything is really cute.  It’s a large women’s clothing boutique with any sort of on-trend style you could dream of.  I loved their selections of beach cover-ups (lots of pom-poms and tassels) and dresses.     

MacDonald Market Place:  

photo via

MacDonald Market Place is past Beaufort but I’d be remiss to not include it on the list because it’s such a great store.  The building is over 100 years old and it’s still owned by the original family.  They have a wide variety of antique, vintage, and new items for your home (plus lots of gorgeous plants), and a kitchen that sells local produce and delicious prepared food that you finish cooking in your own oven.  We had the bacon tomato pie for dinner and it was amazing.

Things to Do

Stroll along the Waterfront Park:  

photo by Landon Jacob Photography from our wedding weekend

The waterfront park in Beaufort is truly breathtaking.  There are swings along the entire promenade if you want to stop and enjoy the view, there are perfectly manicured lawns for your kids to run around on, there is a great playground, and lots of delicious restaurants back up to it.  Visiting this park is an absolute must.

Wander the Historic Homes:  Beaufort dates back to the 1700’s, so with that comes lots of history and gorgeous old homes.  We spent a few hours walking around the old neighborhood to the east of Carteret Street, and the architecture, live oaks, Spanish moss, and beautiful blooms did not disappoint.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins:  

photo by Landon Jacob Photography from our wedding weekend

If you’re up for the 50 minute drive, then you need to go visit these church ruins surrounded by majestic live oaks.  Tom and I got married here and it is such a gorgeous spot.

Where to Stay

The Beaufort Inn:  

photo by Landon Jacob Photography from our wedding weekend

This charming pink hotel is the place to stay in Beaufort.  We had our wedding reception here and stayed here on our wedding night.  They have simple rooms in the main inn, as well as suites located in the garden cottage (where we stayed) and all across town.  It’s on the pricy side but will provide a truly unique place to stay if you decide to spend the night.

Fripp Island: We are partial to Fripp and have been coming here for 28 years.  It’s a private island so you have to be staying here in order to get onto the island.  The beaches are wide and relatively quiet, there are bike paths everywhere, everyone drives golf carts (although cars are allowed too), there are 2 nice golf courses (not that I’m a golfer), a tennis facility, 4 swimming pools, and lots of other “laid back” things to do.  If you like entertainment at the beach (such as put-put golf and amusement parks) then this isn’t the place for you, but if you enjoy family time, cooking at home, and relaxed beach days then this is the perfect spot for your family.

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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Leave a comment

  1. July 1, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    I'm definitely visiting this charming place when I get back from Iraq… sadly though I've only been here a week so I have a long way to go!

  2. July 5, 2017 / 6:43 pm

    What a beautiful place! It had so much charm, I love it.

  3. July 6, 2017 / 7:16 pm

    I can't believe you're deployed again. Beaufort is definitely a must once you're back stateside. Stay safe lady!

  4. July 6, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    It is so charming! Not nearly as big or as much to look at as Charleston or Savannah, but it's definitely worth a stop if you're ever passing through.

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