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Water defines us. No matter how you arrive in downtown, it is the connection of water and city that make the first impression: a glimmer of sunlight off a tidal marsh, a shadow cast from an antique steeple, a rocking chair on a porch, a boat gliding by.Beaufort Ads2

While water and history create downtown’s first impression, the second and perhaps more important is complete relaxation that comes from the warmth of people who have discovered that life in this land of unspoiled beauty has a rhythm all its own. Time here is defined by tides and a seven-minute wait for the bridge is a reprieve from the stresses of day-to-day life, a chance to talk with friends, a pause to take in a splendid view.

We are a downtown like no other on this earth where each turn reveals magnificent vistas and grand architecture. We are a place where art thrives on the inspiration of our surroundings and finds its way into studios, galleries, our streets, and our buildings. We are a place where the region’s largest collection of independent shopkeepers offers peerless service and uncommon finds.

We are the stewards of a way of life unique in the nation. Food from our waters that have graced our plates and nourished our people has now become cuisine celebrated across the world. Today, we serve food from around the world and our own Lowcountry cuisine in dozens of restaurants, cafes, and bistros.

We are a place where the word freedom has meanings so deep that it is often hard to fully comprehend the role we have played and continue to play in this great nation. You hear the sounds of freedom in jets that soar over columned buildings and in the Gullah language spoken by people whose roots run deep in this cherished place. You see freedom in the uniforms of proud Marines. You even smell freedom in the marshes that carry life so abundant.

We invite you to discover our downtown, whether by foot, by boat, by carriage, or by bike you will find a place here that will leave you with memories that will last your entire life. We invite you to make this your home where we will welcome you as one of our own no matter where you are from. Whether you come here for a day, a week, or a lifetime…

We are Downtown Beaufort, South Carolina, America’s Historic Retreat.