August 2018

Explore SC: Destination Beaufort

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Have you visited the second oldest city in South Carolina?
Established in 1711 by the British, Beaufort is a coastal town just up the road a bit from Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, with a population of about 13,000. Beaufort County was named for Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort (1684-1714). In addition to the ports in Georgetown and Charleston, Beaufort became an important center of commerce in the years before the Civil War. Exported crops of indigo, rice and Sea Island Cotton were sent back to Europe and brought great wealth to the Lowcountry.

Church of England, St. Helena’s Anglican Church
Established in 1712 as a colonial parish of the Church of England, St. Helena’s Anglican Church is one of the oldest churches in America. The original church was built in 1724 and appears today as it did in 1842 following its final enlargement. 

On a recent trip to this historic town, we caught a ride with Angus, a nine-year-old English shire, in the employ of Sea Island Carriage. It’s an excellent way to get the lay of the land, accompanied by an informed guide pointing out antebellum mansions and historic churches along the way. Beaufort local Nichole Myers owns this red carriage business, but call before you go in the summer—the horses will be on vacation at the farm during the hottest times of the year.

On Katie:
Tart Romper – $174,
Necklace – $86,
Sensea Leather Bag – $295,
Earrings – $42,
Bracelet Stack – $49,
Dolce Vita Shoes – $100,
Kooringal Hat – $74
(All available at Coastal Bliss)

On Jacob:
Surfside Supply Shirt – $95,
Linksoul Shorts – $72,
Cuater Belt – $50,
Cuater Shoes – $94
(All available at Coastal Bliss Men)

History Comes Alive
Step back in time with a visit to the John Mark Verdier House Museum on Bay Street. This prominent Federal-style mansion was built circa 1804 by John Mark Verdier (1759-1827), a successful merchant and planter. The house has a rich and varied history; it was a stop on the Marquis de Lafayette’s Southern Tour in 1825 and was the Federal Headquarters during the Civil War. It was also the site of the first telephone company in Beaufort. The house remained in the Verdier family until the 1940s, when a group of visionary citizens rallied to save the “Lafayette Building” as it was then called, from demolition. This group of preservation-minded citizens evolved into the Historic Beaufort Foundation in 1965. The Verdier House was registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1971 and was opened as a museum in 1976. Docent-guided tours are available every hour on the 1/2 hour from 10:30 AM until 3:30 PM. Call 843-379-6335 to reserve your spot or visit for more information.

On Katie:
Marie Oliver Top – $225,
Liverpool Jeans – $95,
Selena King Earrings – $275,
Selena King Cuff – $295

On Jacob:
Ralph Lauren Sport Coat – $165,
Tradition Polo – $65,
Johnnie-O Shorts – $85,
Belt – $85,
Donald Pliner Raffia, Loafers – $295
(All available at Palmettoes)


Bibliophile Nirvana
There’s a great big world out there just waiting to be discovered, and books open those doors to us, inciting exploration and knowledge. Tucked away on Bay Street, just down from the Verdier House, you’ll find McIntosh Book Shoppe. Peruse rows of gently used paperbacks and hardbacks, and take delight in reading the well-worn names and inscriptions of former owners tucked inside the front cover. From Beaufort history, to a hefty section on hunting, this bookstore is a must-do on your visit. If you’re lucky, the resident canine, Torrey, will be working as the official greeter.

What is a small town without a local coffeeshop? Just one of the things that makes Common Ground Coffeehouse & Market Café distinctive is the view of the Beaufort River from the front porch. Situated on Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, this eatery is a wonderful place to grab a dry cappuccino (with two pumps of chocolate—because vacation) and a panini while you watch the world go by. Don’t forget to try the gelato!

Top Left & Right
On Katie:
Ellison Dress – $65,
Necklace – $33, Clutch – $42,
Refresh Shoes – $32
(All available at Gigi’s)

On Jacob:
Overton Shirt – $95, Belt – $85,
Donald Pliner Shoes – $215
(All available at Palmettoes)

Anchorage 1770 Inn
If it’s a romantic weekend in Beaufort you crave, check out the Anchorage 1770 Inn, owned and recently renovated by Frank and Amy Lesesne. To feel like part of their family, check out their blog, Lowcountry Inn-Sanity, before you book your trip.

The Anchorage 1770 Inn sits on Bay Street, with arguably the best views of the Beaufort River & Marina. Large white columns, a grand staircase upon entering and tasteful décor throughout make you feel right at home while you explore the South Carolina coast.

Enjoy champagne on the third-floor balcony while you watch the busy marina below and toast to another gorgeous Lowcountry sunset.

On Katie:
Sancia Jumpsuit – $208,
Mar Y Sol Clutch – $128,
Yosi Samra Shoes – $128,
Briolette Buttons Necklace – $398,
Inez Cuff – $320,
Earrings – $118
(All available at Birdie James)

On Jacob:
Peter Millar Khakis – $145,
Peter Millar Polo – $85,
Trask Loafers – $195
(All available at Knickers)

On Katie:Right Side
Inoah Dress – $109,
Rocket Dog Shoes – $39.95,
Earrings – $59.95,
Purse – $39.95
(All available at Pink Pineapple)

Red Piano Too
As our exploration continued to points beyond downtown Beaufort, we happened upon a big white building on St. Helena Island. The Red Piano Too Art Gallery, owned by Mary Mack, has been in business since 1989 and is about a quarter of a mile away from the National Historic Landmark District that is Penn Center. The gallery’s collection represents the artworks of over 150 artists—folk, fine, and craft, past and present. On the day we visited, we were drawn to these colorful paintings by artist Eric Jones.

On Katie:
Adelyn Rae Romper – $98,
Bracelet – $39,
Kendra Scott, Earrings – $95,
Shoes – $79
(All available at Traveling Chic Boutique)


Dempsey Farms
While on St. Helena Island, we stopped at a family-owned farm in operation since the 1960s. Dempsey Farms is located at 1576 Sea Island Parkway and is marked by a rustic wooden sign and a bright yellow tent by the side of the road. Always a sucker for farm-fresh fruits and veggies, we stopped for a spell to pick fresh tomatoes, corn and watermelon. Although it is marketed as a U-Pick Farm, there were plenty of veggies already picked and packaged for the lazy among us. To see what’s in season, head over to

On Jacob:
Johnnie-O Shirt – $95
(Available at Coastal Bliss Men)

On Katie:
Sloane Ranger Dress – $89,
Chinese Laundry Shoes – $69.95,
Necklace – $48, Earrings – $18.99,
Bracelets – $11.99/each
(All available at Too Belles Boutique)

Hunting Island Lighthouse
The historic Hunting Island lighthouse was originally constructed in 1859. From the top platform, for those who are adventurous enough to climb the 167-step spiral staircase, one truly can get a bird’s-eye view of the Atlantic Ocean, the park and surrounding marshes from about 132 feet above the ground. 

The park collects a $2.00 fee to climb the 167 steps in the lighthouse, but the view is worth the money and the effort it takes to get there. Admission is from 10 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. daily March through October, and until 3:45 p.m. November through February. During inclement weather, it may be closed.

The first lighthouse was destroyed by the Confederates during the beginning of the Civil War to prevent the Union from using it as a means of navigation. It was rebuilt and placed back into service in 1875. The purpose of this lighthouse was to warn ships to stay far away, as there are many hazards such as sandbars, wrecks, surf and treacherous currents. It was deactivated in June of 1933. A unique feature of this lighthouse is that it was constructed using cast iron plates and designed to be dismantled in case it ever needed to be relocated. As fate would have it, due to erosion of the beach in 1889, the lighthouse was moved inland 1 1/4 miles from its original site to where it presently stands.

On Katie:
Misa Dress – $356,
Golo Shoes – $102,
Earrings – $98
(All available at Shop!)

On Jacob:
Johnnie-O Shirt – $85,
Johnnie-O Shorts – $85,
Trask Loafers – $195,
Southern Tide Hat – $27
(All available at Knickers)

Roadhouse Ribs – Port Royal
You know dinner is going to be great when you can smell the ribs cooking before you even get to the front door. Roadhouse Ribs, the newest addition from the Nightingale family who gave us ELA’S (in Shelter Cove) and The Pearl (Old Town Bluffton), was where we stopped for a nightcap and the best deviled eggs and burnt end mac & cheese we’ve ever tasted. The décor is elegant yet comfortable, with lots of dark wood and cozy booths for intimate chats. After a climb to the top of the lighthouse, you’ll be looking forward to the 12-oz. hand-cut ribeye, grilled to perfection and served with veggies and garlic-smashed potatoes. Check out the menu and make reservations at

On Katie:
Amoralle Dress – $284,
Earrings – $65,
Silk Necklace – $120,
African Glass Necklace – $300,
Scarf – $35
(All available at D-Luxe)

On Jacob:
Alan Payne Shoes $185,
Peter Millar Belt – $125,
Southern Tide Shorts – $85,
Southern Tide Shirt – $120
(All available at Teagues)

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