Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, one of the largest Sea Islands along the southeast Atlantic coast of the United States It is one of only a handful of U.S. towns that has had its entire downtown designated an historic district by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Filled with mansions built by the wealthy plantation owners before the Civil War, Beaufort was one of the only Southern towns chosen to be occupied by Union troops, rather than destroyed.More than 50 historic structures have been identified in Beaufort, including many lovely private homes that have been beautifully restored and are now available to view.
The Point encompasses the eastern portion of downtown Beaufort, and includes several blocks of pre and post-Civil War mansions, all privately owned and lovingly restored. Tucked into narrow interlocking streets and adorned by natural foliage and centuries-old, moss-draped live oak trees, this area is one of the focal points of the city's historic district. Additional fine homes from the Civil War era can be found in the western portion of town, many with unrivaled water views.
The city has been featured in the Coastal Living as the "Happiest Seaside Town," named "Best Small Southern Town" by Southern Living, named a "Top 25 Small City Arts Destination" by American Style, and a "Top 50 Adventure Town" by National Geographic Adventure.
Special spring and fall events offer locals and visitors the opportunity to tour several private homes and gardens. Art galleries, antique shops, and modern boutiques dot the entire downtown and uptown walking districts, along with fine dining restaurants and quick eateries.