Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Best Small Southern Town

A few months ago we had the great pleasure of traveling along the Southeast U.S. coast all the way up to Charleston, South Carolina.  Our goal was to visit some of the very old Southern Plantations located in the area.  If you would like to see previous Sweet Southern Days posts showing these plantations you can click on the link below:

On our return trip home we were delighted to be traveling close to Beaufort, South Carolina. We wanted to be sure to take time to visit this charming and historical old Southern coastal town.  

Beaufort, South Carolina has been recognized by an award in the Best Small Town category in Southern Living magazine for more than eight years in a row.  

Of course I had my camera by my side all ready to try to capture some of the charm of this old historical coastal town. Beaufort is a relatively small town and it was not long before we began to see just what Southern Living magazine was talking about.

This city was chartered in 1711 and is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston with the population being approximately 12,500 residents.

From what Mr. Google tells us Beaufort 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.  

Following the signs to the Historic Downtown Waterfront Park we arrived in no time.  In the below photo we see the park that is called Stephen Elliott Park, which is located at the beginning of the Woods Memorial Bridge in the downtown area.  This park is often referred to as Cannon Park by the locals.

This park was named after Beaufort's own Brigadier General Elliott, 1830-1866, who served in the Civil War.

There are two cannons in this park, which originally were on a British Navy ship in the year 1777. 
Englishmen founded the city of Beaufort in 1711.
As you can imagine there is a lot of history associated with these cannons.

If you drive past this park the road curves around to the left.   We spotted this very old home you see through the trees. We thought it was such a pretty sight to get a glimpse of this old historic home through the trees and Spanish Moss ... A sight we see so often in the South.

As we drove along through this old historical neighborhood 
it was fun taking photos of these very old homes.  

These photos show only a small portion of the many beautiful old homes in Beaufort.

We enjoyed driving along through these shady tree covered lanes and old neighborhoods. 

All of these homes are privately owned.  However, there are events throughout the year when several of these homes are open to the public.

So many of the homes are colorfully painted as seen in the photo below.

Many of these mansions were built by wealthy plantation owners before the Civil War.  Many of these homes have been beautifully restored and are now available to view via guided walking tours and bus and horse-drawn carriage tours.

How pretty!

The area in and around Beaufort is referred to as the "low country."  There were many areas where we could look out and see the waterfront as in the photos below. 

Such an idyllic and peaceful view.

The old historic downtown area seen in the below photo has art galleries, antique shops and there are 
fine dining restaurants and quick eateries also.

We continued our driving tour around town looking at more of the old homes.

I thought it was interesting that so many of these old beautiful homes display  Old Glory!

 Driving just past the downtown area we spotted this old church.  It was very small and very inviting.

I loved the simplicity of this little church with statues of Jesus 
and his mother Mary on each side up front.

And, there was pretty colorful stained glass behind the alter.
Below the alter we see lovely colorful artwork showing the Last Supper.

Glancing out the church window we could view the old cemetery in the side yard.

Driving on through town we noticed signs to some new homes being built in the area.  We were curious to see if the new homes would reflect the charm of this old historical city, so we followed the signs....

The homes did have an old traditional look and were very cute.

There were probably other new neighborhoods, but we were not familiar with the area enough to know.

We knew there was another old and historic plantation near Beaufort called Coffin Point Plantation.
Checking the GPS we saw the distance from Beaufort to Coffin Point was only about 18 minutes.  So off we went ...

It was a picturesque drive from Beaufort through the low-country
on out to Coffin Point Plantation along Highway 21.

The road leading to the plantation is a half-mile long dirt road 
which was originally part of the plantation.

It was so pretty driving along this oak tree canopied roadway.

After a short distance we could spot the plantation home off in the distance at the end of the roadway.

As we approached the plantation the canopied road ended, 
opening out into the lawn of this old plantation.

According to what I could find out this plantation was built by a Boston-native Ebenezer Coffin.  When he married Mary Matthews in 1793, Mary's father gave them 1120 acres.

This old home is believed to have been constructed back in 1801.  Prior to the Civil War this plantation was a well-known cotton plantation and was considered very prosperous.  This home has a long history of a working plantation of the old south.

Time passed and during the Civil War the Coffin family fled for their lives abandoning everything.  The home continued to be sold to different owners over the years.  In 1975 this home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Currently the home is privately owned and much of the land has been subdivided and sold over the years.

The Beaufort area has become a destination for tourists and is also known as a popular destination for many retirees.

Local groups have worked to preserve Beaufort's historic character and beautiful architecture.

It was fun trying to capture some of the charm and beauty of this old coastal low-country town.  Thanks so much for coming along with us for a visit.

Blessing to you and wishes for a wonderful weekend wherever you may be.


  1. I noticed your comment about building your very own Cracker house with your own hands. I've been here and done that. The outside looks great, but now I need to turn to the interior. I'm having quite a time finding ideas. Do you have any suggestions? Regina Chesser

  2. Hello and thank you for stopping by for a visit.....I have been intending to do a blogpost on the interior of the "Little House" which has been finished for awhile. We have had a lot of fun working on this project. I will share some of my suggestions in that upcoming post. Thanks so much. Pat in Tallahassee