About the Region

“Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands”

Beaufort, the second oldest city in South Carolina, is part of the economic, cultural and recreational hub for a large, growing region that takes in parts of the Georgia and South Carolina coasts.

Beaufort is located 75 miles south of Charleston, S.C., 55 miles north of Savannah, Ga., and only 40 miles from Hilton Head Island, S.C. The community is surrounded by majestic coastal marshland and is located minutes away from 30 miles of clean beaches.

A Rich History

Beaufort has been home for many people. Traces of the first inhabitants, the Archaic Indians, date back 4,000 years. Europeans arrived in 1521 when the first Spanish galleons appeared. For two centuries after the Spanish landed they—along with the French, English and Scots—battled over the coastal plain, while Yemassee and Tuscarora Indians fought to protect their claims.

Today Beaufort County is considered a small town, but has more than doubled its population since 1970. This growth is expected to continue from new residents, military personnel, a booming tourism business and sea island development.

Beaufort County had the largest population percentage increase in the state of South Carolina; from 86,425 in 1990 to 102,735 in 1996.

Many Recreational and Educational Opportunities

Recreational venues include boat landings and marinas, fishing, public parks, several championship golf courses, tennis courts, tours and nature-based recreation. The city is served by a strong mix of public and private schools, as well as secondary schools—University of South Carolina, Beaufort, and a major workforce training center, The Technical College of the Lowcountry.

Most of the year Beaufort is blessed with warm, coastal weather. Though the winter months can get chilly, the fall, spring and summer months brag temperatures averaging from the breezy 60s to the sunny 90s.

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