“When I came to Beaufort, I had struck upon a land so beautiful I had to hunt for other words.”Pat Conroy
Be Enchanted by Beaufort’s Downtown Waterfront.
First-time visitors to Beaufort, SC, are in awe of its charm. The streets are rich with historic architecture, and the live oak trees and brilliant flowers take your breath away. The soft clip-clop of horses drawing a carriage along a shady avenue is a sound from long ago. Residents and visitors enjoy modern-day shops and restaurants nestled amongst the history, but it’s the beautiful antebellum mansions, deeply shaded streets, thickly-draped Spanish moss, and the sounds of seabirds that spin their magic and take them back in time.
Beaufort’s beautiful waterfront draws people to the river, where the salt breezes are freshest, and the water catches fire as the sun sets. This little seaside town is enchanting enough to be continually lauded by the likes of Condé Nast, Southern Living, and National Geographic for being the best place for almost everything people love.
Does Beaufort have a Downtown?
It most certainly does! Beaufort’s downtown proudly earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. The area is irresistible and always the most-visited place this Beaufort coastal community offers.
The bourgeoning area of downtown Beaufort is a perfect place for celebrations or special occasions of any kind. Magnificent waterfront views and spectacular sunsets are the ideal backdrops for a romantic honeymoon.
Art galleries downtown feature talented local artists, while Bay Street (among others) is a shopper’s paradise. In addition, the Downtown Historic District is bursting with culinary delights, sweet treats, and delicious aromas that will have your mouth watering.
Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park
Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park is a favorite spot for Beaufort residents and visitors. Located downtown along the Beaufort River, this multi-acre park offers a breathtaking view of the river, the Woods Memorial Bridge, the western end of Lady’s Island, the east side of Port Royal Island, and the north end of Parris Island. The park was built in the mid-1970s and was renovated between 2006 and 2008. This beautiful space is named after the former mayor of Beaufort, Henry C. Chambers, who secured federal funding for the project. Waterfront Park offers landscaped green areas and walking paths along the Beaufort River. People love the many oversized bench swings overlooking the river, and families enjoy the large, modern, and accessible children’s playground. A small pavilion stages weekly concerts; restaurants and shops are easily accessed from the park.
One visitor wrote this to Trip Advisor about her experience at H.C. Chambers Park:
“I walked around the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in June 2021. It was a magical and peaceful place. There were great views of the water and the Woods Memorial Bridge (this is the bridge that Forrest Gump ran across). There were many (bench) swings facing the water, and it looked very relaxing. Near the park are several restaurants and Bay Street. Near the beginning of the park and Bay Street, you can find the house where the movie “The Prince of Tides” was filmed. I really enjoyed walking around the waterfront, taking photos, and looking at the water and the bridge.
What a picturesque area! Lovely bench swings over the harbor and marsh views. We watched the bridge open and saw dolphins. There is a lovely lawn and plenty of places to stroll or rest. There’s also a playground.”
Everyone enjoys the oversize swings along the river
Relax and swing gently as you watch the sun rise or set. Enjoy the ocean breezes, the boats on the river, the Woods Memorial Bridge swnging open and shut to let big ships pass, and the smiles on the faces of people strolling by.
Families love the waterfront playground
The Henry C. Chambers playground is a delight for kids of all ages and abilities. Slides, swings, spinners, climbers, and lush grassy slopes offer exercise, exploration, and loads of fun.
One large climbing structure is styled like a shrimp boat with rope nets for scrambling around on. There is also a playground structure styled after the iconic Arsenal, that connects to a 5-foot green mound. You’ll have a hard time getting your kids to leave!
Take in a Live Concert
The Henry C Chambers Waterfront Park has a stage for outdoor entertainment and hosts an array of musicians from many genres. Find out who’s up next!
Beaufort’s Waterfront Restaurants
Revel in your choice of fresh-caught seafood, tender steak, Japanese sushi, Italian entrees, pizzas and paninis, barbeque, and traditional Southern fare, just a few steps from the H.C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Enjoy patio or indoor dining in an array of restaurants for every budget. Beaufort’s waterfront restaurants include family-style down-home fare to elegantly-presented cuisine for that special couple’s night out.
Enjoy an outdoor waterfront festival
Beaufort loves festivals, and there’s always something to celebrate! The waterfront is the best place to enjoy a river parade of brightly decorated boats, fireworks, and live music. Check the Beaufort local events calendars to find out what is happening and when.
The Annual Water Festival
For ten days every July, enjoy music, food, air shows, raft racing, craft fairs, tournaments, tours, rallies, and performances. The Beaufort Water Festival has something for every age and interest. Check the schedule of events and plan your activities.
The Annual Shrimp Festival
Beaufort celebrates shrimp season with this October extravaganza featuring – Shrimp! Party on the waterfront with live music, delicious shrimp dishes, and other delights. Check out the festival schedule.
Beaufort Waterfront Parking
There are over 500 parking spaces located throughout the city of Beaufort. So whether you prefer parking lots or on-street parking, you can feel confident you’ll have parking nearby.
Parking rules are enforced downtown from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Parking is free on Sundays and recognized holidays.
How about a visit to Beaufort?
You can explore the delights of Beaufort and Celadon by enjoying a three-day, two-night Discovery Visit.
We’ll be waiting for you, a pitcher of iced tea in hand.