Is Beaufort, SC a Good Place to Live?

The short answer is yes! If you are looking for a laid-back lifestyle in a small ocean-side town steeped in history and culture, Beaufort is a good and possibly the best place to live. 

But Beaufort is also an excellent place to live if you want a lively, vibrant, activity-packed lifestyle with fishing, cycling, galleries, concerts, fine dining, and easy-going friendly neighbors. 

Beaufort is rich in history and cultural diversity. With its film festivals, world-class restaurants, some of the best fresh seafood, dairy products, and produce in the US, art galleries, concerts, theaters, historical monuments, award-winning universities and schools, and accessible quality health care, this beautiful town offers the best of what matters to your quality of life.

In short, Beaufort, SC has it all.

Are you thinking of relocating to Beaufort? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of living here.

Pros and Cons of Living in Beaufort SC

When choosing a new home, you should consider the good and not-so-good aspects of a place, so we want to share those with you. But, of course, as with all choices we make, there are pros and cons. 


Let’s look at some of the best reasons – the pros – for relocating to Beaufort, SC.

  1. You will love the friendly and welcoming southern hospitality. 
  2. Beaufort is family-oriented, with many parks and green spaces and above-average schools. 
  3. Gas taxes are low, which means transportation costs are the lowest in the US.
  4. Home prices are lower than the national average.
  5. Many outdoor activities include cycling, hiking, enjoying the beach, boating, and fishing.
  6. History comes alive for you when you live in Beaufort, the second oldest city in South Carolina. Almost every street has a story to tell.
  7. Property taxes are among the lowest in the country.
  8. The cost of living in Beaufort is lower than the national average. Overall, the average housing prices, utilities, groceries, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services are less expensive in Beaufort.
  9. South Carolina has a state income tax with excellent tax deductions for resident retirees. The highest income tax rate in SC is 7%, however, retired persons under 65 can deduct up to $3,000 in retirement income from their state income tax bills.
  10. Beaufort is one of the most beautiful towns in the country. 
  11. Wherever you go in Beaufort, the atmosphere is warm and relaxed. 
  12. The climate in Beaufort is generally better than most places in the United States. It’s warmer in the southeast and along the coast, with refreshing breezes from the ocean.
  13. Seafood feasting is a way of life in Beaufort. Shrimp boil, Frogmore Stew, and softshell crabs may become your new favorite foods.


And yes, for every list of “pros,” there is also a list of “cons.” 

  1. Well, y’all, you may just have to learn a whole new way to speak!
  2. Your barbecue will likely have mustard in the sauce. And we like it that way.
  3. Your sweet-talk vocabulary will become as sweet as sweet tea. And that is pretty sweet, shugah!
  4. Fried Food. The good news is that it is everywhere. The bad news is – it’s delicious!
  5. Beaufort County is home to some of the spookiest, most haunted places.
  6. You can’t buy a musical instrument on a Sunday. Sorry.
  7. “Hot Sauces” are hot. Sometimes dangerously hot. You have been warned.
  8. You may have to quit work and retire. Living in Beaufort, SC, is like being on vacation year-round. There are so many exciting things to do that you will not want to go to work. Ever.

Beaufort, SC, is the Best Place to Retire

Beaufort, SC, is the best place to spend your retirement. We have good air quality, a comfortable climate, adequate doctors per capita, and no state estate tax or state income tax on Social Security or the first $15,000 of other retirement income. (Forbes)

Active Retirement Communities

Active retirement communities in Beaufort, SC, focus on the needs and interests of adults age 55 and up. Retirees can pursue an active lifestyle in the company of other adults of similar ages and interests. Residents enjoy golf, swimming, and shuffleboard. If the community offers a clubhouse, social activities with other retirees are popular. The pace of life is relaxed and quiet. Children are permitted to visit the communities but do not reside there. Residents can keep small pets.

Traditional neighborhood communities for active retirement

Master-planned traditional neighborhood communities are another option. With traditional neighborhood-designed communities like Celadon just a few minutes from Beaufort, there is convenient access to beautiful parks, open spaces, neighbors, and amenities within the community. All are an integral part of the neighborhood’s master plan. The design promotes ease of connectivity by utilizing smartly designed roadways, walkways, and sidewalks to accomplish this. Mixed-age residents include young families and retirees. A clubhouse with a spa, gym, and pool provides activities. Pets are also part of the community!

Should I move to Beaufort, SC?

A Beaufort resident would answer this question with an incredulous “What are you waiting for?” Practically speaking, however, moving to Beaufort is a personal decision. Moving anywhere new requires advanced research and planning. Beaufort is very popular, though.

 In Southern Living Magazine’s annual survey, readers consistently rate Beaufort as one of the “Best Small Towns in the South.” The area also appears regularly on lists of the “best places to retire.” And while it is small, the town is packed with history and charm. Beaufort is sometimes described as a smaller version of the historic big cities, Savannah and Charleston.

Beaufort’s year-round temperature averages about 65 degrees. This temperate climate invites outdoor recreation twelve months of the year.

What’s it like to live in Beaufort, SC?

Beaufort is an excellent place to put down roots with an above-average livability score and a solid “residents’ happiness score.” explains: Aliveability rating measures the cost of living, crime rate, education, and residents’ happiness. 

Is Beaufort, SC, a good place to raise a family?

Living in Beaufort offers families something big cities don’t have, space. It has a wide-open suburban feel with many parks, hiking and cycling trails, marshlands to explore, and fascinating wildlife. The air quality is good too.  

Most residents have put down roots and own their homes. Many families and young professionals live in Beaufort, and its residents tend to have moderate political views. The population is diverse, and Beaufort public schools are above average.

Is Beaufort, SC a nice town? 

Beaufort residents think Beaufort is a nice town and apparently, so does the rest of the country.

Beaufort has been featured in the New York Times and named “Best Small Southern Town” by Southern Living, a “Top 25 Small City Arts Destination” by American Style, and a “Top 50 Adventure Town” by National Geographic Adventure.


Beaufort public schools spend $12,315 per student. The average school expenditure in the US is $12,383. There are about 14.5 students per teacher in Beaufort. Education standards for the area are good and rank high on national and statewide levels compared to other cities. These ranking calculations consider public-school graduation rates, enrollment rates, teacher-to-student ratios, and student and parent reviews. This data and scores are a weighted average of the area’s schools.

Beaufort, SC, is an excellent place to live.

Ultimately, when relocating to a new town, what you look for depends on your needs, interests, and budget. Beaufort offers affordability, good schools, planned communities, artistic and cultural events, restaurants, shopping, and healthy outdoor pursuits. 

Why not visit us and see Beaufort for yourself?

We’ve made it easy for you to spend two nights and three days touring Beaufort and Celadon. Contact us to plan your Discovery Visit.

We can’t wait to show you around.