Monday, March 26, 2012


With a bit of stormy weather between Hilton Head and Gaffney, it didn't take much to convince us to extend our stay another night. We made use of our "extra" time by daytripping to nearby Beaufort. A highlight of this Low Country gem is a tour of the southern plantation homes in its historic district. Today, many visitors took advantage of the horse-drawn carriage tours to take in the sights.

Visitors are discouraged from driving through these historic neighborhoods. The three-centuries-old streets are narrow. The ancient live oaks make touring in any high-profile vehicle impossible, and dangerous. We opted to take our time on this beautiful spring day and explore the neighborhoods on foot. We picked up a walking tour map at the Visitor's Center and spent a couple of hours making our way around this charming town.

Several of the most lavish homes are situated right on the water. Imagine the sweet teas and mint juleps that have been enjoyed on the sprawling lawn and wrap around porch of this fine historic home.

This collection of historic homes is largely privately owned. The folks who buy these pieces of history must get used to the foot and carriage traffic through their very special neighborhood. Strolling down this sidewalk we got a real sense of old-time Beaufort.

Other homes are not quite as approachable. Many of these majestic beauties are guarded by lovely iron and brick gates.

If you're a fan of the movie "The Big Chill", this place should look familiar. The Edgar Fripp House, aka Tidalhom, was the set for Harold and Sarah Cooper's home where they reunited with college friends. The handsome antebellum home was also cast in the movie The Great Santini.

When it comes to majesty, here it's a toss up as to which has more, the stunning house or the striking live oak dripping in Spanish moss. It's all gorgeous.

Blooming azaleas provided a colorful frame for this lovely home.

Of course, there's more to historic Beaufort than beautiful old homes. Our walking tour included a most informative stop at St. Helena's Episcopal Church. This very proud religious community is celebrating its tricentennial this year.

After all that walking, we enjoyed a tasty lunch near Waterfront Park. This expansive park features walkways, benches, a bandstand and a playground, and plenty of room to roam and enjoy the views of the Beaufort River. This is just the kind of place you could stay awhile. But, we really do have to get moving. Vowing to return and spend more time when we pass this way again, we made our way back to Hilton Head Island.

Tomorrow's forecast looks like smooth sailing to Gaffney. Our fingers are crossed that our stay there will be short.

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