After leaving Savannah, we were headed to Charleston as the next stop on my Southern Bucket List Road Trip. I’m traveling with my parents and we like to break up long journeys, so Beaufort seemed as good a place as any to take a breather and enjoy a spot of lunch.
Not to be confused with Beaufort, North Carolina – which, as it happens, is pronounced entirely differently even though spelled exactly the same – Beaufort, South Carolina is a quaint, quiet little town at the coast. We called in there on a Sunday, which made it even quieter still.
Arriving in glorious sunshine, the water sparkled and we strolled lazily down the main street of shops, most of them closed because this is the South and it was Sunday. We ate a spot of lunch, then walked some more. Small as the place is, there are still plenty of beautiful and grand mansions to gaze at.
If you didn’t already know, the South is famed for its hospitality. As we were headed back to the car, all too aware of the storms forecast for the later part of the afternoon, we stopped to offer to help a lady who was carrying bags of shopping and attempting to open her latched gate at the same time. Five minutes later, she had invited us inside her house, decked out in red white and blue and too many flags to count ahead of July 4th. And also, as luck would have it, the fourth oldest house in the town.
From the Texas room, to the portraits with hidden animals, to the ancient framed flags on display, the kind Southern belle of a lady welcomed us in as if we were family. We got to share cuddles with her trio of adorable dogs, discussed road trips across the states, and got a glimpse into Beaufort life that no carriage guide offers. We left with a South Carolina address written on a post-it in perfect cursive, a new pen pal.
The final stop before we ran back to the car was at Scout Southern Market. If you’re in Beaufort, you simply have to go there. Why, you might ask. Well, where else can you get a Sweet Tea Float. Yes, a Sweet Tea Float, which if you don’t know is sweet tea with two healthy scoops of sorbet. I still don’t know what the particular etiquette for consuming one of these is, but you’ll get a straw and a spoon and after that, it’s up to you! I had the mango flavour, and it was perfection.
And that was Beaufort. As we drove away, narrowly missing lightning strikes and almost drowning in torrential rain, we looked back saying, ‘Well that was lovely’.