Beaufort, South Carolina is a historic coastal town located along the East coast of that is only a half hour drive away from Bluffton. Tabby ruins, historic forts, elegant homes, majestic plantations and Gullah culture and cuisine are reminders of Beaufort's 500-year history.

Horse-drawn carriages make their way slowly through the narrow streets of the historic district and shrimps boats can often be seen gliding past Waterfront Park with the day's catch. In addition to a variety of historical and natural attractions, the area is home to three major military installations: The Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, the Marine Corps Air Station and the Naval Hospital.

Beaufort and the surrounding area are rich in history. Parris Island was the location of France's first colony in the New World, founded by Jean Ribaut in 1562. The Spanish colonized St. Augustine, Florida in 1565. The first Scottish settlement in what is now the United States, known as Stuart Town, was founded on Port Royal Island in 1682, only to be destroyed by Spanish forces in 1684.

Beaufort was chartered in 1711 and is known as the second-oldest city in South Carolina, after Charleston. It was part of the Carolina colony and was governed by Lords Proprietors. The Treaty of Beaufort fixing the boundary between South Carolina and Georgia was signed in the city in 1787.

Beaufort is also a center for the Gullah culture and language. St. Helena Island, which is considered one of the last strongholds of the Gullah people, lies a few miles away.Today, Beaufort has a substantial Marine Corps presence, with MCRD Parris Island and MCAS Beaufort as well as the Naval Hospital - Beaufort.

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