Planning your trip

First, thank you for considering or booking a charter fishing excursion with Salt Fin Charters; we're excited to welcome you aboard our boat.

Fishing is our passion. But, even if you aren't planning a charter trip with us, we want to provide travel information resources to help people maximize their time in beautiful Beaufort. We’re proud to call the second oldest city in South Carolina, the South's Best Small Town, our home.


Salt Fin Charters Beaufort County Visitor Guide

We've compiled a helpful Beaufort travel guide with lots of information about the historic downtown Beaufort, South Carolina, and surrounding points of interest. With a rich history, antebellum architecture, and a prime location along the southeastern shores of the United States, among the best things about our coastal town is the incredible scenery - complete with massive live oaks and comfortable weather throughout most of the year.

Where To Stay

When booking a charter fishing trip with Salt Fin Charters, plenty of Beaufort hotels and lodging options are available nearby

In addition to branded hotels, including Home2 Suites by Hilton, Marriott, and Hampton Inn, vacation rental homes like those found on HomeAway or VRBO offer alternative accommodations. Locally owned and operated hotels, including the Cuthbert House Inn, Beaufort Inn, City Loft Hotel, bed & breakfasts, and campgrounds, are other options for guests and visitors.

Local Historic Sites

Beaufort County is home to numerous historic sites and connections dating back to the early 1800s. It's a perfect place for history buffs to visit.

Chapin Memorial Library is one such attraction within walking distance of downtown Beaufort accommodations. Constructed in 1897, this former Carnegie library was restored and reopened in 2003 as a memorial for Lauren Chapin. The building houses an impressive collection of rare books and documents on local history and culture while playing host to many cultural events.

The John Mark Verdier House, the oldest building in the city, is within walking distance of downtown Beaufort accommodations. The home was built circa 1795 by John Mark Verdier, who settled on St. Helena Island after immigrating to North America from France. His plantation became known as Verdier Plantation and later greatly expanded to become Fripp Point Plantation after his son inherited it. Visitors will find the John Mark Verdier House Museum on site.

The Robert Smalls Historic Site, located in the heart of downtown Beaufort, is a museum dedicated to the life of Robert Smalls. This attraction is in a building built before the Civil War. Robert Smalls was a slave ship captain who later became a national hero due to his pivotal part in delivering the Planter to Fort Sumter during the Civil War.

The William Alexander Leidesdorff House Museum has a significant historical connection to African Americans within Beaufort County. One of the earliest African American/biracial landowners in the county, William Alexander Leidesdorff, served as a master of shipping vessels after becoming a naturalized United States citizen.

Other historical sites include the National Cemetery, Beaufort History Museum, Port Royal Sound Foundation Maritime Center, and the Bay Street Theatre. The Bay Street Theater got reconstructed in 1913 after surviving the devastating Great Fire of 1900. The theater features elegant design and architecture, having hosted many famous actors over the years.

Other local historical points of interest include The Old Burying Ground Cemetery, referred to as Parish Church Of Saint Helena's Episcopal Church and Graveyard. This cemetery is the resting spot of prominent Beaufort families and soldiers who fought in conflicts dating back to the American Revolution.

The Civil War Battlefields at Port Royal Island and St. Helena Island are notable historical sites to explore during your visit. The latter area is known for the Penn Center, where enslaved Africans first arrived in America and its role in the Civil War's Port Royal Experiment.

The Beaufort National Cemetery is another site of significance for history buffs. Established during the Civil War, it's home to over 1,900 graves. The Beaufort National Cemetery is the final resting place of Union troops who died in battle or succumbed to disease during service.

The Pat Conroy Literary Center is a popular destination for paying homage to a successful author and native son. Renowned author William Pat Conroy, known for his works "The Great Santini" and "The Prince of Tides," spent his formative years on Fripp Island within sight of the center's building. Many scenes in his books have settings in Beaufort.

Hunting Island Lighthouse, the nation's tallest brick lighthouse, is another historical attraction to visit. Built in 1859, the Hunting Island Lighthouse sits on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and features several restored outbuildings and an array of visitor activities to enjoy.

Parris Island Museum is a must-visit site for history buffs. This museum is devoted to the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot of the Parris Island installation and features artifacts, art displays, archives, and more. Found on the grounds of Parris Island, it's home to about 40% of Marine Corps amphibious landing vehicles like the AAV-P7/A1, along with other major Marine Corps equipment.

Additional attractions include the quaint downtown area and shopping, dining, and historical sites. The waterfront is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon, with lively street performers and artists dotting the scene. In addition, visitors can enjoy strolling the Riverwalk trails that lead from downtown across the Beaufort River to both east and west banks of town.

Salt Fin Charters works with dozens of local attractions and businesses to help you make the most of your stay in Beaufort.

Hiking Opportunities

Several local trails and parks offer hiking and walking opportunities for outdoorsy types who want to get away from the mainstream and experience true adventure. For example, the Spanish Moss Trail at Hunting Island State Park is a 0.9-mile roundtrip hike to the beach, while Parris Island Nature Trails features three marked trails for visitors to explore at their own pace.

Getting To Fripp Island

Our charter boat departs from Fripp Island. This small island is among many beautiful barrier islands located outside Beaufort, South Carolina, and is accessible by the Fripp Island Bridge.

Fripp Island has a nearby airport, but due to the limited number of commercial flights that service it, arriving by car or chartered transportation is typically more convenient than flying in.

For those interested in exploring beyond Beaufort and Fripp Island, other coastal South Carolina and sea islands on the East Coast include:

  • Hilton Head Island
  • Helena Island
  • Parris Island
  • Port Royal Island
  • Dataw Island
  • Lady's Island
  • Harbor Island

What To Do Before Or After Your Charter Trip

Beaufort is home to Chambers Waterfront Park, a beautiful public park that extends from the Beaufort River to Port Royal Sound. Chambers Waterfront Park is part of the 15-mile-long island that contains 1,000 acres of salt marsh and tidal flats. And Downtown Marina is a short walk from Waterfront Park for easy access to the Atlantic Coast.

Before or after your charter trip, you should consider taking in some local attractions if you have free time.

Among the wide selection of notable historical attractions and places worth exploring include:

Walking Tour - Enjoy the scenic streets of Beaufort's historic district on this walking tour that offers dozens of itinerary stops.

Kayak Tour - Explore historic Port Royal Sound through the waters of Hunting Island State Park on this kayak excursion.

Salt Fin Fishing Excursions - Enjoy a wide variety of charter options, from deep-sea to inshore fishing charters, during your stay.

Sunset Cruises - Take in beautiful coastal views of the Intracoastal Waterway during this two-hour cruise.

Dolphin Watch - Get up close and personal with nature on the local dolphin-watch tour.

Beaufort Sportsman's Club - Test your marksmanship skills in archery ranges, shooting galleries, and sporting clay courses.

Hunting Island State Park - This island state park features a wide variety of outdoor activities, from kayaking to bird watching to picnicking. The vast expanse of land includes several trails, public beaches, and campgrounds.

Spanish Moss Trail - Enjoy a peaceful walk along Hunting Island's powdery white sand during this 1-mile roundtrip hike to the beach.

Cypress Wetlands - This trail is popular with locals and visitors alike, offering nearly 3 miles of boardwalk through cypress wetlands.

Beaufort has several art galleries and museums featuring traditional and modern art displays. In addition, the Maritime Museum of South Carolina features several historical artifacts from various vessels made, used, or discovered in this part of the country.

The low country is home to fantastic natural resources and outdoor attractions such as Hunting Island, a state park that spans over 5,000 acres and features 11 miles of pristine beaches and hiking trails.

Fort Fremont is a beautiful spot for history buffs. In addition to being home to more than four miles of tunnels excavated during the Civil War, this location features a museum that provides visitors with plenty of insight into the past.

Visitors who enjoy golfing will want to make sure that they play around at one of the hundreds of golf courses located here. From PGA championship tees to family-friendly layouts, plenty of options is available for everyone!

Even if you don't have time for any additional activities before or after your charter trip, Beaufort County makes for an exceptional vacation destination all on its own.

With plenty of fishing and golfing opportunities available daily, along with beautiful beaches and interesting historical places, there's something for everyone here. In addition, the prime location along the Intracoastal Waterway, awe-inspiring coastal views are available year-round.

Restaurants And Dining

If you aren't serving up your own freshly caught fish for lunch or dinner, then you'll want to patronize some of the restaurants that are available in and around Beaufort County to eat & drink. There's something for everyone from locally-owned eateries like The Ice House and Waterstreet Bar & Grill to national chain locations such as Bonefish Grill and Cracker Barrel.

If you're craving a quiet brunch or morning coffee, then you'll want to make time for a stop at the Beaufort Coffee Shop. This quaint establishment is popular among residents and visitors alike and features an outdoor seating area overlooking the marsh waterways.

After your charter trip with Salt Fin Charters, you might be hungry for some down-home southern cooking. Luckily, Rowland's BBQ is ready with southern favorites including chicken, seafood, BBQ ribs, pork, steak, and delectable sides including slaw, okra, collards, corn, mashed potatoes, sweet tea, and more.

In the mood for something else? Other local favorites include:

  1. Hearth Wood Fired Pizza
  2. Old Bull Tavern
  3. Saltus River Grill
  4. Ribaut Social Club
  5. Chocolate Tree

No matter what you're craving, there are plenty of dining options available throughout Beaufort County if you know where to look!

Shopping In Beaufort County And Beyond

With a host of retail shops and factory outlet locations, there are plenty of opportunities to shop in Beaufort and the surrounding area. Some popular stores include Scout Southern Market, Hibbett Sports, Marshalls, Tanger Outlets, TJMaxx, Belk, and Bass Pro Shops.

Local businesses and shopping options are extensive throughout this beautiful community. In addition, Beaufort, South Carolina, has many places worth visiting that are just a short drive away.

Hilton Head is a top destination for visitors. The reasons include everything from saltwater taffy shops to gift shops. Local outlet malls with popular brands including Polo, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Nike Factory Store, Coach Factory Store, Banana Republic Factory Store, Michael Kors Outlet Shop, Gap Outlet for Children & Baby, and the Banana Republic Factory Store are excellent for shopaholics on the hunt for deals.

Seasonal Events And Attractions

Beaufort is home to several annual events ranging from arts and crafts shows and the Common Ground Fair to the Gullah Celebration. The Gullah Celebration honors the Gullah people and Gullah culture. The three-day event includes a traditional hoppin' john, rice, and gumbo z'herbes, Gullah storytellers, live music, sand art demonstrations, basket weaving, and fun for all. The event attracts nearly 100,000 people annually.

Plan Your Visit

The historic downtown area includes countless shopping opportunities, from locally-owned stores and boutiques to national chains.

Famous for its gorgeous year-round weather and charmingly unique experience, there’s always so much to see and do during the spring, summer, autumn, and winter! We hope that you'll plan a visit to experience everything you can first hand.

While this is not a fully comprehensive South Carolina travel guide, we hope it will help you make your way around the bustling downtown of Beaufort and Beaufort County.

Just remember to come back and visit us at Salt Fin Charters when you're planning for your next fishing trip in the Low Country!