When Pat Conroy moved to Beaufort, South Carolina, as a boy of 15, he wrote, “I latched onto this town like a barnacle.” After spending a weekend in this small city of under 15,000 people on the South Carolina coast, I understood the attraction. We took a tour of its antebellum homes with a hoop-skirted guide, kayaked and rode bicycles for miles through its scenic marshes and walked on the unspoiled white sand beach of the nearby state park. Our home for the weekend was the gracious Anchorage 1770, one of several bed and breakfasts in Beaufort, SC.
Here are several to consider for Beaufort, SC lodging.[Related story: Best Southern Hotels Where We Always Feel Welcome]
We stayed in Anchorage 1770, a gracious historic inn with the best view of the Beaufort River from a rooftop deck. One evening we climbed up the highly polished wooden stairs to the top floor, where after getting a drink from the honor bar, we stepped out on the deck and watched a full moon rise over the city.
The inn has 15 rooms, several in the main house with water views. We stayed in a suite in the Cottage at the back of the property where we had a fireplace, sitting area and small balcony. Our four-poster bed was beautiful, and the mattress was so high we had a small wooden footstool to aid our entry. There’s no falling into bed here, it was more like ascending to bed before I could settle down on the soft cover.
We were greeted at check-in with a glass of Prosecco and chocolate chip cookies were awaiting us in our room. Lemon water and cookies were also delivered nightly to our room.
Coffee is available at all times and guests enjoy a complimentary gourmet breakfast served in the dining room or on the veranda.
The breakfasts were delicious, served with Anson Mill grits and fresh fruit. One morning I opted for the chef’s special, an omelet with tomato, spinach, red pepper and onions. We appreciated the good hearty breakfast to sustain us during our long ride on the Spanish Moss Trail on the complimentary bikes.
The home was built in 1770 by the planter Ralph Emms Elliott, who left it to his nephew William Elliott III in 1806. William was mayor of Beaufort and hosted the Marquis de Lafayette when he visited Beaufort in 1825. Like many other homes in Beaufort, it served as a Union hospital during the Civil War.
After the war the home was the Club House to the Sea Island Hotel and later the Ribaut Social Club, where young gentlemen threw parties and hosted performances. After several more owners, Sidney and Dreka Stokes bought it in 1944 and operated it as a guest house, renting rooms for $3 to $10.
The inn was operated as a restaurant for a while and was almost torn down in 1971. After a new owner’s plan to open a restaurant there didn’t work it, the building sat vacant for several years until Frank and Amy Lesesne bought it in 2014, did massive renovations and opened Anchorage 1770 in 2015.
They revived the name Ribaut Social Club for dinner service Wednesday through Saturday and brunch on Sunday, serving meals on the second floor front porch and dining room.
1103 Bay St, Beaufort, SC 29902
This 48-room inn in the historic district is made up of a Victorian mansion and several cottages, located just a few blocks from the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. You can’t miss the main building, the Smith Wallace Mansion, as it’s painted a pretty coral color.
You have your choice of historic queen and king rooms, cottage rooms or larger suites, some with full kitchens. If you’re traveling with your family, Beauloft is a good option. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen, dining and living room.
Seeking more modern décor? Try the Greyhound Flats, which has two queen size beds, two convertible chair/beds and a mini kitchen.
Guests receive breakfast vouchers to dine at one of three local restaurants, Blackstone Café, Common Ground or Rain-N-Bagels. In reviews guests commented they appreciate the opportunity to try a variety of local restaurants.
Another amenity is a pass to Hunting Island State Park, a short drive away. After driving through a dense forest of trees, you’ll come to the beach, a huge expanse of sand with giant driftwood trees dotting the sands like sculptures of nature. There’s also a lighthouse to climb, although when we visited the park it was closed for filming of a movie. Well, that’s life, right?
While the inn doesn’t have a pool, it does partner with a nearby community where guests can visit for $10. Snacks, water and coffee are available 24/7 and guests are given s’mores kits for the fire pits in the courtyard of the main building. Bicycles are available to use free of charge, as is the case with most bed and breakfasts in Beaufort, SC.
Bang’s Salon & Spa is also part of Beaufort Inn, offering facials, massages, waxing, manicures and pedicures in addition to hair services. Balance Boutique Fitness has small group classes that include yoga, barre, P90X and stretching.
If you’re looking to host an event, The Beaufort Inn has eight venue spaces, both indoors and outdoors. For an intimate gathering you can opt for one of the courtyard spaces. Other spaces, including a loft and rooftop patio venue work for up to 200 guests.
The Beaufort Inn is one of the kid- and pet-friendly bed and breakfasts in Beaufort, SC. But no great Danes – dogs must be under 40 pounds.
809 Port Republic St, Beaufort, SC 29902
3 Sheffield Ct
Beaufort, South Carolina
Say hey to the Caribbean vibe in Beaufort! For a departure from the usual style of antiques and traditional furnishings of the historic properties that are bed and breakfasts in Beaufort, SC, head a few miles from Beaufort’s Historic District to this small property located on the Intercoastal Waterway in South Carolina between Savannah, Charleston, and Hilton Head. With its pink-and-green exterior and pastel-colored rooms, this inn will make you feel miles away from the wallpapered high-ceiling walls of the Victorian mansions.
But you’ll still find the front porches, as each of the four rooms has porch access, ceiling fans and a view of either the Sanctuary at Cat Island Golf Course (temporarily closed) or the river. A carriage house houses a suite with a two-person whirlpool and a kitchenette. Guests enjoy a gourmet breakfast in the River Room, which overlooks Chowan Creek.
While most of the homes on Cat Island were built in the 1990s and 2000s, it has a really salacious past dating back to the 1930s when what is believed to be the first nudist colony in the United States was established here. Founded by Gertrude and Gilbert Parks, the nudist colony had headquarters in a former plantation home.
The story is that the local sheriff didn’t support this lifestyle and wanted to run them off the island, but the mosquitos and gnats took care of that for him.
The Cuthbert Inn is in a former plantation home built for the Cuthbert family, thought to have been constructed around 1805, with formal Charleston gardens. During the Civil War the family fled Beaufort and Union Army General Rufus Saxton moved in. You can still see the names of visiting soldiers carved into the marble mantel in the Eastlake Suite Parlor.
After the war, General Saxton purchased the home at auction and lived there for 10 years before selling it to Duncan Wilson, a hardware and lumber yard owner. The home was placed on the National Register of Historic places and is now owned by Ed and Connie Binot.
The Cuthbert House Inn has 10 guest rooms with either king or queen beds. Some have clawfoot tubs, fireplaces or whirlpool tubs. A few suites are also available. Rooms have mini fridges and complimentary bikes and beach towels are available for the guests.
A hot breakfast is served in the waterfront conservatory, with dishes that may include eggs Benedict, egg frittatas or orange pancakes with Grand Marnier sauce (yum!) See recipe for the sauce below.
Two guest rooms are available for those traveling with dogs, the Mariner Suite and the Courtyard Room.
Check the website for special offers, including the Beaufort History Experience and the Shrimp, Collards and Grits package, which includes a cooking demonstration of some of the South’s most popular dishes with a local cookbook author.
1203 Bay Street, Beaufort, SC 29902-5401
The four guest rooms of North Street Inn are in a pink Victorian home from 1910. Each of the rooms has a queen size bed. The inn is in Beaufort’s Historic District, one block from the waterfront, and within walking distance of the shops, galleries and restaurants on Bay Street.
Breakfast is included with your stay and guests rave about it, with items that include waffles with fresh fruit, frittatas and homemade blueberry muffins.
1411 North St., Beaufort, SC 29902
This beautiful inn is right behind Anchorage 1770 and we admired the graceful Greek Revival mansion with the two-story wraparound porch. Built in 1820 as a summer plantation home, it also served as a Civil War hospital recovery center.
The main building has 10 rooms with king or queen size beds. The most popular is Room 10, also known as the honeymoon suite. It has a private screened-in porch overlooking the garden.
The Cottage across the street has seven additional rooms, all with fireplaces. The Newcastle House is a two-bedroom home with a full kitchen that can be rented daily, weekly or monthly.
The Rhett House Inn also has a pet-friendly room, one of several of the bed and breakfasts in Beaufort, SC, that welcome our canine companions.
Owners Steve and Marianne Harrison bought the inn in the 1980s, leaving behind their careers in the New York fashion industry to take on the 24-hour challenge of running an inn. They also host weddings, corporate events and other functions.
People in the South like to feed you. You won’t go hungry during a stay here. Guests start the day with a gourmet breakfast served in the dining room or on the veranda. During the day, cookies, lemonade and iced tea are available, hors d’oeuvres are served from 5:30 to 6:30 and desserts are available in the kitchen from 7-9.
Guests have access to bicycles and beach towels and beach chairs along with a free pass to Hunting Island State Park.
“Gone With the Wind” fans will appreciate the inn’s name’s connection to the book. Margaret Mitchell took the name for the dashing Rhett Butler from the prominent Rhett family in Beaufort and the Butlers in Atlanta.
Many a celebrity guest has bedded down in its antique-filled rooms when they were in town filming movies. “The Prince of Tides,” “Forrest Gump,” “The Big Chill” and “The Great Santini” were filmed here. Movie star guests include Sandra Bullock, Barbra Streisand, Blythe Danner, Kevin Bacon, Robert Redford, Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tom Hanks.
1009 Craven Street, Beaufort, South Carolina 29902
The home that houses Two Suns Inn was built in 1917 and beautifully preserved, with a prime location with views of the bay. A swing on the verandah is the perfect place to relax and take in the magnificent view.
Each of the five guest rooms is filled with antiques and furnished with a queen or king bed. There is one room on the main floor for wheelchair accessibility and with a handicapped friendly bathroom.
The breakfast here is often mentioned as a highlight, prepared by resident French chef Henri and Patricia, his Cordon Bleu wife. Items served have included croissants baked in an almond scented crème anglaise and a Normandy-style omelet.
Look for low season rates in August, December and January.
1705 Bay Street, Beaufort, SC 29902
Cuthbert House Inn’s Orange Grand Marnier Sauce for Pancakes
The bed and breakfasts in Beaufort, SC, excel when it comes to making breakfast. When I saw this recipe containing my favorite liqueur, I had to share it! And look how easy it is.
1 ½ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. Grand Mariner
Mix dry ingredients, dissolve into heated orange juice and bring to a boil
Reduce heat and add Grand Mariner and reduce to desired thickness.
Tip: When making the pancake mix substitute ½ cup orange instead of water.
– Jan Schroder, Editor in chief