“No man is an island entire of itself.”
This famous John Donne verse has special meaning in the Lowcountry, a mosaic of 80 to 100 inhabited and uninhabited islands, depending on who is performing the count. The neighboring (and neighborly) towns of Beaufort and Port Royal are both perched on Port Royal Island. And an intricate network of bridges connects these towns, dotted with historic homes and churches, to Bray’s, Callawassie, Coosaw, Dataw, Lady’s, Fripp, Harbor, Hunting, Parris, St. Helena and dozens of other islands of distinction.
Gift-wrapped by water, each enclave in this wonderland is a special present, contributing its unique personality and appeal to the Lowcountry mix. Amble down Beaufort’s Bay Street and step back to a time when pirates and plantation owners rubbed elbows at taverns. Climb atop Hunting Island’s lighthouse and imagine the trials of giant sea turtles who return each year to build nests on her beaches.
Stroll Port Royal’s distinctive boardwalk, for instance, and feel the echoes of days when a bustling Navy shipyard lured great ships in the 1890s. After overcoming numerous setbacks since its founding in the 16th century, Port Royal is now well established as a thriving small town with strong military roots.
Today the bustling town of more than 4,000 residents and 500 businesses has rebounded and offers vibrant proof that small-town values and a world-class lifestyle can coexist. A 30-minute walking tour showcases 40 historic homes and sites, plus new additions to the architectural landscape that echo the best of the past. Renovated buildings house many new businesses. The Town’s progressive Master Plan calls for even more redevelopment greenspace and restoration.
Visit Penn Center on St. Helena and immerse yourself in Gullah culture, language, folkarts. Penn Center is one of only three historic Landmark Districts in South Carolina. The other two are the Beaufort Historic District and the Charleston Historic District. Among the many people who have used Penn Center is Martin Luther King Jr. During the 1960’s, King and civil rights groups held strategy retreats at the center. Today, Penn Center also serves as America’s landmark institution for the preservation of Sea Island African-American culture. Last year the Smithsonian Institute recognized Penn’s Heritage Days as a “Local Legacy.” Penn Center Heritage Days pays tribute to history and culture that is as much a part of the Lowcountry as the rivers and creeks that run through the land. It is to be celebrated and enjoyed. Yet, it is not these parts that make the Lowcountry so special, it is the interwoven fabric. It is the opportunity to walk an ocean beach at sunrise, browse shops and galleries all morning, lunch at a bayside cafe, golf under a canopy of moss-draped oaks in the afternoon sun, and end the day clapping to Gullah rhythms at a musical revue.
The Lowcountry’s rich mix provides endless variety and an agenda for living life to its fullest. So come connect with the connected beauty and variety of Beaufort and the Lowcountry. We are eager to help you discover all the Lowcountry blessings that prompt families to relocate here. Enjoy your Beaufort adventure! We hope it’s the start of a lifelong love affair.