We took a weekend trip to South Carolina to celebrate our anniversary and to relax and get out of Atlanta for a while, and now I wish we could go back. The weather was perfect—blue skies every day, no rain at all—and it felt like summer again, especially when we were in the sea island town of Beaufort, with all of its palm trees and boats out on the water. It was the last stop on our trip, and probably the one I was most excited about. My parents stayed there last year (I think?) and told me that I’d love it, that it was like Charleston on a much smaller scale and maybe even prettier. But as we drove into town I started to doubt it. The main drag that led up to our hotel wasn’t all that pretty, and then when we checked in and walked downtown all we saw were tourist gift shops selling flip flops and beach art and t-shirts saying things like “Carolina Girl.” Not very promising.
But once we got off the main street and into the historic district neighborhoods I could see why my mom and dad love Beaufort so much. It has the palm trees of Charleston and the spanish moss covered live oaks of Savannah and the centuries old houses of both. Only it’s a lot quieter. Even during the weekend there weren’t all that many people, which Drew said probably had to do with beach season’s being over, but still . . . When we rented bikes one day we pretty much just rode down the middle of streets and rarely saw a car. We rode by the water and the marshy river and all the big houses around it, and then crossed Carteret St. to the part of town where most of the churches are. We went by a little church where a revival was taking place (or maybe just a lively Saturday afternoon service), a guy painting his front porch and listening to slow jams, and an abandoned art deco jail. Then we rode around to Bay Street down where the bed and breakfasts are and saw where my parents stayed (Cuthbert house) and where Barbra Streisand stayed before she filmed The Prince of Tides in Beaufort a long time ago (Rhett House).
We saw a few other great places on our trip and I might post about another of them here, but Drew got lots of photos that we’ll be turning into Southerly posts soon . . . (update: first one is up! The Old Sheldon Church Ruins . . . )