Beaufort, South Carolina

Beaufort is a small city situated in the Beaufort County of the US State of South Carolina. It is the state’s second-oldest city after the city of Charleston. A major portion of the city is situated on Port Royal Island, one of the most populous Sea Islands located in the Lowcountry region of the State of South Carolina. The city of Beaufort is administered under a council-manager form of government and serves as a popular tourist destination that is well known for its scenic beauty.

Geography Of Beaufort, South Carolina

Aerial view of Beaufort, South Carolina.
Aerial view of Beaufort, South Carolina.

The city of Beaufort is located in the midst of a marshy estuary and covers a total area of 87.0 sq. km, of which 15.5 sq. km is occupied by water, and 71.5 sq. km is occupied by land. The city shares the Port Royal Island with some unincorporated parts of Beaufort County and the adjacent town of Port Royal. Small portions of the residential Lady’s Island are also included within the city of Beaufort.

Promenade of Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Beaufort
Promenade of the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, located south of Bay Street in the Historic District of downtown Beaufort, South Carolina. 

The downtown or the historic district area features a spectacular collection of antebellum architecture. Several mansions, commercial buildings, religious places, etc., are located in the historic district that have been built using the antebellum architectural style. About 1.23 sq. km area of the downtown was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1973. The downtown is further divided into five unique neighborhoods: the Bluff area, the downtown (commercial area), the Old Commons neighborhood, the Point neighborhood, and the Northwest Quadrant. With the city's expansion, more neighborhoods were established in the undeveloped areas situated in the northern and western parts of the historic district. The areas located along Ribaut Road, Boundary Street, and the Robert Smalls Parkway serve as the city’s principal commercial corridors. Many shopping centers and eateries are located in these areas. The city of Beaufort is also well known for its military establishments. Several festivals such as Beaufort Shrimp Festival, Home Water Festival, Beaufort International Film Festival are held in the city and attract many tourists. Also located about 24km east of the city of Beaufort is the Hunting Island State Park, which is South Carolina’s most visited state park.

Climate Of Beaufort, South Carolina

According to the Köppen climate classification, the city of Beaufort experiences a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and short, cold winters. The warm season lasts from May to September, and July is the hottest month, with the average temperature ranging between 32.2°C to 24.4°C. The cold season lasts from December to February, and January is the coldest month, with the average temperature ranging between 5.5°C to 15.5°C.

Population Of Beaufort, South Carolina

As per the 2010 census, about 12,361 people live in the city of Beaufort. The city’s population had decreased from the 2000 census, which showed that the city was home to 12,789 people. The city has a population density of 212.35 inhabitants per sq. km. About 67.1% of the city’s population is considered White, of whom most are non-Hispanic. The Hispanic group accounts for 6.7% of the city’s population, African Americans at 25.7%, Native Americans at 0.3%, Asians at 1.4%, Pacific Islanders at 0.1%, Other races at 1.98%, and 2.6% from two or more races. The American Community Survey conducted in 2010 also revealed that the median income for a household in the city was $36,532, whereas the median income for a family was $42,894.

Brief History Of Beaufort, South Carolina

Historic Cuthbert House in Beaufort, South Carolina. 
Historic Cuthbert House in Beaufort, South Carolina. 

As per written historical sources, the Beaufort area was discovered in 1514 by the Spanish Captain Diego Guilarte de Salazar. Several Europeans also explored the Lowcountry region, and in 1711, the city was founded by the Anglo-American colonists. In the initial years, the city faced many attacks from the Native American tribes and threats from the Spanish Empire. The city initially flourished as a shipbuilding center but later became a slave society and a center for Lowcountry planters. After the Battle of Port Royal, the Union forces occupied the Beaufort area. Along with all the surrounding Sea Islands, the city of Beaufort played a vital role during the Reconstruction Era that followed the Civil War. From the late 20th century onwards, the city became a popular destination for tourists.

Share