Beaufort : South carolina

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What Beaufort is like for active adults

The Old South lives on in the quaint seaside charm of Beaufort (pronounced b'yoofurt), South Carolina. Known as the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands”, this popular retirement community of 11,000 was discovered by the Spanish in 1514 and chartered by the British in 1711. It lies in the Sea Islands or “Low Country” area of South Carolina, just north of Hilton Head. 304 acres of the town have been designated as a National Historic Landmark. That history is reflected in the horse-drawn carriages that roll along streets in the town’s charming historic district that are overhung with Spanish moss.  The area offers a laid back atmosphere that most people find very relaxing. Beaufort is located in Beaufort County. Savannah is 39 miles away.

There are 3 major military installations here that provide a solid economic underpinning and a lowering of the average age in the area. Those include the U.S. Marine Corps Recruitment Depot at Parris Island, the Naval Air Station, and the Beaufort naval hospital.Here is more information about what it is like to retire in South Carolina.Photo of downtown waterfront courtesy of Wikipedia and Cdamgen.

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Where to Live & Real Estate Values

The area has developing rapidly with many upscale communities aimed at  baby boomers and adults 55+ looking for vacation and retirement homes (see link at right). Most of these new planned communities are heavily oriented towards golf. There are many nice neighborhoods within Beaufort  such as Spanish Point, as well as in surrounding towns life Bluffton. For more detailed information about Beaufort see our Retire in Beaufort guide.
The housing crunch has slowed the pace of development here considerably.  City-Data.com reported median home sale prices in mid-2013, to be about $210,000.

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What is special about this retirement community
• Charming old town in the Low Country  • Numberous awards as "Best Small Southern Town", "Small Town Arts", and "Best Fishing Town "• Proximity to Hilton Head Island and Savannah • Luxurious golf course communities • The town has 304 acres designated as a National Historic Landmark • Milder winters •Second oldest city in South Carolina
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What is not special about this retirement community
• It can be over run by tourists in season • Not for people in the fast lane •See comment in Medical section.
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What kinds of people like retiring here
Beaufort attracts a community of people who either want to live in a charming old river town or expensive new golfing communities. The presence of so many military personnel creates a younger and more diverse atmosphere than in some comparable communities.
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Local economy is driven by

Tourism, the military's 3 installations here, and real estate are important to the economy.

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Climate and Physical Environment
Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island and the Beaufort River. This area between Charleston and Savannah is often referred to as the Sea Islands or Low Country because it has so much water and so little elevation. This diverse city has a mild climate in the winter - the average January low is 39 and the average July high is 91. August is the rainiest month.
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Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Beaufort  has  many  art  galleries and has won numerous awards as an arts town.  Additionally  there  is  the  Arts  Council  of Beaufort County with its 12,000 square foot community arts center, the Beaufort Orchestra Society, the University of SC-Beaufort's Performing Arts Center, and the Penn Center. Festivals such as the Water Festival and the Shrimp Festival keep things interesting. Nearby Hilton Head Island has cultural opportunities, as does nearby Savannah.

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Crime

City-Data reports that crime is higher than the national index - 611 vs. 319. Cityrating.com confirms that for both violent and property crimes. That said, retirees should remember that crime is all about neighborhood - in the areas they are likely to live and frequent crime is undoubtedly low.

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Medical facilities

Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Hilton Head Hospital a 5 star hospital is 17 miles away. One visitor to Topretirements wrote in: "Is there a rheumatologist in the area? The answer is: yes I have found several in the area of Beaufort, Bluffton....Goggle or look in yellow pages..With the baby boomers retiring in the area more and more specialist are appearing in the area...

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Transportation
Savannah/Hilton Head International (42 Miles), and 2 smaller airports are closer
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Valuable Links
Wikipedia page for Beaufort is quite informative
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What people are saying about Beaufort

Beaufort a quaint charming town
Beaufort reminds me of a river town of long gone era..Beautiful with shops restaurants and water..I can see why it has a top rating as far as livability..You not only can live in a old charming town with lots to do(Festivals, arts etc) and you are so close to many interesting places of which you can drive to within a couple hours...Charleston(35 minutes) Hilton Head(30 minutes) Savannah (35 minutes) Jacksonville (2 hours) and Myrtle Beach (2 hours)...Crime is high in my opinion in the area of tourist crime (break in of cars)and theft.. Very little violent crime that I can see...Overall to us a perfect area...Oh did I mention the food..Come see and enjoy...
Posted by pschmidt on August 27, 2013
Its Overrated as a top spot
Downtown Beaufort is a Mini very Mini Charelston you can experience it in 2 hours. Just outside the downtown there is poverty every where with run down neighborhoods, reading the local paper on the web I read the crime reports, there is a lot of violent crime ,theft and burgulary. We were hoping to look to retire here but dont feel safe. I dont understand why they rate Beaufort so high on the list
Posted by kradgolf on March 18, 2012
What is the summer in Beaufort like? Temperatures, humidity, bugs etc.....
Posted by sandyzerb on May 19, 2011

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Facts about BEAUFORT
  • State: SC
  • Environment: College Town,Coastal,Small Town,Boating Community,Outdoor Oriented,Biking Community,Golf Community,
  • City Population: 10,000-25,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • Avg July Temperature: 81+
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $100,000-$200,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 121+ (very high)
  • Cost of Living Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: jb

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

Beaufort retirement communities
Vote on the Ratings for Beaufort
Update Your Ratings
1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 33 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 12 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 2.3/5 ( 16 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 3.6/5 ( 10 votes cast)

5.Recreation:
None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 3.4/5 ( 12 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 8 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 2.5/5 ( 22 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 3.2/5 ( 15 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 2.6/5 ( 18 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 3.8/5 ( 14 votes cast)