Beaufort : South carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Beaufort

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 Homes in the Old Point neighborhood courtesy of Wikipedia and BeaufortTiger (public domain).

Watch this short Youtube video prepared by Angela Johnson:


Where to Retire in Beaufort and Home Prices

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 left). 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 had slowed the pace of development here considerably.  Zillow reports the median home value is $295,876 in late 2021.


What Is Special about Beaufort

• 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

What Is Not Special about Beaufort

• It can be over run by tourists in season • Not for people in the fast lane •See comment in Medical section.

Who Will Like Retirement in Beaufort

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.

Local Economy Is Driven by

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


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.

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.



City-Data reports that crime is higher than the national index - 611 vs. 319. 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.


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...



Savannah/Hilton Head International (42 Miles), and 2 smaller airports are closer

Valuable Links

Visit Beaufort

Wikipedia page for Beaufort is quite informative


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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