Romantic Beaufort: Treasures of the past

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By Pamela Brownstein

Life magazine once dubbed Beaufort as the “Most Romantic Town on the East Coast.” In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, this distinction had us thinking: What about our little city makes it such a romantic destination?

Without question, our unique and well-preserved historic sites provide a window into days gone by and represent 300 years of culture, identity and sometimes even strife. These treasures of the past often come to mind when trying to define Beaufort’s romantic qualities.

Old Sheldon Church  in Yemassee. Photo  by Daniel Brownstein.
Old Sheldon Church
in Yemassee. Photo
by Daniel Brownstein.

Here are some of our favorite romantic historic spots:

• Old Sheldon Church: Pictured above, the majestic ruins of this church are popular for weddings, or at least for wedding pictures.

Located off a small road in Yemassee, Old Sheldon Church feels remote even by today’s standards. The towering brick columns and the sun shining through the Spanish moss hanging from the surrounding live oak trees make for a beautiful scene that is well worth the drive.

(And while you’re in Yemassee, stop by Harold’s Country Club for good food and an experience you’re not soon to forget.)

• Fort Fremont: Out near the Lands End community on St. Helena Island, Fort Fremont sits nestled in the hillside. Although perhaps not exactly “romantic” by typical standards, the forgotten fort feels fascinating and mysterious. The ladders and stairs to nowhere, the rumors that it’s haunted — not to mention the small, dark spaces — all add to the allure of this hidden landmark.

Every time I go there with my husband we have the whole place to ourselves to explore and discover.

You can also walk along the small Lands End beach and watch the sun set: What’s more romantic than that?

• The Old Point: Strolling through the streets of this historic neighborhood in downtown Beaufort excites the senses with beautiful architecture, quirky details around every turn, friendly fellow pedestrians, preserved open space and water views. In the spring especially, the smell of flowers in well-kept gardens or wisteria growing wild is enough to make anyone fall in love.

Early in our relationship, my husband and I packed a picnic lunch and found the perfect place to sit and eat and look out over the water. We always remember that spot as we walk through the area years later with our two kids and it sparks fond feelings that make me smile at the romance that surrounds us here.

Next week in our Romantic Beaufort series will feature bed and breakfasts.

Do you have a favorite place in Beaufort that feels romantic to you or perhaps a memory of a romantic day spent here? Tell us about it by emailing theislandnews@gmail.com or post it on The Island News Facebook page.