Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   Charleston vs. Beaufort (

Deb15July Jun 7th, 2010 06:25 PM

Charleston vs. Beaufort
My husband and I visited Charleston over twenty yrs ago...sans kids. As a matter of fact I was pregnant with my first child.

For the last 20 or so years, we spent a week in Fernandina Beach,FL almost every year. We are not beach bums...and spend very little time sunbathing, but we love to open windows and hear the surf and like a more laid back attitude. High rises and major density are not to our liking.

We are looking for something different this year. As I mentioned previously, we've been to Charleston, but would like to experience Beaufort. We don't need major nightlife, but would like good restaurants and interesting activities during the day.

What are the major selling points of these two locations and the pros and cons of each?

suewoo Jun 7th, 2010 08:18 PM

You won't be able to open the windows and hear the surf at either one. I guess it depends on what you want to do. Beaufort is a great little town, and Hunting Island is my favorite place on earth, but the food choices are more plentiful in Charleston.

I'm so sorry- I gave up compare and contrast when I left college! Give me more information about your likes-neither has high rises, Charleston is a little denser population wise, but, as you know, very enjoyable.

NCPat Jun 8th, 2010 04:44 AM

You can stay on the beach in the Charleston area in Isle of Palms or Folly Beach. Both are straight drives into Charleston. There is one oceanfront hotel in Folly Beach - about 4 or 5 stories high, the only 'high rise' on the island. The rest of the place is residential. You won't have wild,crashing surf (think Outer Banks) in the Charleston area since it is at the mouth of a river, but you can hear the surf from the hotel at Folly Beach. Haven't stayed in Isle of Palms - don't think there are hotels there, but there are plenty of rental units, including Wild Dunes Resort.

cmcfong Jun 8th, 2010 06:28 AM

I love Beaufort and did a trip report which you can find by clicking on my screenname. That said, no contest beteen which place to stay for a few days. I would go to Isle of Palms, stay at Boardwalk Inn and enjoy the beach. Charleston is a fantastic city and it will more than fill your non beach hours. Beaufort is a great day trip if you find time. If you do go to Beaufort, Wren's is the place for dinner.

dcd Jun 8th, 2010 07:45 AM

Having been to both, I would choose Charleston in a heartbeat. So much to see and do and eat. That said, Beaufort would make for a very nice day trip on a day with good weather. We really enjoyed Jon Sharp's walking tour in Beaufort:

Gretchen Jun 8th, 2010 07:47 AM

It's gotta be Charleston and environs. CMCFong has it right. Eat in Mt. Pleasant also.

Deb15July Jun 9th, 2010 06:17 PM

NCPat...I should have explained myself better since of course there is no crashing surf in Charleston. I was just trying to convey that I don't like to sunbathe per se. I have been looking at some of the VRBO listings and will check both Folly Beach and Wild Dunes.

Did you also give up determining symbolism, foreshadowing and hyperbole in literary works? LOL! This will be our "Relaxing Vacation" as opposed to lots of activities that require a vacation from your vacation upon one's return. We don't want to drive more that 5-6 hours from Atlanta, we want someplace that is not too "resorty", and we would like to have decent restaurants within a 15 minute drive, as well as a few options for touristy activities.

dcd...I will check out the walking tour you mention in Beaufort. It sounds like that would be a great day excursion.

cmcfong...I will definitely look up your trip report. This board has been invaluable over the last several years for many of my adventures!

Gretchen...I did love Charleston the one time I visited and my brother and sister-in-law might join us and they are HUGE fans. I've never heard of Mt. Pleasant (although as I say that it does sound familiar), but I will research that too.

As always...thanks to all of your on this board for your first had knowledge and experience.

suewoo Jun 9th, 2010 06:32 PM

LOL. I hung on to allegory. Sounds like Isle of Palms might be for you. Wild DUnes is kind of resorty but there are homes in there that are nice, and so is the beach.

I like your idea of vacation. I am often stunned at how much people want to do on vacay.

I am actually in Mt Pleasant, which is across the Cooper River from Charleston. It's a great place to live. We have lots of restaurants, including some with water views. The Center for Birds of Prey is north of Mt P and near the great Seewee Restaurant. Let us know when you find options and we can help you narrow it down.

Now back to watching SC politics :O:O:O

Deb15July Jun 10th, 2010 04:33 PM

suewoo...I don't always have relaxing vacations. Many are very full with touring and such, but we always try to have at least one trip per year where we just kinda hang out.

Will post some more when I come up with a few options.

SusieKay Jun 12th, 2010 03:14 PM

We vacation in a condo for a month every fall in Hilton Head. We always enjoy a day trip to Beaufort-but can't imagine spending more than a day, or perhaps an overnight there. When our children were younger, we spent many summer weeks at Wild Dunes-you can find oceanfront condos there - with easy access to Charleston. We obviously love Hilton Head since we go there every year-lots of tourists in the summer, but good off season rates in the fall-much quieter, with excellent golf and tennis, and many good restaurants. One hour drive to Savannah, two to Charleston.

lovncharleston Jul 1st, 2010 10:33 AM

Beaufort is beautiful, but my heart of course is in Charleston! Check out and it will give you a lot of the highlights of Charleston. Have fun!

Deb15July Jul 1st, 2010 04:19 PM

I've only been to Hilton Head a couple of times many years ago, but it wasn't my favorite place. Wild Dunes looked nice, but a little more resorty than what I'm looking for.

I would love to spend some time in Charleston though and I also looked into Folly Beach, but my sister said she didn't much care for it when she and her husband went there many years ago for a wedding.

I'm also considering Destin now because some friends recently moved there and we would have a free place to stay and they are always fun to hang out with. I'm keeping an eye on the oil spill.

suewoo Jul 1st, 2010 04:23 PM

There are parts of Isle of Palms that are not in Wild Dunes that are really nice. It's only 20 minutes from Charleston.

Folly is one of the last beaches in SC that allow beer drinking on the beach. It can get a little rowdy on the weekends. The beach out there is beautiful, however.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:28 AM.