Three Centuries of Architecture on Display in Beaufort
Get a rare glimpse of the South Carolina town linked to Pat Conroy’s “The Prince of Tides” during its Fall Festival of Houses and Gardens.
Beaufort’s annual event returns this October to give visitors the rare opportunity to explore private homes, gardens and plantations in Beaufort’s National Historic District. Featuring properties that represent three centuries of Beaufort architecture and aren’t normally open to the public, the Fall Festival of Houses and Gardens will be held from Friday, October 24, through Sunday, October 26.
Presented by the Historic Beaufort Foundation, the festival offers three tours: the Walking Tour, the Ramble Around Beaufort and the Kitchens & Cuisine Tour.
The Walking Tour is available on October 24 at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. (All properties close at 6 p.m.) This tour features seven houses, including the William Flickling House, a modest two-story clapboard that is now the rectory of St. Helena Episcopal Church; and the John & Flora Trask House on Bay Street, as well as six private homes, along with the Verdier House, the only historic planter’s house in the city open to the public.
The Ramble Around Beaufort Tour is available on October 25 beginning at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. (All properties close at 4 p.m.) This tour offers a different selection of houses like the George Moss Stoney House dating to the 1820s; the McKee-Smalls House, named in part for Robert Smalls, the slave who freed himself by commandeering a Confederate ship and was later elected to the South Carolina state legislature; and the newly restored McGrath Scheper House, an iconic Beaufort cottage. In addition to five downtown properties, the ramble includes the house and grounds of Chelsea Plantation just outside of Beaufort and the Maritime Center of the Port Royal Sound Foundation.
The Kitchens & Cuisine Tour wraps up the festival on October 26 beginning at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The two-hour tour takes place in historic downtown Beaufort and on Lady’s Island, one of the sea islands just over the bridge.
“Our Fall Festival of Houses and Gardens offers visitors the chance to, not only visit, but truly appreciate the historic architecture of these homes, gardens and plantations,” says Robb Wells, tourism division executive for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We love sharing these beautiful sites with the public every year.”
Tickets are $45 for each day and available here.