A photo tour of Beaufort: history, art and incredible outdoors

Chartered in 1711, Beaufort is South Carolina’s second oldest town after Charleston and its best kept travel secret…not for long!

Here are some things worth shouting about this historic yet vibrant little town recently dubbed “the Newport of the South”:

  • Top 50 Waterfront Adventure Towns in the nation
  • The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America
  • The Kaleidoscope Film Festival (you remember The Patriots, Forrest Gump and Prince of Tides to name a few of the many films shot here)
  • The picturesque downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places, with more antebellum homes per block than any other American town.
  • Check this post for fun and free things to do with kids while in the area.

    I’ll let the photos do the talking. Have a wonderful vacation in Beaufort South Carolina!

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    Myrtle Beach Photos of Great Fun in the Sun (Myrtle Beach free things to do)

    Cool ocean breeze…white sand tickling your toes…fresh saltwater smell and seagulls flying into the sunset…everybody in the family is in a good mood and willing to goof around (how often does this happen? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    Stay at Ocean Creek Resort, an all inclusive and reasonable priced resort; secluded oasis on 57 beautifully landscaped acres and yet close to awesome Barefoot Landing and the Alligator Adventure attractions. It has excellent amenities (pools galore, tennis courts, golf, private beach access, restaurant).

    If you’re looking for something to do with your family that’s affordable, educational, memorable and fulfilling then visit Brookgreen Gardens a National Historic Landmark with the worldโ€™s most significant collection of outdoor American sculptures and the only accredited zoo on the South Carolina coast.

    However if you’re more an adrenaline pumping kind of person then go to Ripley’s Aquarium inside Broadway at the Beach. For about $20 ($10 for kids 6 to 11, and $4 for those 2 to 5) you can say Hello! to 15 foot Sharks pet feisty stingrays, and if you hurry up before the year’s end, can even “shake hands” with Blackbeard, the most ruthless pirate in the Caribbean known to man!

    Keep your family happy in Myrtle Beach, a South Carolina’s top family attraction (golf anyone?!)

    Utan King of Crocs (Myrtle Beach family attractions and fun things to do)

    Utan The King of Crocs is the largest crocodile ever exhibited in the United States, measuring 20 feet long and weighing in at more than 1000 pounds. And you can see him right here in beautiful Myrtle Beach South Carolina! Utan frontFor the past 5 years he became the main attraction at the amazing Alligator Adventure “The Reptile Capital of the World” zoo. Imported from Thailand, Utan was transported to the U.S. via an enormous wooden crate during a long 10 days trip. For more information and tips to make the best of your Alligator Adventure family visit, see my previous post.

    Tips to know before you go

    Best time to see Utan is (you guessed it) at feeding time around 1 PM daily. You may want to get there early to grab a good photo spot as crowds gather quickly. There isn’t much shade so wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen and drink water often. No pain, no gain ๐Ÿ™‚

    Most of the day you will catch him napping under the sun. If you are lucky he may occasionally open his eyes and glance at you, but don’t hold your breath.

    Here are some photos with this cutie “little” reptile…as beloved Steve Irwin used to say “you’re alright mate, you’re alright!” Click on each picture to get a full size view.

    Utan’s mug shot. No beauty contest winner here…

    Utan King of Crocs

    Utan’s front leg. Pure Power!

    Utan King of Crocs\' leg

    Just to get an idea of its enormous size take a look at this family picture with him in the background.

    Utan in the background

    Upclose photo of its skin…quite prehistoric looking!

    Closeup skin

    Kick-up your family vacation with Utan the King of Crocs!

    Looking for more adrenaline? Then go to Ripley’s Aquarium inside Broadway at the Beach. For about $20 ($10 for kids 6 to 11, and $4 for those 2 to 5) you can literally rub elbows with 15 foot Sharks and albino Sawfishes, pet and feed feisty stingrays, and if you hurry up before the year’s end, can even “shake hands” with Blackbeard, the most ruthless pirate in the Caribbean known to man!

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    Historic Fort Sumter in Photos (what to do with kids in Charleston)

    Historic Fort Sumter – the start of the Civil War – is a must see family destination when you visit Charleston South Carolina. If time permits visit the Charleston Aquarium (at Liberty Square, same place as the Sumter ferry dock station) or the Yorktown Battleship (at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, the other ferry boat boarding for Fort Sumter).

    Read more about Fort Sumter on my previous post:

    Happy vacation travel in historic South Carolina!

    Fort Sumter: Family Day Trip in South Carolina History

    Located in the middle of the Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter marks the start of “The War Between the States” (as it is called here since was nothing “civil” about it), when Confederate artillery opened fire April 12, 1861. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.

    Fort Sumter entrance signSeven millions of pounds of metal were furiously shot at it without success. Amazingly, the Confederate losses only counted 52 killed and 267 wounded. The fort suffered major destruction with the right flank wall and the gorge wall all but vanished. For the next 100 years it remains a garrison but with limited military significance.

    In 1948 Fort Sumter was transferred to the National Park Service and became a national monument and a popular family attraction.

    Things to know before you go
    1. Fort Sumter is open year round except for New Years, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. The fort is open 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM from April 1st to Labor Day, at other times call (843)-883-3123. Entrance to Fort Sumter is free, however you must pay for the ferry ride to get there. For more info see: Fort Sumter accessibility and visit hours.

    Bridge to Fort Sumter Charleston2. You can access Fort Sumter by ferry or privately operated boats. The concessioned ferry leaves from two locations: Liberty Square (340 Concord Street in Charleston), and Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum (40 Patriots Point Road in Mount Pleasant). Tours usually depart every 2 hours and the ride takes about 30 minutes. The ferry has a snack bar and restrooms. For ticket info call 1-800-789-3678.

    3. If you depart from Liberty Square make sure to visit the Charleston Aquarium; if you depart from Patriots Point, reserve 2 hours to explore the wonderful USS Yorktown aircraft carrier with its dozens of war planes, the submarine and the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum.

    4. You can’t get to Fort Sumter from Fort Moultrie. Pets are not permitted at Fort Sumter or on the ferry. Pets accompanying private boaters must remain on the boat, and must not be left unattended.

    Big Canons at Fort Sumter Charleston5. During the ferry ride you can capture amazing photos of the Charleston’s Harbor and Ravenel bridge, so make sure you bring your camera and plenty of batteries along.

    6. Kids have fun checking out the big canons spread throughout the fort and chasing each other through the maze of tunnels.

    Fort Sumter little beach

    7. If traveling by ferry you will have about 1 hour to wonder around. Save yourself some hustle and bustle and conveniently get loose from the “family group” by sunbathing on the grass near the flags; you will enjoy breathtaking ocean views and can quietly soak in all the history around you.

    See more family day of fun at Fort Sumter on this slideshow

    Enjoy your vacation in South Carolina!