By Kerri Zane
Definitely a small town, but one of the friendliest girlfriend getaways in the country is Beaufort South Carolina. All 304 acres of this 2nd oldest city in the state, is listed on the National Historic Register with “The Pointe” being the largest concentration of historic residences. It’s got a classic low country vibe with moss covered live oaks, historic churches and take-your-breath-away antebellum homes.
While there are several hotels and rentals in the historic area of town for a real taste of the place a bed & breakfast is ideal like Anchorage 1770, or shall we say a boutique Inn as owners Frank and Amy Lesesne like to call it. After two years of meticulous renovations, the tabby Victorian waterfront mansion, which was once a hospital during the Civil War, now boasts 15 guest rooms in the main house and a two-bedroom cottage behind the building.
Four poster beds, waterfront views, high ceilings, porch swings, a formal parlor and the English Amor style inn restaurant make for an inviting girlfriend getaway retreat. If you come as a group the Lesesne’s will reserve the entire 4th floor rooms (there are four) just for you. The best part is the top floor honor kitchen stocked with multiple bottles of wine, liquor, soda and mixers. You can also host a happy hour or yoga session on the roof patio without any disturbance from the other guests…
The fine dining restaurant on property is called The Ribaut Social Club. It was designed to capture the spirit of the original club established in 1891, where you can dine indoors or on the front porch while enjoying Executive Chef Byron Landis’ award winning food. We had a sumptuous Butterfish and local shrimp, Gnocchi, stewed tomatoes & okra, local vegetables, Parmesan Cheese, Caper and Arugula Pesto. The Club serves breakfast, weekend brunch and dinner.
There are plenty of eateries in the historic area including Emily’s for tapas; Wren bistro and Bar (do not miss out on their fried green tomato stack); Plums serves hearty burgers, sandwiches and salads for lunch; and Saltus River Grille has a substantial seafood and fish menu, sushi options, a full-service bar. If you keep your eyes peeled some delicious looking single men to make your Girlfriend Getaway complete. After dinner stop by the Old Bull Tavern to mix and mingle like a local. Do not miss out on a piece of The Chocolate Tree’s chocolates…Forrest Gump highly recommends it! Yes, they are Tom Hanks favorites and the iconic sweet treats from the movie.
What I loved best is I came solo to my Girlfriend Getaway and Miss Amy organized a built in group of girlfriends for me! The Lesesne’s aim to please. Ask about special girlfriend getaway rates during the months of September, December and January.
Beaufort may be small, but it’s not short on girlfriend getaway activities. There are several guided tours, some are walking with guides wearing an antebellum dress, some in vans and buses or do it the old – old school way and take a historic horse drawn carriage tour. There is so much history to the place it’s well worth the 1.5 hours. Ask about the hanging tree. The main shopping area is located right along the coast on Bay Street.
There are plenty of one-of-a-kind shops to wander through. Do not miss out on Scout’s original tea float – super yummy sweet teas with two scoops of sorbet. Other activities to experience vary from a vintage biplane tour, a river and dolphin watch. There are historic must-do’s like the Verdier House, Parris Island museum, and Beaufort Arsenal and National Cemetery. Then spend a relaxing afternoon kayaking or stand up paddling around the tributaries courtesy of Higher Ground.
Flying from the North east is one direct flight. Driving from a variety of Southeast cities is a cinch. Flying in from LA was a bit of a jaunt as there is a change of planes flying into Savannah or Charleston and then an additional hour’s drive to the coast, but worth every minute.