“No man is an island entire of itself.”
This famous John Donne verse has special meaning in the Lowcountry, a mosaic of 80 to 100 inhabited and uninhabited islands, depending on who is performing the count. The neighboring (and neighborly) towns of Beaufort and Port Royal are both perched on Port Royal Island. And an intricate network of bridges connects these towns, dotted with historic homes and churches, to Bray’s, Callawassie, Coosaw, Dataw, Lady’s, Fripp, Harbor, Hunting, Parris, St. Helena and dozens of other islands of distinction.
Gift-wrapped by water, each enclave in this wonderland is a special present, contributing its unique personality and appeal to the Lowcountry mix. Amble down Beaufort’s Bay Street and step back to a time when pirates and plantation owners rubbed elbows at taverns. Climb atop Hunting Island’s lighthouse and imagine the trials of giant sea turtles who return each year to build nests on her beaches.
Stroll Port Royal’s distinctive boardwalk, for instance, and feel the echoes of days when a bustling Navy shipyard lured great ships in the 1890s. After overcoming numerous setbacks since its founding in the 16th century, Port Royal is now well established as a thriving small town with strong military roots.
Today the bustling town of more than 4,000 residents and 500 businesses has rebounded and offers vibrant proof that small-town values and a world-class lifestyle can coexist. A 30-minute walking tour showcases 40 historic homes and sites, plus new additions to the architectural landscape that echo the best of the past. Renovated buildings house many new businesses. The Town’s progressive Master Plan calls for even more redevelopment greenspace and restoration.
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