Pros And Cons Of Living In Beaufort, SC

With beautiful weather and picturesque scenery, Beaufort, South Carolina, seems like a wonderful place to live.

However, everyone wants something different in the city or town they call home, so looking at the pros and cons of the place can help you decide if it’s right for you.

Aerial panorama of Beaufort, South Carolina, USA
Aerial panorama of Beaufort, South Carolina, USA

Key Takeaways

  • Beautiful landscapes provide lovely views and make for many outdoor activity options.
  • The weather is mild throughout the year, although summers can be hot and sticky. Summer weather also brings annoying bugs.
  • Beaufort’s historic area provides many sites to explore.
  • Tax rates are low, although the cost of living is high.
  • The city has a welcoming atmosphere, but the crime rate is high.
  • Beaufort can feel isolating, as it’s far from other major cities.
  • Beaufort’s school systems are not highly ranked.
  • There are many food options, including fresh seafood.

Scenery

One of the reasons so many people are drawn to Beaufort is because of its idyllic setting. The city sits on Port Royal Island on the South Carolina coast and offers access to several beaches.

Anyone living in the area will be able to enjoy gorgeous ocean views. Away from the beaches and ocean, tall trees covered in Spanish moss create a different type of landscape that is equally as beautiful.

Even the city itself, thanks to classic architecture and several well-maintained gardens, is picturesque.

Aerial view of Beaufort, South Carolina at night.
Aerial view of Beaufort, South Carolina at night.

Climate

Beaufort’s beautiful scenery is paired with a mild climate. Even winters in the city are relatively warm and, although nights can occasionally be cold, most days are in the low 60s, even in December and January.

Spring and fall temperatures are in the 70s. Summers, however, can be very hot and humid. Temperatures often reach into the low 90s, and rain is most frequent during July and August.

Hunting Island Beach, Beaufort, SC
Hunting Island Beach, Beaufort, SC

Bugs

People are not the only inhabitants of Beaufort who enjoy the area’s temperate weather. Mosquitos, roaches, and palmetto bugs also enjoy the warm, humid weather, and they’re frequently spotted throughout several months of the year.

Many of these bugs are annoying, and some can even make their way inside your home, so if you plan to live in the city, you may need to invest in exterminating services.

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Outdoor Activity Opportunities

Beaufort is surrounded by wild natural areas, so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreational activities. Families can enjoy a day at the beach or picnic in one of the city’s parks.

There are also plenty of places to hike or ride a bike, and the ocean makes for an excellent place to swim, take out a boat, or fish. Many people even trap shrimp in the nearby marshes.

For less rugged activities, many people living in Beaufort enjoy playing tennis, pickleball, or golf.

Intercoastal waterway, Beaufort, SC
Intercoastal waterway, Beaufort, SC

History

Beaufort and the surrounding area are rich in history. The city is the second oldest in the state, and the area bore witness to the rise of the nation and the strife of the Civil War.

Many buildings even predate the birth of the United States. However, the history in the area goes back even further, as the city and surrounding area were home to Native Americans long before other settlers came to South Carolina.

This means that there are plenty of historic sites and museums to explore.

Tax Rates

South Carolina has some of the lowest tax rates in the country. State income taxes and property taxes are both low, and there is also a lower tax on gasoline, so filling up your car often costs much less than in other parts of the country.

Many people who move to South Carolina can also qualify for state income tax deductions, further reducing their tax rate.

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Cost of Living

Although tax rates are lower in South Carolina, the cost of living can be a bit higher in Beaufort than in other parts of the country.

Beaufort County also has the highest cost of living in all of South Carolina. The median cost of a home is about $100,000 more than the national average, although housing expenses such as rent are slightly lower than the national average.

Groceries and utilities also cost more than the national average.

cost of living chart

Friendly People

Beaufort has a strong culture of hospitality, which means that most people you meet in the city will be friendly and welcoming.

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This open attitude can make it much easier to get to know your neighbors, make friends, and integrate into the city, and many people feel at home in Beaufort right away.

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Crime Rate

Despite its friendly people, Beaufort has a surprisingly high crime rate. Most crimes committed in Beaufort are property crimes, such as theft, but the area also sees some violent crimes.

In Beaufort, property crime happens to about 1 in 27 people, while violent crimes happen to about 1 in 264 people.

People can lower their chance of becoming a victim of a crime by locking their home and car doors, choosing a safe area to live in, and avoiding some streets later in the evening.

thief breaking into a car

Proximity to Other Major Cities

Although there’s plenty to see and do in and around Beaufort, the city can still feel somewhat isolating. It’s a relatively small city, with only about 14,000 people. It’s also far from any other major cities.

If you enjoy concerts or prefer more options for nightlife entertainment, you may not find them in Beaufort.

The closest major city is Charleston, but it’s an hour and a half drive away, which can make it difficult to travel to and from the city for entertainment.

Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC

School System Rankings

Although Beaufort’s school systems rank relatively well in the state of South Carolina, they do not rank well when compared to the rest of the United States.

South Carolina is generally ranked around 44th or 45th in terms of education. There are also limited options for colleges in the Beaufort area, so most students who want to pursue higher education will need to move.

Food Options

Beaufort has a strong tradition of Southern cooking, so you’ll be able to eat delicious comfort foods such as fried chicken, greens, mashed potatoes, and many desserts.

The area is also known for its fresh seafood, so there are many dining options.

Seafood dinner with crab legs, shrimp, and corn
Seafood dinner with crab legs, shrimp, and corn

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