I’ve always had a love for the Lowcountry & Lowcountry living, particularly in South Carolina and Georgia. Quite a few of my childhood summers were spent in St. Simons Island, and Beaufort is so much like St. Simon’s. The Spanish moss draped across trees, picturesque views of the coast, southern mansions, and the nip of the salt and ocean air. Beaufort is such a beautiful place to take a load off, visit family, site see or just relax. Thankfully, I was able to spend some time there last week with a group of friends and colleagues. If you’ve never been to the South Carolina coast, add it to your visit list, fly in, and rent a car so you can drive. Take the scenic route because that’s the only way to experience it.

The drive to Beaufort is so picturesque & when you arrive on Bay Street, the views of the ocean & marina are breathtaking. This weekend we stayed on Bay Street amidst the quiet bustle of downtown, Beaufort. Although my mornings were full of leadership meetings, I managed to get away and experience a slice of Beaufort from visiting Parris Island, historic sites, WREN and even enjoyed an old-fashioned Oyster Roast.

If you’ve ever been to Parris Island, then it was probably for a Marine Corps. graduation or for training.  Either way, when you step onto the Parris Island Campus you can tell it’s a special place. It holds the honor, fortitude, and determination of so many marine recruits that have passed through its hallowed halls. Seeing Parris Island was memorable to me because my grandfather was a Marine, and no doubt passed through these very halls. You see, there are only two Marine Corps training areas in the United States, one in San Diego, California and one in Beaufort, South Carolina, for the entire Marine Corps.  Our group spent the morning touring Parris Island: meeting sergeants, recruits, learning about the intake process and the life of a future marine. If you ever have the opportunity, then see it. It has definitely made a mark in my memory, historic sites usually do.

I have such love for history and make it a point to see a historic site in every city I visit. This time it was Sheldon Township, and the Sheldon Church Ruins. The Sheldon Church site is remarkable, and the frame stands strong despite it being burned down. The moment your feet touch the ground, you know you’re seeing something significant. Set amongst the Spanish moss that hung from 300-year-old Oak trees.  Our Tour continued to the Sheldon Township, where we met City leaders & the people of Sheldon. I’ll never forget the stories they shared.

The rest of our weekend was split between morning leadership sessions and exploring all things Beaufort. The first stop was WREN, Bistro & Bar. Their food was phenomenal, from Pecan crusted chicken, Steak et Frites, and Fried Green Tomatoes. The ambiance was serene, but lively enough for a Thursday evening, but nothing beats the Oyster Roast & Frogmore Stew from our weekend.

Oyster Roasts and Frogmore stew are southern staples, not to mention southern comforts. Frogmore Stew is another name for a southern favorite, called Low Country Broil. It’s perfect for the fall and summertime, and you can find two different recipes Here and Here.

Our host this weekend, was incredibly gracious & setup a backyard “oasis” for our roast.

Admittedly, this was my first-time shucking an oyster! Shucking an oyster is not for the faint of heart or the weak, lol.  You need a glove, a knife, cocktail sauce & crackers if you plan on diving in. Thankfully, after a few tips and five tries later, I did it. So needless to say, you’re looking at an oyster shucking champ.

So my friends, colleagues, and I shucked the night away, mixed and mingled fireside. I love intimate gatherings and evenings like this one, it’s the perfect way to spend a Friday night. Afterall, it’s about the nights you won’t forget with the people you enjoy. Until next time, Beaufort.