Beaufort looks different from two wheels. In town, traffic is moderate, and you can cruise along the waterfront and through the historic district. However, if you ride on the sidewalks or after dark without a headlight and a rear red reflector, you run the risk of a city fine of nearly $150. If you stopped for happy hour and come out as the light is fading, walk your bike back "home." Some inns lend or rent out bikes to guests, but alas, they may not be in great shape and usually were not the best even when new.

Lowcountry Bicycles. If you want a decent set of wheels, call Lowcountry Bicycles. For just $5 you can rent bike headlights for your rental bike, which will cost just $8 an hour, $25 a full day, $75 a week. Adult bicycles only are available. 102 Sea Island Pkwy., Beaufort, SC, 29907. 843/524–9585.

Sea Island Bike Tours, a new eco-tourism company, offers guided bike tours of various lengths: one hour ($25), two ($35), and three ($45). Owner Maurice Ungaro adds a lot of history throughout the rides, be they downtown or on St. Helena's Island or Parris Island.

Canoe and Boat Tours

Beaufort is where the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto rivers form the A.C.E. Basin, a vast wilderness of marshes and tidal estuaries loaded with history. For sea kayaking, tourists meet at the designated launching areas for fully guided, two-hour tours.

A.C.E. Basin Tours. This outfitter might be the best bet for the very young, or anyone with limited mobility, as it operates a 38-foot pontoon boat tour. A tour with Captain Stan Lawson at the helm costs $35, $15 for kids 12 and under. 1 Coosaw River Dr., Beaufort, SC, 29907. 843/521–3099.

Beaufort Kayak Tours. Owner-operators Kim and David Gundler of Beaufort Kayak Tours are degreed naturalists and certified historical guides. Adults pay $40 and children under 18 pay $30 for half-day interpretive/educational trips. The large cockpits in the kayaks make for easy accessibility and the tours go with the tides, not against them, so paddling isn't strenuous. Tours meet at various public landings throughout Beaufort County. SC. 843/525–0810.


Most golf courses are about a 10- to 20-minute scenic drive from Beaufort.

Dataw Island. In a gated community, this island has Tom Fazio's Cotton Dike Course, with spectacular marsh views, and Arthur Hill's Morgan River Course, with ponds, marshes, and wide-open fairways. The lovely 14th hole of the Morgan River Course overlooks the river. You must be accompanied by a member or belong to another private club. To tap into the reciprocal system, one's home-club pro has to call Dataw Island Club to make arrangements. Dataw Club Rd., off U.S. 21, 6 miles east of Beaufort, 100 Dataw Club Rd., Dataw Island, SC, 29920. 843/838–8250. Cotton Dike: 18 holes. 6799 yds. Par 72. Green Fee: $69–$120. Morgan River: 18 holes. 6646 yds. Par 72. Green Fee: $69–$120. Facilities: Driving range, putting green, pitching area, golf carts, pull carts, rental clubs, pro shop, golf academy/lessons, restaurant, bar.

Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort. This resort has a pair of championship courses. Ocean Creek Golf Course, designed by Davis Love, has sweeping views of saltwater marshes. Designed by George Cobb, Ocean Point Golf Links runs along the ocean the entire way. This is a wildlife refuge, so you'll see plenty of it, particularly marsh deer. In fact, the wildlife and ocean views may make it difficult for you to keep your eyes on the ball. Nonguests should call the golf pro to make arrangements to play. One must belong to a private golf club, and its head golf pro must call to arrange a tee time. Both are rated among the top 50 courses in South Carolina. 201 Tarpon Blvd., Fripp Island, SC, 29920. 843/838–3535 or 843/838–1576. Ocean Creek: 18 holes. 6643 yds. Par 71. Green Fee: $75–$99. Ocean Point: 18 holes. 6556 yds. Par 72. Green Fee: $75–$99. Facilities: Driving range, putting green, pitching area, golf carts, pull carts, rental clubs, pro-shop, golf academy/lessons, restaurant, bar.

Sanctuary Golf Club at Cat Island. This is a semiprivate club, so members get priority. Its scenic course is considered tight with plenty of water hazards. The course looks smashing after a major $1 million renovation of greens, tees, bunkers, and even the driving range. Lessons are by a PGA pro instructor. Cat Island, 8 Waveland Ave., Beaufort, SC, 29907. 843/524–0300. 18 holes. 6673 yds. Par 71. Green Fee $50–$70. Facilities: Driving range, putting green, pitching area, golf carts, pull carts, rental clubs, pro-shop, golf academy/lessons, restaurant, bar.