MCRD Parris Island better known as the Marine Corps Recruit Depot is the East Coast boot camp for enlisted Marines. MCAS Beaufort is the Marine Corps Air Station. Both bases are approximately 20 minutes from each other and share information and websites.
The weather here ranges from highs in the 50′s in the winter to the 90′s in the summer. It can be quite humid. The average rainfall is over 50 inches a year. It is possible that you may be affected by a Hurricane at some point in time.
What is there to do around Parris Island and Beaufort Marine Corps Base?
Hunting Island State Park: A great park where a quiet beach awaits you with beautiful views. Camping and hiking is available with a lighthouse and nature reserve.
Plaza 21 Drive in Theater: An old fashioned family owned drive in which has two screens and plays current movies.
Henry C. Chambers Waterfront: This park has been recently renovated and has walking paths and parks for kids to play on.
Old Sheldon Church: This church has been burned down a few times, but it’s a great place for pictures, very sweet, great history, worth a trip.
Haunted Carriage Ride Tours: A charity fund-raising event in Beaufort which is a lot of fun. Bring a thermos and a blanket and learn about the ghosts of Beaufort.
Farmer’s Markets: Every Saturday morning you can go to the one on Ribaut near the Naval Hospital. It has mostly food items and fresh produce with a spackling of plant sales. Crepe cart, banana bread, empanadas, kettle corn are all things you can find there. Saturday afternoons you can go to the Farmer’s Market at Pickpocket Plantation (near Lowe’s and the Auto store). Homemade ice cream, soaps, BBQ, and some crafts are common there. The first Friday of the month they have a market in Habersham. It’s mostly crafts and such, but I’ve yet to make it to one, so I don’t know, but I hear it’s great.
Boat Rentals: Don’t ever say there isn’t anything to do in Beaufort if you haven’t taken a boat on the water. Take a course from the recreation check out on base and rent a boat for a day. Take the whole family and cruise the waters and feel the breeze in your hair.
Dog Parks: There are two dog parks in Beaufort. The one in Habersham is a bit plain, just a grass area with one tree. There is water there though, and doggy baggies. The bigger one is the Burton Wells park, it has two contained areas one for big dogs, one for little. Both go into the water so dogs can swim and have trees and foliage. They’re pretty popular, and I’ve never been there without seeing another dog. There is a doggy water fountain and spigot, but no doggie baggies, so bring your own. Very friendly group, tons of fun for the pups.
Sports Teams: If you want to get involved in Beaufort events I would suggest joining a sports team WAKA (kickball), volunteering with CAPA (they have a location on Ribaut), or participate in the races in town (there are TONS of 5ks that everyone can do).
Events: Participate in local events like ”First Fridays,” “Night on the Town” in December and “Gullah Festival” in May. You can hate Beaufort or love it, but it’s more fun to live here if you love it, and there is plenty to love about Beaufort.
Recommended Shopping and Services
If you want a really awesome hair cut go to Charles and Co. They have a liquor license so you can hang out and have a glass of wine while you get your hair colored. Not the least expensive place, but it’s usually worth it. If you’re looking for a more reasonable hair place I would suggest Suzi and Company on Ribaut, they’re very sweet there and they have the coolest antique vanity set up (you’ll see).
For furniture I would try the re-store, the flea market (try the one right outside of laurel bay, it’s the best), craigslist, beaufortyardsales.com, or “Nearly New” (it’s next to the Salvation Army on Boundary). There are also a few facebook sites that do a great job of selling items, Laurel bay for sale or Beaufort for sale or trade are both good options.
Lowcountry Animal Hospital is highly recommended - they are really friendly and knowledgeable.
Doggy Day Care is typically good at Beaufort Dog, their staff is young and plays with the dogs most all day. They have a pool too for the hot summer months. If you have a big dog I would train him/her at Custom K-9 though, their staff is former police dog handlers. I’ve heard great things about Doggie Llama, but I haven’t tried it myself yet.