Beaufort ( /bjuːfərt/ bew-fərt, unlike its counterpart in North Carolina) is a city in and the county seat of Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. Chartered in 1711, it is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. The city's population was 12,361 in the 2010 census. It is located in the Hilton Head Island-Beaufort Micropolitan Area.
Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands and Lowcountry. The city is renowned for its scenic location and for maintaining a historic character through its impressive antebellum architecture. The city is also known for its military establishments, being located in close proximity to Parris Island and a U.S. Naval Hospital, in addition to being home of the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.
The city has been featured in the New York Times, named "Best Small Southern Town" by Southern Living, named a "Top 25 Small City Arts Destination" by American Style, and a "Top 50 Adventure Town" by National Geographic Adventure.