Photos courtesy of Habersham Land Development.
Tucked in the South Carolina low country, there’s a small Beaufort neighborhood that you don’t want to miss. Habersham is definitely a stop to add to your Carolina coast tour, especially if you’re exploring the other Sea Island hotspots, which include Charleston, Savannah and Hilton Head. This gem is 30 miles from Hilton Head, 40 miles from Savannah and 70 miles from Charleston, and worth a day trip.
In Habersham, the Spanish moss hangs down from 400-year-old live oak trees, the marshes along the Broad river make perfect boating trails and the locals wave hello from their inviting, southern porches. The well-made houses take you back hundreds of years, even though they were all built in the past few decades.
On your next southern tour, stop by Habersham and check out a few of our area must-sees. Remember to take it slow—it’s the southern way.
Start the day with coffee and crepes.
Grab a cup of locally roasted coffee before checking out the quaint village center. Here you can wash down a homemade crepe with coffee from your own personal French press. For a savory standout, check out the John Wayne crepe, made with black forest ham, cream cheese, jalapeno and tomato. Or if you’re craving a sweet treat, there’s the Carolina summer crepe, made with fresh blueberries, chocolate, glazed pecans and whipped cream. If you find yourself in Habersham on a weekend, be sure to order the biscuits and gravy, it’s a secret recipe that locals rave about.
Lazy Susan’s Creperie / 31 Market, Beaufort, SC 29906
Explore the village center.
The Habersham neighborhood is tiny but the town center is worth a lap to check out the architecture of the post office and fire department on Market Street. You’ll get the feeling that you’ve been transported a hundred years back, even though the neighborhood is surprisingly new. And it makes sense; the neighborhood planners spent a lot of time researching old South Carolina coastal towns and cities before constructing the neighborhood. They pulled inspiration from the traditional porches, tin roofs and side yards of Charleston, and the wrought iron details of Savannah, to name a few.
Peruse the houses.
Lowcountry-style home architecture was developed back in the late 1700’s and the 750 homes in Habersham are modeled after the iconic southeastern look. Walk or bike along Habersham Boulevard to take in the historic-looking homes. Each one is completely unique—from a cottage, to a flat, to a row home. And, all are pulled back off the marshy waters edge to add about 4 miles of community walking space.
One of the first things you’ll likely notice are the home’s large porches. The planners made sure each home’s porch is a minimum of 8 feet deep—a fully usable, outdoor space. Behind the homes, there’s typically a private courtyard with a garage, so cars can be pulled off the main drag, making the focus on the home’s architecture, large porches and tin roofs.
Many of the homes you’ll see in the neighborhood are sided with soft-hued HardiePlank® lap siding from James Hardie. Besides its timeless look, the neighborhood planners sought a product that would help resist rot and mildew, or being eaten by insects—all important factors in the lowcountry. Hundreds of years ago, lowcountry homes were made with hard pine, but nowadays, that’s difficult and expensive to come by. Like all James Hardie Siding and Trim products, HardiePlank siding has the same authentic look with modern day benefits, such as moisture and rot resistance, durability and Habersham’s planners say it ages well, too. You probably won’t be able to peek inside the homes on your walk, but unlike 100-year-old homes, most of the Habersham interiors have a modern, open floor plan with large rooms, closets and bathrooms.
Take in the trees.
Habersham was built around the Live Oak trees and marshes. Planners spent a lot of time preserving each and every tree in the neighborhood, and it truly adds to the southern feeling of Habersham (the shade is a nice perk, too). When you stop into town, stand under one of the many tree-lined canopies of Live Oaks, watch the Spanish moss blow in the breeze and sniff the slightly salty air—this is what the lowcountry is all about.
Sip a pint.
Stop by Maggie’s Pub to cool down with a locally brewed cold one. If you’re jonesing for a bite, this is the place to grab lunch. The food menu here is just as impressive as the beer and wine menu. It’s chock full of local, farm fresh ingredients made in a southern-meets-foodie style (think southern cod with polenta cake and homemade peach cobbler).
Maggie’s Pub & Eatery / 17 Market, Beaufort, SC 29906
See the ruins.
Besides the 400-year-old trees in the neighborhood, you can also find the foundation of the main home that used to reside on the land back when it was Habersham plantation. Then, the lowcountry was known for its rice and indigo farms that thrived in the hot climate. Nowadays, the area is known for its historic cities and natural beauty. Check out Habersham’s home ruins in West Haven Park, and keep your eyes peeled for relics dating back to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars—we’ve heard artifacts have been found in the neighborhood and in nearby rivers.
Play in the tree house.
Nearby Habersham Park is equipped with a tree house, playgrounds, pond, community garden, bocce ball and picnic areas. The tree house is a sight to see because it was handmade out of old redwood tree stumps by a California designer. It’s a unique fort, fun for a kid-friendly quick stop.
Grab farm fresh food to go.
We’re really into the Sea Islands Local Outlet (aka Silo). It’s a small grocery store in the village center stocked with locally grown food from farmers within miles. Habersham locals order their weekly selections online (think local heirloom tomatoes, organic potatoes, fresh peaches and craft beer from the Carolinas) and they pick it up at the storefront on Fridays. When the farmers run out of produce or stock, it’s taken off the Silo website. It’s worth a peek in the Market Street storefront, and you can grab some produce to go and a six-pack for a souvenir.
Silo / 7A Market, Beaufort, SC 29906
Launch your kayak.
On the outskirts of the neighborhood, you’ll find a dock on Habersham Creek. Here you can launch your boat or kayak and explore the marshes and river systems surrounding Habersham. If you’re traveling and have a kayak in tow, unload it at the dock and cruise Beaufort’s scenic waterways and nearby Sea Islands. You may see other locals out on their boats relaxing or catching fish, crabs and shrimp. If your boat is on the smaller side stay close to the shore, as the Intracoastal waterway, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream are minutes away.
Enjoy a 4-course meal.
For an intimate, high-end meal on the waterfront, make a reservation at 10 Market. Locals Chef Tyler Slade and his dad, Rick Slade, run the place and host a mere 9 guests a night for an ever-evolving prix fixe menu. You can check out the tasty courses on their website and make reservations in advance based on what gets your mouth watering most (whether it’s the rack of lamb, the South Carolina shrimp cakes or the braised short ribs). 10 Market also serves brunch, lunch and hosts cooking classes.
10 Market / 10 B Market Street