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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Beaufort, SC

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Beaufort, SC You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Beaufort, SC

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Beaufort, SC

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Beaufort, SC

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Beaufort, SC

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Beaufort, SC

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Beaufort, SC

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

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 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Beaufort, SC

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Beaufort, SC phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Beaufort, SC phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Beaufort, SC phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Beaufort, SC that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Beaufort, SC

Latest News in Beaufort, SC

Beaufort named Best County to Live in South Carolina

Beaufort County has been named the Best County to Live in South Carolina out of all 46 counties in the state, according to 24/7 Wall St., one of the most popular analytics rankings sites in the U.S.When deciding where to live can be a big decision, one that requires a lot of research into which areas are more affordable, which are a great place to retire or which are simply a great place to call home. 24/7 Wall St. is helping in the search by analyzing data from around the country to compile a list of the best county to live in in eac...

Beaufort County has been named the Best County to Live in South Carolina out of all 46 counties in the state, according to 24/7 Wall St., one of the most popular analytics rankings sites in the U.S.

When deciding where to live can be a big decision, one that requires a lot of research into which areas are more affordable, which are a great place to retire or which are simply a great place to call home. 24/7 Wall St. is helping in the search by analyzing data from around the country to compile a list of the best county to live in in each state, basing rankings on factors like poverty and life expectancy.

And, 24/7 Wall St. has told them all that Beaufort, SC is the place to be!

Using an index inspired by the [United Nations’ Human Development Index], 24/7 Wall St. identified the best county or county equivalent to live in in each state. Counties are ranked on a combination of three measures — average life expectancy at birth, the share of adults with a bachelor’s degree, and the poverty rate.”

According the site, the best county to live in South Carolina is right here in Beaufort County, with a poverty rate of 10,1%, compared to the state average of 14.5%, and life expectancy of 82.4 years, a few years longer than the state average of 76.8.

Additionally, the median household income is $74,199.

“Beaufort County is located in the southern part of the state along the Atlantic coast,” 24/7 Wall Street said.

“Home to the resort community of Hilton Head Island, it ranks as the best county to live in in the state. Of all 46 counties in South Carolina, Beaufort has the longest life expectancy at birth, which, at 82.4 years, is nearly six years longer than the state average. The county also ranks as best to live in in the state also because of the relative lack of serious financial hardship, with a poverty rate far lower than the state average.”

Is it really a surprise?

The accolades that Beaufort has received lately are just way too many to mention. Recently, Beaufort has been named the Healthiest County in South Carolina (for 12 straight years). Just last month, it was named one of the Most Beautiful Towns in America, and in August, Southern Living named Beaufort the #1 Best Small Town in S.C. Also, earlier in 2023, Beaufort was named on the list of Cutest Seaside Towns in the South by Town & Country Magazine.

That’s an awful lot of love.

Check out the full report at 24/7 Wall St. to see the best county to live in for each state.

2023 has been another record setting sea turtles nesting season here in the Palmetto State, with beaches all over South Carolina getting into the sea turtle fun.

2023 saw the third highest total number of sea turtle nests in a single season along beaches in South Carolina since record keeping began in the early 1980s, according to the totals from seaturtle.org.

In 2019, a whopping 8,798 loggerhead sea turtle nests were laid on state beaches, a South Carolina record. That was followed by 7,995 in 2022.

2023 produced 6,629 nests along Palmetto State beaches, the third highest total to date.

According to this year’s statistics, those nests yielded a total of over 387,000 baby sea turtles that made their way across the South Carolina sand into the Atlantic Ocean.

SCDNR oversees a network of volunteers who help staff count nests. Volunteers and staff from Hunting and Hilton Head Islands have both reported very high nest counts and beaches all over the Lowcountry and the rest of the state have reported the same.

According to SCDNR, altogether more than 1100 individuals participate in nest monitoring activities in South Carolina each year. The data collected are crucial in monitoring populations, formulating protective regulations, making management decisions, and maximizing reproduction for recovery.

As of the October 21st, Hunting Island State Park has seen a new season record of 195 nests; Fripp Island has had 118; Hilton Head Island reported 353 nests; Daufuskie Island has seen 75; Edisto Beach State Park has had 304 while Edisto town beach had 189; Pritchards Island has seen 76 nests; and Harbor Island has enjoyed 108 nests this season.

Even little Coffin Point Beach on St. Helena Island has had a near-record year with 22 nests. Smaller yet, Lands End beach on St. Helena Island even had 4 nests this year, as did Parris Island.

The 2023 season began right on time with a May 2nd nest laid on South Island, near Georgetown, SC. And it ended with the last nest reported being dug up by a momma turtle on September 4th at Edisto Town Beach.

The first hatch of the 2023 season occurred on Lighthouse Island on July 14th.

A high number of ‘day nesters,’ or female sea turtles that come ashore to nest in broad daylight instead of more typical darkness, has also been documented in 2023. The increased number of day nesters could be because of dry sand conditions, which can hinder a sea turtle’s efforts to dig a nest cavity, or harassment during night emergence, a release said.

Record-breaking years have become increasingly common across the Southeast recently, and sea turtle biologists are optimistic that the trend signals the beginning of recovery for loggerhead sea turtles, whose nests make up the vast majority of nests here in the Palmetto State. Loggerhead turtles were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1978.

State and federal law prohibits the harm of or interference with sea turtles or their nests. Harassment includes any activity that changes a sea turtle’s natural behavior, ranging from approaching nesting females to take photos to ‘assisting’ hatchlings on their path to the ocean.

“Sea turtles are wild animals,” said biologist Michelle Pate, director of SCDNR’s sea turtle program. “Let nature take its course.”

If we continue to let nature take its course….we might just keep having record years like these.

Here’s hoping.

What can you do to protect sea turtles?

Here are 8 ways to spend Labor Day weekend in Beaufort SC area despite Idalia impact

Labor Day weekend has arrived, unofficially marking the end of summer and many may be looking for things to do this weekend following Idalia’s impacts on the Southeast and South Carolina’s Lowcountry.While there aren’t many Labor Day-specific activities on the local calendar, there are no shortage of nearby things to do with your family.Here are eight activities to try that are perfect for your Lowcountry Labor Day weekend.The...

Labor Day weekend has arrived, unofficially marking the end of summer and many may be looking for things to do this weekend following Idalia’s impacts on the Southeast and South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

While there aren’t many Labor Day-specific activities on the local calendar, there are no shortage of nearby things to do with your family.

Here are eight activities to try that are perfect for your Lowcountry Labor Day weekend.

The Parrot Palooza Sunset Celebration with Shannon Tanner & the Oyster Reefers is a fun, Caribbean-style concert event for the family to enjoy this holiday weekend. Parrot Palooza offers an opportunity for attendees to dance and enjoy their evenings during the holiday weekend with shows starting at 7 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday featuring the Jimmy Buffet tribute band.

Children’s entertainment will also be present, featuring Cappy the Clown at the harbour, with further children’s activities from 6-9 p.m. The events are subject to change and are reliant on weather conditions. Any updates can be found at the Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina’s Facebook page. All activities for the event can be found at 17 Harbourside Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926.

For those who prefer a more carnivorous diet, barbecue is quite popular during Labor Day weekend festivities. Beaufort County is filled with great barbecue options.

Previous Island Packet reporting detailed that Yelp’s 2023 selections for the best barbecue in the county included locales such as:

Despite Idalia’s hurricane force winds and flooding that took place just days ago, efficient cleanup efforts helped restore the county as weather began to calm. Blue, sunny skies are predicted for the weekend.

Heading to the beach for a relaxing Labor Day weekend could be the fun that the whole family needs after the recent tropical weather events. Hilton Head Island has 12 miles of white-sand beaches, and the Lowcountry as a whole has a large quantity of beautiful, unique beaches.

Sea Pines has a plethora of activities for your family to choose from this holiday weekend. Whether you want to relax or explore, there are options for everyone. Aside from Harbour Town and South Beach Marina, this area of the island’s south end has its own set of ruins, a nature preserve, Lawton Stables, aquatic tours and gear rentals, dolphin cruises, nationally-recognized restaurants, a PGA Tour golf course and more.

For an adult group, find a local happy hour spot. Many local establishments offer happy hour specials and live music for over-21s to spend those end-of-summer Lowcountry evenings. Hilton Head Distillery, Poseidon, Aunt Chiladas and The Sandbar are just a few of the many places to enjoy an evening beverage in the surrounding area for this Labor Day weekend.

Are you in favor of some healthy, family competition? The Lowcountry is known for its award-winning golf courses. Set up a tee time and play one of the many courses available. Not a golfer? Mini golf, tennis or pickleball are also popular choices that are sure to bring a fun time and memories that will last.

Enjoy the local Lowcountry flora and fauna this weekend with sunny skies after a week of wind and rain. The region has a unique environment that can be explored through these nine local parks and trails in Beaufort County.

Whether you’re a long-time local, summer vacationer or part-time resident, you may have led yourself to believe that you’ve seen everything on the island.

Do you know for certain if that is actually true?

Hilton Head has several surprising treasures that you might not have known existed or thought to explore.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, try visiting at least one of these six ‘hidden gems’ located around the island.

Experience The Subtle Magic Of Beaufort, South Carolina

There's a moment at Hunting Island State Park as you're biking along the Lagoon Trail—ocean breezes and intoxicating beach vistas playing peekaboo to your left—when the sandy path turns inland and a sign points to Diamondback Rattlesnake Trail. A good idea? Yes."Yes," it turns out, sums up the ...

There's a moment at Hunting Island State Park as you're biking along the Lagoon Trail—ocean breezes and intoxicating beach vistas playing peekaboo to your left—when the sandy path turns inland and a sign points to Diamondback Rattlesnake Trail. A good idea? Yes.

"Yes," it turns out, sums up the best way to experience Beaufort, South Carolina, and its environs, including Hunting Island. Yes, the path less taken is an excellent idea, as is the Sweet Tea Float at Scout Southern Market. Spending hours strolling through The Old Point and gazing at historic homes and even older live oaks offers endless enchantment. But with my eyes peeled for rattlers, I was (yes) relieved that the only serpentine thing I discovered was more of the winding trail along old dune ridgelines through a primordial wonderland.

The trail affirms why Hunting Island, a breathtaking 25-minute drive from Beaufort, is South Carolina's most popular state park. With a dozen similar paths and 5 miles of pristine beach, this place leads you back eons in time through an untouched maritime forest with towering pines and ospreys soaring overhead as well as magnolias and saw palmettos tangled with yaupon hollies and wax myrtles in the dense understory. Here you breathe deeper and look more closely. Life slows down, and a sense of awe percolates up.

Take a seat on one of the bench swings at Beaufort's Waterfront Park. Wide and welcoming, they move back and forth in a rhythmic lullaby. You can't help relaxing, especially if you happen to catch a sunset or tune into the soft lapping of the Beaufort River against the floating dock, hearing the jingling clink of pulleys against sailboat masts—a mariner's wind chime.

Saltus River Grill, where the scenic setting rivals the exceptional food and drink. PHOTO: Peter Frank Edwards A slice of the sweet life from Beaufort’s upscale Saltus River Grill. PHOTO: Peter Frank Edwards

Waterfront Park showcases the smart civic planning that makes Beaufort such a delight: The town's best vistas are protected and preserved. There are thoughtful amenities (parking, public bathrooms, an amphitheater, picnic tables, and plenty of green lawn for kids and dogs to play on). Plus it's all conveniently adjacent to an enticing array of restaurants, coffee shops, and stores along Bay Street. What better nightcap than to sit and swing a spell after enjoying grilled scallops or top-notch sushi at Saltus River Grill?

Historic Craven Street. PHOTO: Peter Frank Edwards A rooftop sunset at Anchorage 1770. PHOTO: Peter Frank Edwards

Beaufort is subdued in the best possible way. She has the same deep history and stunning architecture that her nearby sisters, Charleston and Savannah, are celebrated for, but she's fine staying slightly out of the limelight. Wise and mature, Beaufort wears her age like the badge of honor it is. Her Lowcountry aura feels elemental, with more patina and less pomp. Along Short Street at the edge of The Old Point, moss-heaped limbs cradle historic mansions. Beaufort's treescape shouts of grandeur in whatever language oaks speak. Gardens and yards aren't so much manicured as they are magical. It's easy to see why Hollywood frequently comes calling (a stairwell at The Beaufort Inn features posters from major motion pictures filmed here). Longtime resident Pat Conroy was so smitten that he wrote, "When I came to Beaufort I had struck upon a land so beautiful I had to hunt for other words."

Not far from Short Street, the First African Baptist Church, a Gothic Revival gem built by freedmen in 1865, bears witness to Beaufort's African American, Gullah, and Reconstruction-era history. "Robert Smalls was a member here. This document notes his Sunday school attendance and that he put a few cents in the offering plate," says the Rev. Alexander McBride, a jovial former marine and the church's pastor of almost 20 years, pointing to framed, yellowing pages hanging behind the sanctuary. A statue of Smalls, an enslaved crewman who heroically commandeered a Confederate ship and later served as a U.S. Congressman, is less than a mile away at Tabernacle Baptist Church, where a monument to Harriet Tubman is also planned.

Both churches are worthy stops, along with the Penn Center across the bridge on St. Helena Island, the Gullah Art Gallery/Museum on Bladen Street, and the Legacy Art Gallery on Bay Street. Each place gives a deeper insight into the region's vibrant and enduring African American and Gullah Geechee culture. Providing an overview of Beaufort's past, Capt. Henry Brandt of Coastal Expeditions offers a boat tour that cruises through the area's Native American, Spanish, and French history; Union occupation; and a view of Camp Saxton's tabby ruins, where the Emancipation Proclamation was first read in South Carolina—all interspersed with musings on estuary ecosystems and the fecund marvels of pluff mud.

"You don't fully experience Beaufort until you see it from the water," Brandt claims. After watching dolphins curl and glide from the boat's bow and admiring the town's steeples rising in the background, I absolutely believe him.

Where to Stay

Anchorage 1770Boutique hotel in an 18th-century mansion with fine dining at the Ribaut Social Club; anchorage1770.com

The Beaufort InnHistoric main inn plus several cottages clustered around a courtyard; beaufortinn.com

What to Eat and Drink

Blackstone's CaféClassic diner-like options; blackstonescafe.com

Common GroundCoffee, lattes, baked goods, and sandwiches; commongroundbeaufort.com

Lowcountry Produce KitchenLocally sourced salads and sandwiches and a legendary tomato pie; lowcountryproduce.com

Chapman's GrocerGrab-and-go items plus beer, wine, and snacks; facebook.com/Chapmans-Grocer-Beaufort

Saltus River GrillFine dining with fresh local seafood, Southern fare, steaks, sushi, and a well-curated wine list; saltusrivergrill.com

Old Bull TavernGastropub featuring a lively bar scene anda lamb shank that does not disappoint; oldbulltavern.com

Where to Shop

Scout Southern MarketUnique gifts and home goods as well as delicious treats like the famous float at the Sweet Tea Bar; scoutsouthernmarket.com

Bachelor Hill AntiquesOffering treasures galore; bachelorhillantiques.com

Cabana22Coastal-chic boutique; cabana22.com

The Chocolate TreeConfections such as fudge, truffles, and peanut brittle; thechocolatetree.us

Legacy Art GalleryGullah-inspired works; legacyartgallery.com

What to Do

Hunting Island; southcarolinaparks.comSt. Phillips IslandPat Conroy Literary Center; patconroyliterarycenter.orgCoastal Expeditions; coastalexpeditions.comReconstruction Era National Historic Park; nps.govSpanish Moss Trail; spanishmosstrail.comCraven Street en route to The Old Point to explore historic neighborhoods

Beaufort mayor resigns, city to hold special election

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Beaufort will look to fill its mayor seat with a special election before the end of the year.The city announced the resignation of Mayor Stephen Murray on Friday effective immediately.Mayor Pro Tem Michael McFee will become acting mayor until a special election can be held to fill the vacated seat.City spokesperson Kathleen Williams said the special election is expected to be held on Dec. 12.Murray was elected mayor in 2020 after spending six years on the city council being elec...

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Beaufort will look to fill its mayor seat with a special election before the end of the year.

The city announced the resignation of Mayor Stephen Murray on Friday effective immediately.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael McFee will become acting mayor until a special election can be held to fill the vacated seat.

City spokesperson Kathleen Williams said the special election is expected to be held on Dec. 12.

Murray was elected mayor in 2020 after spending six years on the city council being elected mayor while serving his second term in the council.

During the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s annual meeting in July, Murray was elected president of the Association of South Carolina Mayors.

In a statement, Murray touts the regional partnerships developed by the city.

“We’ve proved that local government can be responsive, that it can work with a robust list of partners to achieve shared goals, and ultimately provide high-quality daily services while also investing in our preferred future,” Murray said.

Murray said he’s been “actively fighting” against people “who’ve had their hands on political levers for a long time.”

“And while I’m proud of the work and I know there is still much to be done, I’m tired,” Murray said. “I’m tired of the daily barrage of uncivil and rude people accusing me of impropriety without a shred of proof. I’m tired of the ‘he said, she said’ middle school drama that is present among many of the folks that I’m required to work with outside of Team Beaufort. I’m also tired of prioritizing my civic job at the expense of my health, my family, my friends, my businesses, and my reputation.

“The City of Beaufort deserves a mayor that has their heart and energy fully committed to the job. A mayor who is fully committed to fighting the last bastions of the ‘good ole boys’, fully committed to responding to even the nastiest email with kindness, and fully committed to actively and consistently communicating their thoughts to the people they represent. I’d like to think at one time, not too distant ago, I was this mayor. But I do not feel like I am currently up to the task of the mayor I want to be, nor the one Beaufort deserves.”

The full statement can be found below:

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Beaufort Co. early voting for November 7 elections begins

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — Early voting has kicked off in Beaufort County today. Some key mayoral races and council races are on the ballot – but what might turn out to be the biggest issue? The Beaufort County Schools’ biggest referendum ever.“I wanted to raise my voice and vote early and it’s not busy right now so it was perfect,” said Bluffton resident Gonneke Bakels.Voters in the City of Beaufort, Town of Bluffton and Town Of Port Royal will all elect new mayors.There are also ...

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — Early voting has kicked off in Beaufort County today. Some key mayoral races and council races are on the ballot – but what might turn out to be the biggest issue? The Beaufort County Schools’ biggest referendum ever.

“I wanted to raise my voice and vote early and it’s not busy right now so it was perfect,” said Bluffton resident Gonneke Bakels.

Voters in the City of Beaufort, Town of Bluffton and Town Of Port Royal will all elect new mayors.

There are also some council seats up for grabs too. but, every voter in the county will have a say on the county’s school’s referendum. Local elections like these during off years tend to go unnoticed but election officials say that they shouldn’t.

“In the local election when the president is not on the ballot, some people have a tendency to think it’s not important,” Marie Smalls Beaufort County Elections Director explained. “The local election will affect you more personally than the nationwide election.”

The referendum has a price tag of $439 million dollars. If passed, it will expand existing schools and build new ones – making more room for students. We spoke to voters both in favor and against it.

One couple told News 3 they fear if it’s passed – the Lowcountry will get even more crowded.

“When you build a new school, you know, then you can build other developments and it’s just getting ridiculous,” Bluffton resident Betsy Dowling said. “We’ve been here 20 years and the difference between 20 years ago and now is incredible. And the traffic, everything. So where we want to stop that.”

Unlike absentee voting, you don’t need an excuse. So, anyone who’s registered to vote can skip the election day lines.

“Being it’s the first day. A lot of people still have not gotten the word, but as the week progresses on, I’m sure the turnout will increase,” Smalls told News 3.

She continued, “When we get closer to the election, then people will realize the urgency and come out and vote.”

You have until November 3 to vote early. There are four polling locations throughout the county and you can also vote absentee by mail.

For details on early voting in Beaufort County, see the original press release below:

Beaufort County announced on Oct. 17 the early voting locations and schedule for the November 7, 2023 elections today.

Early voting will take place from October 23 – November 3 (Monday-Friday) starting at 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will be closed on weekends.

Early Voting Centers can be found at the following locations:

Any registered voter is able to visit an early-voting location in Beaufort and vote like they would at their polling place on Election Day which will take place on November 7, 2023.

Potentially on Beaufort County ballots will be the Fripp Island PSD Bond Referendum, the Countywide School Bond Referendum, the Town of Bluffton, the Town of Port Royal and the Town of Yemassee (Part).

Beaufort County asks that voters bring a valid Photo ID (or voter registration card if they do not have a Photo ID).

The following are acceptable types of photo IDs:

If you miss early voting, you still have time to vote on the November 7 election day.

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