St. Helena Island is a Sea Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina. The island is connected to Beaufort by U.S. Highway 21. The island is famous for its rural Lowcountry charm, beautiful beaches and as being a major center of African-American Gullah culture. The best place to learn about the Gullah is Penn Center, an African-American cultural and educational center located in the Corners Community. The York W. Bailey Museum is located within the Center. St. Helena Parish Chapel of Ease Ruins is the site of the remains of the historic chapel in Frogmore, built in 1740 for the island parishioners since the closest church was in Beaufort. Fort Fremont was a military fortification built in 1899 during Spanish–American War. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Chapel of Ease

Chapel of Ease
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St. Helena Parish Chapel of Ease Ruins is the site of the remains of the historic chapel in Frogmore, South Carolina on Saint Helena Island. This Anglican chapel was built in 1740 by planters on Saint Helena Island for parishioners who had hard time traveling to the main parish church in Beaufort, South Carolina. The chapel had been granted the designation of parish church by 1812. A forest fire destroyed most of it in 1886 after the civil war. All that is left today are its tabby ruins and an adjacent cemetery. The ruins were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

St Helena Island, SC 29920

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2.Penn Center

Penn Center
© Penn Center


The Penn Center, known before as the Penn School, is an African-American cultural and educational center located in the Corners Community, on Saint Helena Island. The center was founded by the missionaries from Pennsylvania in 1862. The Center was the first school in the Southern US specifically founded for the education of African-Americans. It provided necessary education to Gullah slaves who were freed after plantation owners deserted the island. The center is still fulfilling its mission. Its 47-acre campus includes a number of historic buildings including classrooms, students’ dorms and rooms for teachers and administrators. The oldest building on the campus is the 1855 Brick Church, built by the owners of the island. The campus was designated a National Historic Landmark District.

16 Penn Center Cir E, St Helena Island, SC 29920, Phone: 843-838-2432

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3.Fort Fremont

Fort Fremont
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Fort Fremont was a military fortification on Saint Helena Island, South Carolina. Fort Fremont was built by the Corps of Engineers in 1899. In 1900, the Coast Artillery took over the Fort. It is one of only two existing Spanish–American War fortifications with the character from that period. The fort complex covered about 170 acres of land, and had numerous buildings, including a guard house, an Administration building, barracks, hospital, stable, bakery, commissary, mess hall, post exchange, lavatory, and water tower. Only the 10 inch battery, the rapid-fire battery and the brick hospital are still standing. All the other buildings were made of wood and were destroyed before 1989. Today the Fort is designated a Historical Preserve

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

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4.Camelot Farms Equestrian Center

Camelot Farms Equestrian Center
© Camelot Farms Equestrian Center


Camelot Farms Equestrian Center is located on the 70-acre farm on Saint Helena Island in South Carolina, about 20 minutes south of Beaufort, five miles from Hunting Island State Park. The island’s charming winding roads surrounded by ancient trees draped with moss are a perfect setting for a horseback ride. Camelot Farms offers two trail rides. Plantation or Coastline Ride offers a pleasant way to experience the South Carolina low country. The center offers beginning lessons for those who need it, both children and adults. The Center also offers boarding of horses of all breeds, with stalls and pasture for the horses. They breed and raise Rocky Mountain and Tennessee Walking Horses for purchase or lease.

101 Tom and Mike Lane, St Helena Island, SC 29920, Phone: 843-838-3938

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5.York W. Bailey Museum

York W. Bailey Museum
© Penn Center


The York W. Bailey Museum, named after a former Penn Center student who practiced medicine on St. Helena Island, chronicles the history and shares the stories of the people whose lives were changed by Penn Center, a vitally important American institution. Penn Center is a school established on St. Helena Island in 1862 for the freed black slaves after the plantation owners escaped the island. Especially interesting are the photographs of students at work, some of which dating as far back as the 1860s. The visitors to the museum are greeted by the helpful video that offers history and personal recollections about the Penn Center's past. The museum gift shop offers artworks by local artists, handmade sweetgrass baskets and colorful, original crafts.

16 Penn Center Cir E, St Helena Island, SC 29920, Phone: 843-838-2432

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6.Gullah Grub Restaurant

Gullah Grub Restaurant
© Gullah Grub Restaurant


Gullah Grub is a small, charming, unpretentious restaurant on St. Helena Island serving authentic southern food and traditional Gullah dishes. Everything is cooked from scratch while you wait for it, so be patient. The restaurant is also a gallery of Gullah history and art, with one entire wall covered by shelves full of artworks of local artists. There is a nice front porch where guest can eat and watch the world go by. The menu includes many popular comfort food dishes such as seafood gumbo, shrimp and grits and collard greens, but the barbecue is star of the show. Their BBQ ribs are the biggest draw to this quaint island spot.

877 Sea Island Pkwy, St Helena Island, SC 29920, Phone: 843-838-3841

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6 Best Things to Do on St. Helena Island, SC



More Ideas: The Beaufort Inn

Blending beauty, charm and historical significance in the heart of Beaufort’s Landmark Historic District, the Beaufort Inn offers luxurious accommodations, lush gardens, delicious cuisine, and modern amenities. Nestled in South Carolina’s second oldest seaside town, the elegant Inn exudes historic architecture with inviting verandas and shady porches surrounded by lush gardens with tinkling fountains and manicured lawns. A classic southern inn in a historic coastal southern town, the Beaufort Inn offers guests a quintessential low country experience.

The Beaufort Inn features luxurious guest rooms, two bedroom suites, private cottages and a loft apartment with private bathrooms and deluxe amenities, a casual restaurant called the Southern Graces Bistro, and lovely day spa offering pampering treatments and massages. Guests can relax on their private balconies and verandahs, in the hotel’s courtyards, or in the gorgeous garden, or enjoy walking or carriage tours to some of the many attractions within close proximity to the hotel. The Beaufort Inn is within walking distance of several shops, cafés, restaurants, art galleries, museums and historically significant homes and churches to explore and enjoy.

The Beaufort Inn features a variety of luxurious accommodations, ranging from 34 traditionally appointed guest rooms and garden view suites to beautifully restored, historically significant cottages and houses that can be rented for a more private stay. All accommodations have king-size beds with deluxe linens, private en-suite bathrooms with walk-in rainwater showers and claw foot soaking tubs, terry bathrobes, and branded bath products, comfortable décor, and modern amenities. Modern amenities in all accommodations include writing desks and chairs, upholstered chairs and convertible sofas, wet bars, mini fridges, coffee makers, and complimentary wireless Internet. Private balconies and porches have outdoor furniture and lovely views.

Garden Cottage Rooms boast beautiful views of the courtyard which is surrounded by tall pecans and moss-draped oaks trees. These beautifully designed rooms feature king-sized beds with deluxe linens, private bathrooms with glass-enclosed walk-in rain showers and soaking tubs, pedestal sinks, terry bathrobes, and branded bath products. Comfy décor include upholstered chairs, and private porches/balconies boast beautiful views of the tree-lined garden courtyard.

Located in the Chisholm Cottage and the Scheper and Female Benevolent Society Houses, Luxury King Rooms are spacious and light rooms that feature king-sized beds with deluxe linens, private bathrooms with glass-enclosed walk-in rain showers and soaking tubs, pedestal sinks, terry bathrobes, and branded bath products. Comfortable décor include writing desks and chairs, comfy upholstered chairs and modern amenities such as coffee makers, mini fridges, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Historic King and Queen Rooms are well-appointed rooms are in the Smith Wallace Mansion, the Inn’s main building and ideal for travelers. These spacious rooms feature king and queen-sized beds with deluxe linens, private bathrooms with shower/bathtub combinations, pedestal sinks, terry bathrobes, and branded bath products. Décor includes upholstered chairs, convertible sofas, wet bars, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Rhett Cottage Double-Double Rooms are perfect for families and friends. Beautifully decorated in a classic low-country style, these rooms feature two double beds with deluxe linens, private bathrooms with walk-in showers, double pedestal sinks, and cozy furnishings. Rhett Cottage rooms have large sitting porches with rocking chairs with beautiful views over the Palmetto Courtyard.

Set on Port Republic Street, Port Republic Cottages are charming two-room private cottages with king-sized beds in deluxe linens, separate living room areas with country-style décor, private bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers and soaking tubs, and private front porches with rocking chairs. Furnishings include writing desks and chairs, convertible sofas and modern amenities, including wet bars, mini fridges, coffee makers, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Fisher House and Scheper House Suites are luxurious king suites with king or queen-sized beds, private bathrooms with glass-enclosed walk-in rain showers and soaking tubs, pedestal sinks, terry bathrobes, and branded bath products. These luxury suites are equipped with comfortable furnishings including sofas, armchairs, a game table and modern amenities, including wet bars, mini fridges, coffee makers, and complimentary wireless Internet. Large front porches have outdoor seating and beautiful views.

Guests are treated to a sumptuous hot Southern-style prepared breakfast each morning at one of the hotel’s partner restaurants, namely Blackstone's Café, Common Ground Coffee House, and Palm & Moon Bagel Co. Each venue offers a unique menu of breakfast delights, ranging from fresh bagels, various egg dishes, and fresh fruit, along with freshly brewed coffee.

The Beaufort Inn offers a host of gracious amenities and hotel services ranging from a complimentary Southern-style breakfast and afternoon refreshments to concierge services and free off-street parking. Amenities at the Beaufort Inn include complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access throughout the Inn, private porches and lush, manicured gardens, access to copy and fax machines for business purposes, and pet-friendly rooms on request. The hotel has a gift shop and is ideally located within an easy walking distance of the town’s restaurants, cafés, shops, galleries and the waterfront park.

Additional facilities and amenities at the hotel include The Beaufort Day Spa, a luxury day spa that offers a range of massages and other pampering treatments, and the Balance Boutique Fitness Studio, which offers fun and functional fitness and small group exercises classes.

The Beaufort Day Spa is an oasis of peace and serenity that provides a range of pampering massages and indulgent body and skincare treatments, including facials, manicures, and pedicures.

Nestled in Beaufort, South Carolina’s second oldest seaside town, The Beaufort Inn is within walking distance of several attractions and activities for guests to enjoy. Activities include sailing, shrimping and crabbing, as well as fishing charters and waterways cruises, hiking, biking, running and sightseeing.

809 Port Republic Street, Beaufort, South Carolina, 29902, Phone: 843-379-4667

Back to: Romantic Weekend Getaways in South Carolina

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