My favorite time of year to experience the lowcountry is definitely during the fall. Although the weather has only slightly cooled off from the summer months, there are so many local festivals and events to enjoy. Some of my favorite being centered around good food, music and seasonal drinks.
Yesterday was the kick off to the 25th Annual Beaufort Shrimp Festival and continues today 11am-5pm. Beaufort, established back in 1711, is the second oldest town in South Carolina behind Charleston. Downtown Beaufort is about an hour drive from Hilton Head, but the food, music, drinks and the southern small town feel make it all worth the trip. The Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park offers the perfect space to host this festival right on the Beaufort River. The park was filled with not only fried shrimp, but other shellfish favorites such as she-crab mac n’ cheese and lobster rolls. With the park being part of downtown, it was easy to escape the crowd to try Hearth Wood Fired Pizza and have drinks in Hemingway’s Bistro.
The shrimp festival is just one of the many fall foodie festivals happening nearby. Next Saturday is the start of the week-long Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival. And as the old saying goes, if you’re an oyster fan the best time of year to celebrate with an oyster roast are the months that end with an ‘R’. This makes October the true kick-off to local seafood season with restaurants all around hosting large roasts all the way from The Salty Dog, to Black Marlin, to the north end of the island at Fishcamp on Broad Creek and of course, the Hilton Head and Bluffton Oyster Factory. October, November and December are all filled with tasty festivals leading up to my favorite event from last year, Taste of the Season. With over fifty restaurants all in one place representing the island’s delicious cuisine, make sure to mark your calendars for Decembe’r’ 6th!