We Won’t Be Getting A Starbucks Any Time Soon

We Won’t Be Getting A Starbucks Any Time Soon

I think I just lost my mind. A well-known website in town, asked people what they would like to see in Beaufort. Many people just don't get it....what this place is about. It's not about Starbucks and Trader Joes and miniature golf and Ferris wheels or the old standby ..." Things for kids to do " They said there is nothing for kids to do here. Huh? That is what I lost my mind over....I shook my head over the requests for big name fast food, standardized coffee spots and large big box retail stores. But I did lose my mind over the ..."nothing for kids to do" Beaufort and the quaint and curious sea islands are about nature, water, fishing, walking the beach, exploring, finding shells and sharks teeth, about being in the fresh air. History...for goodness sakes the Civil War started here. You can touch and take pictures of, everything from Succession House to the mansions used for movies like The Big Chill and Prince of Tides You can roam freely and see where history was made. People can rent kayaks and bicycles and can camp at our incredibly wonderful Hunting Island State Park. There is horseback riding and pick your own tomatoes and guys who, for a fee will take people flounder gigging. There are ruins and cemeteries and weird things to discover at every turn in the road, people selling boiled peanuts and sweet grass baskets and they are people who talk to you when you're buying a pumpkin from them. We have the Penn Center in Frogmore, a Gullah cultural center and the Red Piano Art Gallery...my goodness we have art galleries everywhere, with good art, great crafts and we even have a children's art center. I don't know of one miniature golf course here:-) and who needs one. How many times can you play miniature golf in a year? But a kayak, you can slip into the water almost anywhere and any time and once you go out in one and come back in one piece, not eaten by crabs, you want to do to again...and there are guides who take out people who are unfamiliar with the waters. There are numerous fishing spots, fishing piers and even a tower in Port Royal you can trudge up to the top and view...yes, Parris Island. You can take your children to visit the Marine Corps training center for free, absolutely no charge for a real view of the US Marines. It has an incredible museum, gift shops and restaurants. If you're lucky you will be stopped from crossing the street by the Marine Marching Band. Really. Free. Things for kids to do keep popping into my head. We have a great library and an exceptional children and young adult section in it. Saint Helena Island has a brand new library with a special room for teens..where they can have soda and potato chips...really. These parents who can't think of a thing for their children to do. They might try visiting the art supply store on West St...right off Bay, get the kids some watercolors and paper . Let them paint away while you relax on the swings in the waterfront park. And the playground at the waterfront park is enticing, even to me. While you're swinging any kind of creature can swim up. Dolphins are a common sight here. How much better to see marine life in it's natural habitat, than in some staged expensive sea world kind of place. Or, oh my gosh ...get the kids a camera. They can print out the pictures they take right at a Walgreens and they can make scrapbooks and albums. They could write stories of their travels. All these children need is a little encouragement to invent things to do themselves. To leave the video games at home, get outside, breathe fresh air and learn how exciting nature, just pure unadulterated nature can be. We might save our planet if children are taught about appreciating it. So I say there are plenty of things for everybody of all age groups to do in Beaufort. There are all kinds of things to do without having Disney World, or Marine Land, or Starbucks or Krispy Kreme donuts make our beautiful little town look like just another small town in the USA. Because it's not. It's magic, and magic doesn't look like Omaha Nebraska, or Moab Utah. It looks like itself, like magic. So if you bring your children here and do all the above mentioned activities and are stuck, stumped and frazzled, there is one last place to try...yes, when all else fails, there is always the kazoo factory. I'm not kidding:-)

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