Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park Spend an early morning outdoors with a hot cup of coffee and a gorgeous waterfront sunrise, or enjoy a romantic stroll around sunset watching Beaufort's ships come in, with a visit to the exceptionally beautiful Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. This scenic public park which serves as both a local marina and a picturesque spot to simply relax and watch the on-the-eater world go by is a must-see for any Beaufort visitor with a love of wide open water views.

A gorgeous but short retreat for an afternoon picnic, a breezy walk, or just a little insight into the action on the water, the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park is a refreshing spot for any Beaufort newcomer who wants to experience, first hand, this small city's inherent love of the water.

The park, which arguably anchors the downtown region with a pretty plot of green space to border the blocks of shops, businesses and banks, which dominate this region of town, was first established in 1975. It officially opened in 1979, with 7 beautifully landscaped acres that effectively border the water's edge. The park was named after the local Beaufort mayor at the time, Henry C. Chambers, who spent a notably significant portion of his career championing the replacement of old abandoned docks and replacing them with public parks where regular locals and area newcomers could enjoy a slice of serenity by the riverfront.

At the time of the park's construction, Beaufort's downtown waterfront region was widely considered as an eyesore. The unpopulated areas were covered with dilapidated docks and piles of trash, mainly old used car tires, and was a relatively ugly scene that had seeped its way into the downtown region by the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was a 1960s mayor in fact, Willie Scheper, who finally addressed the situation and decided that a complete downtown overhaul, with the addition of new shops, restaurants, and businesses, would change the face of this historic South Carolina city.

This effort was altogether successful, and one of the mayor's successors, Henry C. Chambers, (who faced opposition and a lack of funds in his intent to expand this project), was nonetheless successful in creating one of the top rated attractions in the city of Beaufort, and the southern SC region. Chamber's vision for the park included a 100-slip marina and store, pavilion, amphitheater, gardens, playground and farmers market, and eventually, as portions of the park were completed, this vision came to fruition. The meager budget of $5.3 million, small for a grand plan of this scale, was remarkably met with funds to spare, and the park has received simply rave reviews ever since.

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