As the beloved Bubba from Forrest Gump once said, “Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, stir-fried, and deep fried (shown on a hoagie roll). There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp…”...you get the idea. Shrimp is delicious!
No one knows this more than the folks who call Beaufort, SC home. From dockside to dinner table, seafood just doesn’t get fresher than this—and with shrimp season in full swing from April to December, there are tons of opportunities to get in on the deliciousness for yourself. [Photo credit: Courtesy of Beaufort Shrimp Festival ]
Annual Shrimp Festival
Every October, thousands of seafood lovers flock to downtown Beaufort to take part in this annual festival celebrating traditional Lowcountry cuisine and culture. It has become one of the most popular events in all of South Carolina and isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Come hungry and ready to sample a smorgasbord of shrimp specialty dishes, prepared fresh by local restaurants as they vie for the grand prize (and bragging rights for the year). Other activities include an artisan craft market, free live music and entertainment, a 5k race, and activities for the kids like shrimp peeling and heading competitions. The Beaufort Shrimp Festival has been selected as one of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events. Learn more at mainstreetbeaufort.com.
Shrimp Trawling Charters
In Beaufort, not only can you enjoy a freshly prepared shrimp dinner—you can head out on an actual shrimping expedition and feel the satisfaction of bringing in your very own fresh catch of the day.
Spend the day exploring the waterways near Beaufort with Charlie, a professional fishing guide, and you never know what you might catch. Depending on the season, you’ll hunt for all different species of fish—with late summer and fall being the best time to find shrimp.
Climb aboard the Tammy Jane shrimping boat (shown above) and experience a day in the life of a shrimper. This unique Lowcountry experience takes you through the salt marshes near Beaufort where you can find some of the best shrimping locations. Trawl for shrimp with local experts who share their knowledge of the unique marsh ecosystem and modern-day shrimping industry during your trip. You’ll even learn to de-head shrimp, and bring home some of your catch at the end of the day.
Local Seafood Restaurants
The freshest, most suent shrimp are used to create a whole host of signature dishes at Paninis on the Waterfront. Try the homemade mac & cheese with tender jumbo shrimp, the shrimp and andouille sausage pasta, Crab and Shrimp BLT Panini with crispy smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and garlic mayonnaise, or the classic Peel and Eat Shrimp Platter featuring wild-caught steamed shrimp swimming in buttery herb sauce.
Here, the classic Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits get taken to a new level with creamy pancetta polenta, savory butter sauce, olives and tomatoes, with the tangy twist of preserved lemon and fresh basil. Even your pizza can be ordered topped with fresh, juicy shrimp—the King Neptune Pizza is a seafood lover’s dream, with a crispy brick oven crust, buffalo mozzarella, lobster, shrimp, crab, and mushrooms.
The restaurant has earned itself a reputation for its freshly prepared shrimp, with diners raving over the inventive use of this delicious seafood delicacy.
★★★★★ “Amy from Florida wrote in her TripAdvisor review, “Mediterranean Shrimp & Grits is amazing!”
★★★★★ “Facebook reviewer, Melissa, had this to say: “So delicious & fresh—you can taste the love that goes into making each meal.”
★★★★★ “Connie also recognized the quality of ingredients in her Facebook review, saying “I was only able to eat half....the amount of shrimp in my shrimp cheesesteak hoagie was VERY impressive—and it wasn't popcorn or small shrimp. These were large, very nicely cooked shrimp, with a nice seafood flavor.”
Hungry for Shrimp?
There’s only one place where you can get your hands on shrimp delicacies like these in a relaxed, Lowcountry setting—and that’s right here in Beaufort, SC. The warm coastal waters and long-standing seafood industry have created the perfect environment for authentic culinary experiences using quality ingredients. With so many ways to experience the unique flavors of Beaufort, you’ll wish you had more time (and more room in your stomach) to savor them all.