Hunting Island State Park is located just 16 miles east of the historic town of Beaufort and is one of the most popular and beautiful beaches in South Carolina. This 5,000 acre park and it’s 3 miles of natural beach hosts more than a million visitors a year. It’s a place where you can truly find yourself again. It’s a place where humans and nature have always seem to co-exist. Park Hours: Monday-Sunday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. (extended to 9 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time). Park Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Park Admissions Fee – cost per person: Adults: $5, SC Seniors, $3.25, Children 6-15, $3, Children 5 & Under, Free. huntingisland.com.

The Parris Island Museum is open daily from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Family and Graduation Days. Explore the long, rich legacy of the Marine Corps, as well as the exciting history of the Port Royal region. Admission is free. The public is welcome to visit Parris Island, access may be dependent upon current security needs. A driver’s license, proof of vehicle insurance and registration are required. Boulevard de France. (843) 228-3650 or mcrdpi.usmc.mil.

The Verdier House Museum in Beaufort’s National Historic Landmark District is open for tours, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Guided tours are available by appointment. 801 Bay St. (843) 379-6335 or historicbeaufort.org.

Artists learn, teach, share and create at ARTworks. Classes registering for all ages and a compelling variety of media. ARTworks Community Art Center, Theatre & Gallery, 2127 Boundary St. (843-379-2787 or beaufortcountyarts.com.

Self-Guided Tours of the Hunting Island Lighthouse, South Carolina’s only publicly accessible historic lighthouse dating from the 1870s, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Lighthouse admission is $2. Hunting Island State Park also offers a variety of Barrier Island educational programs for all ages throughout the year, such as “Beach Explorations,” “A Walk in the Woods“ and “Salt Marsh Kayaking.” Call the Nature Center for details and reservations. 2555 Sea Island Pkwy. (843) 838-7437 or southcarolinaparks.com.

Daily tours of Bluffton’s Rose Hill Mansion, a Gothic Revival-style home built circa 1858 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Reservations required. 199 Rose Hill Way. (843) 757-6046 or rosehillmansion.com.

Gullah Heritage Trail Tours depart from the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn on Hilton Head Island, Tuesday-Sunday. Experience the Gullah culture of Hilton Head Island on a two-hour tour of 10 neighborhoods established during the Civil War. Reservations required. 70 Honey Horn Dr. (843) 681-7066 or gullaheritage.com.

Beaufort Belles Women’s Chorus, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Sea Island Presbyterian Church choir room, 81 Lady’s Island Dr. New members welcome. (843) 838-2643.

Beaufort Harbormasters, 6:45 p.m., Sea Island Presbyterian Church, 81 Lady’s Island Dr. beaufortharbormasters.org.

Frist & Third Mondays:
Parris Island Rod and Gun Club Meeting! We’re a group of Active Duty and Retired military as well as civilians. We’re hunting, shooting, fishing, and outdoors enthusiasts. Meeting Social hour: 1800-1900 (6-7 p.m.) Meeting Business Meeting: 1900–2000+ (7-8 p.m.) Parris Island Club House. pirodandgunclub.org.

Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays:
Tours of Historic 1846 St. Peter’s Catholic Church and Graveyard. 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., Tues. 1-3 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sat. 710 Carteret St. Free. (843) 522-9555 or stpeters-church.org.

Classic Car & Truck Club of Beaufort official monthly meeting at 7 p.m. at Lady’s Island Country Club on Lady’s Island. info@classicsofbeaufort.org.

First Tuesdays:
Beaufort Kennel Club meetings, 9 a.m. 102 Heronwyck Plantation Dr.(843) 509-1903.

Second Tuesdays:
Beaufort Writers meeting, 4:30-6 p.m. Lady’s Island Airport. (843) 524-9119.

Wednesdays & 2nd Saturdays:
Beaufort Shag Club, 6-9 p.m. on Wednesdays and 8-11 p.m. on Saturdays. Amvets Post 70, 1831 Ribaut Rd. $25 and must register for lessons. (843) 812-3486 or beaufortshagclub.com.

Downtown Beaufort Farmers Market, May – September! 2-6 p.m. Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park Pavilion. Join us each week and visit Area Farmers & Growers, Live Entertainment, Prepared Foods made with local ingredients. (843) 525-6644 or downtownbeaufort.com/farmers-market.

Clay on Thursdays, AM & PM! Handbuilding with Clay meets 10 a.m.-Noon, $125 plus $25 per 25lbs. of clay. Learn basic hand building techniques. Glazing techniques are taught during the last two sessions. Glazes and firing are included in the clay purchase. Wheelthrown Pottery meets 1:15-3:15 p.m. or 6-8 p.m., $125 plus $25 per 25lbs. of clay. Learn basic wheel techniques or refine your skills & explore new techniques if you have worked on a wheel previously. Glazing techniques are taught during the last two sessions. Glazes and firing are included in the clay purchase. Classes held at ARTworks, 2127 BoundarySt., Beaufort. Trevor Foster, (803) 707-5961 or thealligatorhunter@hotmail.com.

Third Thursdays:
Tim Johnston hosts short story readings at Short Story America’s office in Beaufort Town Center, 7 p.m. (843) 524-7800.

First Fridays:
Habersham Marketplace Concert Series! Join us on the First Friday of the every month for our First Friday Concert Series sponsored by Butler Chrysler Dodge Jeep and 94.5 The Coast. Enjoy dining in one of the Marketplace’s three restaurants before the live music starts at 6 p.m. There is no admission fee. Please call (843) 846-3444 for schedule and venue. HabershamMarketplace.com.

First Fridays:
Cruise-In at Grayco, 136 Sea Island Pkwy., Lady’s Island. Classic Car & Truck Club! 5 p.m. All Year Long! All Clubs and Visitors welcome.

Farmers Market at Habersham Marketplace! 4–7 p.m. The Farmer’s Market complete with local and regional growers, as well as arts, crafts and specialty food vendors. Family friendly and children’s activities will also be offered. Everyone welcome! HabershamMarketplace.com.

Jasper County Farmers Market! 1–6 p.m. 9935 Smart Blvd., Ridgeland. Everyone welcome! (843) 717-3690 or jaspercountysc.org.

Port Royal Farmers Market! 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Located in Heritage Park on Ribaut Road by the Naval Hospital. South Carolina Produce, Seafood, Beef, Cheese, Honey, Flowers & Live Music. portroyalfarmersmarket.com.

Lunch and Learn Series presented by the Lowcountry Master Gardeners Association, The Gazebo at the Farmer’s Market, Heritage Park, Port Royal. 12:00 noon-1 p.m. Free, just bring a folding chair. lowcountrymga.org/.

Pentecostals of Beaufort Seafood Fundraiser! The “Award Winning” Seafood Shack will be serving fresh, cooked to order seafood lunches every Saturday in the church parking lot from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. as a fundraiser for the church. Your choice of fried fish, fried shrimp, crab cake, grilled fish or fish sandwich served with french fries and homemade coleslaw all for only $7 per plate. Everything is fresh right off the boat! 206 Sea Island Pkwy., Lady’s Island. (843) 592-2299 or pentecostalsofbeaufort.com.

January 1:
Hunting Island State Park’s Annual Pelican Plunge, brought to you by Friends of Hunting Island. The event has become quite a New Year’s Day spectacle. Not only is there the plunge, but you should see the costumes! Once the plungers come out of the water and warm up by the chimenea fires, there are hot beverages, a costume parade, beach music, and many other activities. Each year the event gets bigger and the costumes more outrageous. The proceeds from personal and team pledges benefit Hunting Island State Park’s Discover Carolina program, a hands-on, curriculum-based instruction program for 3rd, 5th, and 7th grade students in the Beaufort County schools. The students visiting Hunting Island in these programs learn about the ecology of the park. Contact Charles Lurey at (843) 694-3936 for more information or friendsofhuntingisland.org/pelican.html.

January 6:
First Friday After Five, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Shop, Dine & Enjoy Downtown! Grab a friend and head downtown to explore and support our charming local downtown shops, restaurants and art galleries! Enjoy tasty refreshments and local live music! downtownbeaufort.com

January 14:
Visit beautiful Dataw Island for the 6th Annual Resolution Run 5K to benefit LowCountry Habitat for Humanity. Participants will have a fast, flat course. Awards will be given to first place finishers in eight categories.Cost to participate is $25 (Prior to January 8th, 2017). Active Duty Military and Junior Runner Discounts available. Event starts at 10 a.m. Cost:$25. runsignup.com/Race/SC/DatawIsland/HabitatResolutionRun.

January 21:
Captain William Hilton visits Santa Elena. You are invited to meet Captain William Hilton and hear about his life and harrowing adventures on the Carolina coast. In the early 16th century European explorers took shelter in Port Royal Sound from heavy seas and strong winds. The Spanish called the region Santa Elena because they discovered it on the feast day of Saint Helena. The French called the harbor Port Royal because it exceeded all others they had seen in “size and beauty.” France was the first European country to try to settle the area by building a fort on what is now Parris Island and when they abandoned it, the Spanish followed by establishing Santa Elena—a settlement that lasted for 20 years. In 1663, almost 100 years after the Spanish had started their settlement, an Englishman—Captain William Hilton, who had been commissioned by settlers in Barbados to explore the Carolina coast for a suitable site for a colony—entered Port Royal Sound. As he did so he noticed a high bluff or headland on an island that could serve as a navigational marker and called it Hilton’s Head. Participants will be able to interact with Captain Hilton, ask him questions, etc. Advanced registration through this website is strongly recommended. 10:30 am – 11:30 am. at the St. Helena History Center. shstory.org.

January 21 & 22:
The Center for the Arts will host a musical tribute to Etta James performed by world renowned singer, entertainer, educator and actress, Dr. Marlena Smalls, backed up by Elaine Lake and Velma Polk of the Sweetgrass Angels  and the Lowcountry Jazz Band. The tribute will include 14 of Etta James songs. Etta James, whose powerful, versatile and emotionally direct voice could enliven the raunchiest blues as well as the subtlest love songs, most indelibly in her signature hit, “At Last.” Ms. James was not easy to pigeonhole. She is most often referred to as a rhythm and blues singer, and that is how she made her name in the 1950s with records like “Good Rockin’ Daddy.” She is in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. uscbcenterforthearts.com/shows-and-events.

January 28:
The Affair Gala. Menu of events include: Tablescapes by local designers, original works of art by local artist, silent auction, dance on stage, open mic with local celebrities, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served throughout the event. Proceeds benefit the programs and services of the USCB Center for the Arts. Tickets: $75. uscbcenterforthearts.com/shows-and-events.

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