I had long heard that Beaufort, South Carolina was a beautiful little coastal city. It is indeed a pretty town, and it has a bookstore, so it’s alright by me!
McIntosh Book Shoppe is located on the main drag of Beaufort and is owned by Wilson McIntosh. The store carries used and rare books, and also local/regional authors, and they host regular book signings.
There were a number of books signed by Pat Conroy (author of The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, and more) near the front desk, including some older first editions. Apparently he lives in the area and has coffee every morning just down the street.
Beaufort is a very walkable town, with lots of interesting shops and restaurants, shady streets, and lovely architecture.
It has a beautiful harbor with an expansive park…
We enjoyed walking the town, but left Beaufort around lunchtime to drive on to Charleston — another city we hadn’t yet visited. Our first stop was Blue Bicycle Books, owned by Jonathan Sanchez.
This shop is stocked with used, rare and local books (both hardcover and paperback), with emphasis on quality writing. The store looks small from the front, but after you enter it is spacious, with a long hallway that has room after room opening to the right as you move to the rear of the building.
There was a room just for children’s books…
After our visit here, we found our way to a parking garage in the historic center of town, so that we could walk around a bit.
Loved the streets and architecture…
It was now pouring rain, but we found our way to the Charleston City Market where there is art, music, and food all under one historic roof.
We really wanted to dine in Charleston, but we were caught between a rock and a hard place (between the hours of 3pm and 5pm) — no one was serving. Apparently they stop serving lunch at 3 and don’t start serving dinner until 5. We were directed to the tavern section of each of three restaurants, but there wasn’t a seat to be found among the crowds!! Brutal.
So we decided to head on up the road.
Goodbye, beautiful city of Charleston…
Next, it’s on to Asheville, North Carolina — a city blessed with fine books and bourbon! This turned out to be one of my FAVORITE places.