A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Cumberland Island National Seashore vs. Beaufort for Beaches, Couples, and Families

Should you visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a pristine, secluded, and undeveloped island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for beaches and hiking.

Beaufort

Beaufort is a southern, charming, and historic town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Since it has a quaint atmosphere, you'll want to spend time soaking it all in. Other reasons to visit include museums, food, and beaches.

Cumberland Island National Seashore and Beaufort: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Scenic old town
  • Fun shopping
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Beaufort. Although Cumberland Island National Seashore and Beaufort are both popular with visitors, Beaufort has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Beaufort is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, historical sights, shopping, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere, while Cumberland Island National Seashore is known for its beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty. Cumberland Island National Seashore is popular for its pristine and undeveloped beaches, miles of hiking trails, and wild horses. Beaufort is popular for its Lowcountry cuisine and historic homes. It is also home to Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

How is Cumberland Island National Seashore different from Beaufort?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Beaufort and Cumberland Island National Seashore. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Beaufort is a popular place for its historical sights. However, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not known for its sights and museums.

Beaufort is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. The town's museums highlight the region's past. There are four popular museums that you can visit - the Beaufort History Museum, Parris Island Museum, Verdier House Museum, and York W. Bailey Museum.

Cumberland Island National Seashore offers a few options for museum-goers. There aren't any museums on the island, but on the mainland there's a visitor center as well as the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum.


Is the Food Better in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Beaufort is a great town for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not known for its local cuisine and restaurants.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Beaufort. Soak up the charming atmosphere by dining at one of the local restaurants. Many serve Lowcountry cuisine which includes She-crab soup, fried green tomatoes, shrimp burgers, and barbecue.

Most people don't head to Cumberland Island National Seashore for a culinary experience, but it does have restaurants to choose from. There are no restaurants on the island, so you need to pack any food that you might need before you arrive.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort Better for Nightlife?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Beaufort is adequate for nightlife. However, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not known for nightlife and partying.

Beaufort doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. You'll find bars, grills, and taverns in town, but most people don't visit for the nightlife scene.

People don't go to Cumberland Island National Seashore for the nightlife. Stargazing is amazing on the island, but you're left to your own devices when it comes to evening entertainment options.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort Better for Beaches?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Cumberland Island National Seashore is renowned for its beaches. Also, Beaufort is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for the beache.

The beaches in Cumberland Island National Seashore are among the best in the world. There are 17 miles of pristine beaches along the island. You'll also find wild horses and miles of hiking trails. Swimming is popular, but do take note that there are no lifeguards on the island.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Beaufort. The town has a nice waterfront, but you have to head about half an hour out of town for a real beach. One of the best options is Hunting Island State Park.


Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort Better for its Old Town?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Beaufort is a great town for its historic old town. However, Cumberland Island National Seashore does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Beaufort. Historic homes, some that were built before the Civil War, offer a glimpse into the past. Beaufort is the second oldest town in South Carolina and it holds on to much of its charm and character.

Cumberland Island National Seashore does not have a historic old town.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort Better for Hiking?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Cumberland Island National Seashore is renowned for the nearby hiking options. However, Beaufort is not a hiking destination.

Known for its hiking, Cumberland Island National Seashore draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. You'll find more than 50 miles of hiking trails on the island. They pass through a number of ecosystems such as wetlands, forests, and beaches. Most visitors come for the day and spend most of their time on the Southend of the island. This is where you'll find the highest concentration of hiking trails. Some of the most popular trails are Dungeness Roadways, River Trail, and Nightingale Trail.

Beaufort is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Beaufort is a popular place for shopping. However, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not known for its shopping opportunities.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Beaufort. Head downtown for some souvenir shopping or to check out the art galleries or fashion boutiques.

Cumberland Island National Seashore has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. There aren't any shops or stores on the island so plan accordingly.


Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort Better for Families?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a nice place to visit for its family-friendly activities. However, Beaufort is a mediocre town for its kid-friendly activities.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a family-friendly place to visit. In addition to the hiking trails, coastline, and wildlife, the island also has junior ranger programs and educational experiences for kids.

Beaufort is not always a place people visit with their families. There are parks and outdoor activities in the area, but one of the best options is to head out of town to the beach.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort Better for Couples?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

With fun activities for couples, both Cumberland Island National Seashore and Beaufort make for a very good place to visit.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a great island if you're traveling as a couple. Couples will appreciate the pristine coastline, beautiful wildlife, and secluded hiking trails. Many people visit the island as a day trip, but it's also possible to stay at one of the island's campgrounds. For a truly romantic experience you could also stay at the Greyfield Inn.

Beaufort is a very popular place to visit for couples. There are many charming and romantic spots around town as well as historic inns where you can stay. Couples will enjoy the waterfront area or exploring one of the nature parks that are nearby. There are also quaint local restaurants that make for a nice date night.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Cumberland Island National Seashore is notable for backpackers. However, Beaufort is a mediocre town for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Cumberland Island National Seashore. Backpackers appreciate the secluded and pristine atmosphere. There are miles of hiking trails as well as campgrounds on the island for those who want to stay overnight.

Beaufort is not the best destination for backpackers and budget travelers due to its high prices. There aren't any real places for backpackers to stay in the area.


Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a moderate island for its public transit. However, Beaufort is a mediocre town for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit is generally limited in Cumberland Island National Seashore. The only way to the island is by ferry. It leaves from the town of St. Marys and advanced reservations are recommended.

Public transit is quite limited in Beaufort. There is no reliable public transportation system in the area.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort a more walkable city?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Beaufort

Beaufort is a great town for its walkability. Also, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its high level of walkability.

Beaufort is very walkable. The quaint downtown is walkable and offers easy access to art galleries, restaurants, and shops.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a somewhat walkable place. There are many hikes on the island, but the whole island is 18 miles long, making it difficult to walk in one day. Many visitors spend their time near the campgrounds where there's the highest concentration of hiking trails. This area is known as Sea Camp.

For even more information, also check out Is Cumberland Island National Seashore Worth Visiting? and Is Beaufort Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Beaufort or Cumberland Island National Seashore?

How long in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Cumberland Island National Seashore and Beaufort. In our opinion, Beaufort has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Beaufort than Cumberland Island National Seashore. However, 1-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Cumberland Island National Seashore than Beaufort. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Cumberland Island National Seashore, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Beaufort than Cumberland Island National Seashore. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Beaufort that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Cumberland Island National Seashore than Beaufort if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Cumberland Island National Seashore.


  • How many days in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cumberland Island National Seashore 1-3 
    Beaufort 1-3

One day in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

The beautiful island of Cumberland Island National Seashore offers . Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Beaufort is a small town with plenty to do. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one day is just the right amount of time to spend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


A weekend in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this island makes for a great vacation. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Cumberland Island National Seashore, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Many people visit Beaufort for a weekend. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Five days in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Beaufort is a popular place to visit. Because Beaufort is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This island offers something for everyone.

Since Beaufort is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Beaufort or Cumberland Island National Seashore?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cumberland Island National Seashore is $148, while the average daily cost in Beaufort is $131. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cumberland Island National Seashore and Beaufort in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $75
    Beaufort $100
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $150
    Beaufort $200
Compare Hotels in Cumberland Island National Seashore and Beaufort

Looking for a hotel in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cumberland Island National Seashore


Hotels in Beaufort


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Beaufort Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $59
    Beaufort -

Is it cheaper to fly into Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

Prices for flights to both Beaufort and Cumberland Island National Seashore change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $38
    Beaufort $31

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $23
    Beaufort -

Tours and Activities in Beaufort

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Beaufort are as follows:

  • Beaufort Tipsy Tour: $55
  • Gullah Heritage Tour: $49
  • Historic City Tour by Bus: $29
  • Local History and Film Sites Tour by golf cart: $32
  • Pat Conroy's Beaufort Tour by Golf Cart: $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $25
    Beaufort -


When comparing the travel costs between Cumberland Island National Seashore and Beaufort, we can see that Cumberland Island National Seashore is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cumberland Island National Seashore Expensive? and Is Beaufort Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort in the Summer?

Both Beaufort and Cumberland Island National Seashore during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Cumberland Island National Seashore for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Beaufort in the summer for the beaches, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is around the same temperature as Beaufort in the summer. The daily temperature in Cumberland Island National Seashore averages around 82°F (28°C) in July, and Beaufort fluctuates around 82°F (28°C).

In Beaufort, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Cumberland Island National Seashore. In the summer, Cumberland Island National Seashore often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Beaufort. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 286 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Beaufort receives 267 hours of full sun.

Beaufort gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Cumberland Island National Seashore. Cumberland Island National Seashore usually gets less rain in July than Beaufort. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Beaufort receives 7.9 inches (200 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cumberland Island National Seashore 82°F (28°C) 
    Beaufort 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Cumberland Island National Seashore and Beaufort. Many visitors come to Cumberland Island National Seashore in the autumn for the hiking trails and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, most visitors come to Beaufort for the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In the autumn, Cumberland Island National Seashore is around the same temperature as Beaufort. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Cumberland Island National Seashore in October average around 70°F (21°C), and Beaufort averages at about 68°F (20°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Beaufort this time of the year. In Cumberland Island National Seashore, it's very sunny this time of the year. Cumberland Island National Seashore usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Beaufort during autumn. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 214 hours of sunny skies, while Beaufort receives 223 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Cumberland Island National Seashore usually receives around the same amount of rain as Beaufort. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Beaufort receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cumberland Island National Seashore 70°F (21°C) 
    Beaufort 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Cumberland Island National Seashore as well as Beaufort. Additionally, the winter months attract visitors to Beaufort because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In January, Cumberland Island National Seashore is generally a little warmer than Beaufort. Daily temperatures in Cumberland Island National Seashore average around 53°F (12°C), and Beaufort fluctuates around 48°F (9°C).

In the winter, Cumberland Island National Seashore often gets more sunshine than Beaufort. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 191 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Beaufort receives 176 hours of full sun.

Cumberland Island National Seashore usually gets more rain in January than Beaufort. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain, while Beaufort receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cumberland Island National Seashore 53°F (12°C) 
    Beaufort 48°F (9°C)

Should I visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Beaufort in the Spring?

Both Beaufort and Cumberland Island National Seashore are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Cumberland Island National Seashore because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Beaufort this time of year.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is around the same temperature as Beaufort in the spring. The daily temperature in Cumberland Island National Seashore averages around 68°F (20°C) in April, and Beaufort fluctuates around 67°F (19°C).

It's quite sunny in Beaufort. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cumberland Island National Seashore. Cumberland Island National Seashore usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Beaufort during spring. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 285 hours of sunny skies, while Beaufort receives 275 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Cumberland Island National Seashore usually receives around the same amount of rain as Beaufort. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Beaufort receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cumberland Island National Seashore 68°F (20°C) 
    Beaufort 67°F (19°C)

Typical Weather for Beaufort and Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island National Seashore Beaufort
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 48°F (9°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Feb 56°F (13°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 62°F (17°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 58°F (15°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
May 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 5.7 inches (146 mm) 80°F (26°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.9 inches (200 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.8 inches (199 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (164 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (180 mm) 77°F (25°C) 5.6 inches (141 mm)
Oct 70°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Dec 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)


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