If you plan to take a tour of the historic district, indulge in fine food and stroll the shops, park in the long-term, metered spaces in the parking lot at the downtown marina or use the on-street parking on Craven Street.
Long-term metered parking is also less expensive per coin, so you get more time for your money.
If you are making a quick trip downtown, use on-street parking on Bay, Port Republic, West, Carteret or Charles or Scott Streets. These spaces tend to have a higher turnover making it more convenient for you to access downtown for a short time period.
*map courtesy of Main Street Beaufort, USA