Set on the Atlantic Ocean, Beaufort, North Carolina (not to be confused with the South Carolina town of the same name) is a small haven and maritime port of call. It is said that all maritime roads lead to Beaufort. Even those traveled by pirates.
The third oldest town in North Carolina, shipping lanes, hurricanes and entrepreneurs formed the sea side town into what it is today. Once hailed as the coolest small town in America, Beaufort is a wonderful place to spend a vacation.
History of Beaufort
If you love history, lore and especially pirates and their legends, the history of Beaufort will be of interest to you. Beaufort, the third oldest town in North Carolina, behind only Bath and Edenton) was established in 1709.
The port town was used by fishermen and merchants bringing supplies, the catch of the day and treasure to the area. Even pirates ventured to North Carolina. Blackbeard’s ship The Queen Anne’s Revenge ran aground here in 1718. The ship has since been added to the historical societies National Registry of Historic Places.
You can even relive the pirate days with artifacts from the actual ship. We will discuss that more in a moment. The town itself, a 5.6 square mile piece of land, is surrounded by water on three sides. Only Lenoxville, to the east, keeps Beaufort from being an island. The North river and the Newport river form the north and east shores and Beaufort’s inlet to the south is a channel directly to the Atlantic Ocean.
How About The Weather?
North Carolina’s coast is a semi-tropical environment with nine months resting comfortably in the tropical temperature spectrum of 60 to 80 degrees. Summer months can see hotter and drier times while the winter can get as low as zero. However, the salt water and warm air usually don’t allow the low temperatures to last very long.
The weather in Beaufort, North Carolina is what makes this little port town a dream. Tourists and locals alike can enjoy time on the beach and warm sunny days almost any time of year.
Places to Stay in Beaufort
When deciding where to stay in Beaufort, North Carolina, you will have your choice of hotels and inns. If you take your time in your selection, though, you can find little bed and breakfasts and romantic hideaways dotting the area.
Beaufort is host to the most modern hotel chains and amenities. You will find the availability of such chains as Quality Inn and Suites, Marriott Hotels, Econolodge, Holiday Inn and others.
All of these hotels will offer the same services and extras such as continental breakfasts, Wi-Fi connections or even beach access and other amenities. If you are just looking for a place to sleep, you can’t go wrong with the hotels in Beaufort.
Bed and Breakfast
A more popular idea is to make your choice of where to stay part of your vacation instead of just a room to sleep in. Beaufort is host to quaint bed and breakfasts and romantic hide-a-ways that serve more than just a room to lay in.
The Pecan Tree Inn gives visitors a view of the Beaufort historic district in Downtown, while staying in a Victorian home just a short stroll from the yacht harbor.
Cousins Bed and Breakfast is another thing entirely. The bed and breakfast offers meals cooked by Chef Elmo, who in 1953 started a blend of spices named Satan’s Breath. They sell the spice mix for chili lovers and would be chefs while using it themselves in their kitchen.
Things to do in Beaufort, North Carolina
You won’t be without entertainment while you stay in Beaufort. The town is host to many attractions and things to see aside from the town itself. The hardest part will be deciding where to start.
If you love history and historic architecture, you simply have to go for a walk. Front street is quite possibly one of the oldest roads in America. One one side you will have the waterfront of Taylor’s creek and on the other, historic buildings demonstrating the life and longevity of the 300-year-old city.
You can also jump on a ferry or water taxi and head across the inlet to explore the southern coast’s bevy of islands and isolated beaches. For those with an adventurous side, you can even become a pirate!
You can jump aboard one of the many cruise boats for a pirate-themed afternoon on the sea. This is a great attraction for the kids and tells them all about the history of Blackbeard and how he came to run aground nearby.
The museums in Beaufort don’t disappoint either. The maritime museum hosts the Queen Anne’s Revenge exhibit where more than 300 artifacts from the famed pirate’s ship have been brought from the shore and restored to be on display. Along with the other exhibits, the Queen Anne’s Revenge is sure to spark your fancy and give you that hopeful gleam of finding even more of the lost treasures.
The fun doesn’t have to stop there, either. There are nature walks, guided tours and history walks through the town where you can see history come to life. Learn about the town’s beginnings and how somethings don’t change, even after 300 years.
It doesn’t matter if you stay for an afternoon or a week, you will find something new to do and visit every time you step foot outside.
Places To Eat in Beaufort
If you stay long enough, of course, one of those things to do will be to eat. Beaufort isn’t without options in this department, either. When you are looking for where to eat in Beaufort, North Carolina, your hardest choice will be what to eat, not where.
You won’t be able to walk very far without finding a top-rated eatery in North Carolina’s Crystal Coast.
Of course, the main attraction will be the seafood. Most restaurants will either specialize in seafood or at least have a plethora of menu options with seafood ingredients. Clawson’s 1905, for example combined fresh seafood plates with a taproom for the drinks. The vintage atmosphere and friendly service will have you coming back again and again.
Perhaps, though you aren’t in to the seafood scene so much or want to try something different. Head over to the Blue Moon Bistro and get your fill of New American foods. The relaxed dining and settings will add to that romantic night out.
For the kids (and the adults with a sweet tooth) there are many parlors and eateries that specialize in the treats. The kids can even eat at Crabby Patty’s to experience the seafront’s most feared villains: Pirates. Decorated with pirate swag and a fun atmosphere geared towards the younger generation, the food will even delight more refined taste buds.
It doesn’t matter where you turn or which direction you walk (or drive) you will end up at a restaurant that will meet your desires, whatever they may be.
Fun Facts About Beaufort
Beaufort has a penchant for wanting to help the environment. Among other interests, the town council, mayor, and businesses all help out in conservation efforts for sea and land.
In 2015, Beaufort was names a Tree City by the National Arbor Foundation for their relentless efforts in urban forest management.
Beaufort hosts many annual events that are loved by the locals as much as the tourists. The Beaufort Pirate Invasion and Beaufort Music Fest are just a couple.
They also have a wooden boat show and are host to the BARTA Fishing Tournament. For the adults, there is also the Beaufort Wine and Food Festival where you can taste local and imported wares to tingle your taste buds.
Beaufort, North Carolina is a perfect getaway for those looking for adventure or a place to relax. The islands and isolated shorelines are just a boat ride away where you can relax on the beach and enjoy the sun and your time.
You won’t be hungry, either. Beaufort hosts more top-rated restaurants per capita than most seafront areas of similar size. Everything from five-star dining to mom and pop candy shops dot the town to ensure you always have a full tummy and happy taste buds.
Staying in Beaufort is cozy and comfortable. With bed and breakfasts housed in historic buildings all the way to top-tier hotels and chains that cater to your every whim. Your nights in will be just as relaxing and enjoyable as your days in the town.
Become a pirate, learn the rich and detailed history of the town and take in a show. You can even take a guided walking tour to learn more about the town and its importance to the maritime world. Over 300 years of history and wonder await you in Beaufort, North Carolina.