Located on North Carolina's Crystal Coast, Beaufort is a quaint historic fishing town with beaches, golf, fishing, and a host of other activities located nearby. Regardless of whether you're traveling alone, with family, or with a group, you'll sure to delight in all the area has to offer.
Beaufort Historic Site
Located in the heart of the Historic District of Beaufort, the third oldest town in North Carolina, The Historic Site depicts 18th and 19th coastal Carolina. It has eleven buildings, nine of which are historic, on almost two acres. These include the Carteret County Courthouse of 1796, the Carteret County Jail c.1829, the Apothecary Shop and Doctor’s Office c. 1859. and the c. 1732 Rustell House that houses the Mattie King Davis Art Gallery. The Beaufort Historic Site offers a variety of tours, seminars, volunteer opportunities, and special events of interest for the whole family throughout the year. For more info call 252-728-5225.
The wide, sandy beaches of Bogue Banks offer the finest in resort accommodations and other attractions. Bogue Banks runs for 25 miles from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle. This is one of just a few "East-West" beaches on the Atlantic Coast which means that the sun may be rising and setting over the ocean.
Cape Lookout National Seashore
These outer Banks are a beautiful 55-mile stretch of natural, uninhabited, undeveloped barrier island running from Beaufort to Ocracoke Inlet. Cape Lookout has a working lighthouse, as well as restored keepers' quarters. With no maintained roads, park facilities or water, the island represents nature at its purest. The Island is excellent for fishing, and is accessible by water ferries on Front Street.
The Beaufort Harbor Docks
Just three blocks away is the Historic Beaufort Waterfront and Docks, with many restaurants, bars, shops and live entertainment. It makes for a great night on the town, and you never know when you’ll see some celebrities’ yacht like Michael Jordan or Martha Stewart.
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center
You can experience waterfowling heritage and traditions through exhibits, decoy carving demonstrations and special events, including Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend (1st Weekend of December), Diamond City Homecoming, Community Days, etc. For more info call 252-728-1500
Fort Macon State Park
Fort Macon State Park serves a variety of interests; a modern bathhouse, boardwalk and protected swimming area, surf-cast fishing from the shores of the park and picnic facilities equipped with tables, benches and shelter. The history buff, moreover, will have definite interest in the restored "Old Fort Macon." The fort museum, bookstore, audio program and nature trail provide an even broader range of activities for Fort Macon's guests. For more info call 252-726-3775
Morehead City Waterfront
Recently renovated, the Morehead City Waterfront provides visitors with a feel of the deep sea. Observe the commercial fisherman as they prepare the day's catch for the market. The charter boat fleet is one of the largest and best on the Atlantic Seaboard and offers variety for the deep-sea enthusiast. The waterfront is also home to several legendary seafood restaurants, as well as many unique gift shops.
Rachel Carson National Sanctuary
The Rachel Carson National Estuarine Sanctuary is directly across Taylor’s Creek from downtown (Front St.) Beaufort. The Estuary is a complex of small islands, and is home to wild horses, many varieties of shorebirds, foxes and migrating pelicans. The site features primitive swimming, shelling, and hiking, bird watching, and fishing. It is accessible by renting canoes or kayaks or by water taxi. For more info call 252-838-0883.
The NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores features a 300,000-gallon saltwater tank plus exhibits and animals from across North Carolina. From the mountains to the sea…Feel the spray of a mountain waterfall. Watch river otters play. Touch a stingray. Look a shark in the eye. Meet native raptors and water birds. Explore shipwrecks – without getting wet, to include a replica of the German Submarine U-352. The U-352 is one of the more popular scuba diving sites off of our coast. Thousands of aquatic animals take you on a journey from the state’s grand peaks to the open Atlantic, much as a raindrop makes its way to the ocean. Plan your visit now! For more info call 252-247-4003
Discount tickets are available at Discovery Diving.
The History Place Museum
This free museum is just over the bridge into Morehead City and offers exhibits and artifacts from the indigenous people of the region to the WWII era. The museum is also home to a civil war library. Guided tours are available. For more info call 252-247-7533
NC Maritime Museum
The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort collects, preserves, researches, documents, and interprets the maritime history, culture, and environment of coastal North Carolina. All of the museum's programs and exhibits, both general and specialized, interpret the state's cultural maritime history and offer a larger national perspective on coastal environment and barrier island ecology. Free admission. For more info call 252-728-7317
Neusiok Trail for Hiking
The trail winds more than 20 miles from a sandy beach on the Neuse River to a salt marsh on the Newport River. In between the trail crosses cypress swamps, hardwood ridges, longleaf-pine savannah and pocosin-shrubby bogs common to the Carolina Coast. Look for signs of those who walked before—from native Indians to early settlers, woodsmen and moonshiners.
Along the waterfront is Beaufort's newest tour boat, the Crystal Coast Lady. The Crystal Coast Lady is offering cruising and fishing trips in addition to class reunions, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties and even weddings. They can be reached 252-728-8687.