Beaufort was established in 1709, making it the third oldest town in North Carolina and known for its rich history and coastal charm. Nestled around Shackleford Banks & Bogue Banks, Beaufort is the most south eastern town in North Carolina. Although this small town is just under 6 square miles, Beaufort offers a variety of delicious restaurants, historical interests, beautiful scenery and breathtaking sunsets along Taylor’s Creek.
Don’t let the size of this small town fool you, Beaufort offers a vast amount of activities and fun for all ages. Take a ride around town on the big red double-decker bus and learn all about Beaufort’s fascinating history, hear the stories behind many of the buildings and homes with historical plaques, walk through the historical grounds to see the locals reenact the life of the early settlers, explore the Old Burying Grounds & hear the captivating narratives of the ones who were put to rest there, visit the Maritime Museum & Watercraft Center to discover life on the coast & boat building techniques, stop by some of the local boutiques or sit back on the boardwalk overlooking Taylors Creek and enjoy live music while having dinner and drinks are just a few things to do in town. One interesting fact for adults and exciting piece of history for kids is that Beaufort was actually one of the places Edward Teach resided…. or more commonly known as “Blackbeard the Pirate”. Every year to celebrate the pirate heritage in Beaufort, they have the Pirate Invasion festival. This is fun-filled event is for all ages to dress up like a pirate, learn about pirates, have pretend sword fights and watch a group reenact the lives of pirates on land and on water with the Meka II, replica pirate ship owned by Sinbad the Pirate.
Beaufort is not only known for what can be found in town but also along its enchanting waters. This seaside community is renowned for its amazing boating opportunities (both motor boating and sailing), kayaking, fishing, delicious seafood and incredible wildlife. Hop on a small ferry boat for a scenic boat ride along Taylors Creek and see different types of wildlife including a variety of birds, herons & gulls flying around, several types of crabs along the shore, a fish being reeled in, a pod of dolphins swimming by and a local favorite, the Carrot Island horses. These horses along with the Shackleford Banks horses date back to the 1700’s Spanish horses that were brought over on ships. The ships would run aground near the land and the horses were among some of the animals that would swim to shore. It is a stunning site to see these magnificent wild horses in a natural setting.
Gorgeous weather and a beautiful picturesque waterfront make Beaufort the perfect destination for family-friendly fun and creates a fantastic atmosphere for the many festivals, concerts and tours held throughout the year. The calendar of events in downtown Beaufort has a little for everyone ranging from the Beaufort Food & Wine Festival in April, the Wooden Boat Show & Boatbuilding Challenge the first weekend in May, Beaufort Music Festival the third weekend in May, the Beaufort Old Homes & Gardens Tour in June, the Pirate Invasion the second weekend in August and is the host of art shows, wine tastings, live music, farmers’ market and much, much more. *
With so much to offer in such a quaint little community, it is no surprise Beaufort has been nationally recognized as “The Coolest Small Town” with several different publications.