A Traveler’s Guide to Beaufort, NC

A Guide to Beaufort, NC

A Traveler’s Guide to Beaufort, NC.

Looking for an idyllic small town for your next travel destination? Add Beaufort, NC., to the top of your list. We’re sharing our guide to Beaufort, NC., and what you can expect from this picturesque coastal town.

So let’s start with a bit of history. Beaufort, NC, was established in 1709 and is the third oldest town in North Carolina. Beaufort boasts that old-world, southern charm. It was also recently voted “America’s Favorite Town” by Travel + Leisure because of its cultivating history, quaint waterfront shops, and casual to world-class dining. Plus, it’s again made it into Southern Living’s 50 Best Small Towns In The South 2023! 

Dock your boat at a downtown marina and walk from one charming boutique to the next. Take in some history at the two-acre Beaufort Historic Site on Turner Street, featuring six authentically restored buildings. So whether it’s a family vacation or a romantic getaway, Beaufort is the town for you.

Wild horse on the shore of Beaufort NC with nearby kayakers

A Traveler’s Guide to Beaufort, NC. Vacation Rentals 

To start your perfect Beaufort vacation, you’ll want to be close to everything this historic town has to offer. Therefore, we suggest these Beaufort beauties. The following Beaufort vacation rental homes are the perfect mix of modern, quaint, and cozy!

1. Beaufort Coastal Cottage

Beaufort Coastal Cottage is a 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom mainland home. Fully furnished with covered parking and a fully equipped kitchen, it is perfect for a little getaway. Even if you don’t feel like going into town or visiting the beach one day. There is plenty to do around the cottage, with community grills, picnic areas, a game room, an outdoor pool, and more!

Beaufort Coastal Cottage

North Carolina Cottage

2. Lucy’s Landing

Pet-friendly, Lucy’s Landing is a beautiful, mainland 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom townhouse in Beaufort. Take a break outside on the furnished deck while enjoying the evening breeze! Enjoy the newly fenced backyard and outdoor hot/cold shower! The garage is guest accessible. Nightly rentals are allowed with a 2-night minimum during the off-season and for last-minute stays.

Lucy's Landing Vacation Rental

North Carolina Vacation Rental

3. Pirate Haven

Pet-friendly, Pirate Haven is the perfect soundside escape for a little rest and relaxation. This is a cozy 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home in Beaufort. This home offers beautiful sunrise and sunset views and is located near places such as Shackleford Banks, Sand Dollar Island, and Cape Lookout. This home also offers a private dock and pier, a screened-in porch, and a gorgeous covered deck with deck furniture where you can take in the beachy air! 

Pirate Haven Rental Beaufort, NC

North Carolina Vacation Rental Beaufort, NC

4. Sea You Soon

Sea You Soon is a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom mainland townhouse located in Beaufort. Sea You Soon as 3 Smart TVs with basic cable, premium cable channels, Roku, and Fire Stick/Fire TV. This cozy property is located near some of the best dining the Crystal Coast offers and is just a quick car ride from other notable towns like Atlantic Beach and Morehead City. The complex has grill access, a picnic area, dock access, a game room, an outdoor pool, a clubhouse, and more. There is truly something for everyone at this stunning rental. 

Sea you soon Vacation Rental

Vacation Rental Beaufort, NC

5. The Lookout

The Lookout is a beautiful 3-bedroom and 2.5-bathroom soundside home located in Beaufort. Driving in? You’ll have access to the garage when you stay in this home. Enjoy the community grill access, picnic area, dock access, game room, outdoor pool, clubhouse, and more. The Lookout rents nightly with a 2-night minimum during the off-season and for last-minute stays.

The Lookout Beaufort, NC

Vacation Rental North Carolina

6. Sweet Caroline

Pet-friendly, Sweet Caroline is a cozy 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom soundside home in Beaufort. This home offers beautiful sunrise and sunset views. Amenities include 4 Smart TVs and a fully equipped kitchen with 12 cup coffee maker, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, toaster, slow cooker, waffle maker, and blender. There’s also a gas Black Stone grill – with air fryer capabilities and an interior washer and dryer. The garage is accessible for guests. Nightly rentals are permitted with a 3-night minimum (last minute and off-season only).

Sweet Caroline vacation rental in Beau Coast

The beautiful bedroom at Sweet Caroline in Beau Coast

7. Keeper’s Retreat

Pet-friendly, Keeper’s Retreat is a beautiful, 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom mainland Townhome in Beaufort. Keeper’s Retreat has high-speed wireless internet for your convenience. There are 5 Smart TVs included with your rental. Enjoy the furnished deck while taking in the evening breeze! Keeper’s Retreat is ready for you with ceiling fans, hair dryers, and ironing boards so you can enjoy all the comforts of home and relax comfortably! There’s also a garage and covered parking.

Keeper's Retreat Exterior

Living room shot of Keeper's Retreat in Beau Coast

Beaufort’s Beau Coast

Each of these lovely homes is in the Beau Coast community, which offers a relaxed atmosphere and a true coastal lifestyle. Delight in paddleboarding in the morning, then hop on the ferry to see the wild horses at the Rachel Carson Reserve in the afternoon. Next, take a romantic dinner cruise in the evening or a stroll into town for dinner. It’s all located just minutes from your front door.

Beau Coast Community

Beau Coast is a golf cart community, and with historic Beaufort’s Front Street just 1 mile away, you’ll enjoy every minute of what Beaufort and Beau Coast have to offer. 

The Beau Coast Community Club Center

Enjoy an outstanding array of restaurants on or near the water. Charming shops and boutiques abound. Beau Coast’s onsite market, Beau Gro to Go, is an extension of the popular Beaufort Grocery Company in downtown Beaufort.

Beau Coast Community Grocery Store

Amenities Include:

  • Fishing off the private dock
  • Onsite Kayak Barn
  • Onsite Fitness Center
  • Private Trader’s Lake
  • Traders – Onsite Deli, outdoor seating, and fire pit
  • Community Garden 
  • Dog Park 
  • Pickle Ball Court 
  • Resort Style Pool and Clubhouse
  • Golf Cart Community
  • Great Lawn Event Space

A Traveler’s Guide to Beaufort, NC.: Things to See and Do

You’ll never run out of things to do in Beaufort. Whether you are a history buff, foodie, or looking to be one with nature, this guide to Beaufort caters to it all. 

1. Beaufort Wine and Food

Beaufort Wine and Food hosts premier culinary events throughout the year, all in the name of charity. One of their most significant events is the Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend, which occurs annually each spring. 


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2. Maritime Museum

The NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort reflects coastal life and interprets lighthouse and lifesaving stations, the seafood industry, motorboats, and more. You’ll find artifacts from Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge and so much more! And the best part is it’s free. ALSO SEE: Enjoy the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort for Free

3. Beaufort Historic Site

The beautiful Beaufort Historic Site is located in the heart of this historic district. Travel back in time to the 18th and 19th centuries while exploring this 2-acre site. Enjoy a guided tour, and don’t miss the Old Burying Ground holding fascinating stories about Beaufort’s 300-year-old history.


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4. Beaufort Waterfront

Locals love the Beaufort waterfront, and you will, too! Stroll along the waterfront and window shop from one charming boutique to the next. Stop into the General Store and grab some hand-dipped ice cream. Later, relish in it with cocktails and award-winning seafood overlooking the water at sunset. 


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5. Beaufort Pirate Invasion

Every year Beaufort is home to a 3-day pirate invasion! Take in the sites and sounds of the 17th century as pirates overrun the town with displays such as sword fighting, cannon firing, a mock trial and hanging, and more! ALSO SEE: Beaufort Pirate Invasion


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6. Double Decker Bus Tour

Take the Double Decker Bus Tour and see Beaufort’s historic district from atop the 1967 English double-decker bus! Local narrators tell tales of Beaufort’s rich past of pirates, star-crossed lovers, and confederate spies. It’s a thrill for locals and visitors alike. 


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7. Beaufort Linen Co.

Are you looking to take a shopping break and bring a little piece of Beaufort home? Stop in at the Beaufort Linen Co. You’re bound to find the perfect gift for loved ones or even a special treat for yourself to remember your getaway. They offer a wide selection of art, bath and body, home decor, clothing, jewelry, linens, and more!


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A Traveler’s Guide to Beaufort, NC. Eats

Beaufort is well known for its wide variety of dining and award-winning seafood. From casual to fine dining, there is something for everyone to enjoy and plenty of good eats. 

North Carolina Seafood

1. Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant and Pub

This local favorite is believed to be the oldest building in Beaufort. Clawson’s homemade kitchen is known for featuring dishes like killer shrimp and grits, fresh seafood, certified Angus beef burgers, and a variety of “pub food,” fresh sandwiches, salads, and desserts. 


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2. Aqua

Aqua originally started as a tapas restaurant but since then has grown into a local and visitor favorite year-round. They now offer small plates, big plates, and an amazing wine selection. This is the perfect date night retreat!


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3. 34 Degrees North

34 Degrees North is a nice taste of luxury with complimentary valet parking and custom menus for holidays. They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, an afternoon menu, brunch, and craft cocktails. The menu has options for everyone, with seafood, land, and veggie options and a kids menu. 


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4. Black Sheep

Black Sheep is a casual spot that is dockside in Beaufort. They have a flair for brick-oven pizza and creative cocktails. Perfect for a quick bite or a romantic evening/ celebration. 


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It’s easy to fall in love with this place. Beaufort (pronounced BOW-furt) is planted on the outermost reach of North Carolina’s southern coast. Century-old cottages frosted with white gingerbread woodwork dot sleepy, oak-shaded streets, which crawl down to the water in a tidy grid. This former fishing village is relaxed and low-key, but it welcomes newcomers with exuberant hospitality. People smile and say hello here; they’ll stop mid-task to ask passersby how they’re doing. – Southern Living: Why Southerners Love Beaufort, North Carolina


Visit Beaufort, NC! 

Have you ever been to Beaufort, NC? What were your favorite activities and spots? What should we add to this guide? Need a recommendation for something specific? Let us know in the comments! 



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