A History Lover’s Guide to North Carolina Historical Sites

Photo of Fort Macon: a North Carolina Historical sites

A History Lover’s Guide to North Carolina Historical Sites

The Crystal Coast may be known for beach getaways and epic fishing adventures, but the coast also boasts a fascinating history. From a restored Civil War fort to the infamous legends of Blackbeard, the pirate, there is a wealth of unique history waiting to be discovered. Visit these North Carolina historical sites during your Crystal Coast vacation and travel back in time.

Fort Macon State Park

Are you fascinated by Civil War History? Then a visit to Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach is a must. Fort Macon’s history goes back to the 1700s when hostile nations and pirates threatened the inlet. Fast forward one hundred years to the construction of Fort Macon during the Civil War. Afterward, control of the fort was tumultuous, and both Confederate and Union soldiers were stationed here throughout the war. Today, you can learn all about this fascinating, and varied history of Fort Macon with these activities: 

  • Embark on a self-guided tour with a printed guide from the visitor center. Or join the daily guided tours at 11 am.
  • Visit the museum and learn about the artifacts that display Fort Macon’s history. 
  • Check the scheduled programs and events and plan your visit around reenactments or demonstrations.

North Carolina Historical Sites in Beaufort NC

Historic Beaufort

Beaufort is the third oldest town in the state and is home to over a dozen North Carolina historical sites. Beaufort started as a fishing village and port for pirates and shipping vessels. These merchants built houses and public buildings that continue to remind us of the town’s layered past. Here are a few ways to explore and learn all about historic Beaufort.

  • Join a guided tour through Beaufort’s landmark buildings, including Victorian homes and the historic jail and courthouse. 
  • Stop at the Old Burial Grounds, a 300-year-old cemetery established in the early 1700s. 
  • Visit the Hammock House, which is the oldest home in Beaufort. The house is also rumored to have been a headquarters for Blackbeard back in the day.
  • With over 300 years of history, Beaufort is home to many legends and ghost stories. Join the Beaufort Ghost Walk and listen to stories of ghost ships, haunted houses, and Civil War spirits. 

Historic Museums

History buffs can see artifacts and learn all about North Carolina history at the museums on the Crystal Coast. The History Museum of Carteret County features an extensive collection of textiles, period clothing, furniture, military memorabilia, artwork, and thousands of books. This museum provides an interesting introduction to our varied history in addition to fascinating artifacts.

The Maritime Museum displays the history and coastal lifestyle with artifacts and exhibits. Learn about our maritime culture with the exhibits on lighthouses, lifesaving stations, the seafood industry, motorboats, shipwrecks, and also underwater archaeology. For example, the Harvey Smith Watercraft Center offers an opportunity to learn about the art and skill of traditional boat building.

Photo of Alec Moore House: A North Carolina Historical Sites

Historic Homes with Bluewater Vacation Rentals

Visit these incredible North Carolina historical sites on the Crystal Coast and choose Bluewater Vacation Rentals to host your getaway. We currently have two historic homes you can stay in Beaufort and Swansboro. The Sabiston House is on historic Front Street in Beaufort and next to the Maritime Museum. Furthermore, the Alex Moore House is situated in the Swansboro Historic District and offers over 100 years of history on the Crystal Coast. Finally, if our historic homes are already booked, then browse over 600 vacation rentals to find the perfect accommodations for your getaway.

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