Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

NC's 4th oldest town

Posted May 17, 2010

We continue our look at North Carolina's oldest towns with a stop in Beaufort. This is one of my personal favorites. How many of you have been to Beaufort in the last year or two? What were your favorite attractions? Was there a restaurant that really knocked your socks or flip flops off? What about lodging in NC’s fourth oldest town? Any recommendations?

Beaufort has a growing arts community and you can sample their work in the quaint downtown shops across from the waterfront. Beaufort calls itself "Delightfully Different." There really is something unique about this seaside town. I love to walk through the Old Burying Ground and think about what life was like here more than 300 years ago. The white bungalow houses with picket fences are most pleasing to pass on a stroll through town.

I love the NC Maritime Museum which chronicles the stories of shipbuilders, pirates and commercial fishermen. Here you can learn the latest about efforts to retrieve artifacts from what is believed to be the wreckage of Blackbeard’s flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Duke University is the celebrating the 70th anniversary of its marine laboratory in Beaufort. A lot of important environmental research is conducted here.

Shackleford Banks with its wild horses is near Beaufort. Cape Lookout with its checkered design is also right around the salty corner.

I love staying at the Beaufort Inn. Ann Street Inn is another nice place. I know there are others but I will let some of you offer suggestions on lodging.

My favorite restaurants here include Beaufort Grocery Company, Clawsons, Blue Moon Bistro, the Spouter Inn Restaurant and Finz Grill & Bar.

What else should be said about this sleepy and charming town by the sea?


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  • oldrebel May 18, 2010

    Beautiful town...Great blog. Thanks Bill.

  • zamboniman May 17, 2010

    We love Beaufort. We try to go three or four times a year just to walk the waterfront and get lunch. When family comes down from "yankee land" that's one of the places they want to go.Just a lovely relaxing place to go. ZIRADOG: you're right about FINZ, it used to be one of our favorites, but last time we went, not so good.

  • dutchmandr May 17, 2010

    Beufort, NC is a beautiful eastern seaboard town. The town has several quaint shops, a Maritime Museum, and restaurants that overlook many peaceful boats. There is a book, Autumn Seclusion, written by a NC native that takes place in Beaufort, as well as in New Bern NC. The book vividly describes the NC coast line. I highly suggest this work to anyone who loves NC. The author is Andrea Ferrell. She has published 2 works.

  • gator nation gal May 17, 2010

    We happened to be in Beaufort the weekend of April 30. We were able to catch the national boat building competition and see wooden boats put on display by the maritime museum. We had a delightful weekend.

  • blytle May 17, 2010

    It's a lovely town. My father's best friend grew up in Beaufort, and our family spent lots of time down there when we were growing up. Years ago I worked for a magazine and got to interview some of the "boat people" who travel the inland waterway. I got to go out to one of the boats and see the view of the Beaufort waterfront from the water. It's a great place to visit!

  • thinknc May 17, 2010

    We've stayed at the Inlet Inn several times--a great view of the waterfront. We enjoy all the shops, the Burying Ground, Musuem, etc. Favorite thing to do is to kayak along the waterfront and over to the Rachel Carson Nature Preserve to see the ponies and all the sea creatures in the sound. And we usually end up getting fudge or ice cream at the General Store.

  • hwyche May 17, 2010

    The Inlet Inn is a great place to stay. Just across from the waterfront and on the same street as Beaufort Grocery. Fireplaces and breakfast available. Reasonable prices.

  • ziradog May 17, 2010

    One of my family's favorite towns, especially if you arrive by water. I would agree with most of your resteraunts although Finz has been rather hit & miss. We also have had good esperiences at Front Street Grill on the waterfront. Spouter Inn is especially fun at lunch. We like to go over to the marshes on Carrot Island & Bird Shoal, and the far side of those is a good place to find live sand dollars, welks, and horse shoe crabs. The little gazebo at the dingy dock is a delightfully cool spot in the summer time if there is a breeze blowing, and as you noted The Old Burying Ground is a good place to visit for history buffs and for quiet contemplation. Also the boat shop annex of the Maritime Museum.

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