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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

NC's 4th oldest town

Posted May 17, 2010 10:15 a.m. EDT

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?