There's a feeling of having stepped back in time in the small seaport with a charming boardwalk; residents take great pride in the city's restored public buildings and homes—and in their homes' histories, which sometimes include tales of pirates and sea captains. Don't make the mistake of pronouncing the town's name as "BEW-furt." South Carolinians call that state's city of Beaufort "BEW-furt." North Carolina's Beaufort is pronounced "BOW-furt." Established in 1713, the third-oldest town in North Carolina was named for Henry Somerset, duke of Beaufort, and it's hard to miss the English influence here. Streets, at least those in the historic district, are named after British royalty and colonial leaders.
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Things You Can't Miss
The only way to reach the barrier islands of Cape Lookout National Seashore is by boat. Not ready to head back to the mainland? Camp on the beach.
Pat & Chuck Blackley/Alamy
Some of the most glorious views on the Crystal Coast are below sea level. Discovery Diving offers lessons and tours of sunken ships.
If you want to keep your head above water, Lookout Adventures offers cruises that guarantee a close-up view of bottlenose dolphins.
Beaufort's historic district brings the town's 19th-century citizens to life, including a Confederate soldier who blew up lighthouses at Cape Lookout.
Artifacts from Blackbeard's ship, Queen Anne's Revenge, are on display at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. So are great views of the waves.
Shared Trips to this Destination
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