Our history with Beaufort, North Carolina, started in August of 2003 when we made it the destination for our thirtieth anniversary.
The trip renewed my love of North Carolina’s coast. After lots of looking we found a place that we love and now call home on Raymond’s Gut just up the White Oak River from Swansboro and ten minutes from my favorite beaches on Emerald Isle.
We are not far from Beaufort and it is often a destination on beautiful blue sky days when we want to enjoy some time on the docks along Beaufort’s peaceful waters.
While most of us along North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks and particularly the Crystal Coast portion of it are well aware of why Beaufort is such a great place to visit, there are plenty of people who know little about the town and its renewal.
When we first visited Beaufort back in 2003, I was struck by the wide main street, the charm of the historic district, and the inviting boardwalk along the harbor. As I have written in a number of articles, Beaufort is a beautiful place, and it inspires some wonderful pictures and works of art.
Most of us cannot get enough of the life along the water that Beaufort represents and the special ponies that wander the islands by Beaufort.
The friendliness and sense of place that you feel when visiting Beaufort were a big part in our decision to make Carteret County our home.
While we don’t live in Beaufort, we only live about twenty miles from it. From our home on Raymond’s Gut, we love to make quick visits to Beaufort. I am especially fond of wandering the streets of Beaufort in spring or early summer.
One of the things that I love about Beaufort is you park your car and walk. Everything you need is within walking distance. Beaufort is a great antidote to modern life.
Whenever we have visitors to our home in Cape Carteret, we almost always include a visit to Beaufort in their agenda. I absolutely love the Maritime Museum, and my wife enjoys browsing in the Front Street shops. Even I enjoy visiting Scuttlebutt, the great maritime bookstore with lots of fantastic charts, maps and other nautical things.
On our first visit to Beaufort, we took a ride around the waters of the area on the Water Bug. It was a great introduction to the area, but it was just a first taste of how much fun access to the water brings to Beaufort area visitors.
We have taken several water tours on some of Beaufort’s bigger boats. We even used Beaufort as our base during a visit when we drove up to Harker’s Island and took a ferry over to Cape Lookout. Of course, you don’t even have to make that effort. The National Park Service now has blessed a ferry based in Beaufort that will take you to Cape Lookout. There are plenty of others boats that will take you to almost any of the other islands. You can even choose sail power or paddle yourself to some of the closer islands by kayak.
We have even taken our own skiff up the Intracostal to Beaufort and Shackleford Banks. Not surprisingly considering all the water in the area, I have also enjoyed some great fishing in the Beaufort area.
Perhaps the thing that I like the most about Beaufort is that you can park your car and have fun for days without ever having to get back in the car. We have enjoyed many trips to Beaufort. When staying overnight, we most often enjoy the amenities of the Beaufort Inn.
There’s nothing like starting the day around the fireplace with a piece of Katie’s breakfast pie. I have even had my fishing guide and friend, Captain Tom Roller of Waterdog Guide service pick me up at the dock behind Beaufort Inn.
After breakfast, we often stroll down Front Street and enjoy Beaufort’s great main street which always makes me think that I am back living in the fifties and sixties when life was a little simpler.
What I have written above is just a summary of why I think Beaufort is a great place to visit. It makes a wonderful day trip if you are visiting our beaches and you will find a chapter on it in our travel guide.
We hope you will visit Beaufort. We know you will quickly find out why we all love to visit Beaufort. You might just fall in love with the area if you aren’t careful.