Beaufort, N.C., is a quaint coastal town that was established around 1709 and is the third oldest in the state.
Serving as the seat of Carteret County, the town has a population of about 4,200 with a high influx of traffic during the warmer months.
The scenic downtown Front Street, with its view of wild ponies across Taylor’s Creek on Rachel Carson Reserve, offers a range of shopping and dining experiences.
Also on Front Street is the N.C. Maritime Museum, the official repository for artifacts from Blackbeard the pirate’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, which was discovered off the coast in 1996.
On nearby Turner Street, you’ll find the Beaufort Historic Site that is managed by the nonprofit Beaufort Historical Association. The site features several restored properties and the organization hosts events throughout the year.
Beaufort is also home to the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment Marine Laboratory, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, and Rachel Carson Reserve, where a population of protected wild horses living on the barrier islands can be seen from the town’s waterfront areas.
In 2012, Beaufort was ranked as "America's Coolest Small Town" by readers of Budget Travel Magazine. In 2014, Beaufort was ranked as “America’s Favorite Town” by Travel + Leisure and as No. 8 as “America’s Best Town for the Holidays.”