the third oldest town in North Carolina, basks in a laid back
a busy fishing port, today its main commercial activity is tourism,
but there's nothing "touristy" about this town. Instead, visitors
are welcomed to elegant bed and breakfast inns, and dine on inspired
cuisine created by talented chefs.
town's past is lovingly displayed and explained by the ladies
of the town at the Beaufort Historic Site, while the menfolk take
visitors out to fish in the rich surrounding waters.
area has a compact collection of all the attractions that are
elsewhere spread up and down the Carolina coast.
Civil War-era Fort
Macon, just across the harbor, with one of the best beaches
in the state out front.
Lookout Lighthouse, painted in a distinctive diamond pattern,
lies a short boat ride away.
from scuba diving to parasailing to kayaking, are readily available
and some of the best anywhere.
has not one, but two herds of wild ponies-always a popular draw
for tourists. One group, proved by DNA to descend from Spanish
stock, occupies Shackleford Banks, part of the Cape Lookout National
Seashore. Another herd can be seen grazing on Carrot Island, just
across the channel from the town docks.
Visitors can catch a water taxi to either island, or out to the
lighthouse, from the Beaufort waterfront.
town action centers on Front Street across from the wharf, where
you'll see yachts from around the world. Nearly all of Beaufort's
accommodations, dining options and historic attractions are located
here or just a few blocks away, making Beaufort one of the great
walking destinations in North Carolina.
at Front Street establishments such as the Inlet Inn can sit on
their balconies, sip wine and watch the world go by.
in 1709, Beaufort by the Sea, as it was originally called, was
named for the same Duke of Beaufort as that other Beaufort, a
state to the south. However, locals point out, the North Carolina
town uses the correct French pronunciation: "BO-furt" with a long
Historic Site, offering tours of six buildings and the
Old Burying Ground, is operated by a non-profit volunteer association
without the aid of public funds. However, the state has recognized
the area's significance, both as a historic treasure and a vacation
main branch of the
N.C. Maritime Museum displaying artifacts recovered from
Blackbeard's flagship sits along Front Street. A few bridges away,
a newly expanded branch of the N.C.
Aquarium takes visitors on a voyage through state waters
from the smallest mountain stream to the deep offshore lairs of
the big gamefish.
events are held in the area all year, from the Carolina
Chocolate Festival every February, to the Pirate
Invasion in August, to the North
Carolina Seafood Festival every fall.
perhaps the event that best expresses the personality of Beaufort
is the annual Wine
and Food Weekend scheduled every April. The festival pairs
wines from around the world with cuisine created by some of the
best local and regional chefs in a series of winemaker dinners
and other events including a fashion show, an art show and book
signing, a wine and cheese pairing seminar and receptions at some
of the seaport's private historic homes.
events include a Friday night gala and wine auction, Saturday's
casual Beer, Bubbles and BBQ, and a final Sunday Champagne Brunch.
DuBuisson, innkeeper at the Pecan
Tree Inn, a charming bed and breakfast located in the
heart of the town's historic district, recommends Saturday's big
event: the Vin de Mer Grand Tasting and Culinary Village, the
largest tented wine event in the state.
"The wineries and distributors all set up tables," says DuBuisson.
"You can wander around and sample wines, or try tastes of food
from the area's best restaurants."
years, the festival pitches its tent at the Maritime Museum's
Gallant's Channel site, where you're likely to see a pirate ship
tied up at the dock.
from the weekend benefit the Beaufort Historic Site, the Friends
of the N.C. Maritime Museum, and the Culinary School at Carteret
Community College in Morehead City just over the bridge.
Larry Jones, innkeeper at the Inlet
Inn, especially enjoys the winemaker dinners. "You get
some really nice food," he says. "A lot of our guests come to
Beaufort mainly to eat. They can park their cars for the weekend
and see the town on foot."
more information, visit www.beaufortwineandfood.com
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