Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Vacation Guide: Beaufort, North Carolina

image from: Deja Vu Postcards and Collectables

One of my favorite getaway spots is Beaufort, North Carolina.  Don't be confused by South Carolina's Beaufort; we NCers pronounce ours Bo-fort.  I've been going there since I was a little girl and it's charming beauty and southern peace continuously draws me back.  If you're looking for a quaint coastal escape then look no further than Beaufort, NC!

Top Accommodations

Pecan Tree Inn - Located on Queen St., this bed and breakfast "provides a restful oasis for visitors to this undiscovered gem of a seaport."  It was built around 1886 and was initially used as a Masonic Lodge.  Its seven guest rooms ooze with southern charm while its large porches will invite you to sit back, relax, and finish that book you've been meaning to read the past couple of months.  

Inlet Inn - Located on Front Street, this inn has a breathtaking view of the sound and Shackleford Banks.  Each room has its own private porch that overlooks the water and breakfast is included in the rate!  They boast of they best view in Beaufort and I see no reason to disagree.

Langdon House Bed & Breakfast - Built in the 1730's, this bed and breakfast is a perfect example of the classic Beaufort home. It is furnished with 18th and 19th century antiques and has a queen bed in each of the four rooms.  My favorite is the Lambre Room, with it's dark hardwoods and classic furniture.  The Master Suite, however, has sole access to the second floor porch and would create for a memorable and romantic trip.

Top Restaurants

The Fudge Factory - The enticing, sweet smell that wafts across all of Front Street comes from The Fudge Factory.  Here you can purchase some of the best tasting fudge you will ever have.  These candy makers still make fudge the old fashioned way, by hand; you can watch them work right there in the shop.  Though Chocolate is a classic, my favorite is the Maple Walnut Fudge.  Even if you don't plan on making a visit to Beaufort, I encourage you to buy some of their fudge from their on-line store.  It's a great birthday or housewarming gift!

Clawson's Reastaurant & Pub - If you're looking for a casual, laid-back seafood meal then Clawson's is the restaurant for you.  They offer surf and turf items and also boast of an extensive draft menu.  You may want to make reservations, though, as this is a favorite among Beaufort visitors.

Beaufort Grocery Co. - I make visiting this restaurant a top priority on all my trips to Beaufort.  There is something on the menu for everyone! From salads, to sandwiches, to fresh fish, they have it all.  I usually get the Tuna Fillet Sandwich with their delicious potato salad on the side. I do, however, like stealing morsels from my family members plates as we all try to get something different.  Be sure to try one of their house-made desserts!

Front Street Grill - Not only does this restaurant sit on the water and have an amazing view of the sound, but the food tastes like delicacies you thought could only be found in your dreams.  I know, that's a pretty bold statement, but their fresh seafood with southern flare is one of a kind.  It is always a toss up between the Fish Tacos and Shrimp and Grits.  I will, however, always make room for the Friend Okra. Amazing.

image from: Shackleford Banks Ferry

Top Activities

The Legend of Blackbeard Tour - Edward Teach, or, more commonly known as Blackbeard, is referred to as "the fiercest pirate to ever live."  I mean, the guy lit firecrackers in his beard in order to make him look tougher.  He made Beaufort one of his favorite ports to use for rest and restocking supplies.  Though the locals during his time did not enjoy his visits, it provides some pretty exciting stories for us today.  This tour will take you around the streets of Beaufort and into his house while recounting his life from birth up until his death on the Outer Banks.

NC Maritime Museum - This was one of my favorite spots when I was younger.  I loved learning about ships and the men that sailed them.  For a small museum, it is loaded with historical artifacts.  And because they just found one of the anchors from Queen Anne's Revenge, the museum has enough Blackbeard paraphernalia to satisfy all of your pirate cravings.  Also, across the street sits the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center.  Here you can watch, and even participate in, boatbuilding courses!

Antique Shopping - One of my favorite things to do anywhere I visit is to walk through antique stores.  Beaufort has many with great, reasonably priced finds.  With the history and age of the town, each antique store has unique, local items with charm and history.  The finds I purchase here are always conversation starters.

Shackleford Banks Ferry -  How would you like to walk with the wild horses of Shackleford Banks? Yes, it was a dream come true for me the day I signed up for this ferry tour.  As one of the only ferry tours on the island, it will not disappoint.  This herd of horses is one of the last free roaming, isolated groups remaining in the US.  The tour guide will help you track the horses and promises many a Kodak moment.  Once you have seen as many horses as your heart desires, the guide will direct you to one of the best shelling beaches in the Southern Outerbanks.  It is filled with Sand Dollars, Queen's Helmets, and Conchs.  Your shell collection will never be the same.

If you would like to see your favorite vacation spot featured on The Vacation Guide, or would like to guest blog, send us an email to wakingonthewing at gmail dot com.

Happy travels!

Love, Alli

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