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The ultimate road trip to Beaufort

Hit the road — we’re sharing all the details about what to do and eat, plus where to stay.

A sunset over water with docks and trees.

Don’t miss this view after dinner at 34° North Restaurant.

Photo by RALtoday

Table of Contents

Itching to get out of town, Raleighites? Skip those pesky airport security lines and jump in your car for a road trip to Beaufort instead. From a pirate invasion to enjoying a waterfront cocktail at City Kitchen, we’re spilling all the details on how to have an unforgettable time in the 252.

📍 Essential info

Drive time: ~2 hours 40 minutes

Year city was established: 1709

Est. population: 4,569

People walking around a farmers' market in Beaufort, NC.

The market is typically filled with ~47 vendors, a food truck, and live music. | Photo by RALtoday

🎟️ Experience

Beaufort Music Festival | Gallants Channel Annex, 293 W. Beaufort Rd., Beaufort

Soak in the sun and a diverse music line-up along with food trucks, children’s activities, and beer gardens during this festival on Friday, May 19-Saturday, May 20.

The Beaufort Pirate Invasion | Various locations

Arrgh... Enjoy a packed weekend of pirate activities, costume contests, vendors, reenactments, and themed meals like Breakfast with Blackbeard on Friday, Sept. 23-Sunday, Sept. 25.

Historic Beaufort Double Decker Bus Tour | 100 Turner St., Beaufort

Climb aboard this 1967 English double-decker bus to learn about the rich history of NC’s third-oldest town. Tours are available all year.

NC Maritime Museum | 315 Front St., Beaufort

Watch craftspeople at work and take boat building classes at the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center. Admission to this coastal museum is free.

Olde Beaufort Farmers’ Market | 300 Courthouse Sq., Beaufort

Shop from local fishermen, craftspeople, farmers, bakers, and artists at this Saturday morning farmers’ market. The market is closed during winter months; opening day is Saturday, April 15.

Randolph Johnson Memorial Park | 1017 Pine St., Beaufort

Though the splash pad is only open during the summer months, this park also features a large playground and a covered pavilion.

62nd Annual Beaufort Old Homes Tour | Various locations

You won’t want to miss these self-guided walking tours throughout Beaufort’s Historic District featuring a look inside private historic homes, gardens, churches, and more from Saturday, June 23 to Sunday, June 24.

Someone holding a cocktail with a waterfront view.

Try this: The pineapple coconut mojito at Moonrakers. | Photo by RALtoday

🍔 Eat

City Kitchen | 114 A Town Creek Dr., Beaufort

This waterside restaurant is located above the Town Creek Marina. Enjoy locally-sourced eats like fish cakes with sweet pepper mayo and creative cocktails from the tiki bar.

34° North Restaurant | 2440 Lennoxville Rd., Beaufort

Opt to sit on the wrap-around patio of this elevated seafood spot. This restaurant also offers brunch on the weekends and breakfast Monday-Friday. Try this: Coconut crusted mahi mahi.

Black Sheep | 510 Front St., Ste. 3, Beaufort

Head to this scratch kitchen for brick-fired pizza, creative cocktails, and dock views.

Beaufort Grocery Co. | 117 Queen St., Beaufort

Stop in to this cute, homey bistro for brunch, lunch, or dinner. We recommend the hot Carolina crab dip paired with a BeauGro gougère (a Parmesan-filled pastry).

Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant & Pub | 425 Front St., Beaufort

This long-standing local favorite is rich in history and good eats. Specializing in seafood and smoked meats, we recommend the barbecue mac and cheese and the fried seafood combo.

Marmalade Cafe & Bakery | 513 Front St., Beaufort

Looking for a sweet treat pick-me-up? Order a freshly-baked pastry like a pecan roll or gluten free muffin from this historic home-turned-cafe.

Moonrakers | 326 Front St., Beaufort

The rooftop bar overlooking the waterfront is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail at sunset. Plus, this spot offers fresh, coastal cuisine like Moroccan seafood stew and blackened grouper.

A cute bungalow.

This historic bungalow makes for the perfect getaway.

Photo via Vrbo

🏨 Stay

Beaufort Hotel | 2440 Lennoxville Rd., Beaufort

In 2022, USA Today named this resort-style stay the No. 1 Best Boutique Hotel in America. Take a peek at the views you could have with this live waterfront webcam. Pro tip: 34° North Restaurant & Bar is part of the hotel.

The Beaufort Inn | 809 Port Republic St., Beaufort

This charming waterfront stay offers a boat-load of amenities such as private courtyards, bicycles, and a gift shop.

The Historic District Bungalow | Vrbo
Enjoy a bungalow stay with a covered front porch and a short walk to town; sleeps two people.

Classic bungalow | Vrbo
This dog-friendly cottage is complete with front porch with water views, bikes, and a short walk to downtown; sleeps six people.

Beaufort Waterfront Yacht | Vrbo
Have a unique stay right on the water in this yacht fit for four people.

Wait a minute, Raleighites. Before you head out the door, find the cheapest places to fill up your gas tank and stock up on road trip snacks from Weaver Street Market. Also, bookmark this map so you have no trouble finding all of our recommendations while visiting Beaufort.

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