- 34° North Restaurant
- 2440 Lennoxville Road - Beaufort
- North Carolina - United States
- (252) 838-7250
- [email protected]
The town of Beaufort, located in Carteret County, North Carolina, has a rich history dating back to the 18th century. It is the third oldest town in the state and has played a significant role in the region's maritime and cultural heritage.
Beaufort was established in 1709 and named in honor of Henry Somerset, the Duke of Beaufort, who was one of the Lords Proprietors of the Carolina colony. The town was originally developed as a seaport and quickly became an important center for trade and commerce.
During the colonial period, Beaufort flourished as a port for the export of naval stores, including turpentine and timber. It also served as a haven for pirates, with Blackbeard the pirate being one of the most notorious figures associated with the area. In 1718, Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, ran aground near Beaufort Inlet, and the remains of the ship were discovered in 1996 and are now part of a museum exhibit.
In the late 18th century, Beaufort played a crucial role during the American Revolutionary War. British troops occupied the town in 1782, and their presence significantly impacted the local economy. However, Beaufort rebounded after the war and continued to thrive as a port and fishing village.
Beaufort's maritime heritage remained strong throughout the 19th century. The town was a center for shipbuilding and fishing, and it also became a popular destination for tourists and vacationers. Many beautiful historic homes and buildings were constructed during this time, and today, Beaufort's Historic District showcases well-preserved examples of architecture from different periods.
During the Civil War, Beaufort was occupied by Union forces in 1862. The town became a base for the Union blockade of Confederate ports, and as a result, it experienced a decline in trade and economic activity. However, the end of the war brought renewed growth and development to the area.
In the 20th century, Beaufort continued to evolve as a coastal town. Tourism became an increasingly important industry, drawing visitors with its scenic waterfront, charming downtown area, and historical attractions. Beaufort also became a center for marine research and education, with the establishment of the Duke University Marine Laboratory in 1938.
Today, Beaufort maintains its historic charm and serves as a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore its historic sites, take boat tours to nearby islands, enjoy fresh seafood, and experience the town's maritime traditions. Beaufort's history is celebrated through various events and festivals, including the Beaufort Historic Site's Old Homes and Gardens Tour and the Beaufort Pirate Invasion, which pays homage to the town's pirate legacy.
Top Tourist Attractions
Beaufort offers a range of tourist attractions that highlight its rich history, natural beauty, and maritime heritage. Here are some of the top attractions in Beaufort:
- Beaufort Historic District: The Beaufort Historic District is a National Historic Landmark and features well-preserved buildings from different architectural periods. Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour to explore the district's beautiful homes, museums, and historic sites.
- North Carolina Maritime Museum: The North Carolina Maritime Museum is located in Beaufort and provides insights into the region's maritime history and ecosystems. It houses exhibits on boatbuilding, fishing, piracy, and exhibits related to the discovery of Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge.
- Beaufort Historic Site: The Beaufort Historic Site is a collection of nine historic buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Visitors can tour the buildings, which include the Carteret County Courthouse, the Old Burying Ground, and the Leffers Cottage.
- Rachel Carson Reserve: Located just outside Beaufort, the Rachel Carson Reserve is a protected coastal reserve that offers opportunities for nature exploration and wildlife viewing. It encompasses pristine barrier islands, salt marshes, and diverse habitats that are home to various bird species and other wildlife.
- Cape Lookout National Seashore: A short ferry ride away from Beaufort, Cape Lookout National Seashore is a picturesque barrier island with stunning beaches, wild horses, and a historic lighthouse. Visitors can enjoy swimming, shelling, fishing, camping, and climbing the Cape Lookout Lighthouse for panoramic views.
- Shackleford Banks: Shackleford Banks is a barrier island accessible by ferry from Beaufort. The island is known for its population of wild horses, which roam freely. Visitors can enjoy beachcombing, birdwatching, and observing the island's unique ecosystem.
- Beaufort Waterfront: The Beaufort Waterfront is a charming area with a boardwalk and marina, offering scenic views of the harbor and Beaufort Inlet. Visitors can take leisurely strolls, enjoy waterfront dining, and take boat tours to explore the surrounding waters.
- Beaufort Ghost Walk: For those interested in the town's haunted history, the Beaufort Ghost Walk is a popular guided tour that takes visitors on a lantern-lit walk through the historic district, sharing stories of paranormal encounters and local legends.
- Crystal Coast Lady Cruises: Crystal Coast Lady Cruises offers various boat tours departing from Beaufort, including dolphin watching cruises, sunset cruises, and educational cruises that provide insights into the local marine life and ecology.
These are just a few of the top tourist attractions in Beaufort. The town offers a blend of history, natural beauty, and coastal charm, making it an appealing destination for visitors.
Beaufort experiences a humid subtropical climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Here are some key features of Beaufort's climate:
- Mild Winters: Winters in Beaufort are generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from around 40°F (4°C) to 60°F (16°C) during the day. Frost is infrequent, and snowfall is rare, with only occasional light snow showers occurring.
- Warm Springs: Spring in Beaufort brings a gradual increase in temperatures. By late spring, average highs reach the upper 70s°F (around 25°C), and evenings are generally pleasant. It is a popular time for outdoor activities and enjoying the blossoming flora.
- Hot and Humid Summers: Summers in Beaufort are hot and humid. Average daytime temperatures range from the mid-80s°F (around 30°C) to the low 90s°F (around 32-35°C). Heat and humidity are typical, with occasional afternoon thunderstorms providing relief from the heat. It is the peak tourist season, with visitors flocking to the coastal area for beach activities and water sports.
- Active Hurricane Season: Beaufort is located in an area prone to hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30, with the highest likelihood of storms occurring between August and October. It is important for residents and visitors to stay informed and be prepared during this period.
- Mild Autumn: Autumn in Beaufort brings cooler temperatures, making it a pleasant time to visit. Average highs range from the mid-70s°F (around 24°C) to the low 80s°F (around 27°C). The humidity gradually decreases, and the area experiences beautiful fall foliage.
- Ample Precipitation: Beaufort receives a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year. The wettest months are typically July and August, coinciding with the summer thunderstorm season. However, rainfall is spread fairly evenly across the months, and showers can occur throughout the year.
It's important to note that climate patterns can vary from year to year, and extreme weather events can occur. It is advisable to check local weather forecasts and be prepared for changing conditions when visiting Beaufort.
Situated on the Atlantic Ocean, Beaufort is part of the Crystal Coast region. Here are some key geographical features of Beaufort:
- Barrier Islands: Beaufort is surrounded by a chain of barrier islands that provide protection to the mainland from the Atlantic Ocean. These islands include Bogue Banks, Shackleford Banks, and Core Banks. They offer beautiful sandy beaches, dunes, and unique ecosystems.
- Beaufort Inlet: Beaufort is situated near the Beaufort Inlet, which is an important waterway connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Intracoastal Waterway. The inlet serves as an entrance for vessels coming into Beaufort's harbor.
- Rachel Carson Reserve: Just outside of Beaufort, the Rachel Carson Reserve is a coastal reserve that spans several islands and salt marshes. It is known for its diverse ecosystems, including maritime forests, tidal flats, and marsh habitats.
- Crystal Coast: Beaufort is part of the Crystal Coast, a scenic stretch of coastline in North Carolina known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and natural beauty. The area is popular for activities such as swimming, fishing, boating, and water sports.
- Maritime Forests and Wetlands: In addition to its coastal features, Beaufort is surrounded by maritime forests and wetlands. These habitats are home to a variety of plant and animal species, including birds, deer, and marsh vegetation.
- Beaufort Harbor: Beaufort has a picturesque harbor that serves as a hub for boating and maritime activities. The harbor accommodates recreational boats, fishing vessels, and charter boats, providing access to the nearby islands and waters.
- Downtown Waterfront: Beaufort's downtown area is located along the waterfront, offering scenic views of the harbor and the Intracoastal Waterway. The waterfront features a boardwalk, marina, and various shops, restaurants, and accommodations.
- Cape Lookout National Seashore: A short ferry ride away from Beaufort, Cape Lookout National Seashore is a pristine barrier island known for its sandy beaches, dunes, and the historic Cape Lookout Lighthouse. It is part of the larger Outer Banks region.
The geography of Beaufort showcases the beauty of the coastal environment, with its barrier islands, waterways, and natural habitats. These features contribute to Beaufort's appeal as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking a coastal retreat.