A few weekends ago, David and I decided to take a weekend trip down to Beaufort, NC. Beaufort is the third-oldest town in North Carolina and located right on Beaufort Inlet, leading out to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s long been one of my favorite towns in North Carolina, yet I hadn’t been back in town since my early 20s! I always prefer coastal towns in late winter or the fall because it’s still beautiful and there is less traffic. We lucked up with a gorgeous late February weekend with warm, sunny weather and no wait at local establishments. Here are the best things to do in Beaufort, NC in 48 hours!
Weekend Travel: The Best Things to Do in Beaufort NC in 48 Hours
Things to Do in Beaufort, NC: Where to Eat
34° North Restaurant
David and I got to Beaufort a bit later than we anticipated thanks to a pretty intense line of storms, so we were grateful for such a delicious option at our hotel. The restaurant has a beautiful, coastal interior plus outdoor seating options on the back porch. I ordered the scallops and a wedge salad while David ordered the burger with a side of macaroni and cheese. It was the perfect meal to welcome us to our weekend away. 34° North also offers an excellent brunch menu as well!
Located at 2440 Lennoxville Rd, Beaufort, NC
This spot is a great, local spot for breakfast. I ordered the bacon, egg, and cheese bagel with hash browns. David got their special with 2 pancakes, 2 eggs, and 2 links of sausage so we felt well fueled and ready to take on the day of exploring.
Located at 817 Cedar St, Beaufort, NC
Beaufort Grocery is an iconic bistro located right outside of the historic district. Their patio is one of my favorite spots to dine and it was such a gorgeous afternoon with a taste of spring. David ordered the No. 2, which is a shaved turkey sandwich with roasted red pepper, goat cheese, peach-Vidalia onion relish, bacon, and local greens on whole wheat Focaccia. I ordered the No. 6 which is their catch of the day, which was Mahi that day, and it came served over greens. It’s also a great spot for a more upscale dinner spot.
Located at 117 Queen St, Beaufort, NC
One of my all-time favorite spots in Beaufort is Clawson’s. It’s really an establishment and has something for everyone on the menu. I always order their crab cake sandwich while David ordered their Southern Chicken Sandwich. Be sure to check out the history of the restaurant and take in all of the memorabilia in the restaurant!
Located at 425 Front St, Beaufort, NC
On our way out of town, David and I made our way back towards to waterfront for breakfast from Cru. Their coffee is delicious (I ordered a latte) and I loved this everything bagel breakfast sandwich. Important to note, I’m not a huge breakfast fan, so there’s a reason I had a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sammie two days in a row. David ordered a southwestern breakfast burrito. On our next trip back, I’d for sure stop here for a glass of wine, too! It’s adorable!
Located at 120 Turner St, Beaufort, NC
We will definitely be heading back for Moonrakers! They have a rooftop bar that is opening for the season soon and double back porches overlooking Taylor’s Creek. I highly recommend making reservations in advance, even if you visit during an off season.
Aqua Restaurant has been serving up fresh, local food since 2003 and has a great wine list. It’s a must-dine at spot!
Things to Do in Beaufort, NC: What to See & Do
Browse the Shops in Historic Downtown Beaufort
The waterfront and its side streets have so many cute shops and is a great way to support small businesses by shopping local. Some of my favorites include Beaufort Linen Co., Island Traders, and Jarrett Bay. At Beaufort Linen Co., you will find all of Kristy Woodson Harvey’s books for sale. Her next book goes on sale in April, but you can go ahead pre-order here. You’ll see it pictured later in this post.
Stroll the Waterfront & Sit a Spell
With Beaufort being the 3rd oldest town in North Carolina, there is some stunning architecture in place. David and I walked along the water front after our breakfast. He even got to see wild horses over on Radio Island. We took a bit of time to sit and watch the boats coming in and out of Beaufort Inlet, too. There are great community spots for taking it all in, including benches at the end of Front Street.
Explore the Beaufort Historic Site
There is a so much to learn while visiting Beaufort Historic Site including the Old Burying Ground, Purvis Chapel, Hammock House, and much more. It’s also a great way to be outdoors and enjoy exploring the town as well. There are guided tours available year round with social distancing procedures, so don’t forget your mask!
Located at 130 Turner St, Beaufort, NC
Visit the NC Maritime Museum
The museum includes information and artifacts to interpret coastal life including lighthouses, life saving stations, boatbuilding, the seafood industry and more. It also reflects artifacts found from Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. Admission is free and is a great spot to learn more about the significance coastal towns like Beaufort had, and continue to have, on the North Carolina economy.
Located at 315 Front St, Beaufort, NC
Try a Local Brew at Fishtowne Brew House
Fishtowne Brewery opened in 2017 and is right across the street from the Beaufort Visitor’s Center & Historic Site. They have 12 great beers on tap and a wine list as well! They have this side seating plus a front patio that is built using the heart pine that was in the original building.
Located at 133 B Turner St, Beaufort, NC
Be sure to check out Olde Beaufort Farmers Market on Saturdays which is opening for the season on April 17 at the Courthouse Square.
On our next visit back, we plan on doing a sunset cruise so David can see Cape Lookout. If you’ve never been on the water here, I definitely recommend a tour of the Rachel Carson Preserve or a catamaran tour to experience the beautiful waterways here.
Things to Do in Beaufort, NC: Where to Stay
David and I stayed at the Beaufort Hotel, which opened its doors in 2019. It’s a beautiful, bright, airy space and the property offers some stunning views. There is ample of outdoor seating, including on the side porches, around the fire pit, and on the dock. Our room overlooked the pool and had a view of Taylor’s Creek, too. I highly recommend a stay here as a place to relax and recharge no matter the season!
P.S. I packed this lounge set that I picked up from Amazon recently. It’s such a lightweight and soft set!
Don’t forget to follow along on my 100 county tour across North Carolina this year here and on Instagram with #ift100counties.
Which of these things to do in Beaufort NC look the most fun to you?
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Kristy Woodson harvey says
I love this SO much!! Thanks a million for the shout out. So glad you had fun on your trip. It was such a gorgeous weekend here. xoxo Kristy