23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Beaufort (NC)

Beaufort is located in North Carolina State and is the county seat of Carteret County in the United States.

This beautiful city was founded in 1713 and was officially incorporated in 1723, making it the fourth oldest city in the state.

Renowned for its unique features and hospitality, Beaufort was rated on the 1st of February, 2012 by Budget Travel Magazine as “America’s Coolest Small Town.”

If you’re a maritime fanatic, Beaufort offers you lots of chances to truly explore the fascinating history of the city’s maritime.

Beaufort offers you an eclectic mix of attractions which includes Rachel Carson Reserve, Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge, Fishtowne Brew House, Cru Wine Bar & Beaufort Coffee Shop, Mattie King Davis Art Gallery, and more.

Whenever you decide to visit the city of Beaufort, brace up and get ready to have fun through the beautiful things available.  

Let’s explore the top things to do in Beaufort, NC.

Things to Do in Beaufort, NC

1. Rachel Carson Reserve

Rachel Carson Reserve
Credits: Dennis W Donohue / Shutterstock
Rachel Carson Reserve

Are you a nature enthusiast? If yes, then you’re in the right city; add a visit to the Rachel Carson Reserve to your list of things to do in Beaufort.

The Rachel Carson Reserve consists of a massive assortment of coastal regions in North Carolina created to conserve the area’s natural beauty.

The reserve stretches over two thousand, three hundred and fifteen acres featuring a collection of rivers as well as Newport and North Carolina.

This is an excellent place for several outdoor activities such as kayaking, bird watching, hiking, and many more.

The Rachel Carson Reserve is home to various wildlife, including wild horses wandering the shoreline. You can access the reserve by water taxi or ferry.

There are beautiful points that display towering sand dunes with varying degrees of landscape and maritime forests.

Address: Front Street, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, United States

2. North Carolina Maritime Museum

North Carolina Maritime Museum
Credits: sf-dvs / Flickr
North Carolina Maritime Museum

North Carolina Maritime Museum is a must-visit attraction that educates visitors about the history of the state’s maritime.

The Museum showcases intriguing exhibits, including boat equipment, lighthouses, shipwrecks, oyster catching, and more.

There is a boat shed that features tons of hand vessels; you get to learn more about how the model ship is made through the series of collections displayed.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum offers a variety of events throughout the year, including sailing programs, whale watching tours, and pirate movies.

The Museum overlooks Harborside park offering visitors picturesque views of the waterfront. For those interested in maritime history do well to visit.

Address: 315 Front Street, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, United States

3. Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge

Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge
Credits: Michael Sean OLeary / Shutterstock

Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge extends across fourteen thousand, four hundred and eighty acres of land.

The National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Pamlico Sound’s edge featuring several forested lands and marshes.

The region is popular for its Cypress Gum Swamp and Bay Forest, which attracts hundreds of visitors from different parts of the country.

Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge features numerous waterfowl species only during winter, so bird lovers will definitely love it here.

You can walk through the different trails, which travel across several varieties of pond pine, saltmeadow hay, otters, gray squirrels, foxes, and more.

Address: Cedar Island, North Carolina 28520, United States

4. The Blackbeard’s Grill and Steambar

Blackbeard's Grill and Steambar
Credits: Blackbeard’s Grill & Steam Bar / Facebook
Blackbeard’s Grill & Steam Bar

The Blackbeard’s Grill and Steambar is a family-owned and operated restaurant & bar that attracts numerous families seeking an amazing dining experience.

They serve mouthwatering cuisine in a gorgeous and nicely designed setting for premium enjoyment and comfortability.

All the meals served in the restaurant were properly prepared with some unique twists through their professional chef, who is concerned with designing menus using only local ingredients.

The Blackbeard’s Grill and Steambar offer you delectable meals that will make you return for more.

Some meals served include Haystack Onion Rings, Kracken Calamari, Fried Soft-shell Crab, Barbados Burger, Chicken Tenders, Mary’s Favorite Chop, Becky’s Famous Crab Cakes, Grilled Shrimp & Bisque, Blackened Red Fish, and more.

The Blackbeard’s Grill and Steambar staff is friendly and welcoming, offering customers the most outstanding service.

Address: 1644 Live Oak St, Beaufort, NC 28516, United States

5. Olde Beaufort Farmers Market

Olde Beaufort Farmers Market
Credits: Ary Acevedo / Shutterstock

This is for those who want to shop for fresh farm produce and other quality items in Beaufort; the Olde Beaufort Farmers Market is the best place for you.

Visiting the Olde Beaufort Farmers Market should be on your list of things to do in Beaufort, as there are different items from various vendors.

The Olde Beaufort Farmers Market comprises more than forty merchants, including artisans, farmers, and bakers.

Most of the items sold here are locally sourced or made with hands to promote local business owners and farmers.

Olde Beaufort Farmers Market features food trucks where you can enjoy some delicious traditional meals.

You also get to enjoy the mind blowing live music performances organized every week, while during the winter season, you can shop for Christmas goodies at the old fashioned holiday market.

Address: 300 Courthouse Square, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, United States

6. Escape Lookout Games

Escape Lookout Games
Credits: Reddogs / Shutterstock

Anytime you want to have an exciting family and friends hang out, visiting Escape Lookout Games is one of the best things to do in Beaufort.

Escape Lookout Games always offers visitors something new and fresh that they never anticipated.

You get to search for clues & ideas and also attempt to solve riddles or puzzles spread throughout the escape room.

This game lasts approximately sixty minutes, so you and your team need to work fast and smart to beat the timeline.

Escape Lookout Games offers rooms with different themes and storylines, including a theme where you have to uncover a secret as a Detective.

This is a great place for several events, including friends’ night out, family gatherings, couples’ dates, corporate events, and more.

Address: 108 Middle Ln, Beaufort, NC 28516, United States

7. Fishtowne Brew House

Fishtowne Brew House
Credits: givaga / Shutterstock

The Fishtowne Brew House is housed in an historic restaurant and store from the 1940s, which was recently renovated in 2017.

The building was renovated to restore its lost glory with many upgrades and modernization while retaining its historical values.

This brew house comprises large stainless steel, wood paneling, a colorful concrete wall, and a spacious outdoor patio.

The Fishtowne Brew House offers guests twelve beers on tap to pick from, such as Belgian wit, pale ale, and IPA.

You also get to enjoy the beautiful music being played while sipping from your beer bottle, plus the fresh pita chips offered.

Address: 133 Turner Street, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, United States

8. Fishtowne Brew House

Fishtowne Brew House is housed in an ancient building with a narrow interior space and concrete block floor, and walls covered with paint.

Although the room is packed with lots of brewing equipment, there are also tables placed closed to the brewing section for patrons to sit and enjoy the freshly brewed drinks.

There are TVs in the bars where guests can follow up on some live football games and other exciting sports.

Fishtowne Brew House offers various drinks, including Belgian Saisons, Belgian Pale, Belgian Wit, and Belgian Triple.

The building they occupy was acquired in 2017 and subjected to a series of renovations with a comfortable outdoor patio.

They offer twelve beers on tap, which consists of the all time favorites, guests, and seasonal beers obtained from other breweries in Carteret County.

Address: 133B Turner St, Beaufort, NC 28516-2138 United States

Also check out our checklist of fun things to do in West Jeffersonthings to do in Black Mountain, and fun things to do in Gastonia, if you are planning a road trip.

9. Beaufort Grocery Company

Beaufort Grocery Company
Credits: Beaufort Grocery Company / Facebook
Beaufort Grocery Company

If you’re looking for a place to take you on a culinary journey, add a visit to Beaufort Grocery Company to your Beaufort things to do list.

Charles Park established Beaufort Grocery Company in 1991, an individual who studied at the Culinary Institute of America.

The company has gradually become a favorite place for many families and friends due to the impressive food menu served.

They offer meals like ms Abby’s Crabby Sandwich, Roasted Rack of Lamb, Flash Fried Flounder, scallops & shrimp, Sweet Potato Chips, Charles’s Cranky Crab Sandwiches, Apple Granny, and more.

Beaufort Grocery Company is open for lunch and dinner six days a week, and you can decide to sit indoors or outdoors.

Address: 117 Queen Street, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, United States

10. 34° North Restaurant

34 Degrees North Restaurant
Credits: 34 Degrees North Restaurant / Facebook
34 Degrees North Restaurant

Dining with your family and friends at 34° North Restaurant is one of the best things to do in the city of Beaufort.

34° North Restaurant is a seafood restaurant that helps share the importance of the fishing industry to the evolution of the city through the beautiful decorations and food.

This is one of the major food spots in the state that is dedicated to using several means in reducing ocean pollution and conserving the environment.

As a waterfront restaurant, it offers incredible views of the Rachel Carson Reserve while you enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

34° North Restaurant offers a food menu featuring meals like Mahi Mahi Tacos, Parmesan Risotto, Pan Seared Grouper, Southern Fried Chicken sandwiches, Creme Brulee Cheesecake, Grilled Blackened Mahi over Black rice, and more.

They also offer an extensive collection of beer, cocktails, and wines for customers to choose from, plus a cozy lounge area.

Address: 2440 Lennoxville Road, Beaufort, North Carolina, United States

11. The Backstreet Pub

Backstreet Pub
Credits: Shyripa Alexandr / Shutterstock

After a long day of exploration, all you need is a place to unwind, add a visit to the Backstreet Pub to your list of things to do in Beaufort.

The Backstreet Pub is the most lively, energetic, and exciting bar in the region, usually attracting hundreds of people.

The bar is located in an ancient building formerly used as a bakery; it is very popular among sailors, with lots of memorabilia covering the walls.

The local bar is open to everyone who would like to enjoy a chilled bottle of beer, including locals and visitors.

For that amazing outing with your family and friends, make sure you visit the Backstreet Pub and be sure of having a good time.

Address: 124 Middle Ln, Beaufort, NC 28516, United States

12. The Front Street

 Front Street
Credits: Stephen B. Goodwin / Shutterstock
Front Street

One of the most beautiful places in Beaufort is the Front Street, which offers amazing views of the waterfront.

The Front Street is packed with various gorgeous businesses, including restaurants, boutiques, and cafes.

Take a stroll down the street, sink into the gorgeous environment and enjoy the views offered by natural resources.

Stop by some stores and boutiques to shop for handcrafted souvenirs, clothing, unique gifts, and more for yourself or your loved ones.

Address: Front St, Beaufort, NC 28516, United States

13. The Beaufort Club

Beaufort Club
Credits: Mr.Somchai Sukkasem / Shutterstock

The Beaufort Club is a standard golf course in Beaufort that has been rated as one of the top 18-hole golf courses designed by Bob Moore.

As a semi-private golf club, people are invited to come and have a wonderful experience, consisting of a driving range and a recently added clubhouse.

The incredible views of the super natural surroundings filled with lots of natural resources will blow your mind.

The Beaufort Club features well designed putting greens, and bent grass greens with five tees sets for players to enjoy.

This unique golf course consists of well paved nature trails and a large pool open to all the club members.

There is a 19th hole bar and lounge featuring a full-service bar, outdoor patio, and a dining area where visitors can drink and dine before or after playing.

The Beaufort Club is also a great venue for small and large parties providing every equipment needed for every event.

Address: 300 Links Drive, Beaufort, NC 28516 United States

14. Beaufort Historic Site

 Beaufort Historic Site
Credits: Joseph Creamer / Shutterstock
Beaufort Historic Site

Indeed, your list of things to do in Beaufort wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Beaufort Historic Site.

Beaufort Historic Site takes you on a journey through its rich history dating back three hundred years old.

This is a region of two acres filled with ten buildings, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Six of these buildings have been thoroughly refurbished by the Beaufort Historical Association to restore their faded beauty.

Beaufort Historic Site features John C Manson House, Cottagee & Garden, the Josiah Bell House, the Carteret County Courthouse, Old Burying Ground, and more.

These buildings houses an extensive collection of antiques and artifacts, including authentic furnishings. In addition, Beaufort Historic Site offers a wide variety of programs, tours, and activities all year round.

Address: 130 Turner St, Beaufort, NC 28516, United States

15. Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant

Clawson's 1905 Restaurant
Credits: Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant & Pub / Facebook
Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant

In Beaufort city, there is an assortment of restaurants where you can dine, and Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant is one of them.

Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant officially opened its doors to the public in the early 1900s by Charles and Mary Clawson, immigrants from Swedish and Irish.

It was initially built as a grocery store before it was sold out to Bill and Candy Rogers in the 1970s; since then, the store has been functioning as a restaurant.

The fascinating history of the restaurant still lives on, and it’s still celebrated even after changing ownership a couple of times.

Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant has a menu featuring Shrimp Scampi, Buffalo shrimp, fried shrimp, Blowing Rock Burger, fish & chips, Chicken Wings w Blue Cheese, Macaroni and Cheese with Pulled Pork, and more.

They also offer a large list of beers, cocktails, and wines, including Buckshot Amber, Old Fort Black IPA, Coney Island Hard Rootbeer, Mother Earth Weeping Willow Wit, and so on.

Address: 425 Front Street, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, United States

North Carolina holds some cool attractions and activities, check out our guides on things to do in Mt. Airythings to do in Wake Forest as well as things to do in Waynesville for a memorable time here.

16. Mattie King Davis Art Gallery

Mattie King Davis Art Gallery
Credits: guruXOX / Shutterstock

Mattie King Davis Art Gallery is known as the oldest and most vibrant art gallery in the whole of Carteret County.

So if you’re an art lover visiting Mattie King Davis Art Gallery should be on your list of things to do in Beaufort, and get ready to be blown away.

The art gallery houses a massive collection of masterpieces made by talented local and regional artists, including International artists.

There are several beautiful artworks such as watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings, including weaving and pottery.

Mattie King Davis Art Gallery showcases gorgeous handcrafted jewelry, glass, gift cards, and many more.

Mattie King Davis Art Gallery offers intriguing workshops and programs organized regularly, do well to purchase some of the artworks that catch your attention.

Address: 100 Block Turner Street Beaufort, North Carolina 28516 United States

17. Cru Wine Bar & Beaufort Coffee Shop

Cru Wine Bar & Beaufort Coffee Shop
Credits: natchaporing / Shutterstock

They say coffee is one of the best things to start your day with, but a delicious cup of coffee will leave you feeling relaxed.

Cru Wine Bar & Beaufort Coffee Shop is housed in an ancient building that was used as the maritime history museum of the town, a grocery store, and then a market.

The restaurant offers a casual setting with a vibrant and laid-back atmosphere for visitors to have a great dining experience.

They offer meals like a veggie wrap, breakfast flatbread, Blt, lox bagel, artisan cheese plate, bagel & cream cheese, southwest burrito, sandwiches, and more.

Cru Wine Bar & Beaufort Coffee Shop offers a wide range of drinks, including cappuccino, iced tea, red-eye, Italian drink, Americano, iced blended coffees, hot chocolate, and more.

Address: 120 Turner Street, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, United States

2. Historic Downtown Beaufort

Historic Downtown Beaufort
Credits: Stephen B. Goodwin / Shutterstock
Historic Downtown Beaufort

Are you ready to truly feel the buzz and culture of Beaufort city? Then, do well to visit the scenic Historic Downtown Beaufort.

Historic Downtown Beaufort is one of the most popular places to visit in the town, especially amongst tourists.

The region is filled with history and is referred to as a place that brings the city to life by featuring many exciting attractions.

There is a large number of fantastic shops and restaurants that offer a wide variety of commodities, services, and dining options.

Historic Downtown Beaufort is a region packed with attractions, including galleries, theatre, parks, and more.

19. Harvey W.Smith Watercraft Center

Harvey W.Smith Watercraft Center
Credits: Susan Smith / Flickr
Harvey W.Smith Watercraft Center

Harvey W.Smith Watercraft Center is the number one center where you learn more about the rich history of the city’s maritime.

You get to watch the processes involved in building a boat here with the rustic smell of wood and construction sounds that embraces you.

The center offers an exceptional experience as it focuses on bringing the past of the city’s maritime back to life.

Harvey W.Smith Watercraft Center allows you to see closely a craft that dates back to the ancient days with an illustration of how they are framed to their final appearance.

The center offers numerous courses on boat construction which are open to everyone, irrespective of their skill level or age.

This is also a place that showcases the skill and art behind the traditional boat construction and its builders.

Address; 326 Front St, Beaufort, NC 28516, United States

20. Beaufort Historic Site Old Burying Ground

Beaufort Historic Site Old Burying Ground
Credits: Gerry Dincher / Flickr
Beaufort Historic Site Old Burying Ground

If you’re looking for a peaceful place to reflect, visiting Beaufort Historic Site Old Burying Ground is one of the best things to do in Beaufort.

Beaufort Historic Site Old Burying Ground is said to have existed since the early 1700s and has served as a final resting place for many persons.

More than two hundred people have been buried here, featuring ancient graves with wood, shells, and stone.

You will find graves made of bricks which were constructed to serve as protection to avoid them being damaged by animals.

Beaufort Historic Site Old Burying Ground is also the resting place for a naval Captain, who was reportedly buried with cannons obtained from his ship.

The burial ground is open for a tour of the grounds, which can be led by a tour guide upon request or by yourself if you wish.

Address: 400 Ann Street, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, United States

21. Taylor’s Creek

Taylor’s Creek
Credits: Popartic / Shutterstock

Taylor’s Creek is a must-visit location in Beaufort as one of the most beautiful attractions and is easily accessible by the public.

This water body goes along the front street in the downtown region, separating the center of Beaufort from the Rachel Carson Reserve.

The Creek features many local businesses offering kayaks for rentals located a few yards from the water bank.

Taylor’s Creek is open for kayaking tours launch, making it an excellent place for kayaking with your family and friends.

The creek is slim, gentle, and shallow, making it an excellent place for amateur and professional paddlers.

22. The Beaufort Ghost Walk

Are you a fan of scary activities, and you’re searching for something fun and thrilling, joining a ghost tour is one of the best things to do in Beaufort.

This is also a more exciting way to discover the city’s hidden history, which you probably never heard of.

The Beaufort Ghost Walk takes visitors on ghost tours and walks to different parts of the town through the streets which Blackbeard formed several years ago.

You will be captivated as your tour guide takes you on the path of history through numerous supernatural stories of haunted houses, Civil War ghosts, Beaufort’s history, and ghost ships.

These tours and ghost walk bring hundreds of visitors, including spouses, friends groups, and families, to the city every year.

The Beaufort Ghost Walk offers tour guides who are highly knowledgeable and friendly, making it seem as though visitors are transported back to the era when it was all happening.

23. Shackleford Banks

 Shackleford Banks
Credits: Kim McGrew / Shutterstock
Shackleford Banks

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or not, add a visit to Shackleford Banks to your list of things to do in Beaufort.

Shackleford Banks is a place every nature enthusiast will love when they visit the town.

This is a refuge for more than one hundred wild horses, although it is still unknown how the “Banker horses” came to the area.

It is said that the horses originate from the generations of Spanish Mustangs after surviving a shipwreck. Here you have the opportunity to see some wild horses roaming around.

Shackleford Banks is a barrier island of 8.5 miles long and one of the three parts of the Cape Lookout National Seashore.

You can access this island through a passenger ferry or boat; it is highly advised that you start far from the wild horses to avoid any damage.

Address: 600 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516 United States

Want more of North Carolina? do check out our list of things to do in Pinehurstthings to do in Frisco, and things to do in Mooresville for a memorable vacation.

Plan your Trip to Beaufort

Beaufort should be the first city to come to mind whenever you want to embark on a vacation trip to North Carolina.

The beautiful City offers you an amazing experience whether you’re visiting alone, or with your family and friends.

There is no better souvenir than beautiful pictures, so make sure you come with your camera.