What a neat little town! Despite having lived most of our lives within the Carolinas, we had never taken the opportunity to visit Beaufort, NC. We just completed a too-brief 3-day visit, and our only regret is that we did not “discover” Beaufort long ago. Very much a boating town, Beaufort has managed to avoid the atmosphere and pace typically found in tourist destinations. The downtown Front Street area is also nicely compact, lending itself to leaving the car parked during most of our visit, which suited us perfectly. The primary goal of this trip was rest & relaxation, and Beaufort proved to be a great choice.
We stayed at the Pecan Tree Inn, a very pleasant 7-room B&B located just a 1/2 block from Front Street. It is convenient to the waterfront, restaurants and shops, and our room was very comfortable. The innkeeper does his own baking for the delicious continental breakfast served each morning. It also offers three outdoor porches suited for serious relaxation. We look forward to staying with them again, and recommend it highly.
Dining – In choosing restaurants, we placed a premium on views, consequently passing up several of the more highly regarded restaurants. Regardless, we had an exceptionally delicious dinner, along with a $$ million view at Spouter Inn. My tuna steak may have been one of the best I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant. The outdoor patio overlooking Taylor’s Creek is covered with a tin roof which provided relaxing "dinner music" when a light early-evening shower popped up. We had an excellent lunch at Front Street Grill, but thought their dinner menu was pricey. We also ate one evening at Clawson’s. While it wasn’t bad, we probably would not do that again. Boardwalk Café was an enjoyable place to grab a light meal, but a little over-priced for what you got. Still, their view of the water and docks, along with the covered open-air tables, was probably worth the premium.
Nite Life – We did not find a lot of it, but the Dock House had live music each night, and drew a good-sized crowd on the boardwalk. Our best find was the roof-top patio at Finz Grill. Out of the way and not advertised, they had an enjoyable duo performing for the handful of folks who found their way up there. No wait staff on the roof, so whenever it was time for more refreshment, you simply wandered down to the bar. A funky approach, appreciated by one who is accustomed to waitresses constantly pushing more drinks.
Attractions – Our primary attractions were the waterfront cafes as well as serious porch time with a good book. We enjoyed plenty of both. Other recommendations include an excellent maritime museum in Beaufort and a leisurely stroll thru Beaufort’s Old Burying Ground. Both are free (accepting donations) and well worth the time we spent there. The NC Aquarium at Pine Knolls Shore may be the best $8 I’ve ever spent. We were blown away by the sophistication of their tanks and marine life, and by the excellent presentation of ecologically important information. Their volunteer staff was very knowledgeable and anxious to answer any questions. Anyone who has never visited is missing a real treat.
Overall, it was a great visit, and we look forward to doing it again soon.