Beaufort, North Carolina
While Beaufort, North Carolina is not really a “road less traveled” location and is a fairly well know piece of the inner banks it has so many wonderful things to offer I knew it was important to share this sweet town.
There’s no long packed boardwalk and it’s not loaded with rows of identical souvenir shops but it is overflowing with history, peace and opportunities to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.
When most people say, “We are heading to the beach for the weekend” often they assume you’re heading to Myrtle Beach but my heart is in Beaufort. So much so I’ve looked at small homes to purchase in the area. That was until I met this man!
Friends, this is the pirate that led us on our very entertaining ghost tour on our first night. As a “boy mom” anything ghost and pirate related was high on the list of things we knew we couldn’t leave town without experiencing. We reserved our tour spots with Beaufort Ghost Walk and we were ready to go. This will be the only time this flip flop loving girl will tell you this. Put the flip-flops up and put on sneakers. It’s a long walk and honestly, it can be a little chilly at night along the water. Your feet will thank you!
We toured the town and listened to all his wonderful stories and learned so much about the history of Beaufort. Two stuck out above all the others. The famous pirate Black Beard and the Old Burying Grounds.
We are a history loving family so these caught our attention most during the tour. A story that was more than just a story it was real life proven history. I also happen to be a genealogy buff and confess I spend more time than I’d care to admit in graveyards looking for dates and information to confirm and complete family histories for people. This one, however, gets me every time I walk into it. With that said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share with you this story of this sweet girl.
Her headstone reads, “Little Girl Buried in Rum Keg”. At all times her stones and markers are covered with shells, dolls, coin purses and other treats a little girl would love left by visitors. The little girl along with her English family lived in Beaufort in the 1700s. It was her dream to go back and explore her homeland and with some persuasion by her and promises by her father to bring her home safely to Beaufort her mother agreed to allow her to accompany him on a trip. On the journey home, she passed away from a disease that would have forced her to be buried at sea. However, unable to stand that fate for his daughter or break his promise to his wife he put her in a barrel of rum and brought her home to Beaufort for burial. Now clearly this is the short version of the story told and with a quick Google, you’ll be able to find additional information on this little angel.
We also learned of Black Beards home now called the Hammock House. It sits back from the water now but during his time was at the water’s edge. We learned of screams of past loves, blood stains on the stairs and floors that always come back and strange lights in the window. The Hammock House has had a long history beyond Black Beard and often was just the home of private owners. It’s fascinating to see but I would caution you to be respectful of its owners past and present if you go exploring.
The plague to the left of the door can be seen all over town not just here at the Hammock House. They signify the historic homes in the town. You can learn additional information about the history of Beaufort on the website Beaufort Historic Site.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “What does that pirate who led the walking tour have to do with her no longer looking for property?” I’m a chicken folks! I like sharing my home with the living and if I ever woke up to the sound of a peg leg on the wooden floor I’d be a hot mess. I think I stick to the rentals on Radio Island!
The next day we made sure to drop into the Maritime Museum on Front Street. It’s fully loaded with fascinating nautical history and is currently home to artifacts that are being salvaged from Black Beards Ship Queen Anne’s Revenge located in 1996 a little over a mile from Fort Macon. It was just amazing to see gold dust, plates, tools, cannons and other artifacts from the wreckage. The museum is free and an absolute must see!
After the museum, we walked down Front Street toward the docks. We awed over all the yachts. I say yacht because clearly, they were not your average fishing vessels.
We enjoyed some unique shops before stopping at our car to pick up our beach bags and the little cooler with our lunch packed in it. We found the dock for Island Ferry Adventures and settled in to wait for our ferry. Island Ferry Adventures has many options but we chose the short trip across the water to Bird Shoals. It was peaceful, no crowds and it allowed for so much exploration. Before dropping us off on our side of the island the ferry made a quick stop on Carrot Island where some of our fellow passengers were off on a treasure hunt with this guy.
Once we hit our side of the island we settled in and had some lunch before all the snorkel gear came out and I lost the boys to the water for a few hours. I set my chair on the edge of the water while they swam around and dug my hands in looking for sand dollars. It’s amazing how they are laying just under the surface. It was such a soul-restoring afternoon watching my family enjoy each other’s company, throw a football around, dig around in the sand and enjoy the beauty of our surroundings and not one person complained about the lack of their phone, internet or game system.
Our time in Beaufort came and went too quickly but we are looking forward to getting back and exploring more of the area soon. We learned a lot and enjoyed ourselves and each other greatly. One thing I learned on our last night in town was this.
My favorite memories are those that don’t need a filter to look perfect….they just are.