Located at the southern end of the Outer Banks, this town (pronounced BO-fort, population 4,189) satisfies outdoor enthusiasts with endless beach activities.
“In summer, it’s not unusual to see more people riding bikes than in cars,” says city planner Kyle Garner.
Your view is: horses grazing on Rachel Carson Reserve with dolphins swimming in Taylor’s Creek. Cape Lookout National Seashore is at the southern tip of the Outer Banks and can be seen across Back Sound.
2 of 3Photographer Gary Clark
Your Main Street Has:
The Cru Wine Bar, Blue Moon Bistro, tapas at Aqua, Royal James Cafe (great burgers!), Rocking Chair Book Store, and North Carolina Maritime Museum.
Your favorite restaurant could be: The Beaufort Grocery Company for local produce and fresh seafood. (Open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.)
Your neighbors are: a diverse mix. Given Beaufort’s location on the mid-Atlantic, your neighbor might be a retired CEO, part of a local family that can trace back 200 years, a schoolteacher, a former round-the-world sailor, an artist, or a marine scientist.
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Stay a week: The Inlet Inn on Front Street has water views and private porches. Rates start at $95; 800/554-5466 or inlet-inn.com.