Spend the day in North Carolina’s third oldest town that lies on the coast bordering the southern tip of the Outer Banks, 3 hours north of St. James. Beaufort may be small but offers so many ways to spend the day so this trip begins with a Double-Decker bus tour to get acquainted with the history and architectural gems in the historic district. Following the tour, enjoy lunch and browsing the unique shops and art galleries along the waterfront. History lovers will enjoy time in the Maritime Museum rich with coastal exhibits such as artifacts from the wreck of Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. An optional afternoon Nature Cruise of the Rachel Carson Reserve will be offered with the focus on searching for wild horses and dolphin.
If we experience bad weather and you can't enjoy the cruise, there will be a total refund. If you sign up for the cruise, please indicate your time preference of 2:15 or 3:15. Each cruise is limited to 16 passengers.
7:30am - An early morning departure from the Seaside Club Parking lot is best so that we can enjoy all that Beaufort has to offer. This is a straight drive north along the coast and should take us approximately 3 hours. There is a bathroom on the bus, but once we arrive in Beaufort we have a bathroom break before boarding the vintage English Double-Decker bus for our 45 minute narrated tour by one of Beaufort's entertaining and knowledgeable costumed interpreters. The stories are an enjoyable blend of fact and legend as we tour the historic district once home to patriots, privateers, merchants and skilled craftsmen who built Bahamian and West Indian style homes.
Following our orientation to Beaufort on the Double-Decker bus, you have the opportunity to choose how you will enjoy the remainder of the day. There are many restaurants to enjoy on the waterfront. Shopping is plentiful with a combination of art galleries, antique shops and shops selling southern culture and the boating life. I loved the Scuttlebutt Nautical Books & Bounty shop. The Maritime Museum is Free and quite a gem! I particularly found the exhibit on the abundance of shipwrecks along the North Carolina waters including Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge fascinating! Part of the Museum includes a Wooden Boat Museum where you can watch local boat builders at work. The New Deal Federal Arts Program murals in the Post Office depicting local life and history are worth a peek too during your visit. The murals are rare and were commissioned by Russian painter, Simka Simkhovitch.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to occupy your time on land but if you prefer to join the search for wild horses and dolphin by water, sign up for one of the Water Bug Nature Cruises.
At 2:15 or 3:15 you have the option of joining a 45 minute narrated cruise of Taylor's Creek which is the deep body of water bordering Beaufort's waterfront. This water is home to dolphin, sailors from around the world and wild horses on the banks of the Rachel Carson Reserve, also located on Taylor's Creek. Many days there are horse and dolphin sightings (I was able to see both during my visit) but even if you are not so lucky, the views and Captain's narration of the Nature Reserve, boats anchored from around the world (ranging from modest to multi-million dollar boats) and the elegant homes and historic buildings on this panoramic cruise are worth it. The cruise is enjoyed on a 16 passenger Shaded Captain's Launch.
4:30 - Departure for St. James. Snacks provided for the trip home and BYOB of any variety is welcome.