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Overview

Just south of North Carolina's Outer Banks is an area called the Crystal Coast, which emanates around Beaufort (pronounced bo-fort), a historic fishing town with lots of good architecture and fun activities, including the Beaufort Music Festival in May. Sandwiched by the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, Beaufort is all about water. Sailing, fishing, kayaking, beachcombing — there's something for everyone. The nearby Cape Lookout National Seashore is a haven for nesting turtles and seabirds and known for the gorgeous Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Other towns under the Crystal Coast umbrella include Morehead City (a hotspot for scuba ...

Just south of North Carolina's Outer Banks is an area called the Crystal Coast, which emanates around Beaufort (pronounced bo-fort), a historic fishing town with lots of good architecture and fun activities, including the Beaufort Music Festival in May. Sandwiched by the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, Beaufort is all about water. Sailing, fishing, kayaking, beachcombing — there's something for everyone. The nearby Cape Lookout National Seashore is a haven for nesting turtles and seabirds and known for the gorgeous Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Other towns under the Crystal Coast umbrella include Morehead City (a hotspot for scuba wreck divers), Pine Knoll Shores (home to the excellent North Carolina Aquarium) and Atlantic Beach (great beaches and Fort Macon State Park). Accommodations in Beaufort are plentiful and moderately priced. Many people also opt to camp at area campgrounds.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer and fall