Who said you couldn't experience a little of England without being in England?
Beaufort is filled with history. Many of its houses date back to the 1700's. The residents of these houses are required to keep the exterior looking as they did back when they were first built. This means that a lot of houses are painted white.
One of this house's residents was Jacob Henry, the first Jewish member of N.C. Legislature. He lived here in the 1800's.
The Sloo House (1708)
Owins-Bedford House (1730)
A myth that still persists is that Blackbeard lived in this house. Even if it isn't true, the house is still beautiful.
After the bus tour, I decided to have lunch at the Spouter Inn. Besides being on the waterfront, it had delicious food.
The outside of Spouter Inn
The view wasn't bad either.
Gumbo with cheese toast
They also had amazing pastries!
As I mentioned in my previous blog, my second day in Beaufort was focused on the wild horses that inhabit the islands nearby. Beaufort has several small islands within boating distance. Carrot Island and Shackleford Banks are the most well known for their horses. Shackleford Banks' wild horses are descendants of Spanish horses who survived shipwrecks. Carrot Island's horses are wild horses from the Rachel Carson Reserve who have lived on the island since the 1950's. Both islands encourage visitors to walk around and experience the wild horses up close.
Unfortunately because of the government shutdown, Shackleford Banks was closed to the public. So, after lunch, I went on a water buggy instead and viewed some of the horses on Carrot Island.
One of two stallions we saw. He is munching on cord grass.
Another shot of the same horse with less glare.
Another stallion was grazing nearby.
The horses are incredibly smart and self-sufficent. One amazing fact about the Carrot Island horses is that they can sense when quicksand is nearby and intentionally avoid grazing in these areas. I also saw a stallion and his harem. Unfortunately we were too far away for me to take a picture.
I did see some interesting things other than horses.
An Ibis hanging out on Carrot Island
An interesting boat
The colored flags running vertical each signify a letter and spell out Beaufort.
While I was disappointed that I didn't see the Shackleford horses, the ride was both fun and educational. I have a greater appreciation for wild horses. They are a lot smarter and more resourceful than we give them credit for.
After the boat ride, I had cocktails and appetizers at the Queen Anne's Revenge.
Queen Anne's Revenge
I liked how the inside looked.
Blackbeard's Bloody Mary. It had Artisan fresh made Bloody Mary mix and it had Blackbeard in its name.
Mozzarella wrapped with Baked Proscuitto. Yum!
That night, I went to dinner at the Front Street Grill and the Rhum Bar at Stillwater. This restaurant was on the waterfront as well and had delicious flounder.
The restaurant's sign
Rhum Bar Punch. I felt like I was in the islands.
The day was eventful and exhausting, but well worth it. The next day, I had a few hours before I had to leave Beaufort so I decided to visit Beaufort's old burying grounds. The grounds were deeded to the town in 1731.
Samuel Leffers (1736-1822) an early school master. He wrote his own epitaph:
"Praises on tombstones are but idly spent,
A man's good name is his best monument."
Sarah Gibbs (1792) and Jacob Shepard (1793). Sarah was married to Jacob, a seaman. He went out to sea and was presumed dead. After an absence of several years, Jacob suddenly returned and found that Sarah was married to another man named Nathaniel Gibbs. They agreed that Sarah would remain married to Gibbs as long as she lived, but must spend eternity at the side of Jacob Shepard.
"Crissie Wright" Common Grave. The grave is for the soldiers who froze to death after the wreck of the ship in January 1886. Apparently, we weren't the only ones here to see the graves.
The grave of Captain Otway Burns (1775-1850). One of North Carolina's greatest heroes in the War of 1812.
Girl in Barrel of Rum. A girl of an English family wanted to see her homeland. Her father decided to take her but promised her mother that he would bring her back. On the way back to Beaufort, the girl became ill and died. Back then, those that died on ships were buried at sea. The father couldn't bear the thought of not giving his daughter a proper burial and breaking his promise to his wife. He bought a barrel of rum from the captain and placed her body in it so that she could be buried in Beaufort.
After the burial grounds, I went to the Beaufort coffee shop for a quick breakfast.
Front of the coffee shop
It has a nice coffee house feel.
Tropical Smoothie and just made cinnamon buns? Yes, please.
And of course, I had to try a chocolate bar that has Beaufort in its name.
After the coffee shop, I headed back home. I loved my little adventure to Beaufort, NC. I felt like I stepped back in time to the age of pirates at the maritime museum and was closer to nature with the Carrot Island Horses. Beaufort has definitely earned its title of "America's Coolest Town" in my mind.
~A. E. Keener
Interested in my adventure? Click the links to learn more:
~Beaufort Historic Site:
~Water Bug Tours:
~Rachel Carson Reserve:
~Queen Anne's Revenge:
~Front Street Grill and the Rhum Bar at Stillwater:
~The Beaufort Coffee Shop: