“Hungry Town” & “Fish Towne” were some of the early names for Beaufort, North Carolina. That was over 300 years ago. Many changes have taken place since that time in our history.

Though “traditionally” dated circa 1709, the township of Beaufort was laid out and named October 2, 1713. After obtaining permission from the Lords Proprietors, Robert Turner, then owner of the 780-acre land patent, hired deputy surveyor Richard Graves to lay out a 100-acre town, with 106 lots for sale.

The words “Hungry Town” and “Hongry Town” were inscribed on the 1713 plat of Beaufort, NC. This plat is the only documentation that the newly laid-out town may have been casually called “Hungry Town.” The words, “Plan of Hungry Town” were crossed out at the bottom of the plat and replaced with “Plan of Beaufort Towne.” The scribbles may have referred to the new town full of lots “hungry” for buyers, or to a few struggling settlers in the area.

1713 Plat of Beaufort NC

Named in honor of Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort, the town was incorporated in 1723 and has been the seat of Carteret County ever since.

Street names reflect the early development of the town: Ann Street for Queen Anne; Craven Street for the Earl of Craven; Turner Street for Robert Turner, owner of the land that was surveyed for the town; Pollock Street for Gov. Thomas Pollock; and Orange Street for William, Prince of Orange, who became William III of England.

Welcome to America’s Favorite Town

Today, Beaufort possesses an old-world, southern charm, steeped in maritime history and the adventure brought by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. With world-class fishing, North Carolina’s Crystal Coast is famous for its local seafood. Beaufort is no exception. But the sea is not the only place where our cuisine starts in our historic seaport.

34° North at the Beaufort Hotel NC, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, features refined locally inspired Eastern North Carolina cuisine with fresh local seafood, hand cut chops, and seasonal ingredients. 34° North is renowned for its cuisine which is rooted in local farms and pristine waters.

Boats dot the waterfront, from private yachts and massive sailboats to trawlers bringing locally owned restaurants “fresh from the docks” sea fare. It’s no wonder this charming North Carolina coastal town inspired Nicholas Sparks to set two of his novels, “A Walk to Remember” and “The Choice.”

Plan a trip to Beaufort, North Carolina where you’ll find whimsical shops, casual to world-class dining, and luxurious overnight accommodations at the Beaufort Hotel NC, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member.

Romantically called Beaufort-by-the-Sea, the town has a captivating history that spans more than 300 years — from tales about the pirate Blackbeard to its use as a port in the 18th century for Spanish and French sailing ships.

Today, Beaufort attracts visitors from all over the world and has garnered many accolades from reginal and national publications. Recently recognized as the “South’s Best Small Town” by Southern Living, Beaufort has been named “America’s Favorite Town” by Travel + Leisure, “Coolest Small Town in America” by Budget Travel, and “Best Yachting Town in America” by Yachting magazine.

Beaufort, North Carolina Accolades
  • “South’s Best Small Town” – Southern Living
  • “America’s Favorite Town” – Travel + Leisure
  • “Coolest Small Town in America” – Budget Travel
  • “Best Yachting Town in America – Yachting magazine
  • “20 Best Places to Live on the Coast in 2018” – Coastal Living
  • “The Best Places for a Bachelorette Party in all 50 States: Beaufort, NC” – Orbitz Travel
  • “Charming Small Towns of the South” – USA Today
  • “Top 20 America’s Quirkiest Towns” – Travel + Leisure
  • “America’s Most Romantic Towns” – Travel + Leisure
  • “The 40 Most Romantic Fall Getaways” – Redbook
  • “7 Top Rated Romantic Getaways in North Carolina” – Planet Ware
  • “America’s 10 Most Beautiful Hidden Gems” – Budget Travel
  • “America’s 10 Best Beach Towns for Christmas.” – Coastal Living
  • “The Best Small Towns for Christmas in the South” – Southern Living
  • “10 Great Coastal Boardwalks” – Coastal Living
  • “50 Epic Girls’ Getaway Destinations in Every State across America: Crystal Coast” – House Beautiful

Travel + Leisure logo

“America’s Favorite Town”


Southern Living logo

“South’s Best Small Town”


What’s the difference between Beaufort NC & Beaufort SC?

The difference is about 375 miles or 6 hours. There’s a Beaufort in North Carolina and South Carolina. The big difference between them is in the way you pronounce Beaufort (This is not a trivial issue). Beaufort, North Carolina is pronounced “BOW-firt,” as in a bow and arrow. If you’re going to Beaufort, South Carolina, you must say, “BEW-furd. Ironically, both are named for an Englishman, Henry Somerset, the Second Duke of Beaufort, who never came to either North Carolina or South Carolina.

The Gem of the Crystal Coast

The Beaufort Hotel NC, an Ascend Hotel Collection member is a unique reflection of the local community. Our staff is committed to sharing their insider knowledge of the places, moments and experiences that makes the Crystal Coast destination special.