Beaufort Restoration Grounds & other Area Attractions

In 1960 a few citizens formed the Beaufort Historical Association, to initiate plans to preserve a few aging, but historically important structures in town. After property was purchased, historic buildings were acquired and moved to the site. 

Today the site is comprised of ten buildings, six of which have been authentically restored, nestled on two acres in the heart of the quaint downtown area of Beaufort. The buildings include: the 1796 Carteret County Courthouse, the 1829 Carteret County Jail; the 1859 Apothecary Shop and Doctors Office and the 1732 Rustull House that houses the Mattie King Davis Art Gallery. Living history demonstrations, guided tours and special events vividly describe the lifestyles, customs and architecture unique to this coastal area. Volunteers in period dress provide tours for three of the buildings on the site. The BHA's red English bus also provides tours of the historic district.

 Beaufort Historic Site
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Other Area Attractions

Cape Lookout Lighthouse  
The present Cape Lookout lighthouse was completed in 1859 at a cost of $45,000. The lighthouse stands 163 feet above sea level and was equipped with a 1st-order Fresnel lens. The powerful beacon could be seen from at least 19 miles away. After its construction, Cape Lookout became a model for all tower lighthouses constructed on the Eastern U.S. coast from that point on. When the remaining four North Carolina lighthouses were finished (Cape Lookout, Cape Hatteras, Bodie, and Currituck), the Lighthouse Board painted each different designs to easily distinguish one from another. Cape Lookout was painted in a black and white diamond pattern. Three full white diamonds facing east and west. The north and south-facing sides have two full black diamonds and have a half of black diamond at the top and bottom of the tower.
During the Civil War, the lighthouse became very important. The area surrounding the new Cape Lookout Lighthouse served as a military stronghold. When the Confederates were forced to retreat in 1861, they attempted to blow up both beacons so they would be inoperable for arriving Union soldiers. The original Cape Lookout was almost completely destroyed and the blast severely damaged the new lens. The following year, the Lighthouse Board re-lit the lighthouse with a 3rd order Fresnel lens. Currently, the Coast Guard owns and operates the lighthouse, and the National Park Service owns the surrounding area.

The visitor center in the keepers' quarters adjacent to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse is open from 9AM to 5PM from April to November. The tower is open for climbing from mid-May to mid-September. Tickets may be reserved for climbing by calling (252) 728-0708 between 9:30AM to 4PM Monday through Friday. Reservations can only be made for dates the same week and must be made at least one day in advance.

1785 Island Rd.
Harkers Island, NC
(252) 728-1500
     Nestled at "the end of the road" on Harkers Island, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center was established in 1992 and is a true grassroots partnership. For more than a decade the Waterfowl Museum has been a clearinghouse for heritage, traditions and history of the Down East communities of Carteret County—a hub for heritage tourism. Exhibits and programs focusing on local heritage are offered year round, and the museum houses the area's finest collection of carvings and waterfowl art. The museum archives oral histories and artifacts from the Down East communities. Museum staff offers programs for school groups, bus tours, church trips and others.

     From the tower, visitors can view the spectacular expanse of Core Sound in a manner and from a visual perspective that has never before been possible, even for long-time residents. The panorama includes Shell Point, Shackelford and Core Banks, Core and Back Sounds, and Cape Lookout Lighthouse, and many Down East communities.
     Call to schedule a tour and plan for a real "Down East" experience with local carvers, boat builders, storytellers and musicians.

252-247-4003 or 800-832-3474
1 Roosevelt Blvd - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Feel the spray of a mountain waterfall. Watch river otters play. Touch a stingray. Look a shark in the eye. Explore shipwrecks without getting wet. See a rare white sea turtle. Thousands of aquatic animals take you on a journey from the state’s grand peaks to the open Atlantic. See “Plan Your Visit” for more on these activities and other family fun at one of the coast’s most popular attractions.
Hours: 9AM to 5PM - Daily except Christmas
DIRECTIONS: 5 miles west of Atlantic Beach. From NC 58, turn onto Pine Knoll Blvd at the stoplight, Milepost 7; turn left onto Roosevelt Blvd.