Why Beaufort is so COOL !!!

A pirate invasion, wild horses, movie set good looks, and a creatively thriving culinary scene have put Beaufort, North Carolina on the cool kids list of places to explore in 2016.

Walk around this Eastern Carolina oceanfront community and you may feel as if you stepped onto the set of a film being shot in New England, with picturesque architectural treasured homes dotting the small seascape town. Even the infamous Pirate Captain Blackbeard once called Beaufort his pillaging planning headquarters back in the day.

For many years now I have been traveling to the Crystal Coast shores of Beaufort, and each visit I discover something new, unique, delicious and of course all steeped in Americana coolness. If Beaufort is good enough for a Pirate of Blackbeard's stature, I am thinking it is good enough for any hipster traveler.

Bunk for the Night Many options abound to relax and get your sleepy time on in Beaufort. For my money, I love finding hospitable hidden gems along the waterfront in small town America.

Since re-opening this remodeled Beaufort classic in 2012, Cedars Inn is rapidly becoming a must stay for any traveler. Staying at Cedars Inn feels as if you are crashing the night with your favorite friends in the world, with warm and inviting vibes throughout each of their six rooms. Inn manager Jennifer Mull exudes hospitality and is the type of Innkeeper that will remember your favorite wine from dinner the night before.

Wild, Wild Horses Hands down one of my new favorite places to get some sun and fresh sea air would be chartering a boat tour with Captain Monty from Seavisions Charters and Ecotours. Looking like a modern-day Pirate, Captain Monty's half-day or full-day tours cover the abundant wildlife filled chain of islands that surround the waterfront shores of Beaufort. Sit back, crack a cold one while Captain Monty lays down some tantalizing local tales while cruising around in his "Shoal Seeker" boat for sightings of leaping dolphins, over 200 species of birds and the main Beaufort attraction, the wild Banker horses that roam the pristine shores on several of the neighboring islands.

As we set out on out sun-drenched tour, 10 minutes into our journey we see our top prize. Passing by a stand-up paddle boarder floating by, Captain Monty spots a small herd of the golden ponies that traverse these islands and pulls his boat as close to the shore as possible, getting up close and almost personal with these local legends of the seashores.

Culinary Invasion Today, Beaufort is in the midst of a culinary influx of artists and seriously great chefs, something this star-spangled hometown has never experienced.

Over ten years ago, the folks at Aqua set out to change the Beaufort culinary landscape and locals were quick to respond with their evolving pallets. With an ever changing seasonal menu, Aqua seems never to miss a step while paving the way for other restaurants to join the invasion.

With signature classics like their gravity defying Caesar's salad to their monthly wine-o-ramas have made locals instant regulars of Aqua, while still giving travelers a reason to stop on in for the celebrated cuisine.

Head chef Jayson Foster knows his guests, and embraces the addition of other culinary artists to this small coastal town, "There is so much talent now, in such a small area, we are just a foodie town, and it's all about good food and good wine."

Continuing the new wave of success in the hot restaurant scene, chef Steve Smid is making the Cedar's Inn Restaurant a trending foodie topic. Chef Steve loves to blend his take on southern classics, with locally fresh coastal influenced catch, with home cooking flare. Your taste buds will break into a happy dance of joy over chef Steve's version of locally sourced pan seared snapper on top a country ham and collard green risotto - like having Sunday dinner with the family.

Buccaneer Shindig With a rich tradition of actual pirates inhabiting this sea town of Beaufort hundreds of years ago, it seems only fitting that one of the premiere pirate events in the country takes places on the banks of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

Two days in August, the Pirate's of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland come to life on the streets at the Beaufort Pirate's Invasion. Wench's and scallywags alike can join in on the pirating fun of sword fighting, cannon blasting, a mock pirate trial, and hanging, or lace up your Nike's for the Yo, Ho, Ho and the bottle run 1k or 5k race.

Explore and discover for yourself the coolness of Beaufort.