This article is sponsored by The Crystal Coast. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.

When we remember our Memorial Day on the Crystal Coast, we remember the laidback luxury at the Beaufort Hotel, the wild horses running free along the southern shoreline, we think of delectable gastronomy at its various waterfront restaurants, and of course, we are warmed with the thought of its unrivaled southern hospitality. The Crystal Coast is an upscale section of the Southern Outer Banks in North Carolina. Known as “America’s favorite town” by Travel + Leisure and the “South’s best small town” by Southern Living magazine, Beaufort and the Crystal Coast are blissful coastal communities that were tailor-made for romance.

Fast Facts

Location: Southern Outer Banks in Eastern North Carolina

Best time to visit: Spring, Summer, Fall

Known for: Wild horses, watersports, romance, gastronomy

Where to Stay

We had the pleasure of staying at the Beaufort Hotel in Beaufort, NC. This idyllic boutique hotel is home to 133-rooms perfectly nestled on the shores of the Southern Outer Banks. The Beaufort Hotel is adorned with coastal North Carolina décor, luxurious linens and premium bedding, and absolutely gorgeous views of the North Carolina coastline. The hotel also has a fitness center, swimming pool, a full-service marina, and an absolutely delicious waterfront restaurant, 34° North.


Where to Eat

  • 34° North Restaurant: We’re not going to save the best for last. We’re going to put it right up front. 34° North, located at the Beaufort Hotel, was hands down, the best meal while we were on the Crystal Coast. Known for its fresh local seafood and locally inspired Eastern North Caroline cuisine, we noshed on shrimp and grits and grouper while watching the sunset along the waterfront.
  • Moonrakers: Moonrakers is one of Beaufort’s newest restaurants. This gorgeous waterfront multi-floor restaurant has a divine rooftop deck to dine on coastal cuisine, enjoy cocktails, and enjoy the gorgeous Crystal Coast sunsets.
  • Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant & Pub: Located on Front Street in Beaufort, Clawson’s Restaurant & Pub serves up delicious southern cuisine in a laidback setting. We highly recommend ordering the shrimp & grits (are you sensing a theme?!) and the ribs.
  • Beaufort Grocery: Located on historic Queen Street in Beaufort, Beaufort Grocery serves up delicious soups, salads, and deli-type sandwiches in a French bistro-like setting.

Delectable dining at the Beaufort Hotel


Shrimp & Grits at Clawson’s

Where to Adventure

  • Paddle Boarding with Beaufort Paddle: Beaufort is a blissful coastal community and one of the best ways to experience it is on its wonderful waterways. With Beaufort Paddle, we took a couple of stand-up paddle boards out on the water where we cruised along the shoreline and watched wild horses graze along the coastline. The entire experience was peaceful, blissful, and beautiful.
  • Hidden Beaufort Tour with Hungry Town Tours: Hungry Town Tours runs the best land tours around Beaufort, NC. We hopped on our beautiful beach cruisers and rode around the Beaufort historic district, learning all about the 285 historic homes and gaining an insider’s perspective on this historic town. They also have many delicious food tours, which were temporarily closed due to COVID during our visit, but we’ve heard amazing things about these tours and look forward to returning to indulge once they’re reopened.
  • Cape Lookout Tour with AB Watersport: If you’re looking to step things up a notch and head out for a day of adventure, AB Watersport has you covered. With jet ski rentals, boat rentals, kayaking, paddle boarding, and customized tours, Cape Lookout has you covered all along the Crystal Coast. Their attention to detail and amazing customer service makes it the #1 rated water sports adventure in the area!

Paddle Boarding with Wild Horses


Water sports are a great way to explore the Crystal Coast!