North Carolina / Pub / travel / United States

Beaufort: America’s Coolest Drinking Town

As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, I am an expert on many things in life. One of those things is having a great time. And yet another is having a great time in my hometown of Beaufort, North Carolina.

the view from a friend’s dock

“Well, of course it’s easy to have a great time there,” you may say. And you would be quite right, if you said that-which I hope you did. If you read Yachting Magazine (and who doesn’t-what are we, maids?), you’ll have already seen that Beaufort was just awarded winner of “Best Yachting Town 2012” This is in addition to winning “America’s Coolest Small Town” from Budget Traveler just last year.

apparently one of these is Jimmy Buffett’s

Well, I’d like to nominate Beaufort as “America’s Coolest Drinking Town”

The thing about drinking in Beaufort is that motorized transportation is completely unnecessary (and thank god, the cops are strict here about DUIs-I should know). The town, especially Front Street, is so small that you can walk anywhere you need to go. Or, if you’re professionals like me and my friends, you can just ride a bike everywhere. Make sure you pour that beer into less conspicuous container before putting it in your bicycle’s cup holder-just don’t tell the cops I told you to.

note: tricycles are somehow much harder to drive drunk than bicycles

So where to go when you’re in town? Well your first stop obviously has to be The Backstreet Pub. Named “the friendliest, funkiest little bar from Maine to Venezuela” by Latitudes and Attitudes pub review, there aren’t enough good things to say about this place. I like to tell people I’ve been drinking all over the world (well, a lot of it at least), but I have never been anywhere as purely awesome as the Pub. They like to call themselves “Beaufort’s living room,” and with good reason: it’s just the place everyone hangs out. You’ve got your different crowds, too: the after-5-ers who stop by on their way home from work; the after-9-ers who come in for an after dinner beer; and, of course, the all-day-ers, who mean business. Which one am I? Let’s just say that I once received an “I Opened The Backstreet Pub” and an “I Closed the Backstreet Pub” sticker on the same day.

bonus: the stickers make great accessories for hurricane jackets

The Pub’s hours change seasonally, but it’s a safe bet that they’ll be getting in around 11 PM, and serving you delicious beers until 2 AM.

even pirates love this place

If you get hungry just stop over for a cheap and delicious burger at the Royal James Cafe. Don’t expect good service-but at $4 for a fresh grilled burger AND a pint of beer, you probably shouldn’t.

The Royal James

So you’ve had your fill of beer, and want to fancy it up a bit? You should probably walk on over to The Rhum Bar, at the Stillwater. The food here is too expensive for me (but on the rare occasion that I’ve splurged, it’s been well worth the price), but the drinks are not-especially being friends with the bartenders. Ask for James’ Painkiller, or just about anything from Antonio, and they’ll get you right. Plus, the view here is spectacular-you’ll probably be able to see dolphins swim by, or a pony on the island across Taylor’s Creek. But please, tourists, stop asking us locals what time these wild animals come out-because we have no fucking idea, okay?

also if you’re driving and see any, please calmly park your car before you stop to take pictures.

After making new friends at the Pub, snacking on a burger at the James, and having your after dinner cocktail at the Stillwater, I have a feeling that a little bit of live music is just what you’ll need. Well chill out, y’all, I’ve got you covered on that too. Hannah’s Haus, Beaufort’s coolest new drinking scene, offers up 25 different beers on tap, and some of the best live music around. I hung out with one of the bands from last weekend, Somebody’s Darling, on the patio, which is almost as cool as the inside of the building, pictured below.

mega jenga at Hannah’s Haus

After spending all night hitting up the coolest drinking holes in Beaufort, you’ll probably want to give your wallet a break by the next morning. You know what you should do? You should grab a cheap case of beer, and you should totally go out in the boat. Don’t know anyone with a boat? There’s plenty around that’ll take you out for a fee. But if you have any sense at all (and I’m assuming you do, if you’re reading this in the first place), you’ll have spent the previous evening asking around to see if you can head out on anyone else’s. We’re pretty friendly in Beaufort. Catch a lucky break, and your new friend will have a skurfboard you can practice on, too.

yeah that’s me, shreddin

There’s no better way anywhere to end an afternoon than by going on a booze cruise. I bet you already guessed it: Beaufort happens to be the perfect place to do that.


So come, drink, try not to be an asshole to us locals, and pronounce it “Bohfert” NOT “bewfert.” That’s in South Carolina, y’all.


6 thoughts on “Beaufort: America’s Coolest Drinking Town

    • Haha, that sounds awesome, actually. After I went bungee jumping in Costa Rica I sat by a pool and drank for over 16 hours straight…which is probably why I threw up on the flight home.
      Thanks very much, I’ll definitely be checking your blog out!

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