Stepping onto the oak lined streets of historic Beaufort is like stepping into a time long forgotten. The air is saturated with the same ancient salty-sweet ocean scents that have caressed the coast for centuries. It is not uncommon while dining at a waterfront café to see wild horses running freely on Carrot Island, just across the glassy waters of Taylor’s Creek. The intimate bed and breakfasts are the perfect way to compliment any romantic vacation with elegant Victorian suites and charming home-cooked meals. Beaufort is the third oldest town in the state and serves as the county seat of the Crystal Coast. The wreckage of legendary pirate Blackbeard’s infamous ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, rests in its watery grave just three miles off its sandy shores.