Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Beaufort, North Carolina
Once Home to Pirates, Rum Runners and Sea Captains, Beaufort is Now Popular with History Lovers, Romantics, Water Aficionados and Retirees
Established in 1709, this cozy waterfront hamlet is nestled along North Carolina's scenic Inner Banks. Pirates, rum runners and sea captains have visited its shore, all claiming it as their own, but today Beaufort belongs to history lovers, romantics, water aficionados and retirees.
The downtown has one and two story historic buildings, and neighborhood homes include weathered saltboxes, Cape Cods and plantation styles with double balconies. The town is proud of its history - it is the third oldest community in the state - and it celebrates its past at the Beaufort Historic Site, the Old Burying Grounds and the North Carolina Maritime Museum. The Mullet Line Trolley passes through the waterfront district and by the public docks, and eco-tours, barrier island excursions, ghost-walk tours and charter sailboats appeal to locals and tourists alike. One tour takes visitors to the Shackleford Banks and the wild horses of Carrot Island. Cape Lookout is another popular destination, a place where visitors can climb the lighthouse, search for shells, camp or fish. The nearby Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge offers hiking and bird-watching.
Numerous marine research facilities are based in Beaufort, including the Rachel Carson Reserve. The town also hosts two music festivals, an antiques show, a wine and food weekend and an annual wooden boat show. Shops are touristy. Restaurants are in good supply.
Population: 4,500 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 47%
Cost of Living: 5% below the national average
Median Home Price: $398,000
Climate: This area has hot, humid summers with temperatures in 80s and 90s and mild winters with temperatures in 40s, 50, 60s. On average, 55 inches of rain fall each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes. The county provides a dial-a-ride van service called CCATS.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes, but it has a limited collection.
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 26%
Is North Carolina Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: Hurricanes are always a possibility. In fact, Florence caused flooding in 2018, while Dorian did little damage in 2019. Ian in 2022 brought some flooding.
Notes: Although it attracts tourists, Beaufort is on the quiet side, particularly during winter. Beaufort home prices have increased 22% since a year ago, and the population has grown 5% during the last decade. Neighbors know one another and lend a hand when needed.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
"Esse quam videri" is the motto of North Carolina, also known as the Tar Heel State. It was the 12th state to be admitted to the Union, joining the other states on November 21, 1789. North Carolina was also one of the Thirteen Colonies and was originally named the Province of Carolina. It was the second to the last state to declare its secession from the Union during the Civil War.
The state is situated in the Southeastern region of the United States and is bordered by South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. The capital is Raleigh, but the largest city is Charlotte.
The historical people of North Carolina include the Chowanoke, Roanoke, Pamlico, Coree and Cape Fear Indians. The Revolutionary War impoverished the state of North Carolina for several years.
Charlotte is on a rapid growth streak thanks to its banking industry. North Carolina is also home to several universities, including the University of North Carolina, Duke University and North Carolina State University.
The state hosts more than 80% of the NASCAR racing teams and is the site of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Carolina Panthers represents North Carolina in the National Football League, and the Charlotte Bobcats play in the National Basketball Association.
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