Our “24 Hours In …” series offers suggestions for activities you may want to try if you find yourself in a particular town along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast during a given time of the year. A day in the life, if you will — and what a life!

Beaufort is North Carolina’s third oldest town and perfect for a weekend trip by car, boat or plane. Reconnect with nature, enjoy fine dining and shopping and go back in time a little in this charming historic town recognized by TravelMag as the #1 Coolest Small Town in America. For this article, imagine that you you’re in Beaufort on Saturday morning and have the whole day ahead of you. You can park your car on the street or in municipal parking and leave it, because everything we suggest is within walking distance of each other! Let’s begin.

9:00 am Olde Beaufort Farmer’s Market and Les Ciseaux Bakery

As you pull into town on Turner Street, you’ll see approximately 50 market vendors ready to greet you under the oaks in Courthouse Square. The market is open from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m on Saturdays and includes artisans, bakers, farmers, crafters, community groups, photographers, book signings, and much more.

Grab breakfast from the booths of Wildflour Bakery, Beaufort Biscuits, Turner Street Market, or visit Les Ciseaux, an authentic French bakery just across the street at 616 Broad Street. (Note: you’ll need to line up for Les Ciseaux by 8:30 a.m. to score their popular chocolate croissant — it’s so worth the wait!)

10:30 a.m. Shopping on Front Street

Next, a short walk down Turner Street to Front Street takes you where you can shop for a hat, a Beaufort t-shirt, a kite, or an outfit to wear to dinner. Searching for the perfect coastal décor? Visit Beaufort Antiques, Beaufort Home & Furniture, Beaufort Linen, and Cecil and Finch.

11:45 a.m. Casual Lunch at Rhum Bar

You will not be disappointed with the cuisine at Front Street Grill’s Rhum Bar. It’s outside on the dock adjacent to Front Street Grill (300 Front Street). Simply check in with the host at Front Street Grill and they’ll point the way. Got a pup in tow? They’re welcome at the Rhum Bar. Our favorites there include the Parmesan Truffle Fries and Blackened Tuna Tacos.

You can’t beat the Rhum Bar for drinks and boat watching. Try their signature Pain Killer (throw the waiter a peace sign and they’ll double the rum).

2:30 p.m. Beaufort Historic Site Buildings Tour

Following a leisurely lunch, head back to 130 Turner Street for the Beaufort Historic Site Buildings Tour. Tickets are $12 for adults, and it’s best to sign up in advance. There are three furnished period homes on the tour as well as the Apothecary Shop and Doctor’s Office, circa 1857, which contains priceless pharmaceutical and medicinal artifacts used in early Beaufort, and the Carteret County Courthouse of 1796, which is the only remaining wood-framed English Circuit courthouse left intact in North Carolina. Each building depicts a different period or aspect of life in historic Beaufort, and the Historic Buildings Tour is given by experienced docents in period dress. The Beaufort Historic Association also offers a double-decker bus tour of Beaufort that’s really fun, though we recommend taking that tour in the fall or spring when it’s a little cooler.

4:00 p.m. Ice Cream

Nothing beats ice cream on a hot, humid day. And fortunately, Beaufort has several ice cream parlors to choose from, including the General Store, Beaufort Creamery, and Cru. Try a scoop from each!

4:30 p.m. Check Inn

By this time, you might be ready to get off your feet. Retrieve your bags and head over to one of the many wonderful inns, hotels and bed-and breakfasts in Beaufort, including the Inlet Inn and the Beaufort Inn. The recently renovated Inn on Turner at 217 Turner Street is a charming bed and breakfast that was recently ranked #1 by Tripadvisor out of 205 B&Bs in coastal North Carolina. Once you check in, enjoy a little down time with a complimentary happy hour beverage. Guests are often seen chatting in rocking chairs on the front porch or listening to the gurgling fountain on the courtyard patio.

“Unique and boutique” lodging, the Inn on Turner is steps away from whatever’s happening in Beaufort

6:00 p.m. Dinner at Black Sheep Pizza

Black Sheep Pizza is a favorite of boaters, locals, and tourists. It’s located directly on the boardwalk, so you can enjoy your wood-fired pizza next to super yachts and sailboats. J.K. Rowling’s luxury yacht been known to frequent these docks. Black Sheep is popular, so arrive early to avoid a long wait.

7:00-8:30 p.m. Sunset Sail

It’s not a trip to the coast without a boat ride! As you exit Black Sheep on the boardwalk, simply turn to your left and check in at the Lookout Cruises station. The Lookout is a 45-foot catamaran with comfortable seating, shade, and a drink bar. Their sunset cruise is breathtaking! You’ll coast through the Beaufort Inlet, down Bogue Sound along Shackleford Banks, and back up Taylor’s Creek to port. Note of caution: you may get wet if you sit on the nets!

8:30 p.m. Apre Sail Drink

For a rowdy drink and live music, locals love the Backstreet Pub (aka “Pirate Bar”) on Middle Lane in Beaufort. If you prefer a handcrafted cocktail and the most exquisite view in Carteret County, you must visit Moonraker’s rooftop bar and ask the bartender for a “Passionate Tango Under the Stars”. And on your stroll back to the inn, try a craft beer at the Fishtowne Brew House at 133 Turner St., which is open until 9:00 p.m. Get a growler to go!

Sunday Breakfast

If you stay at the Inn on Turner, you’ll enjoy a “field-to-fork” breakfast on Sunday morning. But keep Beaufort Grocery’s fabulous Sunday brunch in mind as well. If you’re up for a lazy stroll around the residential area after your meal, this self-guided walking tour map imparts the backstories of many of Beaufort’s most interesting homes. Tip: Visit the Hammock House circa 1709 where Blackbeard is rumored to have stayed.

There are so many ways to spend 24 hours in Beaufort! We simply couldn’t cover them all here but look forward to including more in the fall issue. We hope you enjoy these recommendations! Please tag us on Instagram if you try out this agenda; we’d love your feedback and suggestions.