Did you Know Santa Plays the Fiddle?
While the rest of the world was hustling and bustling and stressing out over the final countdown for shopping days before Christmas, Santa was playing the fiddle.
Now, I’ve written about Beaufort, North Carolina before. It has fast become one of my favorite little seaside villages to hang out at. The shopping is unique, the people are friendly, the food is good, and the coffee is hot.
What more can you ask for?
In the days before and after Christmas we ventured to the market, the island, and the not-so-hustle-and-bustle of last minute shopping.
The Farmer’s Market
For the first time, Beaufort held a Friday Night Farmers Market. There were a few dozen vendors there, including the down-home sounds of Gumbo Lily. The crisp night felt warm and friendly as we greeted neighbors and friends with a smile and “Merry Chrismas!”. Afterwards, we headed to Old Salt Restaurant & Oyster Bar for a light dinner and a cup of Old Salt Chowder. I love that they use and serve ingredients that are fresh and local.
Carrot Island is where you are certain to find wild horses. Because the little spit of land is smaller than the larger horse home of Shackleford Banks, you are more likely to run across a bachelor and his harem.
We picked up a couple of sandwiches to go from the Beaufort Grocery Company to eat on the beach at Carrot Island. The restaurant is just a block from the ferry and you can park in the lot right next to the restaurant.
We spent a good amount of time near Bird Shoals as the tide was low. By walking over the sand bars, exposed because of the low tide, we were able to wade through the water and search for sea shells and sea life.
We were rewarded with hands full of sand dollars and a small sting ray swimming in the shallow water.
As we headed back to the ferry in the sticky mud to bring us the short distance back to Beaufort, we had seen just one lone horse grazing in the meadow. The ferry captain asked us if we had the seen the group of horses just around the point.
What!?! How did we miss them?
Without hesitation he offered to scoot us on over to the point and drop us off so we had time to see them and shoot some photos while he went to pick up another group of folks.
Tip: Be sure to wear shoes that can get muddy – I don’t recommend flip flops because they suction and stick to the mud and can rub the skin on top of your foot causing discomfort. Sturdy straps would probably be a little better or an old pair of sneakers. I just kicked off my flip flops and went barefoot through the mud as it oozed between my toes. A little gross, but I just pretended they were getting some mud bath therapy! But, be sure to have shoes on in the brush because there are little briars (ouch) hidden in the grass.
When you go:
Olde Beaufort Farmers Market
Carteret County Historic Court House
300 Courthouse Square
Beaufort, NC 28516
Old Salt Restaurant & Oyster Bar
1133 Turner Street
Beaufort, NC 28615
Beaufort Grocery Company
117 Queen Street
Beaufort, NC 28516
Wild Horses on Carrot Island
Island Ferry Adventures
610 Front Street
*Call ahead to be sure they are running and they can get a count of expected passengers
Cost: Just $10 to Carrot Island
Gumbo Lily Band