The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort reflects coastal life and interprets lighthouses and lifesaving stations, the seafood industry, motorboats, and more. Studies in marine life, science, and ecology are available for all ages. The Beaufort museum is the repository for artifacts from Blackbeard’s wrecked flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, among them cannons, grenades, belt buckles and beads. The Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center teaches boatbuilding for all ages.
In 1980, Harvey W. Smith’s widow Mrs. Evelyn Smith donated property on Front Street for the building of a new museum to replace the Hampton Mariners Museum That facility had outgrown its location on Turner Street. At that time, first time museum curator Charles R. McNeill was offered anything the museum could use by Mrs. Smith from her late husband’s maritime collection. That was the beginning of the North Carolina Maritime Museum as we know it today.
The museum’s Watercraft Center sits on Taylor Creek, across from the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Today, locals, visitors and boaters alike are encouraged to watch, and take boatbuilding courses offered throughout the year for all skill levels.
The N.C. Maritime Museum and the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, both located on Front Street in downtown Beaufort, are open year-round on the same schedule.
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
We are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28; Dec. 24, 25 and 26 for the Christmas Holiday; and New Year’s Day, Jan. 1.
Admission to both sites is free. Donations are appreciated.