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Beaufort Historic Site, in the 100 block of Turner Street, includes the 1767 Joseph Bell House, the 1825 Josiah Bell House, the 1796 Carteret County Courthouse, the 1829 county jail, the 1859 apothecary shop and doctor's office, and the 1778 Samuel Leffers House, home of the town's first schoolmaster. Tours are given Monday to Saturday at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 3pm. A tour costs $8 for adults and $4 for children 6 and older. Not included on the tour is the 1732 Rustell House, an art gallery; entry is free of charge.

A block away is the Old Burying Ground, dating from 1709 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both self-guided and narrated tours are available. Narrated tours aboard a British double-decker bus are offered on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 2:30pm year-round for $8 per person. You can also purchase a self-guided tour brochure for $1. Call tel. 252/728-5225 for more information.

From modest beginnings, the North Carolina Maritime Museum, 315 Front St. (tel. 252/728-7317; www.ncmaritime.org), grew into a $2.2-million complex. It has natural- and maritime-history exhibits, ship models, and shell collections, and it offers intriguing field trips and programs for all ages. The Wooden Boat Show is held here the first weekend in May. Admission is free. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from 1 to 5pm; it's closed on major holidays.

Divers are attracted to this area because of the many wrecks off the coast. If you want to get into this action, contact Discovery Diving Co., 414 Orange St. (tel. 252/728-2265; www.discoverydiving.com), where the staff knows the local waters best. The company offers charter diving tours for prices ranging from $65 to $105 per person, plus use of the company's equipment. Tanks rent for $12 to $18, with regulators going for $6 to $9 and weights for $2. Masks and fins are priced at $3 each, and extra amenities (such as cameras and computers) cost $10 to $20 (film is extra). Call ahead for equipment reservations. Tours include one dive at a shipwreck site offshore, one farther offshore, and two dives on the reefs closer to shore.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.