Best Places to Live

Beaufort, NC

Population: 4,153

Why You Should Honeymoon Here: You’ll feel like you’re starring in your own romance novel on North Carolina's Crystal Coast. Take a Nicholas Sparks-inspired tour in southeastern North Carolina, exploring the historic towns, quiet beaches, tidal rivers and scenic marshes.

Go Here Instead Of: A European river cruise. You’ll have variety, as the region has 85 miles of North Carolina coastline, with nine distinct regions.

Average Nightly Hotel Price: $150

Where to Stay: The Pecan Tree Inn in Beaufort exudes southern charm with wrap-around porches, a flower and herb garden and guest room suites with in-room Jacuzzis.

What to Pack: Beach-casual rules the fashion scene here. If you’re coming in warmer months, bring your flip-flops and bathing suits.

Romantic Date Night Spot: Get a taste of local fare at Aqua in historic Beaufort, with dishes featuring fresh-caught grouper, regional cheeses and local, sun-ripened tomatoes.

Can't-Miss Experience: Head to New Bern, which plays a role in three Sparks novels “A Bend in the Road,” “The Wedding” and “The Notebook.” You can take a self-guided “Walk to Remember” walking tour, guiding you through 15 landmarks central to Sparks’ books.

Sweet Spot: Pick up a deep dish pecan pie at Beaufort Grocery Co.