Beaufort County has 88,000 acres of water, which is probably a good explanation why many of its municipalities have waterfronts.

In years past, those waterfronts were hubs of trade, with ships coming in to drop off goods and pick up items such as naval stores, lumber, agricultural products and items "harvested" by commercial fishermen. Although those towns retain some of their commercial-fishing history, their waterfronts have become more recreational - and in some cases, residential - in nature.

Home to seven municipalities - Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego, Washington (the County seat) and Washington Park - Beaufort County turned 300 years old in 2012.

Beaufort County Community College, known for one of the best nursing programs in the state, has a new, state-of-the-art Katie G. Paul Nursing and Allied Health Building to help train nurses and other health-care professionals. Those nurses help staff the County's top-notch hospitals - Vidant Beaufort Hospital and Vidant Pungo Hospital - medical offices and related fields.

Family in Beaufort County