In 1705, Bath became the first incorporated town in North Carolina. It was selected by the English colonists for many of the same reasons people come to Beaufort County today: the agreeable climate; the vast expanse of oak and pine forests; and the miles and miles of waterfront - more of it than any other county in the state.
This waterfront is created as the freshwater Tar River flows into the brackish Pamlico, bisecting the county before emptying into the Pamlico Sound, the largest protected inland body of water on the East Coast. Not far away is the placid Pungo River. It is from these quiet, peaceful shores that some of North Carolina's most exciting waterfront communities have risen.
An influx of retirees has also had a positive effect on the economy of Beaufort County. Many waterfront subdivisions have been created which are being marketed, at least in part, to retirees from out of state. Finally, recreation plays a major role in the economy of Beaufort County.
The broad rivers and numerous creeks that grace Beaufort County attract many boaters and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts throughout the year. Hunting and fishing are enormously popular and people literally drive here from hundreds of miles away to sail the placid waters of the Pamlico River.