The small community of Bath hasn't changed that much since it was officially established in 1705, and locals and long-time visitors wouldn't have it any other way. The small town, barely over a square mile in area, hugs the waterfront of the Pamlico River and Bath Creek in virtually every direction, and is well stocked with historic residences and buildings that pay tribute to a rich history filled with pirates, Indian wars, and fierce political rivalries.

Boats docked in Bath Creek, NC

Small and sleepy, visitors won't find too much action or excitement in Bath, but the incredible waterfront views, historical homes that are carefully preserved, and an all-around southern charm has made this small town a popular destination with weekend vacationers who want to enjoy the genuine peace and quiet. For a relaxing day trip or a quiet escape, discover North Carolina's oldest town - a community that, despite its wild history, remains relatively unchanged population-wise from its original incorporation over 300 years ago.

Welcome to Historic Bath, 1705

When Bath was founded in 1705, it had about 50 residents that called the small settlement home. Today, the population remains minimal with just over 250 residents, many of which are part-timers who trickle in to enjoy the waterfront views, the easy sailing and boating access to the Pamlico River and Pamlico Sound, and the endless peace and quiet.

Sailing is popular in Bath (and the nearby Pamlico River)

The town's main claim to fame is its storied collection of historical homes and structures, (including the oldest church in North Carolina), and its unique past which is along sordid tale of political power and corruption, piracy, and Indian wars which almost destroyed the late 1690s settlement before it even got off the ground.

A sailboat in Bath Creek, NC

The best way to enjoy a detailed account of this history, from the occupation of Blackbeard the Pirate to the local sacrifices of the Civil War, is with a walking tour along the scenic Water, Carteret and Main Streets, where many of the more famous residences can be found, (including the Palmer-Marsh House, the Van Der Veer House, and the Bonner House), as well as a network of wide scenic sidewalks and waterfront parks overlooking Bath Creek.

Boats and bridges in Bath, NC

The small parks and community walkways within Bath are among the prettiest along the Inner Banks with iron-wrought benches and sitting areas adjacent to Bath Creek, and ample piers and waterfront walkways to enjoy an up-close waterfront view of the Pamlico River. Extensive walkways connect the Visitors' Center, Van Der Veer House, and Palmer-Marsh House, and picnic areas are located along the way, (namely adjacent to the Bonner House), for an effortless lunch in a picturesque locale. Comprising such a small area, it takes just a couple of hours to explore all the historic attractions on foot, and spring and summer visitors will be rewarded with stunning gardens and pristine landscaping adjoining all of Bath's historic stretches of homes.

Bath, NC State Historic Site

The Visitors' Center features regular guided tours of Bath's historical highlights, as well as a video presentation which is shown every 15 minutes. Chock full of local and regional information, the Visitors' Center also features a gift shop with all things Bath, from local books to apparel and souvenirs.

The Palmer House in Bath, NC

Bath is an especially popular destination with summertime boaters and sailors, and several marinas can be found both within the confines of the town, (such as the Bath Harbor Marina and Motel and Slingshot Charters), as well as along the outskirts of the community, close to where the Pamlico River meets the Pamlico Sound. For visitors and residents, being on the water is the biggest and best-loved activity, and visitors will find ample opportunities for sailing, kayaking, fishing, and exploring the wide waterfront channels along the Inner Banks.

Historic Bath, NC

Because of the limited residences and the overall seclusion of the town, real estate prices are notoriously steep, however vacation accommodations are limited, but well within reach for every budget. A handful of weekly vacation rental homes, many with private docks, piers, or waterfront views, are available for vacationers and are ideal for visitors who simply want to enjoy a relaxing stay by the water without any distractions. In addition, Bath is home to two small inns, the Inn on Bath Creek and the Bath Harbor Marina and Motel, both of which feature cozy accommodations and waterfront views.

An historic marker in Bath, NC

Likewise, the dining scene is limited, but deliciously appealing with several restaurants that specialize in country home cooking and fresh seafood. The proximity to both the brackish Pamlico River and the saltwater Pamlico Sound means that Bath is prime local seafood country, and patrons will find plenty of fresh catches in addition to just-plucked-out-of-the-water NC blue crabs, oysters and shrimp, when in season.

A cemetery in Bath, NC

Bath may not be the liveliest or most populated town along the Inner Banks by a long shot, but the small-town feel and historical charm is more than enough to attract visitors who want to slow down and escape the hectic pace of the rest of the world. Filled with community pride, but retaining its small-town lifestyle, (as well as its small population), a trip to Bath is a step back in time for many visitors, and an easy escape to the quiet coastal life of historic North Carolina.

An historic home in Bath, NC

Historic Bath, NC

An historic home in Bath, NC

Waterfront benches in Bath, NC

Kayak fishing in Bath Creek, NC

Bath Creek in Bath, NC

A boat-accessable restaurant in Bath, NC

 

Sound Feet Shoes

Sound Feet Shoes

Sound Feet Shoes is family owned and operated.  Sound Feet has been in the retail shoe business for over 60 years, opening their first store in 1954. They provide the best customer service and are the only Outer Banks’ area full service shoe store since 1987. Now, the family owned business boasts eight stores in the region, including two outlets.  Their shoe specialists can help you find the right fit and comfort for your family’s needs.

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8 Best Beach & Fishing Coolers 2017

8 Best Beach & Fishing Coolers 2017

Nothing beats an ice-cold beverage while relaxing on the beach. Nothing is worse than reaching for an icy drink and finding your cans swimming. Coolers are essential for family days on the sand. A good modern cooler will keep food and drinks fresh for days. In addition to beverages, fishermen rely coolers to keep bait fresh, and hopefully the catch of the day. Walk onto any beach or pier in North or South Carolina and you’ll see a plethora of cooler models and sizes. Cooler technology has advanced rapidly in modern years. Top-end hard-sided coolers can keep ice frozen for a week. Soft coolers are easier for one person to carry onto a beach, but can still keep food cool for days. Cooler materials and price points vary wildly, so we put together this guide with our recommendations for your coastal vacation.

Washington, NC

Washington, NC

The town of Washington is rapidly becoming one of the highlights of North Carolina's Inner Banks due to its small town charm, incredible location along the Pamlico River, and eclectic blend of boutiques, restaurants, and attractions. This small community of just under 10,000 residents has a maritime culture all its own, with dozens of colorful crab statues lining the downtown streets, hundreds of boats, big and small, lining the waterfront, and miles of open Tar and Pamlico River views, extending in virtually every direction. Quaint and quiet, but with enough activity to keep anyone entertained, Washington is an ideal long weekend retreat for visitors who want to experience the heart and unique culture of coastal Eastern North Carolina.

Oriental, NC

Oriental, NC

Many locals attest that Oriental is a "contagious destination," where vehicular travelers via the two lane US 55, or maritime travelers along the Neuse River or Pamlico Sound, tend to stop by for a night or two, and end up sticking around for an extended, if not permanent, stay. A salty and friendly community that is relatively isolated from the rest of the central Inner Banks, this small town is big on community spirit, and possesses a natural love of all things nautical that is evident around every boat dock, every waterfront boardwalk, and every winding creek.