Local Hotels

Hotels

For postcard-perfect long weekends, or full week stays that have exceptional access to indoor and outdoor pools, restaurants, and amenities, there's nothing quite like the convenience of a stay at a local hotel or motel. A number of area hotels have been welcoming guests for decades, and as a result, vacationers have come back year after year for the fantastic service and the million-dollar views.

Vacation Rental Homes

Vacation Rentals

Visitors are often surprised at the number and variety of weekly vacation rentals throughout the area.. Vacation rentals are, in fact, an increasingly popular accommodation available to vacationers, and visitors will find that the sheer number of rentals available allows them to find an ideal retreat to fit their crew, from quiet condo complexes to brightly colored oceanfront sand castles.

Oriental History

Oriental History

What we now know as Oriental was first settled about 1870 by Louis B. Midyette. He took shelter in the area's natural harbor on the Neuse River and the mouth of Smith Creek when he was blown off course on his way to New Bern.

Havelock, NC

Havelock, NC

While the small town of Havelock is often overshadowed by its Crystal Coast neighbors, the city is nonetheless a prime waterfront retreat for eastern North Carolina visitors who want to experience the real everyday life of the Inner Banks. Home to the renowned Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, the expansive and wild Pine Cliff Recreational Area, and a small handful of shops and restaurants that shine a light on the local culture, Havelock is a fun day trip for nature lovers, military buffs, and anyone who wants an inside glimpse into the real, hardworking Coastal Carolina.

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.

Bath, NC

Bath, NC

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.

Old theater

Old theater

Visitors can get a taste of Oriental's small but thriving art scene with a visit to The Old Theater, a stark white and impressively large two-story building located on the corner of Broad and Church Streets. Showcasing a number of performances, films, and workshops throughout the year, and geared towards art lovers and theater-goers of all ages, a trip to the Old Theater can easily please every taste, and can serve as a fun and exciting way to dive right into the Oriental art scene.

Lou Mac Park

Lou Mac Park

The Lou Mac Park, although easily one of Oriental's smallest parks, is also one of its prettiest and most inviting for water lovers of all varieties, locals and visitors alike. Located on the corner of Freemason St. and South Avenue, this park has undergone several renovations over the past couple of years, thanks to damage from 2011's Hurricane Irene. Luckily, the waterfront structures and amenities that make this destination one of Oriental's favorites is back up and running, and is open to anyone who want a front row seat to one of Eastern North Carolina's most scenic waterfronts.

Washington, NC History

Washington, NC History

Explored in the late 1500s it was finally settled in 1690. James Bonner started the town on his own farm in the 1770s. After serving in the Continental Army, Bonner returned home and in 1776 renamed his town, originally called ''Forks of the Tar,'' for his commanding general, Washington. The town boasts that it is the ''original Washington.'' It was a major shipping port playing an important role in supplying the colonists when the British held Savannah, Charles Town and Wilmington under siege. Prized for its good waters it became a major commercial and cultural center for nearly a century.

Neuse River Recreation Area

Neuse River Recreation Area

The Neuse River Recreation Area is an inviting rustic vacation destination for seasoned campers and newcomers alike, with an equally alluring location that's just steps away from the miles-wide Neuse River, and just a few miles away from New Bern, Morehead City, and the beaches of the Crystal Coast. Ideal for visitors who want to get back to nature while enjoying a day on the shore, this recreation area can please beach-goers, swimmers, nature fans, birders, anglers, and virtually every outdoor lover in between.

Belhaven, NC History

Belhaven, NC History

Originally named Jack's Neck, Belhaven was once a bustling industrial town with a half-dozen lumber companies and a branch of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad.

Havens Gardens Park

Havens Gardens Park

Life in Little Washington revolves around the water, and this extends to all forms of recreation, including the local parks. The Havens Garden Park is a peaceful retreat located just off of Park Drive and Washington's thriving downtown, and offers visitors a peaceful locale to relax, take in a sunset, do a little fishing, entertain their young ones, or all of the above. Free and open to the public year-round, the Havens Garden Park is a pretty, natural retreat in the heart of an otherwise bustling downtown Washington.

Lawson Creek Park

Lawson Creek Park

Lawson Creek Park is an active destination that's suitable for nature lovers and outdoors fans of all genres. Encompassing a massive 140 acre site surrounded by the waters of Lawson Creek and Trent River, this park is a perfectly scenic locale that feels worlds away from the rest of Eastern North Carolina, but still has ample amenities to keep its more active visitors hard at play.

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.

Havelock Tourist and Event Center

Havelock Tourist and Event Center

The Havelock Tourist & Event Center and Marine Corps Aviation Exhibit, located just off of US 70 and close to the Havelock Chamber of Commerce is a must-stop for travelers who are new to this region of the Inner Banks. Stocked with military history, area information, and ample space to accommodate groups of all sizes, the center is a multi-purpose modern building dedicated to tourism, education, and all things Havelock.

7 Best Beach & Fishing Coolers 2017

7 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.

Outer Banks Speedway

Outer Banks Speedway

Visitors with a need for speed can hit the tracks in Creswell, just a couple miles west of Columbia, at the Outer Banks Speedway. The all-concrete 1/8 mile track has a two lane, 50' ft. wide racing surface where local and visiting speed demons can put the pedal to the metal.

Belhaven Memorial Museum

Belhaven Memorial Museum

The Belhaven Memorial Museum clearly holds the title as one of the most distinctive and unique museums in Eastern North Carolina, with a collection that includes historical artifacts, scientific oddities, and everything in between.