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.

First known as Smith's Creek. It was later renamed for the Federal transport, Oriental, which sank on May 8, 1862, south of Oregon Inlet near Bodie Island. Rebecca Midyette, wife of Louis Midyette, found the nameplate one day on the beach. Obviously the residents liked the name.

For years the town was a center of commercial fishing, and the big trawlers still unload their catches here. In the early part of the century, the town boomed when loggers used the docks to ship the timber they harvested from the peninsula between the Neuse and Pamlico rivers. This boom brought railways, hotels, and dance halls.

Now, as in the past, there are boats. But today, there is a mixture of commercial trawlers and sleek yachts that is the hallmark of Oriental.

 

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.

(More Locations)
New Bern Civic Theater

New Bern Civic Theater

Visitors who want to take in a fantastically performed local show while admiring one of New Bern's many historical gems should make a date to attend a production staged by the New Bern Civic Theatre. With a role of a lifetime as one of Craven County's most distinctive artistic resources, the nearly 50-year-old theater group is overwhelmingly enjoyed by local performers, artists, and patrons alike.

Festival Park

Festival Park

Washington's Festival Park may look like a scenic and quiet natural park during a typical day in the downtown area, but the park comes to life regularly with an assortment of movies, concerts and festivals that have put the small town of Washington on the map.

Oriental Hisory Museum

Oriental Hisory Museum

The Oriental History Museum is one of Oriental's "newest" attractions, and since opening its storefront doors less than a decade ago, the museum has welcomed thousands of visitors in search of an inside-look of Oriental's celebrated maritime history. Located in a small brick shopping center, and perfectly in place with its downtown surroundings, a visit to this museum is an easy-going adventure where patrons can take a step back in time, and uncover the everyday household items and local treasures that make this coastal town a genuinely distinctive community.