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NCCOAST

2013

RELOCATING TO THE SOUTHERN OUTER BANKS

Get Insider Info for Each Community

COMING HOME

TO EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA

All You Need to Know About Life on the Coast

Make Your Own “To Do” List A Newcomer’s Guide to Finding Art, Music, Golf, Water Sports & More

WWW.NCCOAST.COM


• • • • • •

Located along the ICW @ St. Mile 204. Transient yachts are welcome. Competitive dockage and fuel prices. ValvTect Marine Fuel / No Ethanol. Depth at MLW : 10-13 ft. 10-15 Restaurants within walking distance.

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Protected harbor for vessels 20-200 ft. Daily / Weekly / Monthly and Annual rates. Only 30 miles from the Gulf Stream. Adjacent to Beaufort Inlet. Electricity: 30/50/100/200 amp. Clean Restrooms/Laundry/Clubhouse.

• • • • •

Marina services available. Over 1200 ft. of side-tie floating docks. Yacht Brokerage on site. Professional and courteous staff. Only a 3 hour drive from Raleigh.

Morehead City Yacht Basin Serving Boaters and Sportsmen since 1947

208 Arendell St. Morehead City, NC 28557 For reservations call 252-726-6862 Fax 252-726-1939 or e-mail Dockmaster@moreheadcityyachtbasin.com www.moreheadcityyachtbasin.com

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Contents 8

DESTINATION | CARTERET COUNTY

12

DESTINATION | Craven COUNTY

14

DESTINATION | onslow COUNTY

linda sandbo photo

16

DESTINATION | pender COUNTY

20 26

29

30

18

DESTINATION | pamlico COUNTY  | NCCOAST Living

33 34

Sites to see

35

history lives

36

Get to know all the coast as has to offer with some of our favorite places to visit. With more than 300 years of history, the region makes history more tangible for every member of the family.

water world

the do list

resident advisor

Whether you’re looking for a great place to surf, or you’re eager for a leisurely kayak, watersports are abundant in our coastal haven.

The five-county area has a plethora of annual events. Explore the region by visiting these standouts. Know where to vote, where to get your license renewed and all those vital particulars.

education

From kindergarten through college, the coast has a variety of educational opportunities available.

38

a touch of culture

Whether you’re looking for live music or to browse an art collection – we’ve got you covered!

finding the right school

Schools play a role when searching for a new home. Know how to ask the right questions to ensure the educational environment matches your needs.

off the hook

A true angler’s paradise, Eastern North Carolina has lots to offer, from dockside fishing to high dollar tournaments.

40

tee off on the coast

42 43

map award winner

46

With an array of courses, golf is a popular pastime on the coast.

While modest, the Crystal Coast and its small hamlets have won an array of awards during the last several years.

advertising index


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Living

Making a Home in Coastal Carolina

Published by NCCOAST Communications 201 N. 17th St., Morehead City, NC 28557 252.247.7442 • 800.525.1403 fax 877.247.1856 www.nccoast.com

T NCCOAS

2013

TING TO RELOCA

THE SOU

THERN

OUTER

BANKS

day on the water is the ideal A prescription for anyone who begins to wonder if perhaps they’re

E Managing Editor: Amanda Dagnino ING HH CAOROMLINA COEAM ERN NORT (editor@nccoast.com) TO ST r Info Get Inside mmunity Staff Writer: Josh Lambert for Each Co Own Make Your t Graphics Manager: Kim Moore , “To Do” Lis Finding Art r’s Guide to re A Newcome Water Sports & Mo lf, Graphic Coordinator: Corey Giesey Music, Go Graphic Designers: Kyle Dixon, Mimi Guthrie Sales Manager: Jamie Bailey (252.241.9485) Sales: Jasa Lewis (252.648.1272), Anne Riggs-Gillikin (252.725.9114) and Ashly Willis (252.723.3350), or email sales@nccoast.com All You

Know Need to

About Lif

e on the

Coast

OAST.COM WWW.NCC

Entire contents, ad and graphic design elements copyright 2012-2013 by NCCOAST Communications. Reproduction of any portion of this publication is strictly prohibited unless written consent is obtained from the publisher. Content is as accurate as possible at presstime. Cover photo by Corey Giesey

Free Estimates Remodels New Construction Porches Fireplaces Flooring Showers Stonework Backsplashes & More

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ready for a change of scenery. It’s inevitable that each time we take the boat out, whether it’s for a full day of fishing and beaching, or just an evening cruise to watch the dolphins congregate in Core Creek, my family will take a moment to express just how thankful we are that we get to live in Eastern North Carolina. The whispering wind through the green marsh, the egrets, the dolphins, the water and that gorgeous stretch of Carolina blue sky is an epiphany in the making – a sign that we are indeed home. We are exactly where we want to be. That same feeling strikes each day on the way home from work, climbing the high rise bridge that connects Morehead City and Beaufort and glancing across Shackleford Banks in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, the sentinel that watches over us all. Sand, surf and sun – singing the praises of Coastal Carolina isn’t all that difficult to do. There are few who live here who take these things for granted. Instead, we’re all well aware that we’ve peeled back a small slice of heaven, an almost magical place that simply isn’t matched anywhere else in the country. There is a special breed of people who congregate where the land and the water merge. Our needs are small, our joys are simple and our pace is slowed. We’re the folks who have learned to stop and smell the roses, figuratively and literally. While

others thrive on the hectic world of inner-city life, we’re happy with nature and pleased with our solitude. Instead of wishing we could get away from it all for just a day or two, we’re happy to take a day off and stay right here at home. The Crystal Coast and the surrounding communities have many treasures to explore – from the intriguing military history of Topsail Island to the quiet backwaters of Down East Carteret County. Nothing can get you closer to nature than a visit to the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, a stroll through the near-vacant village of Portsmouth on the tip of the Southern Outer Banks or the passing of the wild Core Banks ponies as you sit with your toes in the sand. Few things can put you in touch with history like the rough brick walls of Fort Macon State Park or the sound of the floors creaking beneath your shoes at Tryon Palace. Whether we’re chatting with neighbors or taking in the sights, sounds and smells of coastal living, taking our time is important. But we hope you don’t take too long to come join us. When the water calls, it’s vital that you listen. When you’re ready for your coastal transition, we’ll be right here waiting, a cool glass of iced tea in hand and the boat ready to take you for a spin.

Amanda Dagnino, Editor


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DESTINATION carteret county THE CRYSTAL COAST

F i n d Yo u r Way H o m e o n t h e C rysta l Coa st

Q

uaint, yet contemporary, quiet, yet full of activities for the entire family – life on the Crystal Coast offers the best of all worlds for people of all ages. Whether you enjoy the laid back feel of Atlantic Beach or prefer to be in the heart of it all in downtown Morehead City, the county’s communities each have personalities all their own. Surrounding them all, however, is the staggering beauty that is hard to match on either coast. Whether you’re searching for the ideal location to retire or you’re ready to purchase a first home for your young family, Carteret County and its laid back, stress-free lifestyle is the perfect place to call ‘home.’ Atlantic Beach The oldest of the community’s beach towns, the eclectic town of Atlantic Beach has long been a favorite for young families. The oldest development along the 30-mile stretch of barrier island known as Bogue Banks, the town is an ideal spot to visit and an even better place to stay a while. To many, this seaside community is home steeped in an easy-going ambiance. Others will find the local shopping, restaurants, nightlife, fishing and annual festivals, such as the Carolina Kite Fest, irresistible. For the Civil War buff, historic Fort Macon State Park is a year-round treasure: a restored pentagonal Civil War fort on the edge of the island. Details: Town of Atlantic Beach, 252-726-2121, www.atlanticbeach-nc.com.

Beaufort Beaufort-by-the-Sea, which it is fondly called by local historians, or Fish Towne to history buffs, is recognized as the state’s third oldest town, behind Bath and New Bern. Settled in 1709 along Taylors Creek,

 | NCCOAST Living

mimi n. guthrie photo

Getting Connected Crystal Coast Tourism Authority

3409 Arendell St., Morehead City, NC 28557 252-726-8148, www.crystalcoastnc.org Population 66,909 mEDIAN AGE 46 Median household income $46,155 Median single family home value $207,500 county seat bEAUFORT Average january temperature 46° F average july temperature 81° F


linda sandbo photo

the downtown waterfront streets offer a pleasant blend of art galleries, boutiques, popular eateries and nightlife. The village is rich in history and a culture cultivated by the prevailing winds and the water that surrounds it. Bus, boat, walking and horsedrawn carriage tours provide the perfect opportunity for first-timers to take it all in – from the Old Burying Ground on Ann Street to its collection of architecture. When you’re not busy, make sure you take time to watch for the wild ponies that reside just across Taylors Creek on Carrot Island. Details: Town of Beaufort, 252728-2141, www.beaufortnc.org.

Down East Down East encompasses the communities of Atlantic, Bettie, Cedar Island, Davis, Gloucester, Harkers Island, Marshallberg, Otway, Sea Level, Smyrna, Sta-

cy, Straits and Williston. Down East communities embrace a true coastal lifestyle that celebrates the area’s longstanding maritime traditions. Experience a window into this world at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center. The museum is on Harkers Island, the community where private ferries take locals and visitors to Cape Lookout National Seashore for some of the best fishing and shelling around. The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is one of North Carolina’s seven renowned lighthouses, with a distinctive black-and-white diamond pattern. This much-visited Down East attraction has been a navigational aid to seafarers since 1859. It is a towering figure in both height and local legend, and is a trademark of Eastern North Carolina’s Crystal Coast area. Details:theoriginaldowneast.com.

Emerald Isle One of the largest communities on Bogue Banks, the lush greenery and family-oriented beaches make Emerald Isle a popular home and destination. Originally settled by nomadic Native Americans and whalers, the area known as Emerald Isle was largely uninhabited until the 1950s when it was purchased by a group of de-

velopers. The developers hired a consultant to fly over the area for a visual survey and upon viewing the expanse of undeveloped green forest, he suggested the area be named “Emerald Isle.” Across the bridge from Emerald Isle to the mainland, charming surprises await in the communities of Cape Carteret and Cedar Point. These amiable areas offer attractive (continued on page 10)

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need, with a selection of art galleries for the connoisseur. Morehead City is also home to the county’s growing offering of medical services, with everything from family practice to specialized medicine, dental and emergency care to the myriad of services offered through Carteret General Hospital. The community is also home to one of the state’s two deepwater ports where ships dock from all over the world. Morehead City’s delightful mixture of coastal cottages, waterfront homes, contemporary homes, townhouses and apartments and more have people dropping anchor. Details: Town of Morehead City, 252726-6848, townofmorehead.com.

Newport

(continued from page 9) soundside living and a treasure trove of antique shops, as well as major shopping venues. Details: Town of Emerald Isle, 252-354-3424, emeraldisle-nc.org.

Indian Beach/ Salter Path Primarily residential, the population of Indian Beach and Salter Path swells each summer as vacationers converge on the shimmering shore lines. Maintaining a family atmosphere, while offering both home and condominium options, these towns are great centralized spots to take in all the beach has to offer. Family restaurants and fish houses blend easily with modern condominiums and waterfront homes to create a variety of options for vacationers and those new to the area. With beach access points along Hwy 58, this is a great area to find a slice of secluded beach to claim for the

10 | NCCOAST Living

day or a lifetime. Recreational opportunities include kayak and personal watercraft rentals as well as fishing. For home buyers, the towns provide a plethora of sound side and ocean side options in a variety of price ranges. Details: Town of Indian Beach, 252-2473344, indianbeach.org.

Known far and wide as the “Town with Old Fashioned Courtesy,” Newport is the small riverfront village with a deep Civil War history. Located between Morehead City and Havelock, Newport supports a large military population, both active duty and retired, many of which become active in the close-knit community. New-

port’s biggest draw, the Newport Pig Cooking Contest, celebrates its 34th year in 2012 and is a great chance to see that small-town pride in action. Details: Town of Newport, 252-223-4749, townofnewport.com.

Pine Knoll Shores In the maritime forest, nestled between the oceanside dunes and quiet waters of Bogue Sound, is the little residential community of Pine Knoll Shores. The land was developed by children of Theodore Roosevelt, who were heirs of Alice Hoffman, a property owner of the land on Bogue Banks from Atlantic Beach to near Emerald Isle. The early owners’ priorities for minimal disturbance of the island dynamics in its development make Pine Knoll Shores one of the state’s most ecologically sensitive towns and a sanctuary for sea turtles and coastal birds. Pine Knoll Shores is also home to the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, attracting visitors from across the nation. Details: Town of Pine Knoll Shores, 252247-4353, townofpks.com.

Morehead City With a lively working waterfront, Morehead City is fast growing with much to offer residents and visitors of all ages. Famous for its boat-to-table seafood restaurants and entertaining with a charter fishing fleet, Morehead City shines as coastal living at its best. Seafood enthusiasts delight in fresh North Carolina fare at area restaurants or purchase fresh seafood from local markets to prepare at home. As the commercial hub of Carteret County, Morehead City has specialty shops to suit every

mimi n. guthrie photo


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DESTINATION CRAVEN COUNTY and attractions. Having more than 150 historic landmarks, New Bern is the ideal place for history buffs to spend the day or the weekend. In 2010, Tryon Palace launched the NC History Center, incorporating history with cutting-edge technology. Details: New Bern Chamber of Commerce, 252-637-3111, newbernchamber. com.

River Bend Small in size, and young in age, the Town

of River Bend is living proof that great things come in small packages. Just a few miles south of New Bern, this residential community is bordered by the Trent River on the south and a canal system on the east. This quiet golf-course community offers many residential options, and fishing, sailing and kayaking make the neighborhoods popular with outdoor enthusiasts. Details: Town of River Bend, River Bend Town Hall, 45 Shoreline Drive, 252-638-3870, riverbendnc.org.

History an d Sout he r n Cha rm

C

raven County was established in 1712 and is home to the first capitol, and current county seat, New Bern. The county was named after William, Earl of Craven, one of the eight original Lord Proprietors of the Carolina province, and is steeped with history. The county saw early success and growth due to the ideal location and early establishment of river ports and railroads. From the gardens of the Tryon Palace in New Bern to the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, the success continues through history preservation, which brings in tourism, and the economic impact of the air station. These have contributed to create attractive communities with desirable amenities and attractions. Havelock Havelock welcomed some of the earliest settlers in America. The area boasted permanent plantation sites as early as 1707 and was home to many woodsmen, fishermen and farmers before the American Revolution. Havelock is widely known for being the home to the Marine Corps’ largest air station, Cherry Point, which is also one of the largest employers in Craven and neighboring Carteret County. The base maintains a close working relationship with the community through events like its annual air show, drawing visitors from around the state, and a variety of outreach programs held throughout the year. Details: Havelock Chamber of Commerce, 252-447-1101, havelockchamber.org.

12 | NCCOAST Living

New Bern For most communities

Getting Connected craven county visitor center and convention center po box 1713, new bern, NC 28563 252-637-1551, www.visitnewbern.com Population 103,505 mEDIAN AGE 36.2

Trent Woods Nestled along the Trent

River and filled with recreational opportunities, the quiet town of Trent Woods offers a tranquil waterfront lifestyle for everyone. Although Trent Woods is a popular spot for retirees, it has become a great place for new families. The town is home to quiet neighborhoods, local schools and churches, as well as close and convenient access to many amenities without having overt commercialism within the community. Details: Town of Trent Woods, George R. Scott Jr. Municipal Building, 912 Country Club Drive, 252-6379810, trentwoodsnc.org.

Median household income along or near the coast, wa- $44,599 ter is the lifeblood of their Median single family economies. But in New Bern, home value there’s more to life than sand $151,500 and sea. It is home to 160,000 county seat acres of forests, 300 years of new bern history and a number of bears. Average january temperature Founded by Swiss VANCEBORO 46.9° F Baron Christopher Sitting along the bank of de Graffenried and average july temperature Swift Creek, just sixteen miles named after Bern, 77.3° F to the northeast of New Bern, Switzerland, New is the small town of Vanceboro. Bern is true to its roots as the state’s Covering approximately 1176 acres in Craven first state capitol, its second oldCounty and boasting a modest population of est city and home to the original roughly 898, Vanceboro is a small town comPepsi-Cola soda. The picturesque munity built on small town values. The town downtown area, conveniently was originally established in 1750 as the small built where the Trent and Neuse village of Durgantown, and later renamed to Rivers converge, offers astonhonor the popular first governor Zebulon B. ishing waterfront views and Vance. Details: Town of Vanceboro Town Hall, boasts a hub of shopping, dining 252-244-0919, vanceboronc.com.


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North Topsail Beach

DESTINATION ONSLOW COUNTY

Located at the northern end of Topsail Island, which is how it got its name, North Topsail Beach is well known for its long stretches of peaceful beach area. Topsail Island offers a 26-mile barrier island that reaches from 500 to 1,500 feet wide. This island is accessible by an old-fashioned swing bridge in Surf City or a modern high-rise bridge on the north end, reaching over the Intracoastal Waterway. Details: Town of North Topsail Beach, 910-3281349, ntbnc.org.

Richlands

Ho n o r i n g Country a n d Comm unit y nslow County’s seat, Jacksonville, ranked number one in Newsweek’s The Daily Beast report that analyzed and named the top “20 Recession-Proof Cities” in 2010. The county maintains O steady growth and has quickly become well known for its pro-business community and environment. These statistics are proof that this community embraces and readily tackles the demand stemming from the consistent growth of the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast, Camp LeJeune, and surrounding bases, including Camp Johnson, Camp Geiger and New River Air Station. These bases comprise approximately 156,000 acres throughout the county. Jacksonville Jacksonville maintains a small-town feel while being the commercial hub of Onslow County, providing all the stores and conveniences associated with larger cities. The community strives diligently to address the needs of its service men and women while creating a better quality of life for its citizens by consistently stimulating economic development through initiatives and opportunities. In 2010, the mayor and city council established The Clean & Green effort to improve the appearance, cleanliness and pride in the city, which means Jacksonville also takes pride in

14 | NCCOAST Living

its mission to be responsible for its environment and natural resources. Details: City of Jacksonville, 910-938-5200, www.ci.jacksonville.nc.us.  

Swansboro

Richlands is a vibrant, family-friendly community with small-town charm and a historic central business area home to the Onslow County Museum. The town is known for being an agricultural hub, but is also the site of the first graded school, the first public high school and the first library in Onslow County. Richlands has become an attractive building location in recent years due to its high quality of life and lower cost of living. Details: Town of Richlands, 910-324-3301. 

Sneads Ferry

Every town has a story, and Sneads Ferry’s can be summed up in one sighting of a pair of its famous white Getting Connected boots. A town well known for onslow County tourism its shrimping, fishing and farm800-932-2144 ing businesses, “Sneads Ferry www.onslowcountytourism.com Sneakers,” or waterman’s boots, are a common sight unique to great topsail area chamber this area. The village of Sneads 13775 Hwy 50, Suite 101, Ferry is a working fishing comSurf City, NC 28445 munity located on the New 910-329-4446, www. River near the northern tip of topsailchamber.org Topsail Island and holds the Population official shrimp festival of NC 177,772 – each August, the Sneads Ferry mEDIAN AGE Shrimp Festival provides fun 25.7 and entertainment while paying homage to the industry that Median household income keeps this small town up and $43,561 running. Details: sneadsferMedian single family rynorthcarolina.com. home value   $137,400

Historic Swansboro is a charming waterfront community located at the mouth of the White Oak River, where the river joins the Atlantic Ocean and flows past the pristine beaches of Bear Island. With the town boasting everyHolly Ridge thing from small boutiques to county seat The last town you pass waterside dining, locals and jacksonville through, exiting Onslow County, visitors alike come to this area Average january temperature is Holly Ridge, incorporated in to enjoy a slower pace. How46.9 ° F 1941. Considered the “Gateway ever, the community is surto Topsail Island,” this town ofrounded with opportunities to average july temperature fers its residents a great location go antiquing, charter fishing, 77.3 ° F with only a five-minute trip to paddling and golfing. Details: the beach, 45-minute drive to Wilmington and Swansboro Chamber of Commerce, 910-326a 25-minute trip to neighboring Jacksonville. 1174, www.swansboroncchamber.org. Details: Town of Holly Ridge, 910-329-7081, www.townofhollyridge.com.


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DESTINATION pender COUNTY tourists increases the population to around 7,000, helping to sustain the town’s motels, restaurants, gift shops, fishing pier and other businesses. Details: Town of Topsail Beach, 910-328-5841, topsailbeach.org.

Hampstead Free from the hustle and bustle of a city, Hampstead is the perfect place for those seeking a laid-back lifestyle. Hampstead is unincorporated, but becoming one of the fastest growing areas in the region due to its close proximity to Wilmington and military bases in adjoining Onslow County. There is boating, fishing, easy access to peaceful waterways for an assortment of water driven activities and four local golf courses to challenge even the most extreme club-swinging enthusiast. The variety of pleasant shops, excellent school district, hidden culinary delights and close access to water provide a coastal playground for boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming, surfing and much more. Details: Greater Hampstead Chamber of Commerce, 910-270-9642, hampsteadchamber.com.

The Best of Both: Island and Mainland ender County is surrounded by a peaceful atPattracting mosphere of beaches, rivers and woodlands, people seeking history or relaxation in Getting Connected

its various scenic landscapes and views of the water. From the beaches to the battleground, Pender County is host to six towns and seven communities and each has something to offer, whether someone is searching for history, relaxation or beauty. The county’s rich military history dates back to a victory in the Revolutionary war at Moore’s Creek Battleground, a favorite of visitors and locals for decades. During the Revolutionary War, this area sent nearly 4,000 troops to battle and gave the Confederacy its youngest general, William mimi n. guthrie photo D. Pender, for whom the county was named. Natural beauty and a temperate climate are two of Pender County’s greatest assets, allowing thick woodlands to be filled with lofty pines and ancient hardwoods, and wildflowers grow along the roadsides while cultivated plant life thrives in private lawns and gardens. Warm weather begins in early spring and usually continues through November, meaning the county enjoys a long growing season, and residents and vacationers can participate in outdoor activities almost year round. Topsail Beach Situated at the southern end of Topsail Island, the Town of Topsail Beach is the smallest of the three communities located on the 26-mile long island. The town was incorporated in 1963 and has built a family oriented, friendly community where high-

16 | NCCOAST Living

Pender County Tourism

Surf City

Surf City is a small town, but has been the commercial heart of the area for more than 60 years. On the border of Pender and Onslow counties, surroundPOPULATION ing both ends of the bridge to 52, 217 Topsail Island, Surf City is the MEDIAN AGE largest of the three island towns 41.1 in the area. Holding the status of MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME an official sea turtle sanctuary, this quiet beach community is $44,338 also home to the only sea turtle MEDIAN SINGLE FAMILY HOME hospital in the state, the Karen VALUE Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and $147,200 Rehabilitation Center. The town COUNTY SEAT is home to a wonderful boardBurgaw walk and pier for sound fishing and Surf City Pier, a haven for AVERAGE JANUARY surf fishing. TEMPERATURE Bike tours during spring and 48.5° fall months are available for AVERAGE JULY TEMPERATURE visitors and locals. Additionally, rise developments aren’t al- 79.2° upon entering the town via Hwy lowed, pleasing aesthetics are 50, folks cross the Intracoastal Waterway on encouraged and the top priority is conserone of the last swing bridges in North Carovation of the island. Along its thick marilina, a legacy to this unique area. Details: Surf time forests, the island has more than 1,200 City Welcome and Visitors Center, 910-328homes that provide living for only 500 2716, visitsurfcity.com. year-round residents. The seasonal influx of 805 S. Walker St., Burgaw, NC 28425 888-576-4756 www.visitpender.com


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Realtor, Pam Bird has been expertly assisting buyers and sellers in acquiring coastal property since 1998. Because of her own experience of living waterfront and raising a family on Pelletier Creek, just off Bogue Sound in Morehead City, she understands the unique attraction to our Crystal Coast. Pam Bird and her three children, Kristen, and twins, Ryan and John, can talk first hand about the joys and the blessings of the coastal lifestyle, and all that it involves ... backyard cookouts with family and friends, boating, kayaking, crab pots off the dock and much, much more. And so, because she understands, real estate is a natural for Pam Bird. She sees the powerful yet familiar pull her clients feel toward our area. So many of her clients came here as small children, and now they bring their children, and our coastal tradition continues. Other clients come just to visit and vacation and they find themselves “at home” here. Some come to make the coast a permanent home, or they may already live here and they benefit from her ability to match buyers with exactly what they want, while keeping the process easy and comfortable So, give Pam Bird a call or send an e-mail to find “your very own special place at the coast.”

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DESTINATION PAMLICO COUNTY

Quiet and Easy Living W

Oriental Known as the “Sailing Capital of North

Carolina,” Oriental is a place where land and water meet under the best circumstances; a place shared by fishing trawlers and racing yachts, Victorian homes and modern marinas, shady lanes and waterfront vistas. Connected by a short channel to the Intracoastal Waterway, Oriental has earned a reputation as one of the most popular stops on that well-traveled aquatic avenue. The town sits just below where the Neuse River connects with the Pamlico Sound. While it’s best known as homeport to some of the East Coast’s finest sailing, Oriental also offers exceptional opportunities for cycling, paddling, hunting, golfing and a number of other activities. Roughly 5,000-6,000 sailors come into port each year from the Intracoastal Waterway for a relaxing night on the town or to compete in annual races like the Oriental Cup Regatta. Most importantly, Oriental offers friendly, small-town charm, relaxed comfort and simple serenity that keeps residents from leaving and makes others visit again and again. Details: Town of Oriental, 252-249-0555, www. visitoriental.com.

Bayboro Named for the Bay River and settled long

hile the coast is the epicenter of summer before it was incorporated in 1881, Bayboro is activity in the area, Pamlico County perthe oldest incorporated town in Pamlico Counpetuates an easy, laid-back lifestyle year round, ty and became the county seat in 1876. The making it a favorite of sailors and outdoorsmen. The economy of Bayboro is well diversified, with its core consisting of the courthouse and law region is home to a bounty of calm North Carolina enforcement facility surrounded by a collection country, both on and off shore, and many seafaring of small supporting businesses, watermen have made their way to homes, churches, public schools, the area thanks to its placement Getting Connected community college extension, medical center and government offices. along the Intracoastal Waterway, Pamlico County The Bay River is narrow, but navicreating a boating Mecca. Some Chamber of Commerce gable all the way to the town and a of the state’s best craftsmen, PO Box 92, great place for fishermen hoping to grantsboro, nc 28529 artisans and boat builders are snag drum, spot, trout, flounder and 252-745-3008, tarpon. Details: Town of Bayboro, found tucked along the county’s www.pamlicochamber.com 252-745-4238. creeks and rivers. Population Pamlico County was first 13,144 Minnesott Beach settled by the Europeans in the mEDIAN AGE Minnesott Beach is located at early 1700s, when the area was already inhabited by the Pampticoe Indians. 48.3 the site of an old Indian settlement These Indians called Pamlico “TaTaku,” meaning where the land and the sea Median household income which was thought to be one of the largest Indian trading centers in meet the sky. This phrase rings true today as the county’s borders create a $40,561 the south Atlantic states. The name virtual island, with Goose Creek and Pamlico River on the north, the Upper Median single family Minnesott is derived from an Indian Broad Creek to the west, Neuse River to the south and the Pamlico Sound to home value word that was said to mean, “land of the east. Although this is the case, there are plenty of marshlands, forests $133,800 sky and blue water.” Developed as a resort area on the Neuse River after and fields inside the county, which create an economy prospering through county seat World War I, the state ferry arrives bayboro farming, fishing, forestry and of course, tourism. departs here, bringing passen From art galleries, small restaurants, independent theaters, annual fes- Average january temperature and gers to and from the Cherry Branch tivals and full service marinas offered by the eclectic little village of Oriental 49.1° F ferry station, generally running evto the quiet waters of Minnesott Beach and the Bay River in Bayboro, Pamlico average july temperature ery 30 minutes. Details: Town of Minnesott Beach, 252-249-1755. County hosts great fishing, charming communities, outdoor recreation and 79.7° F beautiful landscapes. 18 | NCCOAST Living


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sites to see

There is Plenty to do in Eastern North Carolina

cape lookout lighthouse

W

e’ve got sand, water and endless sunny days in which to enjoy them. Who could ask for anything more than that, right? Every once in a while even the most hardened beach bum searches for a little extra to do – and Eastern North Carolina is quick to answer back. With an abundance of historic sites and landmarks, museums and the aquarium, there is so much to do beyond the beach that it simply can’t all be done during a vacation. We recommend taking up residence to fully enjoy the touchable history at Fort Macon State Park, a visit with the turtles at the Topsail Turtle Hospital, a frothy glass of soda from the birthplace of Pepsi or a climb to the top of Cape Lookout Lighthouse on a clear fall day. Looking for something to do? Here are a few of our favorite places: 20 | NCCOAST Living

MIMI N. GUTHRIE

photo

Carteret County Cape Lookout National Seashore Until you experience the natural, undeveloped 56-mile stretch that is Cape Lookout National Seashore, it’s hard to imagine that beach like this still exists in the US. Yet it does – and it’s right here waiting for someone to stake claim of its shoreline for the perfect family day on the beach. Accessible only by private boat or water ferry, the park is made up of three barrier islands and provides the perfect backdrop for shelling, fishing, camping and more. The southern end of the island is home to one of the state’s most recognizable lighthouses, now more than 150 years old. The lighthouse, which is open on select days during the summer months, is maintained by the National Park Service and its

headquarters is located at the end of Island Road, Harkers Island. Details: 252-728-2250, www.nps.gov/calo.

BEAUFORT HISTORIC SITE The Beaufort Historic Site launches visitors back to the early days of what was then “Fish Towne” through its collection of restored buildings, many of which were moved to the site. Living History programs and a full calendar of annual events, including June’s popular Old Homes and Garden Tour, keep visitors coming back again and again. See what life was like 300 years ago by browsing the Courthouse of 1796, peeking in to the apothecary shop and strolling through the Old Burying Ground. Guided and selfguided tours are available as well as double-decker bus tours of town. Don’t miss the Mattie


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turtles and others glide around a three-quarter-scale replica of a German U-boat found off the coast. A variety of educational programs run throughout the year. Details: 252-247-4003, www.ncaquariums.com.

NC AQUARIUM AT PINE KNOLL SHORES

FORT MACON STATE PARK

Explore what lives beneath the waves at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, part of the three-site aquarium system operated by the state. Using the theme “from the mountains to the sea,” the aquarium allows guests to trace the waterways across North Carolina and the bounty of aquatic life it holds. Watch river otters play and get up close and personal with stingrays in the touch tank. In the centerpiece, the 306,000gallon Living Shipwreck exhibit, fierce looking sand tiger sharks and hundreds of fish, sea

The state’s second most visited park welcomes visitors to the tip of Bogue Banks where it carefully guards the coast. With a new visitor’s center, complete with educational exhibits, the park, surrounding beach and nature trails encompass 385 acres in all. The bathhouse area features a public swimming beach, the rock jetty offers a great place to try your hand at surf fishing and the trails provide a great opportunity to do a little bird spotting. But it’s the well-preserved pentagonal (continued on page 22)

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highlight has been involved in the excavation of what is thought to the be the shipwreck of Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. The site now shows off much of the bounty raised from the sea, creating the largest Blackbeard exhibit to be found. An eclectic array of year-round programs, from boat building to the annual Summer Science Program, makes this a favorite of visitors and area residents. Learn to sail, tour the port or just gather for lunch to talk about the wild Spanish Mustangs that dot the adjacent island. Details: 252-728-7317, www. ncmaritimemuseum.org.  Craven County

CROATAN NATIONAL FOREST

NC Aquarium

(continued from page 21) brick Civil War fortress that brings visitors to the site. Several of the casements contain displays, including a great collection of military uniforms, with more than half having been left untouched; allowing visitors to truly experience what life in the fort was like. Details: 252-726-3775, www. ncparks.gov.

CORE SOUND WATERFOWL MUSEUM & HERITAGE CENTER Anyone hoping to learn more about the Down East region of Carteret County will find all the information they hoped for at this showcase of the region’s history and traditions. This culturallyrich region was once dependent upon the waters by which it was surrounded, and the museum at the “end of the road” on Harkers Island shares the story of hunting and fishing, boat building and decoy carving through artifacts, exhibits and special programs and shows. A schedule of annual events keeps visitors coming back time and time again, including December’s

22 | NCCOAST Living

Waterfowl Weekend. Details: 252728-1500, www.coresound.com.

THE HISTORY PLACE Owned and operated by the Carteret County Historical and Genealogical Society, The History Place is Morehead City’s only museum. Glance into the world of commercial fishing, view a striking new military display or touch the wheels of spy Emeline Pigott’s carriage. Civil War memorabilia, furniture, artwork, vintage clothing, glassware and more come together to paint a picture of what life was like in early Carteret County. The Jack Spencer Goodwin Library, with more than 6,000 publications, genealogy materials, Civil War history collections and an extensive picture file is available to the public for research. Details: 252247-7533, www.thehistoryplace.org.

NC MARITIME MUSEUM Showcasing the area’s rich maritime history and longstanding relationship with the water that surrounds it, this Beaufort

Looking for a shady way to get back to nature? Pull out your hiking boots and find your spot in the Croatan National Forest, home to a collection of hiking trails, boat launches, campgrounds and dayuse areas. The Croatan is home to a large number of carnivorous plants native to the area, including the Venus flytrap. Civil War buffs will want to visit the site where the Battle of New Bern was fought, now a portion of the national forest. Headquarters is located at 141 East Fisher Ave., just outside of New Bern, although trails can be found as far east as Carteret County. Details: 252-638-5628, www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc.

BIRTHPLACE OF PEPSI When Caleb Davis Braham dropped out of medical school he was sure he could develop a niche for himself as a pharmacist. What he started, however, was one of the most popular soft drinks in the country. Pepsi-Cola was born in the back room of Bradham’s Drug Co., 256 Middle St., New Bern. What began as Brad’s Drink, a blend of carbonated water, sugar, pepsin, kola nut extract, vanilla and what he termed “rare oils” is honored today at the oldfashioned soda fountain where it all began. Stop in for themed merchandise or an ice cold Pepsi from the fountain. Details: 252636-5898 or www.pepsistore.com.

TRYON PALACE The original mansion was built in 1770 for Colonial Governor William Tryon, who, after spending just a year in the home, fled North Carolina to become governor of New York. After serving a variety of purposes, it was destroyed by fire in 1798, however, historians rallied to rebuild and reconstruction was complete in the 1950s. The site now welcomes guests year-round, sharing the rich history of New Bern and the surrounding area through exhibits and a full schedule of programs. In 2010, the site opened the NC History Center, a state-of-the-art museum, theater and meeting space. Details: 252514-4900 or www.tryonpalace.org.

Onslow County ONSLOW COUNTY MUSEUM The Onslow County Museum in Richlands is a public, nonprofit, educational institution whose purpose is to stimulate an interest in, and teach about, the cultural and natural history of Onslow County. Residents and visitors to the county can learn about the county’s marine, agricultural and industrial resources and development, and hopefully gain an understanding and appreciation of its past, present and future. The museum features art exhibits and a research room. Details: 910-324-5008, www. onslowcountync.gov/museum.

BEIRUT MEMORIAL A total of 273 names are listed on the memorial, which remembers the members of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune who lost their lives on deployment to Lebanon in 1983. Trees, a statue and a poem cast in bronze complete the memorial. Details: www.lejeune.usmc.mil/visitors/ Beirut_memorial.

Pamlico County Oriental History Museum Look back in time to this small clearinghouse of Oriental history. Located at 802 Broad St. in Oriental, the museum depicts everyday life in the sailing town of Oriental through the ages. Visitors


can see everything from oyster scoops to a bronzed porthole from the shipwreck of the sailing steam Oriental, from which the town got its name. Details: 252-249-2493.

PAMLICO COUNTY HERITAGE CENTER & MUSEUM This combined heritage center and museum is dedicated to the preservation of the rich history of Pamlico County. Changing exhibits feature hand-crafted farm, woodland and marine implements, equipment, modes of transportation and heavy machinery representative of rural eastern North Carolina during the 19th and 20th centuries. The associated village includes a working blacksmith shop, a schoolhouse and more. Open weekdays 1-4pm, on 10642 Highway 55 East, Grantsboro. Details: 252-745-2239.

Pender County Missiles and More Museum The government left its mark on Topsail Island from 1946 to

1948, and this museum is the best place to learn about this once secretive mission, Operation Bumblebee. More than 200 experimental rockets were fired from the shores here, helping steer the US guided missile program. Housed in what was the Assembly Building, the museum celebrates the island’s elusive past through artifacts, exhibits, oral histories and ongoing programs. While you’re here, make sure you watch out for the eight military towers that still grace the island – including two that have been incorporated into home construction. Details: 910-3294446, topsailhistoricalsociety.org.

POPLAR GROVE PLANTATION Located between Hampstead and Wilmington, this blast from the past offers a snapshot of life on a peanut plantation. Costumed guides lead visitors through the restored mansion, recount its colorful history and demonstrate skills important to daily 19th Century life. Poplar Grove Plantation hosts a number

of annual events including an Herb and Garden Fair and a Christmas Open House. Details: 910-6869518, www.poplargrove.com.

TOPSAIL TURTLE HOSPITAL In the construction phase of a new home in Surf City, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center comes to the aid of nesting sea turtles and hatchlings, as well as sick and injured sea turtles. Caring for an average of 20 sea turtles each day, volunteers administer medicine, food, water and lots of tender loving care in hopes the turtles can be rehabilitated and released back into their natural habitat. The facility is open to the public during select times. Details: 9103 2 8 - 3 3 7 7 , w w w. seaturtlehospital.org.

PENDER COUNTY MUSEUM A clearinghouse of area history, this localized museum offers artifacts, photographs, documents and a vast genealogy collection. A barn collection includes old equipment and items relating to Pender County’s roots, while its elaborate collection of old medical equipment speaks volumes about the buildings past as a tonsillectomy clinic. Details: 910-259-8543 or www.pendercountymuseum.webs.com.

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HISTORY & heritage

History Lives on the Crystal Coast By Josh Lambert

W

illiam Tryon, before assuming the office of North Carolina’s Governor, made plans for an elaborate governor’s mansion in New Bern, the first capitol of North Carolina. Tryon convinced legislature to increase taxes to supply the funds to erect his mansion, which exacted great controversy because the citizens of the province already felt overburdened with taxation. This served as a major catalyst in North Carolina’s War of the Regulation, which culminated in the Battle of Alamance on May 16, 1771 and later led to the hanging of seven men. The unpopular Gov. Tryon left North Carolina in 1771 after living in the house only a little more than a year. A replica of the first governor’s home, Tryon Palace, remains the centerpiece of the town. All but a small area of the kitchen wall was destroyed by fire in 1798, but campaigns to raise the funds resulted in a recreation of the site opening in 1959. The historical landmark is home to 16 acres of gardens offering three centuries of gardening history. From the 18th century Wilderness Garden, through the lush displays of the Victorian period and modern revival interpretations of earlier periods, the palace gardens offer a copious variety. “Beaufort Town” or simply Beaufort, was established as a seaport with the right to collect customs in 1722, and was the third largest port in the state during the American Revolution. The Old Burying Ground contains graves of soldiers from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. In this peaceful plot of ground, under the boughs of ancient live oak trees, weathered tombstones chronicle the heritage of Eastern North Carolina. The oldest legible date on a grave marker is 1756, but many grave sites are much older. The historic district of Beaufort boasts more than one hundred his-

26 | NCCOAST Living

toric homes bearing names and dates of construction on plaques. The Beaufort Historic Site illustrates the town’s colonial maritime heritage in nine houses and buildings dating from 1732-1859. The Hammock House served as a landmark for ships entering Beaufort Harbor since the 1700s, and is the oldest house in Beaufort. Ghost folklore is ever present surrounding its history and the history of Beaufort. The house is believed to have served as an inn, and among its guests was Blackbeard, one of the most infamous pirates in history. Legend says one of Blackbeard’s wives stayed with him at the Hammock House while his ship was careened on the beaches. When he left, he had her hung from one of the live oak trees in the yard and buried. In 1862, folks in Beaufort woke to find the Union Army in control; three Union officers went to inspect the vacant Hammock House and weren’t seen again until 1915 when workmen discovered their remains. The house was used by the Union Army during the Civil War, and a long period of vandalism, neglect and general abuse followed;


however, the present owner has restored the interior to look as original as possible. Beaufort is also home to the NC Maritime Museum, where exhibits feature the state’s rich seafood industry, life-saving stations, lighthouses and boats. It’s the official repository for artifacts from Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, which ran aground in Beaufort Inlet in 1718 and was discovered by a private company in 1996. Next to Beaufort is a sound-side port on the Newport River with maritime history in its veins – Morehead City. Wild horses roam on an island offshore and hundreds of years of seafaring history lurk beneath the water’s surface, including a multitude of game fish. From shipwrecks and historic sites to the wild horses roaming on Shackleford Banks, there are many stories to be revealed about the town’s culture and history. The Carteret County Historical Association created The History Place in Morehead City to provide exhibits, programs and coastal heritage to residents and visitors alike. Exhibits include award winning carved decoys, an 1865 carriage from which a local Confederate spy was arrested and an amazing quilt exhibit, among many others. The Carteret County Historical Society also recognizes historic homes and buildings through its plaque program and more than 35 plaques have been awarded. Across the bridge from Morehead City in Atlantic Beach is fivesided Fort Macon, boasting 26 vaulted rooms enclosed by outer walls averaging more than four feet thick. During the 18th and 19th centuries, state leaders recognized the need for coastal defenses and began efforts to construct forts. The eastern point of Bogue Banks determined to be the best location to guard the entrance to Beaufort Inlet, and construction of a small fascine fort began in 1756, but was never finished and the inlet remained undefended during the American Revolution. The War of 1812 prompted the US government to begin construction on an improved chain of coastal fortifications for national defense. Fort Macon was a part of this chain, and its purpose was to guard Beaufort Inlet and Beaufort Harbor. Construction of the present fort began in 1826, and it was garrisoned in 1834. Two days elapsed after the Civil War began before local militia forces from Beaufort arrived to seize the fort for the Confederacy. In 1862, Union forces swept through eastern North Carolina, and men were sent to capture Fort Macon. Union forces took Morehead City and Beaufort without resistance then landed on Bogue Banks to fight for Fort Macon. Col. Moses J. White and 402 North Carolina Confederates refused to surrender, and on April 25, Union forces bombarded the fort with heavy siege guns, aided by four Union gunboats offshore and floating batteries in the sound to the east. While the fort easily repulsed the gunboat attacks, the Union land batteries, utilizing new rifled cannons, hit the fort 560 times. The fort was surrendered the following morning due to extensive damage, with the Confederate garrison being paroled as prisoners of war. The new rifled cannons demonstrated the obsolescence of such buildings as a way of defense. The Union held Fort Macon for the remainder of the war, while Beaufort Harbor served as a coaling and repair station for its navy. The state purchased the land from Congress for $1 in 1923, and the fort was restored by the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1934-35, and Fort Macon State Park officially opened May 1, 1936 as North Carolina’s first functioning state park. The fort was garrisoned for the last time during World War II, occupied from 1941-1944, and leased to the US Army by the state. Topsail Island gained notoriety during the World War II era, as (continued on page 28)

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(continued from page 27) Camp Davis was erected virtually overnight in the small town of Holly Ridge, bringing some 20,000 troops to the area. The base was closed six years after opening, but it left the opportunity for the US Navy to use Topsail Island as the site of its top secret missile program, Operation Bumblebee, from 1946-1948. Today, various observation towers are still visible, including several that have been incorporated into private homes. The war brought the construction of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and other major training and testing facilities, and the military presence continues to grow as years pass. Carteret, Craven, Onslow, Pender and Pamlico counties have all benefitted from the influx of military personnel to the area. The newcomers bring new opportunities for local businesses while the bases continue to provide a large source of employment for the surrounding communities. It was the Coast Guard who were first to arrive. The Cape Lookout Coast Guard Station was built as a lifeboat, life-saving station beginning in 1916 and was chiefly responsible for providing rescue services in the Cape Lookout Shoals, which represent a significant hazard to coastwise shipping. In 1913, the Senate passed a bill to combine the Life-Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service into a single entity called the United States Coast Guard. In 1915, the Silvia C. Hall wrecked on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and made permanent Coast Guard History. Only 48 days had passed since the US Life Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service had merged. The ill-fated Silvia C. Hall was the US Coast Guard’s first major rescue. As the motor life-

boat came through the breakers towing the boat with all mariners and rescuers safe, a cheer arose that could be heard well into the surf. They were cheers for the US Coast Guard, not for the life-saving service. The Cape Lookout station operated until 1982, and is now under the care of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Whether on land or sea, the heritage and history is rich in the Crystal Coast and can be found in every county. From maritime to marine, culture and history are well represented throughout the area and organizations and people are striving to keep that history alive, allowing future generations to understand more about where it is they call home.

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Coasta l Activ iti es a r e Ab u n dan t in East e r n No rt h Ca ro l i na

T

he Crystal Coast must have received special attention from Mother Nature, given the frothy blue/green waters that caress its shores. It is one of two places on the Eastern seaboard where the Gulf Stream current brushes the coastline, resulting at times in clear, warm waters and the perfect place for active oceanic adventures. From boat tours and cruises, kayak and boat rentals, parasailing adventures, water sports and fishing, the ways to explore the ocean are endless. With at least one species of fish abundant year-round, anglers find the freedom to fish at just about any time on the Crystal Coast. The fall months host an ample source of red drum and false albacore, and sea trout angling is also very popular in the fall, especially off the shores of Cape Lookout National Seashore and at Fort Macon State Park. Winter months usher in droves of striped bass, bluefish and flounder. Shackleford Banks is a prime spot in the spring to catch cobia, and the summer heat lures fishing enthusiasts offshore to the warm shimmering waters of the Gulf Stream where white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, dolphin and wahoo are plentiful. With fishing piers conveniently situated near Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle, public beach access at Fort Macon State Park and a plethora of charter fishing boats pleasantly bobbing in Bogue Sound, there are a variety of ways for anglers to take advantage of the area. Diving enthusiasts have another realm of exploration beneath the brilliantly luminous waters of the Crystal Coast. A combination of diving perfection with rich wreck-diving, coupled with warm waters and days of up to 75 feet of clear visibility make for an unforgettable diving experience. These are just a few of the reasons that Morehead City is ranked number one among North American wreck diving destinations and among the top five dive spots in the world, according to the readers of Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine. The waters of the Crystal Coast possess a hidden graveyard of more than 2,000 vessels that have made their unlikely final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic. In addition to the hauntingly beautiful shipwrecks off the shores, divers find the waters teeming with aquatic life. Stingrays, cobia, grouper and lobster are commonly found in the area, along with several varieties of coral. Gliding across the water’s surface, canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts have the freedom to journey through the intricately laced inlets,

waterways and estuaries winding throughout the Crystal Coast. Explorers visiting the area find paddling adventures that are suited to every interest and schedule. Paddling excursions range from convenient two- to four-hour guided tours through the waters surrounding Beaufort, Morehead City or Cape Lookout to eight-day paddling expeditions taking explorers up and down the coast of North Carolina. Or instead of paddling, jet skis and speed boats can be rented for those looking to pick up some speed. The Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Banks provide the perfect setting for surfers of all levels. They are drawn to the breaks and crashing waves at the Crystal Coast and have been riding them for decades. Last year brought the Eastern Surfing Association regional competition to Atlantic Beach, which has also played host to other ESA sanctioned events in the past. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are other popular water sports that are common to the waters of the Crystal Coast, and a new sport, stand up paddle boarding, has caught the interest of many surfers, kayakers and others looking for a new way to experience the aesthetics of the area from atop the water. With the natural abundance of spectacularly shimmering waters, it is no coincidence that boating plays a vital role in vacations to the Crystal Coast, as it does with the area’s residents. Seafarers visiting can charter boats and voyage to all areas of the Crystal Coast, with some islands only being accessible by boat. From Shackleford Banks and Portsmouth Island to the smaller but equally captivating locales, Carrot Island and Hammock’s Beach, the barrier islands of the Crystal Coast are only a boat ride away. And with around 27 marinas, possessing a variety of water depths, services, amenities and storage, the Crystal Coast provides everything for the avid boater. Those in search of a relaxing vacation or looking for an ideal place to relocate or raise a family will find an abundance of water related activities and opportunities in the area to keep them busy throughout the year. The Crystal Coast is group of coastal communities that have the ocean ingrained within their culture. The ocean not only provides economic prosperity to the community, but fun and excitement for residents and visitors alike. Surfers catch the waves, anglers catch the fish, those relaxing catch some sun rays and the salty breeze and everyone finds a way to enjoy the blessings bestowed upon this beautiful area.

Mimi N. Guthrie photo

Pat Noe photo

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Buddy Pelletier Memorial Longboard Classic

MCAS Cherry Point Air Show

t h e D o L i st

Get Your Feet Wet With the Region’s Most Popul ar Happenings JANUARY Dolphin Dip/Penguin Plunge Whether you’re on Topsail

Island or the Crystal Coast, New Year’s Day brings the opportunity to take a frigid, yet inspiring dip in the Atlantic Ocean for charity. The Dolphin Dip is held at the Surf City Beach Access and the Plunge takes place at the Atlantic Beach Circle. Details: 910-5263788, topsailcoc.com or www. penguin-plunge.org.

Dragon Run The folks in the Neuse River community of Oriental prefer to celebrate the New Year in true Eastern style. Folks line the street with noisemakers and gather luck by touching the dragon during its 8:30 and 11:30pm runs on New Year’s Eve. Details: visitoriental. com.

FEBRUARY Gloucester Mardi Gras Organized annually by the Cajun/Zydeco musicians of Un

30 | NCCOAST Living

known Tongues, a popular local band, this festive, traditional celebration mimics those of rural Southwest Louisiana and adds a little Down East flair. Costumes and beads are encouraged at this free family-friendly event, which features a parade, music, dancing and plenty of gumbo. Details: unknowntongues.com.

Sunday Jazz Showcase The Craven Arts Council has been celebrating jazz in New Bern for 23 years by bringing together acclaimed artists for a Sunday jam. Held at the Hilton Riverfront Hotel, the program offers afternoon and evening performances. Details: 252-638-2577 or cravenarts@cravenarts.org.

Carolina Chocolate Festival As the holder of attendance records at the Crystal Coast Civic Center, it’s not hard to see what makes the Chocolate Festival so popular. More than 30 chocolatiers from across the nation offer

samples and sales at the popular event in Morehead City. Details: 877-848-4976, carolinachocolatefestival.com.

MARCH Emerald Isle St. Patrick’s Festival The Crystal Coast’s own

Emerald Isle celebrates the traditions of homeland with more than 75 arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, clowns, amusement rides, a climbing wall and face painting. Details: 252-354-6350.

Herb & Garden Fair Poplar Grove Plantation, Wilmington, offers a variety of local herbs, edible flower and bedding plants, native trees and topiaries and more during this spring gardening expo. Cooking classes are offered and visitors can enjoy an informative bird hike through the Abbey Nature Preserve. Details: poplargrove. com or pgp@poplargrove.com.

Swansboro Oyster Roast & Pig Out That’s right, local oysters

are paired with good old-fashioned Carolina barbecue at this annual fundraiser for the Swansboro Rotary Club at the group’s civic center. Folks can also expect clam chowder, fried flounder and all the trimmings. Details: 910326-6175.

Taste of Coastal Carolina Area chefs compete in a head-to-head challenge at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center to raise much needed funds for the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation, which helps protect and preserve the Neuse River Basin. Details: 252-637-7972.

APRIL Beaufort Wine and Food Weekend This annual event tempts the palate in every possible way, pairing fine wine with delectable


Max Hayes photo

food. Winemakers and celebrity chefs from around the globe converge on the waterfront village for a week of varied activities. Details: 252-728-5225 or www. beaufortwineandfood.com.

and air show. Demonstrations, static displays, entertainment and fireworks can be expected. Blankets, lawn chairs and other comfort items are suggested. Details: www.cherrypointairshow.com.

Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest Dish up some good times at

Beaufort Music Festival

what many claim is the nation’s largest whole hog barbecue. Concession stands, rides, crafts, bake sales and live entertainment with plates of the barbecue on sale by noon on Saturday. Details: newportpigcooking.com.

New Bern Spring Historic Homes & Gardens Tour Homeowners open their doors so the public may visit some of the most beautiful and interesting homes and gardens in New Bern’s historic districts. Details: 252-638-8558 or www. newbernhistorical.org.

The streets of Beaufort wake up to spring with the sounds of music during this free twoday festival. Special artists are planned for the youngsters. Details: beaufortmusicfestival.com.

Antique Auto Show The First Capital chapter of

the Antique Auto Club of America lines the streets of New Bern once a year with antique and classic contemporary rides. Details: ncregionaaca.com/firstcapital.

Crystal Coast Boat Show

Rotary Club, this annual show features more than 70 vendors representing new and used boats, varied maritime products and services and more. Details: 252-2490228 or orientalboatshow.com.

Sponsored by the Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association, this event features exhibitors with all types of marine products and services, including boat manufacturing, gear, fishing tackle, outfitters and more. Look for lectures, programs, educational exhibits and fun for the whole family. Details: 252-808-0440 or downtownmoreheadcity.com.

MAY

Wooden Boat Show

Oriental In-Water Boat Show Sponsored by the Oriental

MCAS Cherry Point Air Show The public is invited to

visit Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point for its open house

The week begins with an opportunity to sail aboard traditional boats, and concludes with more than 50 wooden classic and

Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament

antique boats on exhibit. Demonstrations and hands-on workshops for professional boat-builders, enthusiasts and new fans of wooden boats round out the event. NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort. Details: 252-728-7317.

JUNE Beaufort Old Homes and Gardens Tour Explore some of the beau-

tifully-restored historic homes, gardens, churches, artist studios and public buildings throughout this waterfront village. Event supports the Beaufort Historical Association. Details: 252-7285225, beauforthistoricsite.org.

Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament Fun and excitement come

to the Morehead City waterfront with one of the largest sport-fishing tournaments in the country and a purse that tops $1 million. Details: thebigrock.com.

NC Symphony Summer Concert Pack a picnic and join family and friends for this always popular concert on the South Lawn of Tryon Palace. Free. Details: www.tryonpalace.org.

JULY Buddy Pelletier Memorial Longboard Classic

A local charity competi(continued on page 32)

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Wooden Boat Show

(continued from page 31) tion at Oceanana Pier in Atlantic Beach gives spectators a chance to see professional and amateur surfers battle against one another for trophies and bragging rights. Details: buddy.pelletier.com.

Bike MS: New Bern This two-day cycling event raises funds to support people living with multiple sclerosis in North and South Carolina and throughout the US. Cyclists can choose to ride 30, 75, 50 or 100 miles on fully-supported routes each day. Details: www.msbike. org.

AUGUST Carolina Shakespeare Festival The Carolina Shakespeare

Festival and its Young Company bring classics to the stage each summer in New Bern. Details: www.csfest.com.

Sculpt for Wildlife This annual Outer Banks

Wildlife Shelter sand sculpting contest is held on the beach in front of the Atlantic Lodge in Pine Knoll Shores on the first Saturday in August. Details: 252240-1200.

Beaufort Pirate Invasion With events at the Beaufort Historical Association and the Beaufort waterfront, this annual festival includes a reenactment of a pirate attack on Beaufort and the subsequent trials. A parade, educational programs and rousing parties make this fun for the whole family. Don’t forget your pirate costume! Details:728-5225.

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Crystal Coast Grand Prix

SEPTEMBER Crystal Coast Grand Prix The P1 SuperStock boats

visit the Crystal Coast each year for some high-speed action. Sanctioned through the American Powerboat Association, the threeday event brings static displays, awards presentations and heated races. Details: www.ccgrandprix. com.

Cycling for the Coast Celebrate National Estuaries Day with a ride along beautiful Bogue Banks to raise funds for the NC Coastal Federation. Funds raised will benefit the federation’s restoration and protection projects. Details: sarahp@nccoast. org.

NC Spot Festival Hampstead is home to this annual event which pays homage to the spot fish. Enjoy music, games, a pageant, vendors and a traditional Southern spot meal. Details: www.ncspotfestival.com.

OCTOBER Autumn with Topsail Held the third weekend in October in Topsail Beach and sponsored by the Topsail Island Historical and Cultural Arts Council. Come for food, live music, events and craft booths. Details: autumnwithtopsail.com.

Carolina Kite Fest Sponsored annually by Kites

Unlimited in the Atlantic Station shopping center and held on the beach at The Circle, the kite fest takes advantage of the fall ocean breezes to raise this fun-filled weekend to new heights. Free.

Beaufort Pirate Invasion

NC Seafood Festival Features live music, rides, arts and crafts, demonstrations and more. Special events include: Blessing of the Fleet, annual Southern Outer Banks Boat Show and Outdoor Expo, Twin Bridges 8K Road Race and opening ceremonies. Average attendance is around 125,000 for the three days. Details: ncseafoodfestival. org.

Mullet Festival Beginning with a parade

down Hwy 24 in Swansboro, mullet fish are celebrated each year with vendors, music, arts and crafts and a kids area, all topped off with a mullet fry. Held the second Saturday and Sunday in October.

MUMFest This award-winning fall festival brings more than 80,000 guests to downtown New Bern, for live entertainment, venues, amusement rides, roving street entertainment and more. Details: www.mumfest.com.

NOVEMBER Great Mullet Run This annual event for the Swansboro Rotary Club includes a 5K race and a 1-mile walk/run event. Details: 910-326-5066.

BHA Community Thanksgiving Feast Beaufort restaurants come together to create a true community meal for this Beaufort Historical Association fundraising event. Eat on site or take your ultimate Thanksgiving dinner home with you. Details: 252-728-5225.

DECEMBER Core Sound Decoy Festival More than quarter of a cen-

tury old, this cool-weather event features more than 90 exhibitors displaying and selling decoys and waterfowl artifacts at Harkers Island Elementary School in Harkers Island. The decoy competition consists of both decorative and non-decorative (floating) contemporary carvings. Details: www.decoyguild.com.

Waterfowl Weekend The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center opens its doors the first weekend in December with a full slate of traditional, down-home fun. Expect decoy carvers with their wares, educational exhibits, competitions, arts and crafts and plenty of food. Details: 252-728-1500.

Festival of Trees Hospice of Carteret County’s annual fundraiser is held at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City to celebrate the magic of the holiday season. Enjoy live entertainment while browsing trees decorated by local organizations and take a moment to visit with Santa during his busy season. Details: 252-808-6085.

Holiday Flotillas Each Christmas, the residents of coastal towns don their winter gear and surround the waterfronts for floating Christmas parades. Events can be found in Surf City, Swansboro, New Bern and Morehead/Beaufort.


JUST THE FACTS State bird: Cardinal State flower: Dogwood State shell: Scotch Bonnet State vegetable: Sweet potato State motto: “Esse Quam Videri” or “to be rather than to seem”

Making Your Move Official Although everything is unpacked, the neighbors have introduced themselves and sand is beginning to mysteriously appear everywhere, you aren’t officially a resident just yet. Big Brother is always curious when you’re in town, so don’t forget to fill out your North Carolina voter registration, vehicle registration and obtain a North Carolina driver’s license if you’re joining the area from out of state. Much of the process for changing and establishing your mail service can be accomplished online. For information on changing your mailing address and having mail forwarded, visit the US Postal Service website at USPS.com. Register to Vote Voter registration may be completed at any driver’s license examination office when conducting official DMV business with that office, such as applying for or renewing a driver’s license or identification card. Public assistance agencies, disability services agencies and the Employment Security Commission also offer voter registration as required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. The local county Board of Elections office also has voter registration and in Carteret, that office is located in the Beaufort Square Shopping Center, 1702 Live Oak St. in Beaufort. The Carteret County Public Library has also relocated to the site. For more information on voter registration, visit www.ncsbe.gov.

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EDUCATION

schools a big factor when relocating

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here are many factors buyers consider when shopping for a home. From the number of bedrooms to the size of the backyard, prospective buyers have their priorities with what they’re looking for in a home. Parents of young children or couples who are planning to start a family soon should also consider the school system. Although granite countertops and interior living areas may be foremost on the minds of house shoppers, individuals also have to take school districts into consideration when looking at homes, particularly if they’re concerned about giving their children the best education possible. According to research by The Wall Street Journal, buyers are willing to pay more for a property if it is in a good school district. That’s because even if they do not have children, buyers know that a good school district helps a home remain attractive. Not all schools are created equal, and some rank better in test scores and teacher-to-student ratios than others. These are essential factors to think about when looking at homes. Although real estate agents can offer some basic information about what schools are in the area, legally they may not be able to share opinions on how “good” the schools are or be able to break down the demographics of student populations. It is typically up to the buyer to do his or her own research. Because the tax dollars that homeowners pay largely go to fund schools and town improvements, it is important to look at the schools. Also, if the home will be a stepping stone to another home in a few years, buyers want to ensure their home has the best chance for resale. Oftentimes, a good school district is a factor future buyers will think about. There are some websites that can help prospective buyers look at the schools in the areas they are considering. Greatschools.net and education.com are two of the premier sites. They break down test scores, demographics, parent and student reviews and many other things that are vital to getting an idea of the school as a whole. The sites also use a

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ranking system from 1 to 10 (10 being the best) to show how the school stands in comparison to others in terms of test scores. Buyers also may want to make a trip to visit the area they’re considering during school hours. This way they can drive by the school and see for themselves the type of students and parents entering or exiting the building. One also may want to set up a brief meeting with the principal to learn more about the ideals of the school and its goals. It’s also necessary to look at the proximity of the school to the house. Some towns have rules in place regarding busing or walking to school. Students who live within a certain distance from the school may have to find their own transportation to and from school. This is something to mull over. Families that are interested in a host of extracurricular activities can also evaluate the town or school district based on the sports or other opportunities offered to students. Be advised that the school closest to a home might not be the one a student will attend. Zoning laws, and not necessarily proximity, often dictate where a student will attend school. Therefore, it is important to check with the real estate agent or town to ensure the research being done is for the correct school. Some parents prefer their children go to private school, and many towns and cities have a number of options. In addition to the public schools, agents should be able to point buyers toward the private schools in the area. Some may be able to list tuition costs and acceptance requirements. Having a picture of the school district in the area buyers are considering will help offer a better idea of the neighborhood and the people around whom they’ll be living. School districts are important to consider when buying a home, so much so that buyers are willing to pay a little more if it means having a good school in their area.


EDUCATION

Education on and off the Coast

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county’s school system is one of the most important aspects for most parents when deciding where to relocate. This choice is made easier by Eastern North Carolina’s educational system, comprised of several area schools that strive to achieve excellence and have been named a School of Excellence. It is important for parents to understand the school system in which they place their children by educating themselves about each county’s school system and higher educational opportunities. Training, certifications and associate’s degrees are offered at area community colleges. In addition to the several higher education extension facilities offered, ECU, Greenville and UNC-Wilmington are both within reasonable driving distances for graduates looking to stay closer to home while receiving a higher education from an accredited university. Carteret County The Carteret County Public School System serves the students of Carteret County from Cedar Point to Cedar Island. There are 85 miles of gorgeous coastal scenery, friendly towns, 16 public schools and two charter schools committed to creating opportunities for all students to succeed. The school system employs almost 1,100 individuals and is the largest employer in the county. Carteret Community College is beautifully positioned on the shores of Bogue Sound, a part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Accredited by the Southern Association Colleges and Schools since 1974, and with more than 100 educational and training courses to choose from, students have the opportunity to pursue certifications, diploma or associate degrees. There is also a college transfer program that allows students to obtain an associate degree and transfer their credits to a four-year institution. The student body consists of around 1,900 curriculum and 4,500 continuing education students, reflecting a rich diversity of age, income, ethnicity and educational background. Craven County The mission of Craven County schools is to unite families and communities and rigorously challenge all

students to graduate from high school and be globally competitive for post-secondary education, work and life in today’s society. The 25 schools in Craven County cover its enrollment of more than 14,700 students from New Bern, Havelock, Bridgeton, Cove City, Dover, River Bend, Trent Woods, Vanceboro and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Craven Community College continuously adapts to the needs of Eastern North Carolina in order to provide quality educational opportunities for its residents. The two-campus institution, with locations in New Bern and Havelock, serves more than 4,500 curriculum or college credit students and almost 10,000 continuing education students each year. Onslow County The Onslow County School District is home to many military families surrounding Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The county boasts 37 educational facilities, accommodating a student population of approximately 24,000. Including 20 elementary schools, eight middle schools, seven high schools, one early childhood development center and one alternative learning program, Onslow County’s school system is among the 15 largest systems in North Carolina and strives to provide an atmosphere of support for educational innovation and opportunity for all its students. Coastal Carolina Community College allows students an opportunity to acquire associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, workforce development, training and the chance to transfer credits to a four-year university. Coastal Carolina values academic excellence, focuses on learning outcomes and student success, provides leadership for community cooperation and actively contributes to the economic development of Onslow County. Pamlico County The mission of Pamlico Community College is to provide accessible and affordable quality education, workforce training and lifelong learning opportunities through quality teaching and support, working in partnership with the communities served by the college. The Huskins Bill Program & Dual-Enrollment Program provides the opportunity for Pamlico Community College (PCC) and Pamlico County High School students to offer a seamless educational flow from high school to college. Now students can take college-level courses tuition-free, while enrolled in high school. PCC serves more than 15 percent of the county’s adult population and is a fully accredited two-year community college with programs ranging from computer technology to allied health programs. Pender County Pender County Schools are among the fastest growing school districts by rate in North Carolina, and students still continually exceed local and state performance on state end-of-grade tests. The county plays host to 16 schools, including an early college high school. The schools are located in a diverse array of suburban and rural communities, with more than 1,200 employees working to provide a great learning environment for more than 8,000 students.

Carteret County

Public Schools, K-12 Carteret County Public School System 107 Safrit Drive, Beaufort, NC 28516 252-728-4583 www.carteretcountyschools.org Higher Education Carteret Community College 3505 Arendell St. Morehead City, NC 28557 252-222-6000 www.carteret.edu

Craven County Public Schools, K- 12 Craven County Public School System 3600 Trent Road New Bern, NC 28562 252-514-6300 www.craven.k12.nc.us Higher Education Craven Community College 800 College Court New Bern, NC 28562 252-638-7200 www.cravencc.edu Mount olive college at new bern 2912 trent road new bern, nc 28562 252-633-4464 www.moc.edu

Onslow County Public Schools, K-12 Onslow County Public School System 200 Broadhurst Road Jacksonville, NC 28540 910-455-2211 www.onslow.k12.nc.us Higher Education Coastal Carolina Community College 444 Western Boulevard Jacksonville, NC 28546 910-455-1221 www.coastalcarolina.edu

Pamlico County Public Schools, K-12 Pamlico County Public School System 507 Anderson Drive Bayboro, NC 28515 252-745-4171 www.pamlico.k12.nc.us Higher Education Pamlico Community College 5049 Hwy 306 S. Grantsboro, NC 28529 252-249-1851 www.pamlicocc.edu

Pender County Public Schools, K-12 Pender County Public School System 925 Penderlea Hwy Burgaw, NC 28425 910-259-0133 www.pendercountyschools.net

www.nccoast.com | 35


arts & music

A Touch of Culture

B

etween the trips to the beach and the days on the golf course, folks along the coast are eager for a touch of arts and music. While the region maintains its small-town charm, we’d like to think we have a little bit of culture as well; at least once the sun goes down. More than a decade ago, author John Villani named Morehead City in his book “The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America,” but that’s not to say that the trend hasn’t continued. Coastal North Carolina has long been a haven for crafters and artists, from the traditional crafts like decoy carving, to photography and other various media. With its picturesque seascapes and handsome historic homes, many an artist has come to the coast to paint for the weekend and decided this is exactly where they should be on a full-time basis. The Carteret County Arts & Crafts Coalition holds three shows a year, bringing its members to the Beaufort Historic Site on Memorial and Labor Day weekends and the Fourth of July. In Pender County, the Poplar Grove Plantation celebrates local artisans throughout the year and New Bern features the bi-monthly ArtWalk in its historic downtown area. Crafts are a $538 million industry in North Carolina, placing the state in the top three when it comes to craft income in the United States. More than 6,000 North Carolinians participate in the crafts trade, many of which are carrying forward an historic tradition. Farmers markets throughout Eastern North Carolina are a great way to see these crafts on a weekly basis, while festivals and special events allow artisans the opportunity to showcase their work to a larger audience. From timeless musicals like “Hairspray, “Sound of Music” and “9 to 5” to classics such as “Death of a Salesman,” the arts are alive and well in Eastern North Carolina thanks to a collection of performing troupes. Each year the Carolinian Shakespeare Festival brings the traditional work to the stage in New Bern, while the New Bern Civic Theatre, Sneads Ferry Community Theatre, Carteret Community Theatre in Morehead City and others continue to keep folks entertained year-round. If music is more to your liking, night spots showcasing area talent can be found in most towns dotting the landscape. For a more classical approach, the American Music Festival, Coastal Carolina Chamber Music Festival, Down East FolkArts Society, Pamlico Musical Society and the NC Symphony are just some of the groups offering concerts series in the area. Outdoor concerts in the park are also a summer staple

36 | NCCOAST Living

in all of North Carolina’s coastal communities. A variety of nightclubs and eateries keep music alive each weekend, offering acoustic, jazz, beach music and contemporary rock. Several towns offer a free outdoor concert series during the summer months, including Morehead City, Emerald Isle, Swansboro and Surf City as well Fort Macon State Park. Grab your lawn chairs, pack a picnic and enjoy dinner with the ocean breeze rippling through your hair. The Morehead Center for Performing Arts brings a variety of artists to the stage each year, providing yet another platform for musicians. For more information on area galleries and performances, contact area arts councils, including the Pender County Arts Council, 910-2594891; the Pamlico County Arts Council, 252-638-9399; the Craven County Arts Council, 252-638-2577 and the Carteret County Arts Council, 252-726-9156.


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TOURNAMENT TRAIL

Looking for a little more a challenge while casting along Eastern North Carolina? Here is a listing of some of the area’s largest annual fishing tournaments: Red Fish Action Elite Series. This series sees anglers taking to the water in Wilmington in April, Sneads Ferry in June and Beaufort in August in a family-friendly atmosphere. Details: redfishaction.com.

MAY

Welcome to the Angler’s Paradise I

t’s long been known that the Crystal Coast is a virtual hotbed for anglers. Whether chasing the elusive blue marlin or casting a line from the coastline in hopes of nabbing a flounder, residents find year-round activity in the waters off of Eastern North Carolina. A NC Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL) is required for any person 16 and older, which can easily be purchased by visiting www.ncwildlife.org or calling 1-888-248-6834 to find a nearby license location. Licenses can be purchased for a week, year or a lifetime for those who like the fishing so much they decide they can’t leave. Surf fishing is extremely popular on the Crystal Coast, and as varied as the anglers who ply the beaches. A variety of fish can be caught, depending on the tides and times, including flounder, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel and a variety of additional species.

38 | NCCOAST Living

For those not interested in purchasing that lifetime license just yet, or not quite sure they want to start lining the brims of their hats with fish hooks, the Crystal Coast has pier fishing options that often include a blanket license. Pier-goers can fish for the day, while getting a unique view into (and above) the surf fishing world that one simply can’t get from down on the beach. Along the Crystal Coast, the lighted pier at the Oceanana Family Resort Motel in Atlantic Beach is a popular spot, as is the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle. Fishermen will find bait for sale, rod and reel rentals, a tackle and snack shop and a plethora of parking spaces. On Topsail Island, the Jolly Roger Fishing Pier, Seaview Fishing Pier and Surf City Ocean Pier are ready to accommodate anglers. For those looking for the chance to nab one of those true

Reelin’ For Research. Charity fishing tournament in Morehead City for UNC Children’s Hospital Research Division. The entry fee is $1,000. Details: reelinforresearch.org or info@ reelinforresearch.org. *Hatteras Village Offshore Open. The annual kick off for the NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament brings prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Details: 1888-544-8115. JWR Gaffer Dolphin Tournament. With boundaries from Hatteras to Morehead City, this contest for billfish, wahoo, tuna and cobia includes women’s and youth divisions. Details: www. hillsboroughsfc.com. *Swansboro Rotary Memorial Day Bluewater Tournament. NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Weighins at Big Rock Landing in Morehead City and Casper’s Marina in Swansboro. Details: 252-422-9100 or www.kingbluewater.com.

JUNE

Fisherman’s Post Spring Inshore Challenge. Offers flounder and speckled trout divisions, as well as divisions for aggregate weight, senior angler, lady angler and junior angler. Wrightsville Beach Marina, Wrightsville Beach. Details: 910-409-8379 or www.fishermanspost.com. Invitational Blue Marlin Release Tournament. Tuna, dolphin and wahoo weighins daily during this five-day event at the Hatteras Marlin Club. Details: 252-986-2454 or www. hatterasmarlinclub.com. *Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Total prize money tops $1 million. Weigh-ins on the Morehead City waterfront. Details: 252-247-3575 or www.thebigrock.com. CCCF Spanish Mackerel/Dolphin Fishing Tournament. Carteret Community College Foundation tourney helps raise funds for college programs and scholarships. Weigh-in is slated at The Boathouse in Beaufort, a sponsor of the event. Details: Wes Daniels, 252-222-6222. *Cape Fear Blue Marlin Tournament. NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament set in Wrightsville Beach with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Details: 910-256-6666 or www.capefearbluemarlintournament.com.

JULY

Hatteras Grand Slam Billfish Tournament. Raising awareness of the offshore billfish fishing in Hatters during the summer, this tournament continues to grow with each passing year. Details: 252-986-2500, www.hatterasgrandslam.com. *Barta Boys and Girls Club Billfish Tournament. NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament set on the Beaufort waterfront with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Kid-friendly event offers low entry fees, trophies instead of prize money and junior angler prizes. Details: 252-808-2286 or www.bartabillfish.com. *Ducks Unlimited Band the Billfish Tag and Release Tournament. NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Weigh-ins at Big Rock Landing on the Morehead City waterfront. Details: 252-237-3717 or www.bandthebillfish.com.

AUGUST

*Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament, NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament in Manteo with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Details: 252-473-1015 or www.pcbgt.com.

SEPTEMBER

Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Tournament. Presented by Blue Water Promotions, this annual tournament is headquartered in the Atlantic Station Shopping Center. Details: www. bluewaterpromo.com. Flounder Surf Fishing Tournament. Free registration. All flounder must be caught on foot (surf, pier, inlet or sound) from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle. Sponsored by the Emerald Isle Park and Recreation Dept. and The Reel Outdoors. Details: 252-354-6350.

OCTOBER

Gordie McAdams Speckled Trout Surf Fishing Tournament. Free registration. All trout must be caught on foot (surf, pier, inlet or sound) from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle. Sponsored by the Emerald Isle Parks & Recreation Dept. Details: 252-354-6350. *Indicates a Governor’s Cup Billfishing Tournament


trophy fish, heading offshore is a great way to challenge your skills. One of the most economical ways to get the experience of a charter boat without deep pockets is to book a ticket on a “head boat,” large vessels that can take as many as 50 anglers out into the Gulf Stream for a day’s worth of deepsea fishing. The moniker comes from the fact that anglers pay “by the head,” or per person, for a trip. Trips range from half to full day and cost anywhere from $65 for a half day to around $100 for regular bottom fishing, and more for trophy fishing. For more information on two of the largest head boats in the area, take a look at Capt. Stacy out of Atlantic Beach at www. captstacy.com and the Carolina Princess out of Morehead City, at www.carolinaprincess.com. For a more personalized experience, charter boats can offer the chance to gain the ultimate fishing experience. Charters are smaller

vessels, usually hired by a private party of four to six individuals, for either a half- or whole-day trip. A typical half-day excursion sees anglers bottom fishing offshore for grouper, king mackerel or triggerfish. Whole day excursions mean deep-sea fishing – and a trip about 40 miles offshore to the Gulf Stream. For anglers who have set their sites on bagging tuna, wahoo, dolphin, marlin and sailfish, chartering out to the Gulf Stream is a must. Daily fees easily top $1,200 for a full party without the 20-percent tip for the hardworking crew. However, splitting the cost between six anglers makes chartering more affordable. Whether looking for a relaxing day on the pier, getting your feet wet in the surf or gaining sea legs on a head boat or charter, angling in Eastern North Carolina is a great chance to gain memories and stories to last a lifetime.

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FINDING THE FAIRWAY

Hitting the Greens on the Crystal Coast

Between the sun and the surf, the museums and the water sports, the Crystal Coast has a few hidden surprises tucked away – some which will be well received by the golfers amongst us. The landscape itself lends itself to picturesque courses that incorporate the natural environment – from sand traps and dunes to water elements and trees. The views may be distracting, but the professionally-designed courses that dot Eastern North Carolina offer a challenge for just about everyone, from beginner to pro, and the area’s mild climate makes it the perfect activity to take on year round along the Crystal Coast. Residents have come to expect seasonal pricing, making spring and fall a favorite time for a round or two. Others are happy to find beautiful playing weather during the cooler days of fall and winter. Many courses offer evening rates year round, making summer evenings a great time to take in a game. Courses feature clubhouses open to the public at competitive rates, with pros on staff for instruction and well-equipped pro shops. Tennis courts and additional recreational opportunities are offered at many sites, making them a great spot to spend the day with the family. Special events are planned throughout the year, as well as plenty of charitable competitions and tournaments to draw out those with a competitive streak. Most courses are open year round with tee time reservations. The following are some of our favorite local courses: Accessed from either Hwy 70 or Hwy 24, just west of Morehead City, Brandywine Bay Golf Club is an 18-hole, par-71 championship course in the residential neighborhood, Brandywine Bay. With four sets of tees and just over 6,500 yards from the championship tees, Brandywine Bay is a rewarding challenge for golfers of any skill level. The mix of water and sand hazards inspires many golfers to hone their skills on the practice range and putting green. Lessons, junior rates and multi-play packages are available for frequent guests. For more information call 252-247-2541 or visit brandywinegolf.com.

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Beaufort’s only golf community is the North River Club. Located just five miles from the historic Beaufort waterfront, this championship course is open to the public with resident and nonresident memberships available. The North River Club offers PGA professionals on staff, a large driving range and a putting green. Ask about corporate outings. For more information call 252-728-5525 or visit northrivergolfclub.com. On Hwy 58, 3.5 miles north of the Emerald Isle Bridge, is an 18hole championship course with “Tifeagle” greens and Bermuda fairways known as Silver Creek Golf Resort. The site features an 18-hole championship, par-72 course designed by Gene Hamm. Guests will find two additional 18-hole courses – a short course, with no hole farther than 84 yards, known as Crystal Palms, and Hawaiian Thunder, a miniature golf course. Prior to your game, warm up on the driving range or work on your stroke at the putting greens. Club rentals and golf shop on site. Call 252393-8058 or visit golfemeraldisle.com for a tee time. Open since 1967, Star Hill Golf Club is nestled in the heart of Cape Carteret near Emerald Isle and minutes away from Swansboro. Its 27 championship holes, includes three nine-hole courses, the Lakes, Pines and Sands, with bent-grass greens sure to excite the average golfer and challenge the expert. The Champions Room is the ideal place to relax after your round and settle your score. Golfers will find a total short game area, Cayman driving range, PGA professional instruction, rental clubs, golf shop, swimming pool and private airstrip open to the public. For more information, call 252-393-8111 or visit www.starhillgolf.com. Those looking for true coastal golf experience won’t be able to beat the Country Club of the Crystal Coast, a semi-private course nestled among sand dunes and the maritime forest of a residential community in Pine Knoll Shores. Offering 18 holes of tall pines, majestic oaks and a view of Bogue Sound, the Country Club of the Crystal Coast is the only course on the island. The course offers 5,925 yards of play and includes a

• • • • • • • • •

pro shop, tennis courts and clubhouse with lounge, restaurant and banquet facilities. The Country Club of the Crystal Coast is located at 152 Oakleaf Drive in Pine Knoll Shores. For more information call 252-726-1034 or visit crystalcoastcc.com. Tucked in the heart of one of Morehead City’s established residential communities, the Morehead City Country Club stretches lazily along the Newport River, offering staggering views within minutes of town. With picturesque water views and bent grass greens, this course offers a swimming pool and membership to residents of all the surrounding communities and counties. For more information call 252-726-4917 or visit www.moreheadcitycc.com.

Teeing Off

Golf courses dot the landscape of Eastern North Carolina. Here are a few others you may want to try out. Belvedere Country Club Olde Point Golf & Country Club (Hampstead), 910-270-2703 (Hampstead), 910-270-2403 Carolina pines golf & Country club Paradise Point Golf Course (new bern), 252-444-1000 (Camp Lejeune), 910-451-5445 Castle Bay Country Club Quaker Neck Country Club (Hampstead), 910-270-1978 (Trenton), 252-224-5736 Emerald Golf Club Rock Creek Golf Course (New Bern), 252-633-4440 (Jacksonville), 910-324-5151 Jacksonville Country Club River Bend Golf & Country Club (Jacksonville), 910-346-9255 (New Bern), 252-638-2819 minnesott golf & country club Taberna Country Club (minnesott beach), 252-249-0813 (New Bern), 252-514-2854 New Bern Golf & Country Club Topsail Greens Golf Club (New Bern), 252-637-4061 (Hampstead), 910-270-2883 North Shore Country Club (Sneads Ferry), 910-327-2410

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where we are... Albemarle Sound

Pamli co

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Pamlico Sound

CRAVEN New Bern

PAMLICO Oriental Neu

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ONSLOW Jacksonville

PENDER

Sneads Ferry

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Cape Lookout National Seashore

Beaufort Core Banks

CARTERET Morehead City Atlantic Beach Indian Beach Emerald Isle Bogue Banks

Cape Lookout

N. Topsail Beach Surf City Topsail Island

Topsail Beach Atlantic Ocean

Cape Fear

E

astern North Carolina Counties on the Southern Outer Banks Corey giesey photos

42 | NCCOAST Living


Awarding the Crystal Coast The Crystal Coast is home to some amazing communities, but they don’t have to toot their own horn too much these days because magazines and online polls are doing it for them. Between Morehead City and Beaufort, several awards are praising the quaint stretch of coastal beauty. In 2012, Beaufort was dubbed “America’s Coolest Small Town” and the top finisher in a contest for the 50 Best Yachting Towns. Morehead City has also made its mark, finishing in the top 20 for “Best Fishing Town in America” by Field and Stream magazine and was in the running for “Ultimate Fishing Town” in an online poll. Morehead City is also home to “America’s Premier Wreck Diving Destination” and the Olympus Dive Center, voted “America’s Best Scuba Diving Operator.” Tournament fishing attracts serious anglers from near and far essentially year round. Locally, the Carteret County Sportfishing Association allows folks to follow the circuit of upcoming events and provides access to useful local information. The waters offshore provide numerous fishing opportunities for dolphin, tuna and king mackerel. Inshore, fishing for reds, sea trout and other species occurs yearround. The tournaments, combined with the abundance of recreational fishing in Morehead City and the Crystal Coast, made the town a go-to for the “Ultimate Fishing Town” in an online poll conducted by WorldFishingNetwork.com and it found its way into the top 20 contenders for “Best Fishing Town in America” for Field and Stream magazine. Morehead City holds another claim to fame thanks to its ocean surroundings. Along with exceptional fishing, Morehead City offers world class diving. Unknown to most is the superb diving and underwater fishing that can be enjoyed under the waters of the Atlantic. Morehead City was voted “America’s

Premier Wreck Diving Destination” by Scuba Diving magazine readers’ polls in 2007. In 2012, North Carolina was in the top five of for the country’s overall best diving destination and No. 1 for “Best Advanced Diving – North America.” The German submarine (U-352) that rests just off the coast earned “Top Wreck Dive” honors and Olympus Dive Center in Morehead City was named “Best Dive Operation.” In a very close battle, Beaufort was tied for Budget Travel magazine’s “Coolest Small Town.” After a heated race, a tie was declared between Beaufort and Hammondsport, NY. As the only Southern town represented, the competition pulled support from the region earning more than 30 percent of the votes. The intense competition highlights the best of Beaufort and supports the community of less than 4,500. Beaufort possesses an old-world charm, wrapped in exquisite coastal beauty. With deep roots in both history and adventure, its charisma is unparalleled. Boats dot the marina with the daily catch and cozy inns line the harbor, inspiring Nicholas Sparks to choose Beaufort as a setting in several of his novels. Beaufort also claims the title of “Best Yachting Town 2012” by Yachting magazine. Beaufort was a landslide winner in this contest, and with its rich maritime history it’s easy to see why. If this seaside town was good enough for Capt. Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard), it’s good enough for anyone. The infamous seafaring swashbuckler and his famed vessel Queen Anne’s Revenge called this part of the mid-Atlantic home. Naturally, the NC Maritime Museum here features an exhibit dedicated to this legendary baddie. Nestled along the community’s historic waterfront is the town docks, so once a boat is in port and tied up, there is only a short walking distance to eateries and pubs. There are also a variety of stores and boutiques

to keep one shopping for hours. When combined with the islands that surround them, Morehead City, Beaufort and the other towns that dot the Crystal Coast are the ideal location to work and play. With all the amenities that come packed into these seaside towns, it’s easy to see how they’re not only gaining local attention, but attention on a national level as well.

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www.nccoast.com | 43


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June - July 2012

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October 2012 issue www.nccoast.com

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T TA L COA S THE CRYS GUIDE TO 2012 , 17 er tob Oc September 5

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Seafood

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homes October 1 - October 29 Advertiser nccoast.com Index

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FESTIVALS & EVENTS TOPSAIL HISTORY FISHING TIPS TURTLE HOSPITAL ACCOMMODATIONS, DINING, SHOPPING,

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Let NCCOAST be Your Guide For 30 years, Coaster Magazine has been a beacon for visitors to the Crystal Coast, guiding vacationers to favorite attractions and the best in dining and accommodations while serving as the anchor to our family of regional publications. Whether you’re looking for the perfect home, planning a weekend trip or are simply eager to read more about our rich culture and heritage in Eastern North Carolina, our goal is to be the only GUIDE you’ll need. www.nccoast.com find us on facebook

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ADVERTISER INDEX S

ettle in, start shopping and get ACQUAINTED with your new home on the Carolina coast with these local businesses.

Al Williams Realty..................................................................................................23 Al Williams Realty – Pam Bird...............................................................................17 Artistic Tile & Stone................................................................................................13 Bluewater Real Estate............................................................................... Back Cover Budget Blinds.........................................................................................................44 Captain’s Shop, The................................................................................................37 Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative......................................................................19 Century 21 Coastland..............................................................................................47 Century 21 Newsom-Ball........................................................................................44 Chalk & Gibbs Insurance & Real Estate..................................................................21 Coastal Awnings......................................................................................................15 Coastal Carolina Regional Airport..........................................................................19 Crystal Coast Family Practice..................................................................................13 Duocraft Cabinets...................................................................................................25 Edgewater Linen.....................................................................................................33 Great Windows.......................................................................................................27 Handcrafted Homes................................................................................................11 JK Ellingsworth Tile..................................................................................................6 Johnson Family Dentistry.......................................................................................27

Ladies Touch Upholstery.........................................................................................19 Lawrence Family Dentistry.......................................................................................3 Mark Hannula Construction....................................................................................39 McQueen’s Interiors..................................................................................................5 Moore Orthopedic & Sports Medicine.....................................................................41 Morehead City Yacht Basin.......................................................................................2 Nationwide Insurance.............................................................................................13 Pat Patteson Island Homes.....................................................................................24 Putnam Real Estate................................................................................................40 Realty World First Coast – Steve Brown...................................................................3 Rutherford Financial.................................................................................................7 Shore Décor............................................................................................................25 Southern Glass & Mirror.........................................................................................33 Star Team...............................................................................................................37 Sun Surf Realty.......................................................................................................47 Dr. James Wells, DDS.............................................................................................46 Wells Fargo.............................................................................................................28 William’s Floor Covering..........................................................................................2

J M. W, DDS, PA CREATING BEAUTIFUL SMILES • O     • C F  C D C • Z  W • N P W

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And when you’ve made that decision, you need a dependable partner you can trust. That’s where we come in. Our award-winning team of real estate professionals is dedicated to providing you with an unmatched level of customer service. From expertise awareness of current market trends to a comprehensive knowledge of our coastal region, Bluewater Real Estate is your premier connection to the Crystal Coast.

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