Morehead City, one of two state ports, has and always will be centered around the ocean, more specifically the fishing industry. Beaufort and Atlantic Beach, lying to its east and south respectively, make Morehead City the ideal location for a summer vacation. With beaches, multiple marinas offering charter fishing services, some of the best seafood you can find, amazing opportunities to view wild horses and nesting loggerhead turtles, and many local attractions, Morehead City offers something for everyone.
Fishing tops them all as the reason for visiting Morehead City. Whether you like to surf-cast, pier fish, boat fish the many sounds of the area, or deep-sea fish, you’ll find some of the world’s best salt-water fishing in the area. Get shutout on your fishing trip? No worries, try out the Sanitary Restaurant and Fish Market for some of the best seafood the oceans have to offer.
The Seafood Festival is arguably Morehead City’s greatest attraction. Attracting over 125,000 attendees and occurring annually near the beginning of October, the Seafood Festival is North Carolina’s second largest festival. Enjoy amazing food, over 150 booths and vendors, live music, rides, sporting events, plus much more when you visit The Seafood Festival.
Accommodations range from chain hotels to vacation rentals to B & Bs, while dining options are unlimited and include something for everyone.
Atlantic Beach is truly a small beach town community. Lying on the easternmost point of Bogue Banks, Atlantic Beach provides beach-goers with a wonderful opportunity to relax while avoiding the major traffic, populations, and clutter of lights that many developed beach destinations possess. Atlantic Beach has many attractions outside of the ocean, however, Atlantic Beach’s best attraction may be its beach due to the fact that it faces southward. This means it’s possible to watch the sun rise and set while never moving off of your beach towel.
Historically speaking, the Atlantic Beach area was something worthy of a fight. The Civil War saw a major battle here for possession of Fort Macon, which is now the most visited state park in North Carolina. The park is extremely accessible and informative on the history behind the area and the battle that took place. Not into history? What about the sea? The newly renovated Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium offers an incredible amount of opportunities for families to enjoy a closer look at maritime ecosystems, marine animals, full-scale models of U-352, a German U-boat sunk offshore during World War II, and The Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s flagship vessel, as well as many other exhibits.
Lodging varies from several large hotels to rental properties and dining options are endless. Attractions range from Fort Macon to the NC Aquarium to numerous putt-putt courses and much more family fun.
Beaufort, the state’s third oldest town, is filled with tales of pirates, including none other than Blackbeard who frequented the town quite often, history from the War of 1812, as well as some of the oldest original houses and structures in the country dating back to colonial times. Beaufort Historic Site offers guided tours of old Beaufort aboard a vintage English double-decker bus with costumed guides and the North Carolina Maritime Museum presents the region’s nautical history including the many findings gathered from the presumed site of The Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s ship that was discovered in Beaufort Inlet.
Recreation is varied in Beaufort. Divers will enjoy exploring the WWII German U-352 sub and the Proteus ocean liner; kayaking is popular at Rachel Carson Reserve and Cape Lookout National Seashore; and chartered boat tours are also available.
Accommodations range from cottages and vacation rentals to smalls inns and B & Bs. Dining includes Loughry’s Landing on the boardwalk offering fresh seafood to the traditional fare of Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant.