Neat things to see/do around Beaufort/New Bern/Morehead City, NC?
July 7, 2016 7:46 PM   Subscribe

I'm heading to the Beaufort/New Bern/Morehead City area in North CarolIna for a week later this summer and would love insiders' tips about unusually fun historical sites, the smartest seafood and vegetarian restaurants, and the best places to hike, kayak or canoe to see wildlife and tent camp for a night or two. What would you consider musts for a nature and history lover in that area?
posted by mediareport to Travel & Transportation around Beaufort, NC (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I sure do like Fort Macon.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:37 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

You can see alligators in the swamps around there - I'm 2 hours north and we have them - so if you want to see alligators rent a kayak or canoe and ask the guide where they usually sun themselves.
posted by bookdragoness at 8:56 PM on July 7, 2016

Also, about 40 minutes northwest of New Bern is Kinston, NC which has a Confederate Ironclad museum and replica. It's a pretty neat little town and has some great parks!
posted by bookdragoness at 8:57 PM on July 7, 2016

I lived in New Bern for 2 years and Swansboro for a year. Swansboro is a cute little town about 25 minutes from Morehead City. Kayaking in Swansboro is gorgeous and there are rental places all over town. This place is pretty nice.

Swansboro also has some great restaurants: Yana's for the diner experience (get the fritters!), the Trattoria for Italian food (huge portions), Bogue House for seafood (I have never been, but my husband says their fry cook is excellent).

In New Bern, do the Tryon Palace thing for gardens and colonial living. There's also a trolley tour that leaves from Tryon which is pretty cool. Captain Ratty's is always a good bet for food. Persimmons is fancy and also has the whole locally sourced thing going on, plus it's on the water and the views are great. A bit further out from the downtown area, Famous Subs and Pizza will give you enough hummus to sink a boat in, and their gyros are pretty good too. The Farmer's Market on Saturdays is great. New Bern is the birthplace of Pepsi and the original drugstore will give you free samples and sells great kitsch. Really, just walking around the downtown area in New Bern is a great way to spend an afternoon.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:56 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Shackleford Banks is fun, if you like wild horses or digging for shells... the end near Beaufort Inlet has some nice areas for kayaking or swimming. I went there years ago and still have memories of finding live hermit crabs, sand dollars, and sea urchins in the shallows and steeper underwater banks. Don't know if they still have the service running, but my wife and I caught a sunset cruise on a catamaran there that was quite enjoyable.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:28 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

2nding Shackleford Banks. We used to go there a lot when I was a kid, and I remember a place called Shark Tooth Island where we always seemed to find a handful of shark teeth. I'm sure that's a name the adults gave it for kid-comprehension purposes, but shark teeth are cool.

The historical cemetery in Beaufort is really cool, too. Lots of very old (18th century) graves and causes of death like "yellow fever" and "typhoid" and other ailments we are blessed to avoid. I have also heard a credible account of that cemetery being haunted (??!!)

The Maritime Museum in Morehead City is worth a visit. It's small but dense with artifacts and information.
posted by witchen at 8:52 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I just got home from a week in the area. We usually stay over in the vicinity of Harkers Island. The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum there is worth an hour if you're in the vicinity, and you can catch a ferry from Harkers over to Cape Lookout and climb the lighthouse on your way to or from the beach. The beaches there are really something else.

I've thought a bunch of times about camping on Cape Lookout or Shackleford Banks, but haven't tried it yet. There are usually groups going over or coming back when we catch the ferry. I'd want a tent I trusted in strong wind and some kind of anchors that'd do well in sand. The last week was in a pattern with strong evening / overnight storms, lots of wind and lightning, so I'd keep that possibility in mind.
posted by brennen at 8:58 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

This area is our vacation spot every summer. Last summer it rained every. single. day, so we hit all the places mentioned so far in this thread. I thought the Core Sound museum was a treat, as well as Fort Macon and the maritime museum.

One that hasn't been mentioned is the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Definitely worth a visit. They have an outside area too, where you can do some bird watching on the sound side.

I also like visiting Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier, and torture myself every day at work by visiting their live webcam.
posted by Otis at 8:57 AM on July 11, 2016

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