Morehead City, NC

A visit to the Crystal Coast isn’t complete without feasting at the famous boat-to-table seafood restaurants on the Morehead City waterfront. Strolling the waterfront, you find a fleet of charter fishing boats, craft and gift shops, fish markets and a marina for cruising mariners. Examine the day’s catch from some of the finest fishing waters on the east coast, dine out or take an evening harbor or dinner cruise.

Watch the weigh-ins on the waterfront when Morehead City hosts the annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament every June, a week of activities and parties that draws sports fishermen and around 200 boats from all over the US. And plan ahead to attend the annual North Carolina Seafood Festival held the first weekend of October. It’s headquartered on the waterfront with activities all over the county. Street dances, bands, flounder flinging contests, a regatta, golf and tennis tournaments, kids activities, a black-tie ball, sailboat and road races, plus tons of delicious seafood make it a good time for the entire family.

Morehead City is one of the state’s two deep-water ports and just east of the Ports Authority, ships dock from all over the world, traveling only 3 miles from sea through Beaufort Inlet to the docks. It also serves as the arrival/departure port for the Second Division of the US Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, NC.

Going west on Hwy. 70 finds a number of important landmarks starting in the 3000 block of Arendell Street: the Crystal Coast Visitor’s Center and adjacent public boat ramp for access to Bogue Sound, Carteret General Hospital with emergency and outpatient services, the NC Division of Marine Fisheries for boating and fishing licenses, and Carteret Community College with the adjoining Crystal Coast Civic Center on Bogue Sound.

Morehead City is host to numerous exhibitions at the Crystal Coast Civic Center including the Crystal Coast Home Show and the NC Commercial Fishing Show, both in March, and the Coastal Invitational Showcase for fine arts and crafts in July and November. Newport, the neighboring community west of Morehead City, hosts its annual Pig Cookin’ Contest festivities the first weekend in April.