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Old 10-18-2016, 09:44 PM
NDL NDL started this thread
 
Location: Gaston County
3,140 posts, read 3,614,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhawks91 View Post
Beaufort, NC is a great little town, too. There are lots of cute little shops, great restaurants and so peaceful. You can go on a charter boat to see the wild horses and spend the day on the water.

I agree, it is not a day trip but a great weekend trip. Enoy!
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoPhils View Post
Southport and/or Wilmington (well both might be tough) might be doable in a day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BC1960 View Post
I agree Beaufort would be better than New Bern, but is a looong way for a day trip. And Southport would make a much more feasible, and still fun and interesting, day trip.
Appreciate all of your comments and suggestions. Thanks
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:10 AM
 
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2 day trip for sure, certainly not a day trip
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:35 AM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
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I would opine a long weekend trip.

Come down after work on Friday.

Spend Saturday looking around New Bern, maybe Oriental.

Go down to Fort Macon/MHC/Beaufort on Sunday, spend Sunday night in NB, and then return on Monday.

Dinner in New Bern: Bay Leaf (Indian - WORLD CLASS), Morgan's Grill (excellent), The Chelsea (excellent), Persimmons (awesome location, a bit too fast forward on the food for me)

The NB farmers market on Saturday morning, would be a good start to your day in NB.
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:15 PM
 
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As someone who is from this area I'll reiterate it's too far from Charlotte to be a day trip. 5+ hour drive without traffic and if you plan on leaving after work you're easily looking at 6+ hours.

From a locals point of view, this is how I would approach it. First I'd take a 3 day weekend and leave after work Thursday. Also, I would highly encourage you to do this in the off-season (the best time is October/early November or late March/April).

I'd recommend staying in New Bern Thursday night then checking out Tryon palace Friday morning. Tryon palace is best toured in the spring as they have some amazing gardens. You can easily spend all morning there but after Tryon palace I'd head to the Beaufort/Morhead City/Atlantic Beach area. You could check out the downtown waterfront but as I remember it's kind of desolate.

It's about a 30-40 minute drive from New Bern to Beaufort. I'd head to the Beaufort waterfront area first. The waterfront is cool place to walk around and there are some quaint shops to check out. If you want a tour check out the double decker bus tour (completely different than the chain one, it's an actual old London bus). As others have said you can also take a ferry to check out the wild horses on Shackleford Island or take one out to Cape Lookout and see the lighthouse. There is also a cool historic grave yard with some VERY old graves going back to colonial times. The maritime museum is also a cool stop and it's free. At night you could take the haunted tour where they walk you around to all the supposedly haunted houses in town. That's more than enough to kill Friday. If you're budget conscious then I would stay the night in Morehead City if not than there are a few cool bed and breakfasts in Beaufort but I believe they are on the pricey side.

If you're adventurous, then on Saturday you could go on a deep sea fishing adventure (I think they still operate in the off season but double check) but those leave VERY early. Other than that there isn't a ton of stuff to do in Morehead City. About the only thing I can think of is that the fishing boats return to the docks roughly mid afternoon and it's cool to see what kind of haul they brought in. Other than that, I'd skip on to Atlantic Beach.

Assuming you skipped over Morehead City and deep sea fishing. I'd start Atlantic Beach at Fort Macon which has recently undergone a huge renovation and is definitely worth seeing. If you time it right I believe they do reenactments on special weekends (again, you'll have to double check this). Afterward, I would head down the island and check out the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium. This has also been recently renovated and is an excellent stop. If you go in the off season like I suggested you'll basically have the run of the place. Depending on how much time you spend at those two spots will determine what to do next. If it's approximately mid after noon I would head up to a spot that no one has mentioned yet, Harkers Island.

There isn't really a ton of stuff to do there but its worth a stop just to hear the dialect of the people there. It's very unique and linguists have studied it at length because it is identical to Elizabethan English. There is even a theory that Harkers Island is the original Roanoke Colony because of the unique dialect that has survived there in isolation over the years. Unfortunately, the dialect is dying as more people move away so again it's worth a stop just for that.

If you wrap up the Aquarium and it's late afternoon (the more likely case) then I would head to the beach for some relaxing time. Parking can be hard to find but it's free at Fort Macon and there are some nature walks there if you wish to partake. Not sure what time of year you would be doing this but the park closes at sundown so keep that in mind. That should wrap up Saturday nicely.

Sunday morning I would head down to Swansboro and walk around the historic downtown area there. There might not be much open, especially if you go in the winter, but its still a cute town to walk through. If you're able to get a seat I'd highly recommend Yana's for breakfast. If you can get in go for the fruit fritters, you won't be disapointed!

After that, I'd head up HWY 24 to I-40 and that should bring you back into Charlotte around 5 pm.
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:41 PM
NDL NDL started this thread
 
Location: Gaston County
3,140 posts, read 3,614,894 times
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As always, this forum provides a treasure trove of useful information. Thanks to you all, for sharing
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:33 AM
 
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I'm a native of the area as well - zanethan gave a great summary

A couple comments I'd make -

If you do downtown New Bern on a Saturday, it will be a lot more alive than on a Friday. Depends on if you're ok with the crowds but it will definitely feel a lot more happening

The Baker's Kitchen in downtown NB is excellent for breakfast or brunch

Stay in a downtown hotel if you can and walk to everything, which basically is just the Doubletree or Courtyard I think. Or a B&B. Everything will be within a mile walk from there. Probably less. You'd appreciate the town a lot more there because outside downtown there's nothing to see (just highways and a crappy mall basically)

Beaufort is a great place to visit - if you only go to two places I'd just do New Bern and Beaufort. Beaufort is much more of a true coastal feel which it sounds like you want. You can take a boat taxi over to Shackleford Banks for a half day or even just a couple hours which is my favorite thing to do in that area. Wear some good hiking shoes though if you want to explore the deserted island and look for the ponies. If you're not into strenuous outdoorsy stuff just go to Fort Macon instead which is also great and right on the beach.

Swansboro is nice and if you're doing a longer, leisurely trip it's a great idea but not a must in my opinion. Same for Oriental, but that's slightly more out of your way and in a very remote area, just depends on what you like. You could do Oriental on your way to Beaufort if you take back roads which includes a ferry ride over the Neuse River which could be fun.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:40 PM
 
Location: The Greater Booger Branch Area
139 posts, read 108,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuechlyiseverywhere View Post
Same for Oriental, but that's slightly more out of your way and in a very remote area, just depends on what you like. You could do Oriental on your way to Beaufort if you take back roads which includes a ferry ride over the Neuse River which could be fun.
You should definitely check out Oriental. Yes, it is a bit remote, but that is what is so great about it IMO. Depending on the weekend there could be a whole lot going on, (check towndock.net) or just peace and quiet. Quaint old houses and a working fishing village without the crush of Beaufort (though I do adore Beaufort) and it definitely feels beachy- there's always a breeze in town, that's why it is so popular for sailing. There is the Neuse River Inn & Suites for lodging, very new and a nice, with a wide lawn and chairs overlooking the three mile wide expanse of the river. Just sit and watch all the sail boats, or there is a small, well maintained fishing pier right across from the inn. There are a few good restaurants--the Toucan is very good and if it's a weekend the tiki bar on the harbor is a lot of fun. There is also the new O'Town which is right next to the bridge and has covered outdoor seating.
From New Bern to Oriental is about 35 minutes, via 55. From Oriental to Beaufort, just head over the bridge and continue on to Minnesott Beach to get a short ferry across the Neuse to Cherry Point.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
2,178 posts, read 2,219,172 times
Reputation: 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanethan View Post
As someone who is from this area I'll reiterate it's too far from Charlotte to be a day trip. 5+ hour drive without traffic and if you plan on leaving after work you're easily looking at 6+ hours.

From a locals point of view, this is how I would approach it. First I'd take a 3 day weekend and leave after work Thursday. Also, I would highly encourage you to do this in the off-season (the best time is October/early November or late March/April).

I'd recommend staying in New Bern Thursday night then checking out Tryon palace Friday morning. Tryon palace is best toured in the spring as they have some amazing gardens. You can easily spend all morning there but after Tryon palace I'd head to the Beaufort/Morhead City/Atlantic Beach area. You could check out the downtown waterfront but as I remember it's kind of desolate.

It's about a 30-40 minute drive from New Bern to Beaufort. I'd head to the Beaufort waterfront area first. The waterfront is cool place to walk around and there are some quaint shops to check out. If you want a tour check out the double decker bus tour (completely different than the chain one, it's an actual old London bus). As others have said you can also take a ferry to check out the wild horses on Shackleford Island or take one out to Cape Lookout and see the lighthouse. There is also a cool historic grave yard with some VERY old graves going back to colonial times. The maritime museum is also a cool stop and it's free. At night you could take the haunted tour where they walk you around to all the supposedly haunted houses in town. That's more than enough to kill Friday. If you're budget conscious then I would stay the night in Morehead City if not than there are a few cool bed and breakfasts in Beaufort but I believe they are on the pricey side.

If you're adventurous, then on Saturday you could go on a deep sea fishing adventure (I think they still operate in the off season but double check) but those leave VERY early. Other than that there isn't a ton of stuff to do in Morehead City. About the only thing I can think of is that the fishing boats return to the docks roughly mid afternoon and it's cool to see what kind of haul they brought in. Other than that, I'd skip on to Atlantic Beach.

Assuming you skipped over Morehead City and deep sea fishing. I'd start Atlantic Beach at Fort Macon which has recently undergone a huge renovation and is definitely worth seeing. If you time it right I believe they do reenactments on special weekends (again, you'll have to double check this). Afterward, I would head down the island and check out the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium. This has also been recently renovated and is an excellent stop. If you go in the off season like I suggested you'll basically have the run of the place. Depending on how much time you spend at those two spots will determine what to do next. If it's approximately mid after noon I would head up to a spot that no one has mentioned yet, Harkers Island.

There isn't really a ton of stuff to do there but its worth a stop just to hear the dialect of the people there. It's very unique and linguists have studied it at length because it is identical to Elizabethan English. There is even a theory that Harkers Island is the original Roanoke Colony because of the unique dialect that has survived there in isolation over the years. Unfortunately, the dialect is dying as more people move away so again it's worth a stop just for that.

If you wrap up the Aquarium and it's late afternoon (the more likely case) then I would head to the beach for some relaxing time. Parking can be hard to find but it's free at Fort Macon and there are some nature walks there if you wish to partake. Not sure what time of year you would be doing this but the park closes at sundown so keep that in mind. That should wrap up Saturday nicely.

Sunday morning I would head down to Swansboro and walk around the historic downtown area there. There might not be much open, especially if you go in the winter, but its still a cute town to walk through. If you're able to get a seat I'd highly recommend Yana's for breakfast. If you can get in go for the fruit fritters, you won't be disapointed!

After that, I'd head up HWY 24 to I-40 and that should bring you back into Charlotte around 5 pm.
A great, time-saving shortcut is to get off I-40 at US-1 in Cary and take US-64/NC-49 back to Charlotte. It's much less stressful, about 50 miles shorter, and you could visit the NC Zoo if you wanted to.
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