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Old 01-12-2008, 08:06 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,914 times
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My wife, two daughters ages 2 and 5, and myself are looking to move to coastal Carolina from northern VA. Tired of the rat race etc.. One area of interest is New Bern. Schools are a primary concern with outdoor recreation (boating, fishing, hunting) and proximity to shopping, restaurants, etc.. a concern as well.I know it sounds like we want it all..... but why not? Any recommendations are appreciated
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:29 AM
 
Location: OH, NC
20 posts, read 54,627 times
Reputation: 22
Default Moving to Crystal Coast

There are several comments in this forum about New Bern. You may want to go back and look at them. I am not that familiar with the New Bern area as far as schools are concerned. We have had a second home in the Beaufort/Morehead City/ Newport area for 10 years now so know a little bit about that particular area. I can vouch for the "no rat race" in this area. I do know that the Cartaret school system is very good, especially the middle school and high school. I heard from one family that Croatan High School is in the top 10% in the state. You can go on NC School Report Cards to veiw any of the school systems and compare their statistics. The shopping is getting better in Cartaret County - in Morehead they are currently building a new shopping mall which will have many new stores, but the beauty of the Crystal Coast is the unique stores all around the area. There are tons of restaurants and many are kid friendly. Of course the hunting, fishing and boating are plentiful here. If you weren't working and going to school you would think you were on vacation all the time. And for us adults, there is a community college in Morehead City where we can keep honing in on our skills - both on campus and on line. If you are in the area at all pick up a copy of the "Insider's Guide" North Carolina's Central Coast book. It has a ton of stuff in there. Good Luck!
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,472,684 times
Reputation: 543
Default I second the Crystal Coast motion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncboundin08 View Post
My wife, two daughters ages 2 and 5, and myself are looking to move to coastal Carolina from northern VA. Tired of the rat race etc.. One area of interest is New Bern. Schools are a primary concern with outdoor recreation (boating, fishing, hunting) and proximity to shopping, restaurants, etc.. a concern as well.I know it sounds like we want it all..... but why not? Any recommendations are appreciated
We think the Crystal Coast is one of the best spots around. I worked for sixteen years in Northern Virginia. I even still write a blog about Reston.

We still have two of our grown children living there. They cannot get over our blue skies during the day and star filled ones at night. Their only complaint when they visited at Christmas was the temperatures needed to be colder to make it feel like the holidays.

The warmer temperatures were a plus for me since I took our boat out on the White Oak River on Christmas eve.

I think the main difference living on the Crystal Coast is access to the beaches. From our home in the western side of Carteret County, we can be walking on Emerald Isle beaches in ten minutes.

Our 21 ft skiff is on a lift behind our home, so we can lower it into the water and be on the Intracoastal Waterway in 15 minutes and out Bogue Inlet in another five to ten minutes.

In the summer you often see impromptu beach parties (http://coastalnc.org/beachboatparty - broken link).

There is plenty of space to have your own island (http://coastalnc.org/yourownisland - broken link) if you want it.

And in the winter the sound is absolutely gorgeous (http://coastalnc.org/coldsilentsoundjan - broken link) and the sunsets along the beach are pretty spectacular.

Croatan National Forest has 160,000 acres. So there is plenty room for hunting. Where we are near Cape Carteret, it is under twenty minutes to Morehead City, forty five minutes to New Bern (my neighbor works there), and thirty minutes to Jacksonville. There is about all you need in the way of services in Cape Carteret as you can see from this map.

The fish are closer.

There are great restaurants in the area and almost all of them stay open the whole year though some take a few weeks off. There is no shortage of fantastic fresh seafood.

It's a great area. We love it. I have lots of info on the web about the area. The strawberries get ripe by the middle of April and the water is warm enough for wading in May.

Good luck. I am always happy to answer any questions or put you in touch with someone who knows more than me. The schools do have a good reputation.

Last edited by dsobotta; 01-12-2008 at 10:19 AM.. Reason: Hit the wrong button
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:52 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,914 times
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Dsobotta, thanks for your input. I grew up in Reston and head westward (Loudoun and now Clarke) over the last ten years. Finally just fed up with the area all together. We have a great place here on almost 80 acres but I am ready to trade it in for a spot on or near the water. I am still working on my wife but feel that once she sees the area she too will be sold. As I mentioned we have two young girls so it is important that we find an area offering programs for arts, sports, and what ever the girls decide to pursue. Of course schools are a large factor as well. As for me, all I need are water and woods and I am happy. My wife will need some sort of social life but I am sure she will meet people through the girls. Is Morehead city a nice area? Are there any surrounding towns to consider? Thanks in advance
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,472,684 times
Reputation: 543
Smile Some more input

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncboundin08 View Post
Dsobotta, thanks for your input. I grew up in Reston and head westward (Loudoun and now Clarke) over the last ten years. Finally just fed up with the area all together. We have a great place here on almost 80 acres but I am ready to trade it in for a spot on or near the water. I am still working on my wife but feel that once she sees the area she too will be sold. As I mentioned we have two young girls so it is important that we find an area offering programs for arts, sports, and what ever the girls decide to pursue. Of course schools are a large factor as well. As for me, all I need are water and woods and I am happy. My wife will need some sort of social life but I am sure she will meet people through the girls. Is Morehead city a nice area? Are there any surrounding towns to consider? Thanks in advance
We moved down here and I am still working on my wife. It must be the nature of wives.

We still have our home in Roanoke, and I thought I might have to move some of her friends down here, but she has found some new friends so we are okay now.

Morehead City has some very nice subdivisions around it, but visually the downtown is not something that is very appealing. There are nice parts, but the railroad tracks running the length of the city and the commercial bulk port at the far end give the town a decidedly commercial feel.

Sports are a big deal in the area so I don't think that will be a problem. There is also an active community of artists and writers in the area. There are some really neat programs for kids that revolve around the area museums and the aquarium. The Beaufort Historic Association also has some interesting programs in conjunction with their Historic Site in Beaufort.

My favorite museum is the Maritime Museum in Beaufort. The NC Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores is always having programs for kids. I also like the Core Sound Museum, The History Place in Morehead City, the museum at Hammocks Beach State Park, and the one at Fort Macon which often hosts re-enactments and other special programs.

You can find some information about arts at the Carteret County Arts Council site.

The nice thing about the area is that you can settle anywhere and feel like any or all of the towns are your hometown. Nothing is very far.

We enjoy Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Swansboro, Morehead City, Down East and lots of the other places.

One of the things that has impressed me the most is how involved the kids are in the local festivals. Swansboro has one that is an Oyster Roast in mid March. Emerald Isle has a Saint Patrick's Day one. There is a Chocolate Festival in Morehead City. Swansboro also has their annual Mullet Festival which is becoming a big deal.

You can get a look at some of the area events by looking at the Emerald Isle calendar of upcoming events. I noticed the Saint Patrick's Day festival is March 15 this year.

I can understand the feeling of wanting to be on the water. We farmed for eleven years in Canada on a couple of hundred acres. Our place in Roanoke has a stunning forty mile view of the Peaks of Otter, but I felt trapped on the mountain.

All my hiking trails were being cut off with development. I had to put my bike on the back of the car to do any biking. My kayak had to be hauled all the way to Carvin's Cove. On top of that snow or mostly ice trapped us part of the time, and the weather much of the time was either too cool or too hot to really enjoy the out of doors.

The climate on the coast is much superior to Virginia. When I am on the water, I don't even mind the hot weather.

Now I open the garage door and go biking. I slide the kayak into water behind the house, or lower the skiff into the water (http://coastalnc.org/boatonthelift - broken link). Some great Croatan trails are five minutes away and the beach is ten minutes.

It might not be paradise but it is pretty close. Check out these pictures of the area.

Let me know if you have more questions. I can even introduce your wife to a couple of the area artists that we have gotten to know.

Last edited by dsobotta; 01-12-2008 at 12:33 PM.. Reason: missing word
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