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Old 06-29-2017, 02:32 AM
 
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I just wanted to bring some attention to Washington, a town that I have mixed feelings about. Before moving to Greenville, I used to live in Washington (and still have some family there as well), although it was before the downtown revitalization began. Until about a decade ago, downtown was run down and barely breathing - one of the reasons I didn't like living there. It's certainly not the case anymore. Downtown Washington began a metamorphosis, starting with the opening of the Estruarium, to redeveloping the waterfront, adding a boardwalk, developing the old Moss planing mill to a residential site, and becoming a place where a limited amount of restaurants and other business could survive. But don't let me lead you to believe that Washington is a rock solid place to be.

Yes, the downtown has had an amazing turnaround, but it's been limited in scope. Only the waterfront and parts of Main Street have blossomed in the recent revitalization. While there are some very high quality establishments downtown (like Grub Bros., Down on Main Street, Bank Bistro, Scoops, Rachel's Bakery, the Turnage Theatre and a few others), there are still plenty of vacant storefronts. In fact, I'd say only half of Main Street is active, while the rest still await attention. What is there is solid, but new business is not chomping at the bit to join in. There seems to be a limited economic interest in the city of Washington.

Honestly most of the town beyond downtown and the waterfront is average for daily small rural town life. All your basics are here: drug stores, Walmart, grocery stores, even a small hospital that's part of the Vidant group. If you need or want more shopping or dining options, folks have to make the twenty mile ride to Greenville. Serious shoppers go off to Raleigh for whatever Greenville lacks. Anyone with serious medical issues will also find themselves traveling to Greenville, which has ample medical facilities that can handle most health issues. Often the Washington hospital will transfer emergency patients, via ambulance or helicopter, over to Greenville for better care. So if anyone is looking at Washington as a place to retire, you may want to consider your medical needs while deciding. Washington is a fine place to retire to if you only need basic medical care. If your health issues are serious or extensive, Washington may not be best for you.

As far as living in Washington: Most of the better neighborhoods are on the fringes of town, or in the Main Street area, and certainly, down along the river. Generally speaking, the housing in Washington proper is rather outdated with a lot of rental property throughout the city. If you can afford waterfront or historical homes, you'll have a nice selection to choose from. If you just need an affordable, decent, modern home, you'll have to check out neighborhoods near or just past the city limits; or live in the country. The schools are considered average at best. When I graduated from WHS, most of the students that went on to college went to the community college or ECU; although the children of the wealthier families went on to UNC, State, Duke, Wake Forrest, etc. So basically, if you have the means to create educational opportunities for your children, living in Washington will not hurt them. Adults, on the other hand, have few options of employment. There are no real employment centers in Washington: A few public schools, a small hospital, a couple of low-paying factories, public service, and the like.

The developments around the town beyond the downtown revitalization have been limited, but there has been some in the last decade. Just meager additions like gaining a Sheetz, a Zaxby's, a Waffle House, a new hotel, a new Dodge dealership, a Hwy 17 bypass, and a new middle school to replace an antiquated one. Soon (beginning of August, I think), the west side Food Lion will move to the former Piggly Wiggly at Washington Square, and the Food Lion will become a fitness center. Nothing that will draw new residents, but it gives the current small town folks something to talk about.

Sometimes I miss the simple-ness of small town life and the lack of traffic, but unless I can one day afford to own a condo at Moss Landing, I don't think I'll be moving back to Washington. I do find myself traveling over there about once a month or so. Washington has what might be the best looking waterfront in all of ENC. I love walking along the river and down across the boardwalk, and I always stop into Scoops for a thick, delicious milkshake. If you ever have an afternoon to get away for just a couple hours, drive over to Washington for one of the best strolls you'll ever take. If you're smart and it's not overcast, time your visit so you'll be near the lighthouse at sunset. You'll thank yourself for that.

For the past year I've gone to Washington every few weeks just to walk the waterfront and downtown. My next few posts will feature pics from those trips. I hope you enjoy, and if you're ever do go to visit Washington, then please come back here to post pics of your visit. Thanks...

Last edited by Phil A. Delphia; 06-29-2017 at 03:15 AM..
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:45 AM
 
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:52 AM
 
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:59 AM
 
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:06 AM
 
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:11 AM
 
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Old 06-29-2017, 04:19 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
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Washington is easily the nicest town in ENC - town, not city. Of its size nothing else around here comes close.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
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Thanks for the photos!! I drove through was en-route to New Bern and thought it looked so cute. I'd love to check it out further.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
Thanks for the photos!! I drove through was en-route to New Bern and thought it looked so cute. I'd love to check it out further.
I definitely recommend downtown Washington as a pleasant place to take a rest during traveling. Great opportunity to take a stroll, snaps some photos, grab a bite, and of course, a milkshake.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GarnetAndBlack View Post
Washington is easily the nicest town in ENC - town, not city. Of its size nothing else around here comes close.
While I don't want the waterfront to become overcrowded, I'd like to see just a little more added to those vacant storefronts, just to beef up Washington as something more than a great place to take a stroll. It is beautiful at the waterfront.
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