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Old 01-23-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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Can any one please tell me their opinion about the towns in Carteret County? We're moving there late this spring. We're a family with two school age boys. We're debating between Beaufort or Morehead City. We also think about Newport, but are concerned that it is exclusively military. Any comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks!SadieAnn
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
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Default Beaufort or Morehead City

Beaufort, Morehead City and Newport are distinctly and uniquely different.
First off-Newport is not a "military" town. Of the three towns-Newport has the lowest housing costs. That coupled with the fact it is on the western end of the county closest to marine corp air station Cherry Point may result in more military-But it definetly is not a "militarty town like Havelock or Jacksonville.
All three are port cities-With Beaufort and Morehead ocean side ports. Beaufort has more of the fishing village flavor. Morehead City has more of a small town USA flavor.
Housing costs are more in Beaufort than in Morehead City. The average sales price of a Beaufort home in 2006 was $318K whereas in Morehead City it was $280K. The average price of a home in Newport in 2006 was $177K
All are very nice areas in which to live. Beautiful environment, friendly people, low crime rate.
Let me know if I can with more details.
Bill
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:17 AM
 
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Default Beaufort, Newport, Morehead City

Bill,

Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it. Is there one town that you consider better for kids than the others? Also can you please tell me if there is anything resembling a hill anywhere in the area or is it all pretty flat? Believe me, after more than 10 years in Florida, just about anything will qualify as a hill for us.
Thanks for the info and have a great day,

SadieAnn
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:10 AM
 
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Default re

I lived in Beaufort and worked in Morehead City for a while. I'm a 25 year old single male, and found the area to be pretty boring, especially in the winter. In the summer months, tourism picks up and there's more to do, and more charm. Beaufort isn't much to look at except for the part of the town that is on the water. The rest of the town that is back behind the waterfront is largely unseen my many tourists, and is run down/unkept to a large extent. Morehead City has run down parts too, but there are some nicer neighborhoods, especially the neighborhoods that are back behind the West Carter high school area. Atlantic Beach is nicer than Beaufort and Morehead City in my opinion, Pine Knoll Shores which is a little further down the island is even nicer, Emerald Isle isn't bad either. The biggest hills are the high rise bridges that connect the island to the mainland, other than that the area is very flat. Tends to be very windy at times too. Violent crime is low, but there is a fairly significant and largely unknown recreational drug use problem, mostly prescription narcotics, but most of these people still don't bother anyone. I've heard jokes that the drug use and teen pregnancy rate is high because there's nothing else for the younger people to do. While that's not completely true, I can see where the source of those comments could have some validity.

Overall, I think whether or not you like this area boils down to what kind of lifestyle you prefer. If you like quiet, slow, small town America, you're more likely to find things about it that you like. If you like to have a lot of options for entertainment and recreation, and things that larger populated areas offer, I'd advise to reconsider moving to the Beaufort/Morehead City area. There is also not an interstate system east of Raleigh, so it takes more driving time to get to places like Raleigh, Wilmington, etc than if you're used to having interstate highways. To put it into perspective, when I was living in Beaufort, my hometown was a 9 hour drive away. About 3-3.5 hours of that driving was from Beaufort to Raleigh. The the other 5.5-6 hours was all interstate from Raleigh to home, and a lot easier to drive. Yet I can be in Wilmington in 7 hours from my hometown. So, the Beaufort/Morehead City area is, and feels, isolated...the whole county has approximately 60,000 population which is a lot smaller than the city I grew up in. It kinda sits out there on the coast by itself. If this sounds appealing, go for it. If not, I'd recommend seeing if you can find another option.

I should also add that I found most Southerners to be friendly and hospitality is certainly put into practice. You still have the socially deviant and people who you shouldn't trust, but for the most part the the people were very nice.

Last edited by awakenthesun22; 01-24-2007 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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Default Thanks!

Thanks for the information. It does sound quiet but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Can you please tell me if there are any bike paths in any of the towns?

Thanks and have a good day!
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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Default re

I do remember a small paved bike path in Morehead City that ran parallel with one of the main streets in the city, I dont' remember the name of the street, but I know it wasn't Arendell (sp?), it was one or two over from that. I don't think there was a complete bike path system, but I do remember reading in the paper there that they wanted to do more with bike paths and make them more extensive in city. Whether or not that has progressed or gotten approval, I don't know. They do have a really nice aquarium in the area over on the island, they were just finnishing the upgrades to it when I left the area.

There is also a "historic bike path" over in Beaufort, but it's actually on the roads through the town. If you're not a road cyclist riding fast speeds, it still wouldn't be unsafe because the traffic generally doesn't move through the town at a very fast speed. You can probably get a map for the route somewhere in town, but they also have signs up to direct you along the streets to take (they're green and have a bike logo on them).

Also if you move there, get a water filter for your drinking water. The first time I tried to down a liter of tap water in Beaufort, I gagged on it. I thought it smelled funny but tried it anyway. I went right out and bought a filter and put it on the sink and it really helped. One day at work, somehow we got into a discussion about the water in the area, and one of the doctors that I worked with, knowing I was a new resident, told me not to drink the water there. He said it would actually increase your chances for kidney stones by quite a bit due to all of the crap still in it when it comes out of the tap. The citys' water study says its safe to drink, but the smell, my gagging, and a coworker confirming what I already thought says otherwise. I noticed that it left sediment on my dish drainer after the water had dried. It's safe for washing and showering, but definately get a filter for drinking.

Last edited by awakenthesun22; 01-24-2007 at 07:57 PM..
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:52 AM
 
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Default Thank you

Thank you so much for the information. This is just the kind of stuff that I need to know. I really appreciate it. Anything else you would like to tell me about the area is greatly appreciated. My husband LOVES riding his bike and will most likely commute by bike if possible.

Does anyone know if the bridges to Atlantic Beach bikeable? Can anyone please tell me if it's feasible to think about biking from Smyrna to Beaufort or Atlantic Beach. I know it's close to 20 miles but it's not the distance that concerns me, but traffic.

Should I assume that Beaufort is the more bike friendly town?

Thanks and have a good day!
SadieAnn
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Old 01-25-2007, 08:38 AM
 
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Default re

I'm a road cyclist and rode in the area quite a bit when I was down there. I generally didn't have a problem on the bridge that connects Atlantic Beach to the mainland, however the highrise that connects Beaufort and Morehead City is more narrow and I believe it's almost too dangerous to ride. The winds on that bridge are often strong and crosswind, so it's not only more narrow with busy traffic, but it also takes a lot of muscle and control to keep steady on that bridge. I would'nt recommend riding it. The one to Atlantic Beach, I usually caught a headwind on it, and the bridge itself, while sometimes difficult due to the winds, doesn't feel as unsafe. But don't move to Beaufort and work in Morehead City if anyone will be communting by bike, just a caution. As far as bike friendliness, Beaufort and Morehead City seem about the same. They're so close to one another that it all felt like the same community to me. I'm not familiar with Smyrna, I don't recall ever hearing of it so I can't say anything about cycling there.

As for motorists, there aren't any negative incidents that happened to me that come to mind, so I must not have had much of a problem with them, mostly seemed conscious and courteous for the most part. You might want to avoid the main roads in the city and opt for lesser traveled ones, and try to stay off the road that connects Morehead City to Jacksonville (I can't remember the road name/number right now). But I do remember an older guy that got hammered by a truck on that road and it killed him on impact. I don't know specifics on whether or not he was in his right mind or how/why he was riding on that road. He didn't look like somebody who should've been out there, he looked elderly (probably in his 70's at least) and he was wearing sweats and a flannel shirt, not attire that serious or even recreational cyclists usually go out in. So as with any other place, just keep your head up and use defensive riding skills.

Also, the best bike shop in the "area" is down in Jacksonville, NC, which really isn't that bad of a drive and it's worth it to get good work and service. It's called "The Bicycle Shop" and the owners name is John "Jack" Kane. He builds his own line of bikes, they're called "Kane" and his line actually got picked up by a womens professional team. He also carries a good selection of other quality brands. He and his employees are knowledgable, helpful, and do excellent work. Seemed like a group of honest guys who love cycling and enjoy working the sport. It's located at 909 North Marine Blvd in Jacksonville. There's a tye dye van out front of the shop which makes it easier to locate. The website url is: www.thebicycle.com

There is a bike group that meets at Fort Macon on the island every Sunday at 0800 if they haven't changed days or times since I left. It's made up of a combination of road cyclists and triathletes mostly.

Last edited by awakenthesun22; 01-25-2007 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:21 PM
 
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Smile hi patty. lucky you!

i own a second home in morehead city and love it! you are so close to beaufort and atlantic beach, the location gives you the best of all three areas. not to crack on newport, but there isnt much there. if i had my choice, it would be in last place.

you will have more school options in morehead as well. housing prices should be comparable in beaufort and morehead, but less expensive in newport. good luck with the move. you'll be just in time for the season.
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:35 PM
 
20 posts, read 94,232 times
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Thank you so much for responding. I will definitely keep it in mind. It's a lot to think about!
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