Waterfront, art, history, culture and cuisine mix to make Washington, in Eastern North Carolina, a great place to visit.
From Charlotte, it is about a 275-mile drive; a little more than 4 1/2 hours.
To see and do
Washington, near the center of North Carolina’s “Inner Banks” on the Pamlico River, was established in 1776 and was the first place in the U.S. to honor our first president with its name.
The waterfront district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features more than 30 buildings from the 1780s. You’ll find structures that housed Federal troops during the Civil War, the old train depot (now used as a convention center) and old warehouses that once serviced sailing ships and now house restaurants and art galleries. Dining runs the gamut of high end and eclectic cuisine to the basics of Bill’s – famous for its hot dogs.
Just 20 miles from the Intracoastal Waterway, Washington is at the confluence of the Tar-Pamlico River basin, making it part of the second-largest estuarine system in the United States.
The N.C. Estuarium, just off the main waterfront, is a great place to learn more about how water is important in our lives through science, nature, art and history. It has more than 200 exhibits including art, artifacts, audio-visual displays and aquariums. April through October, they also offer free boat tours that last about an hour; reservations are a must.
The more adventurous might want to visit the Inner Banks Outfitters at the eastern edge of town. In additional to renting and selling bikes, it does the same for kayaks. It offers guided tours, or, you can explore on your own. Details: www.innerbanksoutfitters.com.
After, check out Backwater Jack’s, right next door. American cuisine, cold beverages and lots of entertainment make for a lively combination.
Washington has several hotels and a number of B&Bs.
Near Washington are historic Bath and Goose Creek state parks. Bath was North Carolina’s first incorporated town, and was home to Blackbeard the pirate. Today, it takes pride in having the oldest standing church in the state.
Area info: www.littlewashingtonnc.com.