Hidden away from popular destinations like the Outer Banks and Emerald Isle are the quiet shores of the Pamlico Sound and Neuse River in Pamlico County. Quiet villages like Oriental, Minnesott Beach, and Bayboro along with "blink and you'll miss it" towns like Whortonsville and Florence adds a character and charm unique to any other area of North Carolina. Along the many inlets, bays, coves, and harbors, you will find numerous docks leading from marinas, fishing outfits, and more notably land owners who have fell in love with surroundings that ease the soul and rest the mind.
Oriental is the most well-known of the villages within Pamlico. Known as the "Sailing Capital of North Carolina," Oriental is the home to nearly three times as many boats as there are residents! About 2700 boats to 875 residents to be exact! Vacationers to Oriental are of two types - those that reach by land and those that reach by boat. Besides traditional water activities, visitors can bike, stroll the tree lined streets, dine overlooking the water, or just plain out relax.
Naturally, fishing and sailing are two of Oriental's more popular draws, and the village holds various festivals around the two activities throughout the year. During these festivals and also at almost any time of year, you will find boats from up and down the East Coast and even Europe docked in Oriental's harbor. Although the town was named after a sunken Outer Banks steamer, Oriental lives up to its exotic name at New Year's. On New Year's Eve the village has the 'Dragon Walk,' a celebration that seems right from a Chinese New Year festival.
Pamlico County is a step back from the expansion of the Piedmont cities and the forgotten jewel of North Carolina's Coastline. If you ask some of us, we like it exactly the way it is.
All photos taken in 2004 by author.
|Nothing beats relaxing on a hammock in the shade!|
|Tree lined shores along Broad Creek.|
|A gull sits quietly on a piling.|
|Tall pines and grassy yards are a bonus for Pamlico vacation homes.|
|Looking out Broad Creek in Whortonsville.|
|Heading out to the sound on a quiet but mild December day.|
|An almost cloudless December sky over quiet waters|
|The still waters make for great reflections along the shoreline.|
|Sailboats line Oriental Harbor for a December Sunset.|
|The sun sets over Oriental Harbor and the Greens Creek Bridge.|