A Favorite Spot, Morehead City

I plead guilty to not writing enough about Morehead City, one of the neatest spots on the Crystal Coast. It is more a result of geography than any intentional slight.

I live on the western banks of the White Oak River, so nearby Emerald Isle is naturally the area where I spend the most time. When I do head east towards Morehead City, there is usually a reason. Meetings often end up there, and many of our area services are located there.

Even in my beach time schedule there are not enough days when I go to Morehead City just to be visiting the area. Today was an exception. We had one errand, and then we took time for a few minutes of long overdue exploring.

We found a neat CAMA public access point on Evans Street just before the Atlantic Beach Bridge. The photograph in the post is a shot of the general area taken from Atlantic Beach.

Morehead City is Carteret County's commercial heart, but it is far more than just our favorite place to shop. It is a wonderful place to live and has some of the most beautiful homes in the area along with great water access. Sometimes I wonder if there are more boats than people in Morehead City.

The interesting area that we found on Evans Street was the site of the old wooden bridge from Morehead City to Atlantic Beach. Sometime after the bridge was moved to its present location, the old location became a CAMA water access point. It is a peaceful spot to gaze across Bogue Sound to Atlantic Beach. The area also has some wonderful homes.

It would be hard to find an area with better water access than Morehead City. My wife recently got directions to an appointment. The instructions included, "You will pass two marinas." A quick glance at
a map of the area confirms that it is normal to suspect that water is everywhere when you are in Morehead City. The city is actually on a peninsula. The water that surrounds the city on three sides is the life blood of Morehead City. From the annual NC Seafood Festival in the fall to the Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament, Morehead is all about the water.

Obviously the NC Port plays a large part in the city's life, but it is important to remember that the bridge in Morehead City is a gateway to the beaches which run from Fort Macon all the way to the Point at Emerald Isle. To a certain extent Morehead City influences our life on the Crystal Coast more than any other single place. Without the services in Morehead, we would be living in a very rural area.

Part of the reason that I enjoy living where I do on the western side of the county is that I can be at the shopping area of Morehead City in eighteen minutes. I get the advantage of good shopping without the inconvenience of traffic and having stores on my doorstep.

Of course Morehead City relies on Atlantic Beach to provide most of its beach atmosphere. Beaches are not the area's only attraction. While I have enjoyed the History Place in Morehead, I also love going to Fort Macon State Park. We dropped by today to see the new interpretative center that opened last fall. It is a wonderful building. We got there too late to visit the fort itself, but we have enjoyed it many times before. I did take
a few pictures of our trip. There are some of the new Fort Macon center mixed in with the ones of Atlantic Beach and Morehead City.

We finished our trip with a peaceful ride down the beach to Emerald Isle. I caught
a great sunset from the Cameron Langston Bridge over Bogue Sound. It was a great ending to the day. Since today was warmer than yesterday, it was easy to stay positive about the cool spring weather .

Some Visitors on the Beach

There are few things as nice as coming home. That is especially true when home is the beach. We were away for awhile, and as usual that made getting back to the Crystal Coast even more special.

We managed to miss some great spring weather here on the coast while having to deal with some temperatures in the nineties in the mountains of Virginia. One of the first things I noticed when we got back was that we now have a substantial number of out of state license plates in the area.

Our out of state visitors are something we look forward to each year. It means that the beach is waking up, and it will likely have some people walking on it even on not so perfect days.

Today began very cool with temperatures in the forties, but by mid-afternoon when we stopped by the Eastern Regional Access on Emerald Isle, the temperature had worked its way into the upper sixties, and there were some clouds on the horizon.

We also had a nice breeze today. That along with the cool temperatures put this Monday into the blue jeans and long sleeved tee-shirt category.

Yet I was not surprised to see some young visitors in swimsuits. When we lived in Canada, our kids swam in July waters on the north coast of Prince Edward Island that were even colder than our April waters are here on the North Carolina coast. Surf in the mid-sixties like we have now is warm enough for some folks. However, it remains a little cold for most of us.

Even with these cool temperatures, the beach is still enjoyable. The water is beautiful. We saw several folks just walking or passing the time by watching the waves from their beach chairs. This is actually a great time of the year to visit the beach. There is little or no humidity. The weather at night is perfect for sleeping.

At the same time, the azaleas are gorgeous, and it will not be long before our local strawberries are ripe. Usually we have them by this time of year, but the cold winter on the east coast has made things a little late. The late spring has not slowed some outdoor enthusiasts. We are seeing some fishermen out on the water, especially in the harbors.

A visit at this time of year means that the local restaurants are not crowded, and our local seafood is plentiful, and there are still some great oysters available. Our local oysters are always tasty. This time of year, there is no waiting for a table during the week.

Unless you are looking for warm water for swimming, you can even save a lot of money by visiting the Crystal Coast in April and May when rental rates are less expensive.

We have a couple of days coming up at the end of the week when the temperatures are going to climb into the eighties. If the winds and tides will cooperate, we just might go try our luck at some early season fishing. My boat is serviced for the season and waiting on the lift behind our home. All we need is a little more warmth.

There is nothing like a good day on the water with a warm Carolina sun on your back to remind you of just how lucky we are to be able to enjoy this paradise know as the Crystal Coast.

With the temperatures in the eighties, finishing the day with a beach walk once again becomes an option. Each day now, I expect to see a few more people on the beaches, and more boats in the Intracoastal.

I think we are ready for our visitors. It looks like Emerald Isle has managed to finish most of their sections of bike bath just in time for the first wave of the out of state visitors.

Now if the fish were just biting, and the afternoon temperature consistently in the low eighties, things would be just fine here in paradise on the North Carolina coast.