Oriental North Carolina - The Next Happiest Seaside Town in America?

Sailboats

NORTH CAROLINA COASTAL TOWNS

The small town of Oriental, North Carolina has embodied happiness for generations. In this sailor’s paradise, bliss is synonymous with being on the water. Locals in this North Carolina coastal town brag that sailboats outnumber residents three to one. It’s clear how Oriental earned its nickname “The Sailing Capital of North Carolina.” So it makes sense that the town embraces all things aquatic. Even Oriental’s history revolves around water.  Its first modern settler, “Uncle Lew” Midyette, washed ashore in an 1870 storm and never left.

During the year, many festivals and art shows take place throughout the town.  Regattas take place year-round too.  Fishing and sailing are important parts of life in Oriental. Local waterways are filled with boats, kayaks and cruisers.  Many of the people love spending time on the water – to them time afloat equals glee and delight. 

From lodging to restaurants and attractions, the online review site Trip Advisor is filled with raves about visits to Oriental.  Bed and breakfasts in this North Carolina coastal town rank very high among visitors. The Inn at Oriental is described as a “great place to stay” and a “relaxing getaway.” A recent review sings the praises of The Cartwright House Bed and Breakfast, saying it has “friendly owners, great breakfast, fantastic rooms.” 

Visitors love the town’s restaurants too.  Reviews describe The Silos as “Unusual fun, good eats!”  One reviewer said M&M’s Café is a “Perfect place for a drink and a good meal.”  While “One of a Kind” is how another reviewer described nearby Coffee House The Bean. 

Tourists flock to this North Carolina coastal town for its wide range of shows and exhibitions. The Oriental In-Water Boat Show is an annual event that attracts visitors from around the country every year.  It has become of the largest and most successful in-water shows between Annapolis and Savannah. An array of exhibitors shares a variety of nautical goods and services. The Pamlico County Croaker Festival is an old fashioned family Independence Day celebration.  It takes place on the banks of the Neuse River. The festival features over 100 arts and crafts and food vendors, a kids' park, music on the main stage, a street dance, a spectacular parade and fireworks over the harbor each year. The Dragon Boat Festival happens in August. This two-day event revolves around races and on-shore activities.  Teams of 22 compete in a series of heats on the first day.  On the second day there is a parade of the teams along the waterfront before the races begin again. 

Even with all the shows and events, Oriental has a laid back and relaxed atmosphere. Its distinctive charm attracts snowbirds cruising south for the winter or north for the summer. Many residents got their first glimpse of Oriental North Carolina real estate while cruising along the coast.  After a short time visiting the North Carolina coastal town, they decided to make it their home.

When it comes to finding a place to live, many folks choose one of the planned communities in North Carolina along the coast. In the Oriental area, River Dunes is by far the finest. With its 14 miles of natural shoreline, true protected harbor and Cape Cod style cottage homes, this community is a favorite. It’s no wonder this development has been honored three times with the Bliss Award for Best Boating Community of the Year. It is a favorite when it comes to Oriental North Carolina real estate.

Residents living at River Dunes spend most of their time outdoors – usually on the water, hiking or biking the neighborhood. This planned community in North Carolina has high standards for excellence/quality without being pretentious.  Amenities include a harbor side swimming pool with jacuzzis and cabanas, a fitness center, tennis courts and guest cottages. The beautiful Grace Chapel overlooking the harbor is a delightful place for intimate weddings and family gatherings.

Family-friendly, footloose and fancy free – all of these adjectives can be used to describe life in Oriental, North Carolina.  Maybe it’s the feeling of freedom from being on the water.  Perhaps it’s all the fun times, fresh seafood restaurants and awesome events, but whatever it is, you can definitely find happiness in Oriental. 

If you're learning about the area for the first time, ask for our New Bern relocation information to help you get to know the area before it gets discovered by the masses.

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