Though affectionately referred to as “Little Washington,” this North Carolina town founded in 1776 was the first in America to be named after George Washington. Located on the banks of the Pamlico River, this small community of just under 10,000 has a distinct maritime culture, with dozens of colorful crab statues lining the downtown streets. The historic town offers a quaint destination complemented by many outdoor activities, including exploring more than 300 miles of paddling trails.
Rent a kayak and take advantage of over 300 miles of recently mapped paddle trails in the Pamlico River basin. Explore small creeks and tributaries; take in the scenery and the wildlife for a memorable day on the water.
Take a walking tour of the historic downtown district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Step inside the Port of Washington, which celebrates maritime history, visit one of the numerous local art galleries and antique shops, or meander along the waterfront boardwalk. Check for local events such as ArtWalk, historic home tours or the BoCo Music Festival, a free outdoor event featuring traditional music.
This seasonal tiki bar transports you to the Florida Keys with a Carolina twist. Overlooking the Pamlico River, you can enjoy seafood and a tropical drink while listening to live music on the outdoor stage. Check for opening dates.
Housed in the town’s original bank built in 1852, this Harbor District eatery is often popular for special events. If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, head here for craft cocktails and a traditional dinner menu.
Seafood lovers can enjoy fresh catches at this no-frills local favorite. Order at the counter from the varied menu, including bacon-wrapped sea scallops, oyster and shrimp burgers, grilled tuna and more.
Want to grab a sandwich or a sweet treat? Stop by this quaint bakery featuring salads, soups, sandwiches, freshly baked goods and coffee. The one-woman business has humble beginnings – starting at the Saturday market—that has now grown into a 19th century downtown building.