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Old 10-16-2015, 01:44 PM   #1
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Good ICW spots Norfolk to Charleston, SC

We've been sailing from NJ to SC and back for a few years. Most of the trips we've done were all on the outside. The only time we went into the ICW, we did so because of weather and we were concentrating on putting on miles, not stopping at nice places.

This year is different. We are leaving Monday (weather permitting), have more time, and we're planning on taking the ICW from Norfolk to Charleston.

If anyone has recommendations for cool towns to check out along the way, we're all ears.
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Old 10-16-2015, 08:15 PM   #2
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Lots of threads here already on this. Do some searching and if more questions for some reason, let us know. You'll have fun no matter what!
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Old 10-16-2015, 10:24 PM   #3
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You can start at Tidewater Yacht Marina in Portsmouth VA and go eat at "Stove".

stove the restaurant
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:45 AM   #4
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Thanks Bill, that's exactly what I'm looking for. Short, "hey I've been here and it's good"
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:44 PM   #5
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Off the ICW and up the Pamilco a bit, but a great little town and most will tell you it's worth the trip.. Beautiful waterfront and accommodating dock crew. Lottsa restaurants too... There's a Selene 48 that's been here about a month now relaxing....

Waterfront - Washington, NC | Little Washington
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Old 10-23-2015, 07:27 AM   #6
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Hopefully not too late;
Beaufort N.C. is a must see, especially for the ladies

Beaufort S.C. has a nice ICW water front shopping and eating district. We stayed at Ladies Island marina. A bit of a walk from the marina to the water front area, but a short bike ride. Opps, just realized this is south of CHS.

Georgetown S.C. is a favorite. Great seafood outlets if you have a freezer. All within walking distance of the marinas or anchoring.

Carolina Beach - do the mooring balls. Beachfront boardwalk with a carnival like atmosphere - if you like that sort of thing. Maybe closed for the season. An interesting state park a short bike ride away.

Oriental N.C.: Free docks and a reallly good marine supply store that will lend you bikes. A very good hardware store a short ride away. M&M's is the most popular restaurant in town. Lots of sailboats.

Elizabeth City N.C.: If you are doing the Dismal Swamp route a nice stop. Town is mostly decaying like many on the ICW, but they try hard to intice cruisers.

Towns you can skip:
Bellhaven, they do have cheap docks with limited power and a well stocked hardware store and easy walk away.
Moorehead city: I found nothing to stop here for - go on to Beaufort NC.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:56 AM   #7
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Moorehead city: I found nothing to stop here for - go on to Beaufort NC.
I disagree completely. While a different experience than Beaufort, Morehead City has TONS of great things. You just haven't looked in the right places. We were there just last weekend and it was awesome... As usual.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:57 AM   #8
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A side trip to Ocracoke is worth it. Plus Howard's Pub stocks something like 240 different beers.

If you have the time, I would not rush the trip. Post pictures!
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:22 AM   #9
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Hopefully not too late;

Carolina Beach - do the mooring balls. Beachfront boardwalk with a carnival like atmosphere - if you like that sort of thing. Maybe closed for the season. An interesting state park a short bike ride away.

Towns you can skip:
Moorehead city: I found nothing to stop here for - go on to Beaufort NC.
in addition, there is actually a fairly new marina at the Carolina Beach State Park. This would be a great place to enjoy the quiet surroundings, and if you carry bikes onboard, the park is awesome to bike through. Cheap too.

Morehead City has lots to offer. (insert local knowledge) We stay at the Yacht Basin mostly, or the new Town Docks on the waterfront. There are great restaurants walking distance from both, as well as a very walkable waterfront. The Yacht Basin has courtesy cars available if you need to get to West Marine a few miles away, but there is a marine supply just a few blocks. Mike and his crew are awesome!! The Town Docks are managed by Denard at Portside Marina, and he couldn't be more welcoming and accommodating. Beautiful view of Bogue Sound there.

I agree with Beaufort and Oriental, both awesome stops. Try to arrive Beaufort NC on a slack tide if possible. The current can run wicked through there. The dock crew knows their water very well, listen to their instructions.

Love Southport off of the Cape Fear right at the inlet. Wilmington is a cool riverfront town, but make sure to lock your boat up tight if you visit there.

If you have time, New Bern is a great little town as well. It's 25-ish miles up the Neuse from the ICW, but totally worth a stop if you have the time.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:36 AM   #10
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A side trip to Ocracoke is worth it. Plus Howard's Pub stocks something like 240 different beers.

If you have the time, I would not rush the trip. Post pictures!

Good one Ben!

Coming from VA, you could go to Manteo NC on Roanoke Island. Tons of history here....the Lost Colony, Elizabethan Gardens and Freedmans settlement.. Then leave Manteo and cruise the Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke. Too much fun to be had on Ocracoke.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:57 AM   #11
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I disagree completely. While a different experience than Beaufort, Morehead City has TONS of great things. You just haven't looked in the right places. We were there just last weekend and it was awesome... As usual.
If you don't mind...please list a few of your favs or is it the usual stuff in the guides?

Been there and within walking distance of the city docks there were a few places but pretty much usual fare for waterfronts.

I usually pass though out of season so maybe some of the stuff was closed....
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:06 AM   #12
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Floyd's is a favorite....it's across that field from the Yacht Basin in an old house. Nice new patio and outdoor bar.

Chef105, Sammy's, Ruddy Duck, The Arendell room.

Georgia B's for breakfast!!!

City Kitchen was in Morehead, but moved over to Beaufort at the Town Creek Marina!! Now they are waterfront!!

City Kitchen will close for winter, but the others are all local places in Morehead and stay open.
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:32 AM   #13
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I always have to chuckle when the first words out of the average dockmaster's mouth is a list of place to eat.


One might think eating is all that cruisers do!!! or at least care about.....
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:44 AM   #14
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We stayed at the Sanitary Seafood restaurant in Moorehead City which offers discount overnight docking if you eat there. The food was terrible I mean really and we're not picky people.
I found the town just OK with nothing special. I guess my opinion is if you're in the area why not go just across the ICW to Beaufort.
We took our dinghy over to the beach to let the dog run but it started raining shortly after we got there.
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:01 AM   #15
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The Sanitary was your problem. While an institution because it's been there forever, We wouldn't dock there or eat there. Too many great places to eat and a full service marina to visit.

We love Beaufort too, but give MHCYB a try sometime.....go over to Floyd's for buffalo flash fried oysters with blue cheese grits and see if you don't come away with a different view.
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:04 PM   #16
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I always have to chuckle when the first words out of the average dockmaster's mouth is a list of place to eat.
Actually, in Bess' case, that can double as a list of places to drink.

Still, while you mentioned standard fare for waterfronts, other than the Maritime Museum, Morehead City has nearly the exact same kind of eateries and drinkeries and shoperies as Beaufort. TBH, I don't see THAT much difference between the two (except thing in Beaufort are more expensive).

**With the added bonus of stopping by and saying HI to George (caltexflanc)**
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:25 PM   #17
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If you have a little time to kill go out to one of my all time favorite anchorages, Cape Lookout. It's about 6 miles out from the Beaufort Inlet. No commercial things around just National Seashore Great beaches to walk, and a light house where you can learn some of the history of the area.
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Old 10-23-2015, 01:57 PM   #18
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If you have a little time to kill go out to one of my all time favorite anchorages, Cape Lookout. It's about 6 miles out from the Beaufort Inlet. No commercial things around just National Seashore Great beaches to walk, and a light house where you can learn some of the history of the area.
Agree...a beautiful spot...
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:38 PM   #19
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We love Beaufort too, but give MHCYB a try sometime.....go over to Floyd's for buffalo flash fried oysters with blue cheese grits and see if you don't come away with a different view.
OK, will give it another try southbound.
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Old 10-23-2015, 04:20 PM   #20
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OK, will give it another try southbound.
Tim,

I second Bess's comments. Sanitary restaurant is the "Golden Corral" of seafood restaurants. I mean I never got sick there, but the food is pretty average, being nice. Floyds 1921 and Ruddy Duck are my favorites in Morehead City, and Beaufort Grocery and Blue Moon are great in Beaufort. Sanitary is where you take a bunch of 8-year-olds for fried shrimp.

Morehead used to be a tad uninteresting as a town (compared to Beaufort), but each year they add more events and greenery working to improve.
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