DOWN EAST, NORTH CAROLINA
THINGS TO SEE AND DO WHILE VISITING THE AREA
As you travel Down East you will drive through several small towns – starting with Bettie, Otway, Straits, Harkers Island, Smyrna, Davis, Stacy, Sea Level, Atlantic, and ending at Cedar Island. Some of these will warrant a quick stop and others you will drive through and they will be behind you before you even realize it. This document begins with your departure from Beaufort on Hwy 70 heading Down East. Be sure to slow down to enjoy the sights,
sounds, and the good people of Down East NC.
SIMPSONS GREENHOUSE & NANNIE'S BAKERY
743 Hwy 70Phone: 252-728-3508
George Simpson's grandfather purchase the farm land in 1918, and a member of the Simpson family has lived on the property ever since. The farm is now worked by George, his wife, their children, and their grandchildren.
The Greenhouse grows tomatoes (from tiny cherry ones, to 1.5 pounders – all of which are delicious), cucumbers and squash. In the Spring, a huge strawberry field is available for customers to pick their own berries. The summer brings out the watermelons, squash, onion, and potatoes. Check out their Irish potatoes. In the fall, there are sweet potatoes (even sweet potato chips) and collards. They never use any pesticides and even have their own bee hives in the green houses.
Nannie Simpson bakes cookies, muffins, low-sugar cream pies, tomato pies and cakes to order.
They do not accept credit cards.
OUTER ISLAND GENERAL STORE & GRILL
“Known for the Best Fried Chicken Down East”
Owned by long-term Down East Family
Breakfast: 5:00am – 10:30am (6am on Sunday); Lots of options on the Breakfast menu.
Lunch: Grill open until 3:00pm Cheesy yeast rolls are wonderful!
Sells: Fuel (and Non-ethanol gas), ice, groceries, beer and wine, souvenirs, and fishing bait.
CROSSROADS PIZZA – TAKE OUT & DELIVERY
738 Hwy 70Phone: 252-504-3882
For those of you familiar with the NO NAME PIZZA restaurants in Beaufort & Morehead City, you will be glad to know they are now Down East too. Serving Pasta, Burgers, Subs, Greek specialties, Quesadillas, Italian, salads, and a kids menu. Delivery after 4pm with $10 minimum.
Turn right off of Highway 70 at the sign indicating Harkers Island. There are a couple of very small cities (Straits, Gloucester) before you arrive at the Lift Bridge over to Harkers Island. Around Easter Gloucester has an annual Mardi Gras Festival with Cajun zydeco music, parade, and home-cooked cajun food. Great fun!
THE KINDRED SPIRIT & GREEN GABLES TEA ROOM
937 Harkers Island RoadPhone: 252-838-8814 www.greengablestearoom.com or thekindredspiritgiftshop.com
Owner, Libby Liles, loves to show off her vintage and new gifts and accessories. She carries Folkmanis puppets, tea sets for children, antiques, jewelry, and North Carolina made lighthouse throws & pillows.
Tea Room specializes in quality loose leaf teas, gourmet foods and chocolates, scones, rum cakes and toppings. Seating for 20 in quaint tea room atmosphere – available for card game afternoons or just stopping in for “a cuppa”. Afternoon tea from 11-3pm when open.
Hours are flexible. Call for exact hours.
CORE SOUND DECOY CARVERS GUILD
Located on Harkers Island Road, on the right, before the lift-bridge. Guild meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm.
Guild building is open on Thursday's and other times by request. Guild conducts classes in decoy carving, and holds special events: Kids Carving & Painting lessons at 10am. Call for dates.
Loon Day on the 2nd or 3rd week-end of May with a competition and Auction. The Core Sound Decoy Festival is held on the 1st week-end in December.
HARKERS ISLAND AFTER THE BRIDGE
SEASIDE GALLEY – SERVICE STATION, RESTAURANT AND GIFT SHOP
311 Island RoadPhone: 252-728-6171 or
Gift Shop: Beach style souvenirs, gifts, jewelry, snacks, beer, boating supplies & fishing licenses.
Restaurant: Local fresh seafood served daily. Full menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. Wednesday lunch is Seafood Buffet (11:30am – 2:00pm); Thursday lunch is Country Buffet (11:30am – 2:00pm) serving country fried chicken and meat loaf. Wonderful homemade pies, cakes and banana puddin' can top off your light lunch. As they say “Life is short – eat dessert first”.
This is a great place to pick up a lunch on your way to visit Cape Lookout.
Drive Thru/Take-out is available as well as catering.
ISLAND COTTAGE GIFT SHOP
789 Island RoadPhone: 252-241-3790
Local arts and crafts; sea glass jewelry; Christmas ornaments; baby blankets; antiques; baskets; pottery; collectibles; and Vintage linens.
Potted flowers and local seafood are also available.
FISH HOOK GRILL
“WHERE FRIENDS GATHER”
980 Island RoadPhone: 252-728-1792
A NC Outer Banks native, Heather, purchased the iconic Fish Hook Grill several years ago and is making it her own while keeping the Down East friendly attitude and casual atmosphere.
The menu includes, of course, only Carteret Catch local seafood with daily blue-plate specials and good ole home-cooking. At dinner you can even order a seafood steam pot. And don't forget to ask about her homemade desserts (ie: chocolate cheesecake and key lime pie)
Restaurant open 7 days a week from 11:00am – 9:00pm.
Building is over 60 years old with lots of Down East history and personality. Stop in and say HI.
STARTING MEMORIAL DAY 2016: Friday & Saturday nights: Outside seating, beer & wine, and BEACH MUSIC. 7:00pm - ?
CAPTAINS CHOICE RESTAURANT
977 Island RoadPhone: 252-728-7122 Breakfast served Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.7:00am – 10:30am
Lunch and dinner served 6 days a week: seafood, sandwiches, burgers, steaks.
Buffets: Friday and Saturday night: 8 seafood dishes, salad bar, and desserts
Sunday: Country cooking with turkey, fried chicken, 3 seafood dishes,veggies, salad bar & dessert. Be sure to try the Peach Cobbler.
CAPT HENRY'S GIFT STORE/BACK SOUND DECOYS
1341 Island RoadPhone: 252-728-7316
Sea shell decorations, Christmas nautical decorations, nautical treasures, t-shirts, decoys, baby stuff, jewelry, sailboat models, decorative housewares.
Open: Thursday – Saturday 11am – 6pm Currently (5/2016) for Sale
Wayne Davis Decoy Workshop is on site.
CORE SOUND WATERFOWL MUSEUM & HERITAGE CENTER
Located at the end of the Island.Phone: 252-728-1500
For a complete listing of local artists including decoy carvers, model boat builders and other local crafts, contact museum office. Amazing historical stories of the families and lifestyles of old Down East.
The Museum Gift Shop & Gallery offers the area's largest collection of decoys (old and new), coastal art, local history and cook books and lighthouse collectibles.
CAPE LOOKOUT NATIONAL SEASORE VISITOR CENTER
Open: Tuesday - SaturdayPhone: 252-728-2250 x3001
Located at the end of the Island. Can see the Cape Lookout Lighthouse from here. Info on Cape Lookout & the National Seashore. Be sure to ask to see the movie “Ribbon of Sand”
CAPE LOOKOUT NATIONAL SEASHORE FERRY
Hours: 8:15am – 5:15pmPhone: 252-728-7433
Departures daily to Shackleford Island and Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Departs every ½ hour. Two minute walk from dock to Lighthouse. Can walk to Keepers Quarters
Once at Cape Lookout you can take the Beach Shuttle to the beach which leaves every 30 minutes from the Lighthouse and picks up on the hour at the tip of the island.
NOW BACK TO HIGHWAY 70, TURN RIGHT AND CONTINUE YOUR ADVENTURE DOWN EAST
As you approach Smyrna, look for the large warehouse on your left and you will want to go in and check out this next place:
CORE SOUND CRAB POT CHRISTMAS TREES
1175 Hwy 70Phone: 252-729-0301
These trees, made from the coated wire used to make crab pots, have become an icon of eastern North Carolina and represents the fishing industry of Down East. They come in all sizes and let your imagination run wild as to colors and seasons. The 4th of July one is awesome! They have small ones for inside tables or huge ones for outside. Check them out.
SMYRNA JUNCTION OLD TIME STORE
106 Hwy 70Phone: 252-729-0090
Brian and Cathy Stanley bought this building several years ago. It has an interesting history – it used to be the library and a bank. The huge safe is still there.
They offer antiques, primitives, hand-carved decoys (both old and new), and lots of nautical items. What a fun place to browse, find a treasure to take home, and remember your trip Down East.
201 Hwy 70Phone: 252-729-2241
Rodgers and Bobbie Graham design, paint, and sell all types of folk art gourds – bird houses, decorative, and dippers.. Just look for the pretty gourds hanging on the fences on your left.
437 Hwy 70Phone: 252-729-7811
George is originally from Greece but has lived Down East for over 28 years and is always a happy man. “Everything is made with Love” and after eating one of his hamburgers, you will be a believer.
Sells: Burgers, pizza, subs, sandwiches. Take out or casual seating is available.
DAVIS SHORE PROVISIONS GENERAL STORE
650 Hwy 70Phone: 252-729-0011
(20 miles from Beaufort & 20 miles from Cedar Island Ferry)
Open: Monday–Saturday 10am – 5pmSunday – 1pm - 5pm
Gifts, children items, 54+ local artisan's work, jewelry, unique “Core Sound Crab Pot Christmas Trees”, nautical items, t-shirts, handmade soaps, to name a few of their vast array of items to chose from.
Small kitchen offers: coffee; local homemade goods and ice cream sundae bar.
Call for weekly local activities and events at the Store. Be sure to stop and talk with owners Mary and Tracy about all the local artisans.
DAVIS SHORE FERRY SERVICE
148 Willis RoadPhone: 252-729-3474
Locally owned for 4 generations.
Davis to Great Island on South Core Banks (Cape Lookout). Reservations Recommended
4-wheel drive/ATV's are needed at Cape Lookout, pets allowed, walk-on for passengers.
www.davisferry.com or www.drumwagon.com/DSFS
CAPE LOOKOUT CABINS & CAMPS FERRY SERVICE
125 Grady Davis LanePhone: 252-729-9751
Ferry Service: Reservations recommended Walk-on passengers, campers and trailers. Vehicles must be 4 wheel drive. Ferry leaves every 2 hours.
Cabins & campsites are located at Cape Lookout. These are 15 miles from the Lighthouse.
DAVIS SHORE SPORTSMAN'S LODGE
109 Corbett Davis Rd.910-443-3404
This 5 bedroom lodge provides a great getaway for a hunting or fishing trip, business trip, honeymoon, week-end get-away or family vacation. You can even rent the whole house. Beautiful house and surrounding property provides a true Down East feeling. Re-done in 2015. Serves continental breakfast. Owners Kim & Mack Overby can arrange tours, guides, and even catering for you.
I'm sorry to say there is just not much happening in Stacy, so just keep on driving.
CEDAR CREEK CAMPGROUND & MARINA
Boating, charter (Colton's Toy - 252-723-0849) fishing, camping, boat slips, RV sites with full hook-ups available. Family recreation area. Swings, picnic tables, and bath house.
Daily, monthly, and season rates available. (April – November only)
Store with snacks, souvenirs, and some grocery supplies.
SEA LEVEL INN CONDO'S - NELSON BAY CAFE
Breakfast and dinner served – southern country menu.
Drive 2 miles past Sea Level/Atlantic cut off from Hwy 70.
Turn right on Old Cedar Island Road.
MORRIS MARINA, FERRY AND DON'S GRILL
Turn left on Morris Marina Road. Phone: 252-225-0548 Stay on Morris Marina Rd until you reach ferry dock. 252-225-4261
Grill serves breakfast & lunch from 7:00am – 4:00pm. Seafood plates, burgers & sandwiches.
Overlooks Core Sound. “This once belonged to ? Now it belongs to a friend, and her name is Toni”
Ferry takes walk-on passengers and pets from Atlantic to Core Banks cabins. Reservations recommended. Vehicles must be 4-wheel drive.
WHITE POINT TAKE OUT
101 Core Sound Loop RoadPhone: 252-225-1500 Hours: M-Th 11:00am-6:00pm Friday and Saturday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Burgers and Sandwiches; lunch and dinner specials; snacks. Local seafood specialties. Be sure to try the Soft-shell crab sandwich. Picnic tables under the trees.
April and early May: Stop in next door to watch local crabs shed their hard shells to become someone's Soft-shell crab dinner.
There is not much to stop for in Cedar Island, but it is the last community before you get to the ferry.
CEDAR ISLAND beach is an excellent area for Kite Boarding and Wind Surfing. Bring your own equipment. Access from Ferry area.
ISLANDS CHOICE CONVENIENCE STORE
Your last stop before 2.5 hour Ferry Ride
3216 Cedar Island RoadPhone: 252-225-0246
Open: Monday – Saturday 7am – 8pm (week-ends open until 9pm)
Sunday – 1pm - 7pm
Locally owned for over 20 years. If you need it, they probably have it. Just ask.
Gas, ice, hardware, and fishing or camping or boating or swimming supplies. They have groceries, hand-dipped ice cream, and beer & wine. They even sell hot dogs from 10:30am- 2:00pm.
Gift shop has t-shirts and lots of souvenir items to remind you of your visit.
CEDAR ISLAND RESORTS AND RV PARK
This complex has recently been purchased and is currently under-going renovation.
Contact Toby for RV park reservations.
SHARKEYS BAR & GRILL
OPENING LATE SUMMER 2016. Part of Cedar Island Resorts. Will be located next door to Cedar Island Post Office.
CEDAR ISLAND STABLES
Phone: 252-342-4677 Cheryl
Horse back riding on the beach and through the waves. A once in a lifetime experience. The tours are all guided with expert riders. No previous riding experience required. Part of Cedar Island Resorts.
CEDAR ISLAND FERRY
NORTH CAROLINA FERRY SYSTEM
Ferry from Cedar Island to Ocracoke. Fees & time schedule variable.
Cars, trailers, RV's, boats, anything with wheels (motorcycles & bikes), walk on passengers. Reservations recommended.
Visitor Center has clean restrooms, weather reports, vending machines & coffee, brochures and information on Outer Banks and Lighthouses and NC Museums. . Outside shower available.
This document was prepared in June 2016 by a Museum volunteer. The information contained here is accurate at the time it was prepared & is offered to all who want to enjoy these awesome Down East communities.