atlantic beach north carolina
atlantic beach is located on bogue banks just east of morehead city north carolina. this small beach town has much to offer the tourist. it has a beautiful atlantic beach, fort macon state park, and numerous hotels, restaurants, and bars. a very nice place to visit for those interested in nature and history.
A Week at The Place at The Beach
"March 5th - Saturday - Bob's Birthday"
I called the resort and asked if we could check in early, and she said that was fine. Unfortunately the unit is on the 2nd floor with no elevators. But we made it upstairs, and lay down to rest.
I thought I had booked a two bedroom, but our unit is a one bedroom with a studio. The difference is that a true two bedroom would have washers IN the unit, whereas we have to pay $1.25 to use the washer.
Everything is built on an angle so that each unit can see the ocean. Bob says the units must have been horrible to build as they are all angled. He says they remind him of trailers stacked on top of each other.
The entrance door comes in opposite a mirror, and then next to that is a bathroom with a shower. If you turn right, there's a bedroom with a double bed (and another one of those windows into the hall), and a full bathroom. In the other direction is a pullman kitchen (everything on one wall), and a living room with a TV, two couches, three windows and a sliding door onto a little patio. There's a dining room table, and then there's a small room which can be divided off with a sliding door with a 3/4 bed and a dresser in it.
Later we went out for dinner, and ate at El Zarpe. I had a quesadilla with mushrooms, cheese, rice and a salad for $5.99 - it was #8 on the vegetarian menu. Bob had two tacos, rice and fried beans for $6.50. Then I had fried ice cream, which instead of whipped cream on top had marshmallow.
"March 6th - Sunday"
Bob slept late this morning, and is feeling better. He doesn't get up until about noon to have brunch. I guess the trip took a lot out of him. I eat the half of a roast beef sandwich that we have left over from McAlister's for lunch.
Then we went to Fort Macon which is just a short distance from our unit. We went out to the point first overlooking the channel and saw a tug and barge which was apparently doing some dredging. Bob saw them this morning from the unit window.
After we came back from walking down to the beach we found the actual fort. Apparently, it was constructed starting in 1826 as one of a second tier of forts protecting the east coast. It was used in the Civil War, served as a prison, and was used again in the Spanish American war. Then it fell into disrepair and was sold to the state of NC for $1. It was renovated by the CCC. During WW II it was taken back by the Federal Government for use against German submarines. At the end of the war it reverted to the State of NC.
The casement museums had sections on the construction of the fort, the enlisted men's quarters and the Commandant's Quarters during the Civil War with recorded messages about their lives. Then there was an exhibit on 19th century soldiers life and uniforms, a restored gunpowder magazine, the WW II barracks, the bake house, the commissary storeroom and the kitchen.
"March 6th continued"
We left there about 3:15 pm, and went back to the unit. Later, we had dinner at the first restaurant south of us - Amos Mosquitoes. Inside it was decorated with mosquito netting, and outlines of mosquitoes on the backs of the chairs. They gave us two pieces of corn bread, two pieces of sourdough bread and two big triangular bread-cracker things which had Parmesan and cayenne pepper on them.
Bob had meatloaf which came with mac and cheese and green beans. He did not care for the mac and cheese and thought the green beans were tough. I thought the beans were just crisp. I finished up both the beans and the mac and cheese. I had bbq ribs with sweet potato fries and cole slaw. I took some of the fries and ribs home. All the desserts were $5 @ and I thought that was too much, so I didn't get any. Dinner was a few cents more than $40 before tip.
Bob is parking the MB down at the far steps (it is the fartherest grey car on the right) because he thinks that it will be better away from the sand and salt spray. When we came back from dinner, we saw a man lying half in the parking lot.
These condos have three floors and the FIRST floor is either a steep ramp or a shorter ramp and about 12 steps up from the parking lot. There's a big area painted yellow at the bottom of the ramp. The yellow area is partly visible past the red truck. This fat guy and 4 bags was/were lying in the yellow area.
We walked over to where he was lying - I had my cell phone out in case of a trap, and Bob asked him if he was OK and could he get up and should we call 911. He said not to call 911, but he couldn't get up. So Bob tried to help him without success.
I walked around and looked at the situation and than told him firmly "You need to get up on your knees", and then I helped Bob to get him up to his knees. Then I said firmly, "Now one foot", and he did that, and asked me if I was a nurse. I said, No, but I'm fat and have trouble getting up too.
He said he had tried to take too much stuff to his room (which was on the THIRD floor) and he would put his bags back in the car and just take up what he needed for the night.I think he tripped on the little step (about 2") up to the ramp area. It is hard to see at night.
So we went on up to our unit which is only on the 2nd floor and even so we have trouble climbing up to it - we haven't unloaded everything out of the car. Then I called the security guy and told him what had happened.
Today Bob got up at the regular time and made himself breakfast. I got up and did email and then had a late breakfast.
Then, we went across the causeway to Morehead City and past the Sanitary Restaurant (I want to stop there and eat sometime), thro Beaufort and out US 70 to the Harker's Island turnoff.
When we get to the end of Harker's Island, we look for the Cape Lookout Light. I got a stamp for the Cape Lookout National Seashore, and we looked through the scope at the lighthouse and saw a video tape about the seashore. The seashore is composed of several islands - one of them (Shacklefort Banks) has feral horses, and one of them has Portsmouth on the south side of Ocracoke Inlet. Formerly Portsmouth was in the lightering business - big ships unloaded their wares and lightered them in to town.
It is a ghost town because when Hatteras Inlet was opened by a hurricane, all the ship traffic went there. It has been and is being restored by the park service.
You can't get out there except by boat, and this time of year the boats don't run much. Also it is very windy. I take some photos of a kite surfer practicing just off the island.
The lighthouse has a diamond pattern on it to distinguish it from Hatteras and Bodie Island. They call this area "The Crystal Coast".
We went into the parking lot of the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum Store & Gallery which was next door and which said it was open, but the parking lot was deserted, so we didn't go in.
I had thought we might have lunch out and then have dinner in, but neither of us was very hungry. So we drove back towards Beaufort, and Bob suggested that we go down to the waterfront. As we were driving along Front Street, he saw a CSY 33 at a private dock.
I went down as far as I could and took pictures. They had a wooden trailboard on the bow with the name, but it was in the shadow and I couldn't read it. Bob suggested that I walk over from farther down the street and see if the name was on the stern. It was - it was SURPRISE.
Then we went to the NC Maritime Museum. This has been hyped as a big deal. And it is very nice, but it isn't as good IMHO as the one at Solomons, although this one is free. They had a big shell collection (but the one in Bermuda is MUCH more complete), and a lot of objects arranged in a quiz (like a bottle wrapped in cords, and a little Seagull motor) and a lot of stuffed fish.
There were more different kinds of boats and explanations about the various styles of boats than there are in Solomons. There was a small section on Blackbeard, and one on duck decoys including one that flapped its wings.
Some volunteers were there with fossils that they had found locally - a lot of sharks teeth. They handed me a big chunk of fossil and asked me what it was, and I said it looked like a grinding tooth. They were impressed, because it was a mammoth tooth.
After we left, we walked through the back garden of the John C. Manson House (1823) to the Beaufort Historic Site. They gave me a map of the town and we drove around a bit and took pictures of the old houses.
Tonight, I ate my leftover ribs, and Bob went out and got hamburgers from McDonalds. He also got me apples to dip into caramel sauce for dessert.
A front was supposed to be coming through. It was quite windy - the surf was amazing. I could see the spume being blown off the tops of the waves. I went out and took some pictures from the deck. The front came through with some high winds and we heard a big bang which turned out to be a big piece of shingle from the unit next to ours which landed on our patio. In other places in nearby NC planes were cart wheeled over fences and a lot of trees came down.
We went out and had dinner at the Sanitary Restaurant. It was like Evan's used to be - oilcloth on the tables, and windows overlooking the water. We both had the Senior menu - everything was $8.95. Bob had shrimp salad, baked potato and salad, and I had broiled flounder, a stuffed potato ($1 extra), and salad. I had a lemon meringue pie for dessert ($2.50).
They have dockage -free for lunch but $10 for overnight (regardless of the length of the boat- no electricity or water, and no feeding the seagulls). You have to come in from the turning basin side because the other channel only has 5'.
"March 9th, 2005"
We set out to go to New Bern. I thought about taking the free NC ferry across the Neuse River, but Bob said "No more ferries". We crossed the drawbridge over the Trent River and got to New Bern about 11, and stopped at the visitor's center to get maps etc.
My objective was the Tryon Palace. But tree cutters had the road to the parking lot blocked, so we tried to go around the block and ended up in the projects.
We finally got into the parking lot by going around the block the other way, and tried to walk up to the visitor's center. The tree cutting folks turned us back and made us go through the palace gardens instead. Bob thinks they cut down perfectly good trees - there was no rot showing in the trunk.
Everything here is on the hour and half hour. There is a 20 minute film, there are tours of the George W. Dixon and the John Wright Stanley Houses (the tour starts from the Visitor's Center - a docent takes you), and the tours of the Palace also start on the hour and half hour.
We were too late to see the film - it was ending. So we bought our tickets ($15 each) and walked over to do the noon palace tour. They told us no pictures allowed inside.
The docent was in costume, and she explained that the Palace was built kind of like the White House - as a government building with family living quarters upstairs. It was built by the colonial Governor of NC William Tryon. He lived in it only 13 months after it was completed before he was promoted to NY. He was living in Fort George in NY when there was a fire and all of his possessions were burned. So although they have an inventory of his stuff, they don't have any of the actual stuff.
After the Revolution, it was used by the government for meetings and balls, but it burned down in 1798 because a servant let a candle ignite some straw in the basement. They saved the stable and the kitchen by knocking down the wooden walkways between them.
Then the land was divided into lots, and people built on them. The stable was turned into apartments, but the kitchen disappeared. In the late 1940s one of the local women decided that the Palace should be rebuilt and she left money for it. So the foundations were excavated and the whole thing was rebuilt from the plans. Furniture to match as closely as possible the inventory was purchased in England. It was reopened in 1959.
When we went into the Council Chamber, we met the "governor" - a male docent dressed in costume who asked us where we were from. One of the ladies was from Seattle, and he had never heard of this place - they eventually decided that it must be a place on the western frontier.
By the time we got finished with the Palace, it was about 12:40, so we walked over to the reconstructed kitchen where they had demonstrations of cooking, spinning and weaving. There they told us that there was a NC State law against photographs inside historic buildings. I didn't think of it at the time, but this was NOT a historic building - it was only a reconstruction.
By this time it was 1 o'clock, and I was ready for lunch. So we walked over to Chadwick House, and ate there. There was a real daffodil in the vase on the table. Bob had a roast beef sandwich for $4.75 and hot tea. I had pimento cheese ($3.50) which they make there, lemonade, and then I had a coconut chess pie for $2.25.
We walked out past two of the gardens, although there wasn't much to see except daffodils, hyacinth, pansies, violas, snowdrops and camellias. Then we saw the last bit of the film (we were again too late to see the beginning), and took the tours of the two houses and walked back to the parking lot through the stables. (Bob thought the stalls were small - I thought the doorways were small and I wondered where they kept the carriages)
We got back to the unit about 4:30. It had become overcast and colder. I downloaded and edited some of the pictures. Bob went out for dinner at McDonalds. I asked for a bacon cheeseburger and he said they didn't have any (?) and so he brought me a chicken salad instead
"March 10th - Thursday"
Cold but calm. We stayed in the unit and ate food on hand until dinner. We looked for a place actually in Atlantic Beach that was open. We've had a hard time finding a restaurant to eat at. Even McDonalds turns off their lights in the evening.
Amos Mosquito's where we ate Sunday was open, but not on Monday or Tuesday. Channel Marker also didn't appear to be open until Friday when we went by and is reputed to be even more expensive than Amos Mosquito's.
Loughry's Landing was closed until later in March. Went to eat there the first night and ended up at El Zarpe, which we liked. Skipper's Cove was closed and Triple S pier also appeared closed. 4 Corners is only open for breakfast and lunch. Don't know if that is normal or if it opens for dinner in the summer.
We finally settled on the Pier House last night, and it was good albeit smoky. I'm not used to having so much smoke in a restaurant. I asked the waitress whether to have the seafood au gratin or the special of the day which was spaghetti. She said without hesitation to have the seafood au gratin. This had 5 or 6 LARGE scallops and a good number of shrimp and was very good. It was $14.95 and came with cole slaw and a baked potato. Bob had a hamburger which was $5.95 for the smaller (6 oz) one.
"March 11th and 12th"
March 11th - Friday.
It is supposed to rain tomorrow. There is more surf outside the unit. The trash truck came and then they mowed the "lawn" (which is dead brown grass and doesn't need mowing), and then they came with a blower, but everything available to be blown away has been already blown away.
I called down and asked them about checkout procedures and they said to strip the beds which no-one else has asked us to do. I finally found the phone book and information which was in a drawer under the TV.
Bob moved about half our stuff down into the car. We went to eat over the bridge in Morehead City - we went out looking for Charlie's, and could not find it. We saw AJ's but we ended up eating at a chain called Texas Steakhouse. It was reasonable - I had a half rack of ribs and Bob had a sirloin steak. It was $31.50 including tip.
March 12th - Saturday
Packed up and checked out - drove out through Beaufort and up to Havelock and then up to New Bern and picked up US 17. We got to Edenton about noon.