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A Walking Tour of Oriental, North Carolina

When you arrive in Oriental, North Carolina, by boat, you're met with many choices. From live bait to live performances, Oriental has a little something for almost everyone. We have our hometown favorites (and if you ask us, we'll tell you), but on this page we wanted to share some local knowledge about the businesses, services, restaraunts, and professionals that are available within walking distance from a canoe take-out, a mooring, or a slip in the heart of Oriental. (If we've missed your business, it's merely an oversight. Let the dockmaster know and we'll gladly add you.)

Don't take the map below as gospel - we should all agree right now that it's mostly an indicator, not a locator!

Walking Tour of Oriental

Location One

dinghy dock
Town of Oriental Dinghy Dock - you can tie up here for your tour.

Oriental Bridge
The approach to the "big bridge" from the dinghy dock.

Location Two

Oriental Harbor
As you get closer to the bridge, you'll spot the Oriental Harbor.

St. Bart's
St. Bart's is at located in Oriental Harbor.

If you're in the mood for a deli-style sandwich on the deck overlooking the harbor, you'll find a small cafe at the harbor. The harbor is also home to a small grocery and wine shop, as well as the Historical Society.

over the bridge
You can cross over or under the bridge, but cross over and go up a bit for this spectacular view.

Location Three

boat ramp
On the other side of the bridge, you'll have no trouble spotting the wildlife ramp. (Straight through if you go under the bridge; up a block and turn left if you choose to cross at the street corner)

Location Four

downeast canvas
Just adjacent to the bridge, you'll find Downeast Canvas.

Location Five

For many folks, no visit to Oriental is complete without a stop at M&M's Cafe. That was certainly the case for us when we were first beginning to settle on Oriental as a place to live. Stop in and say hi. You'll be glad you did.

Location Six

Pirate Queen
Just a block from M&M's back on Hodges Street, you'll find our friends at Pirate Queen Paddling. We like the Pirate Queen not just because she gave us a good deal on some great boats but also because, like many locals, she is involved in essential volunteer services that people in the county depend upon. Way to go, Pirate Queen!

The Bean
The Bean - a legend in Oriental! Coffee, mooring judging, ice cream. What more must we say?

Inland Waterway
Across from Pirate Queen and The Bean is The Inland Waterway Treasure Company where you'll find boat hardware, gifts, charts, shoes, and more. It's worth the stop.

River Breeze
Until they move, you'll find River Breeze (makers of fine lounging chairs) directly across from Inland Waterway. Catch them while they're within walking distance!

Location Seven

Paddle Pamlico
Visit Paddle Pamlico in the former Inland Waterway Treasure Company. Oriental business cater to watersports enthusiasts - you'll never lack for a comparison shopping opportunity in our fair burg!

View of the town dock
In the vicinity of The Bean around spot number seven, you'll find good views of the town harbor and dock, as well as Garland Fulcher's Seafood. We like to hit the Fulcher's right after the shrimp boats have come in. It's fun to watch the shrimp sortin' and headin' and to buy a pound or two or five to take home for dinner.

Marsha's Cottage
Let's say you were paddling along the creek decked out in your finest finery and a great whale came alongside and upturned your kayak and in your struggle to right yourself and your boat, you slipped out of your finest finery. Well then, you'd have to go to Marsha's for more finery, now wouldn't you? Perhaps that's a bit farfetched, but, hey, any excuse for clothes shopping!

Oriental Marina
Stop by the Toucan Grill and Fresh Bar for a waterfront dining. Don't miss the Tiki Bar while you're there.

Location Eight

Oriental Steamer
Coming back around to Hodges & Broad Street (Hwy 55), you'll find the Oriental Steamer. We like the Steamer for our infrequent fancy dining moments.

Hodge Podge
Behind the vet and adjacent to Oriental Steamer you'll find the unique book and gift shop, Hodge Podge. The shopkeepers here are very involved in community events and knowledgeable not only about books but about all aspects of life in Oriental. Stop in for a chat.

Carol Wright
We first ran into Carol when she advertised the Aft Cabin's director chairs on Towndock.net. We hear she's a darned good buyer's agent, too. Find her adjacent to the Central Hotel.

Central Hotel
The Central Hotel at the corner of Hodges and Broad is an interesting restoration and home to a number of businesses, including Carolina Girl, a clothing and gift shop.

Location Nine

The Bank
You're going to need some cash for all that shopping and eating, so you'll be happy to discover an ATM at First Citizens Bank on Broad Street. In this same vicinity (not pictured) we have two vets and the offices of the Pamlico News.

Town Hall
Farther along on Broad Street is the Town Hall building. If you're considering a move to Oriental and need some information on water, trash, police, and fire services, this is the place to find answers.

Civic Center
Near town hall is the Pamlico Civic and Cultural Center site of frequent live performances of all types.

Location Ten

Mariner Realty
Continuing north(ish) on Broad Street you'll soon encounter local real estate company Mariner Realty. Don't quote us on this, but we think you can stop in and pick up a map of the town and county here.

Circle Ten
On your way from location nine to location ten, you'll also pass by the Circle Ten Gallery - but don't just pass by! Stop in and view the offerings of this local artists' cooperative.

Coldwell Banker
Nearby is Coldwell Banker and fellow dockmaster Nick Santoro (of Whortonsville Yacht & Tractor Club fame). Nick's a solid guy and a standup realtor (and he hosts a heck of a party!).

Cap'n Larry
Opposite Coldwell Banker, you'll find World Wide Marine Training whose president, Captain Larry, also makes an appearance in the annual Spirit of Christmas in Oriental Parade. We can't tell you who he portrays in the parade, but we suggest you watch for a familiar-looking, fun-loving, white-haired, bearded guy. Wait, that description just won't do - it describes about 75 percent of the men in Oriental! You'll just have to come for the parade and find out for yourself. Adjacent to Captain Larry's is a hair salon.

As you go in the direction of location nine to location ten, you'll find a number of businesses clustered together in groups. Make sure you visit them all - it's worth the extra time.

Scoot's is one of our favorite hangouts - pizza, beer, and a passing good grilled cuban. New to this center is Walter Pence, a new local attorney. You can get your hair done while your pizza is cooking - just visit Clip & Curl. Need reading material while you go under the clippers? Stop in at Village Realty for a real estate magazine with local listings.

A little farther along the street is one of the Dockmaster's favorite hangouts - he even knows the cat at Village Hardware. Stop in for a can of paint or a length of chain or a "for sale" sign if you've decided to park the boat permanently and move ashore in Oriental!

Location Eleven

You'll not want to miss this sign - it's a sure sign you've found a village hotspot. Croakertown is a nifty giftshop with a wide variety of goods - greeting cards, jewelry, books, and knicks and knacks of all sorts.

Next door to Croakertown on the Broad Street side, you'll find The Healthy Dragon - Oriental's -- nay, Pamlico County's only health food store. If you want vegetarian fixings, you'll find them here - from miso paste to organic grains.

Around the corner on the other side of Croakertown is Mike & Kathy's Bakery. Very frequently at our weekly Breakfast with the Dockmaster slipholders and cabin guests bring along a treat from Mike & Kathy's. Now we're not saying you have to do that if you come to breakfast (we're not saying you shouldn't either!), but we do think you should stop in for a cup of joe and a pastry treat if you have the time. You won't soon forget this little bakery.

post office
Sharing a parking lot with Mike & Kathy's Bakery is the United States Post Office. A lot of us in Oriental and suburban Oriental (a/k/a The Boonedocks) have a box at the P.O. Watch the comings and goings here for a few hours in the morning, and you'll pretty much get to lay eyes on most of the town's prominent personages and pleasant pooches. Going to the post office with the pup is a regular kind of Oriental thing.

Ms. Sil's
Ms. Sil's is an old-fashioned diner with a filling buffet offering everyday, and an awesome seafood buffet on Friday's. This is Oriental's answer to the big city Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner diner found on busy street corners. The food is predictable, filling, and fair-priced.

The folks at Sail/Loft, another in-town realty outfit, will be happy to help you find your way around Oriental's real estate market. They're a pretty good bunch and tuned in to the sailing lifestyle of Oriental. It's just a bonus, we think, that they have such a pretty landscape, too! One of our first discoveries about the change in climate from Illinois to North Carolina came when we found rosemary growing very happily as a perrenial outside Sail/Loft. Welcome to the south!

Village Club
In the mood for a good workout? Try Oriental's only health club - the Village Club. The club has an indoor pool and workout equipment.

The Town & Country grocery store is small by big city standards (heck, even by little town standards!), but what it lacks in size it makes up for in variety. Honestly - you'd have to go to New Bern to find all the variety you'll find packed in the Town & Country's shelves. Oh, and gasoline, too.

A relatively new business in Oriental is the Southern Palace and Hardtail Saloon. Besides just liking the name, we're kind of fond of the perky architecture, too!

We haven't shown you every business in town (there are a lot more off the main streets), but we hope you gain an idea of the surprising variety of shops and services to be found in Oriental. If you walked this route and actually stopped at each of the businesses shown, you'd have a full day indeed -- and a fun day!

People in Oriental are very open and helpful. Many were born here in Pamlico; many relocated to Oriental after living non-sailing lives in other places. Some Oriental residents don't boat at all; some spend most of their days on the water or thinking about the next time they'll be on the water. Most any of them will be happy to share Oriental stories with you and explain why they choose to live in the Sailing Capitol of North Carolina.

About The Boonedocks  Cabin Rentals  Maps of our Location  Photos from the Boonedocks  Weather at the docks, on the Neuse, and in the Sound  Local Links of Interest  How to Contact Us 

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