Down East


If you find your way Down East, you’ll experience a sweet kind of peace. When traveling east of Beaufort along Highway 70, you will discover a slower pace, with sunlight bouncing off of the marsh and the old wooded boats sleekly bobbing in the water. Down East communities include Atlantic, Bettie, Gloucester, Harkers Island, Lola, Marshallberg, Otway, Sea Level, Smyrna, Stacy, Straits and Williston. Each of these communities is rich in maritime heritage and beauty. In October 2009, the stretch of Highway 70 from Merrimon Road to Cedar Island was designated as part of the Outer Banks scenic Byway. The National Park Service, located on Harkers Island, offers information and a park for viewing Cape Lookout Lighthouse. For visitors hoping to see the lighthouse, there are marinas, accommodations, ferries and charter boat services available. Continuing the drive down Highway 70, many people make their way through Sea Level where they join Highway 12 and make their way to Cedar Island to catch the ferry to Ocracoke Island.

Core Sound Waterfowl Museum

Core Sound Waterfowl MuseumFound near the end of Island Road in Harkers Island, discover the ever-interesting Core Sound Waterfowl Museum. Striving to promote and preserve the Down East heritage, the museum showcases the talents and skills of its residents. The museum focuses on decoy carving, boat building, storytelling, oral histories, local writers, traditional music, food, hunting, fishing and other skills. The museum hopes to pass these strengths onto the next generation while educating visitors on the role played by all natural communities. The gift shop and the museum’s Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend is not something you’ll want to miss!

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