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Down East

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Top Attractions & Things to Do in Down East

Preserved Traditions

Life moves a little slower in the quiet and close-knit communities of the utmost rural reaches of Carteret County known as Down East, and many traditions from decades past still linger in the present. Professional boat-building is still the pride craft of the area, and many highly skilled builders still practice the trade today. It’s also a major fishing area, with much of its industry in shrimping and crabbing.

Unique Culture

The towns themselves might not at first catch the eye from the side of the highway as a major attraction—no, that role is best served by the breathtaking coastal scenery that surrounds. But as you immerse yourself in the culture of these charming seaside villages, from the smell of salt that lingers in the air to the vibrantly unique native accents, you’ll realize the true magnificence of this serene seaside lifestyle.

Discover a World of Attractions

Included Communities

Communities within the region known as Down East include Bettie, Otway, Straits, Harkers Island, Glouster, Marshallberg, Tusk, Smyrna, Williston, Davis, Stacy, Masontown, Sea Level, Atlantic, and Cedar Island.

Top Attractions

Beautiful outdoor recreation, breathtaking scenery, surreal beaches… Down East is full of attractions from touristy to solitary. From Harkers Island, a ferry takes visitors to explore the Cape Lookout National Seashore, while the Cedar Island ferry is a gateway to the Outer Banks. And attractions such as Waterfowl Weekend bring visitors from miles around.

Other Attractions


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