Blink and you may miss the small town of Belhaven, North Carolina. But for the boaters who venture there the reward is a picturesque waterfront town filled to the brim with historical and coastal charm. This town also has a prime location on the north shore of the Pungo River, just a few miles away from the massive Pamlico Sound which separates North Carolina’s Inner Banks from its Outer Banks. What boaters find in Belhaven, and return to year after year, is outstanding fishing, amazing open water views, and a typical North Carolina salty life-on-the-water culture.
What more could you ask for? A premier marina in the center of it all, that’s what. The good news is that smack in the middle of downtown Belhaven, is the heart of this boating town; Belhaven Marina. A long-time favorite stop for boaters cruising the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), the marina is a relaxing destination and an ideal spot to rest up and stock up after long days of cruising. Its generous list of amenities makes each boater feel at home, and a little pampered. Guests have access to private restroom and showering facilities, laundry area, complimentary WiFi and a fully loaded Ships Store. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of all the marina has to offer. Their multiple decks feature comfy outdoor seating for lounging and soaking in the sun. Also on the premises are outdoor grills, wooden walkways, solar lighting, corn-hole, croquet, and a large gazebo. And if you travel with a four-legged crew member, the marina is very pet friendly. Of course, boats get just as much pampering as their owners at Belhaven Marina. The service center, staffed with knowledgeable and friendly staff, provides boaters with services ranging from repairs and detailing to boat storage and dockage.
While the marina has everything a boater and boat could need, just steps away are historic buildings and homes, shops, restaurants, and museums in this lively waterfront town. While there, you must sample the local fare. Two home-grown favorites are Spoon River Artworks and Market, a delightful farm-to-fork restaurant, and Fish Hooks Café, a seafood restaurant with great specials. Wherever you go, just be sure to get a table where you can catch one of Belhaven’s epic sunsets.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that with all the brackish and slightly salty waters surrounding the town, fishing is a beloved and rewarding pastime. Just cast your line and chances are you’ll reel in flounder, bass, mullets, or a number of other Inner Banks species. Although the best time of year to fish in North Carolina is from April through September, fisherfolk in these parts enjoy it year-round.
Just a few miles away is another regional attraction worth pointing out; the Historic Town of Bath. Bath was North Carolina’s first town and port. Today the historic center makes you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. Attend any of its many fairs, celebrations and events and you’re guaranteed a good time for every member of your crew.
As you can see, no matter what time of year you visit, the location, waterfront views, fishing, and small-town community make Belhaven the perfect boating getaway.