Cape Carteret is a town of 1,214 people (as of 2000) in the Crystal Coast region of North Carolina. Like Newport, it's mainly a residential community, even though it's right on the water and boasts some very nice views of the sound. Basically, you're not likely to stay here or to eat here, or really even to do very much here, but there's a good chance you might be passing through.
Cape Carteret is at the junction of NC-58, which runs from Maysville across Bogue Banks to Morehead City, and NC-24, which runs between Fayetteville and Morehead City. It's also a short drive from US-70, the main road in the region, and US-17, which connects Wilmington to New Bern.
As with the rest of the area, you should really have a car if you want to get anywhere.
- The local tourism office (+1 252-393-3100) is on Highway 58 by the Cameron Langston bridge to Emerald Isle.
- Barrier Island Kayaks, 160 Cedar Point Boulevard, ☏ . Trips to Bear Island and the Cape Lookout National Seashore, as well as an ecological tour; all trips last at least 2.5 hours, $35-75 per person. Kayaking lessons available, and an on-site shop sells kayaks and equipment.
- Cape Carteret Aquatic and Wellness, 300 Taylor Notion Road, ☏ . Open Monday through Friday, 5:30AM-9PM; Saturdays from 8AM-4PM; and Sundays from 1 to 6PM. The best gymnasium facility in the area, if you feel the need to keep up your workout routine while you're on vacation. Offers free weights, LifeFitness cardio equipment, a basketball court, a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room. Classes available in Pilates, floor aerobics and water aerobics, swimming and surfing. Summer camps are given for kids ages 5-12. Personal training and weight loss planning are offered, and you can get massages (athletic, Swedish or deep-tissue, $60 for non-members). If you're just visiting, rates are $12 daily or $50 weekly.
- There are a couple of golf courses in the area:
- Golfin' Dolphin (near the intersection of Highway 58 and Highway 24), ☏ . Open 9AM-11PM. A lighted 250-yard driving range, 18-hole miniature golf, a batting cage, go-carts and bumper boats. Golf lessons available.
- Silver Creek Golf Club, Highway 58 N (4 miles from the bridge), ☏ , toll-free: . The longest course in the county, with a practice green, driving range, pool, tennis courts, pro shop, clubhouse and snack bar. $35-55 year-round.
- Star Hill Golf and Country Club, 202 Club House Drive, ☏ , toll-free: . A 27-hole championship golf course, a Cayman driving range, tennis court, pool, pro shop, lounge and the Sandbar Grill, which serves breakfast and lunch. Private airstrip on-site. $65 peak season, $42 off-season.
There really aren't many restaurants in Cape Carteret; people tend to flock to the surrounding communities when they want to find a good meal. There are a few around, however, if you really don't want to go far.
- Captain Ed's, 1142 Highway 58 S, ☏ .
- Fish Trap Restaurant, 1000 WB McLean Boulevard, ☏ . Specializing in fresh seafood, sandwiches and salads.
- Mazzella's Italian Restaurant, 1206 Highway 58, ☏ . Open for dinner year-round, except Sunday and Monday. Family-owned and operated Italian restaurant featuring fresh pasta, homemade sauces, seafood, sandwiches and pizza.
There's a lot of accommodation around Cape Carteret, but not too much in the town itself. But, if you're looking for a luxurious bed and breakfast, you do have one pleasant option:
- Harborlight Guest House, 332 Live Oak Drive, ☏ , toll-free: . 6 suites. Located on the Bogue Sound with an overlooking deck, breakfast served en suite or on the deck, and complimentary plush robes. Kayaks available. Massages, fresh flowers, and fruit and cheese trays are available for an extra charge. $140-300.
If you want a more inexpensive place to stay in the area, there are some nice waterfront campgrounds near Cape Carteret listed on the Newport page.
The Crystal Coast area has a variety of other areas to visit:
Further afield, there are some interesting destinations for daytrips:
- Havelock, about 40 minutes north on US-70.
- New Bern, about 1 hour north on NC-58.
- Jacksonville, about 30 minutes west on US-24.
- Bath, about 2 hours north.
- Ocracoke Island, about 3.5 hours east.