Washington, NC

Most have heard about North Carolina’s famous long stretch of barrier islands called The Outer Banks. Far fewer have heard about North Carolina’s Inner Banks. This inland coastal region of North Carolina is home to one of the most beautiful, quaint, waterfront towns in the country.

Historic Washington, NC sits along the Pamlico River where it offers its visitors an escape from their everyday routines and away from the traffic and neon signs of other coastal destinations. Relax on a dock overlooking the water or slip a glass of ice tea on a wrap-around porch. Browse through art galleries while indulging in ice cream. Treat yourself to a round of golf or visit the spa for a facial. If your goal is to relax and unwind, Little Washington is the place for you.

Low Activity

3 days | 10 stops

Day 1

STOP 1: Harbor District Market

Downtown Washington is not the place you'll find another big box store. Around here, you can enjoy browsing through independent shops, boutiques and galleries. Start at Harbor Market District. It's home to 26 full-time vendors offering a little of everything. Pick up a few bars of handmade soap. Invest in a local landscape painting. Grab some produce from local farms. Or indulge in some local chocolates. (We won’t tell anyone) You’re sure to find a little piece of imagination that you can box up and take home with you.

STOP 2: Pitt Street Brewing on the Pamlico

What’s better than a great craft beer? How about drinking that craft beer while sitting down by the River? Welcome to Pitt Street Brewing Company on the Pamlico. Fans of this craft brewery may know it from it’s Greenville location. The indoor area has been opened up to allow the breeze and views of the water to fill the space. Outdoors, there are picnic tables by the water. Boats can dock so you can go ashore and grab a pint. Even friends of the four-legged variety are welcome. If you only drink on days ending in “y,” this is the place to be.

STOP 3: The Elmwood 1820

Sit a spell on a sweeping wrap-around porch made for iced tea and summer breezes. For nearly 200 years Elmwood has been the historic and architectural crown jewel of the "original" Washington. Its lawn and expansive rooms have been home to prominent families over many generations. Today, Elmwood remains an icon of style and sophistication while charming guests as a luxury bed and breakfast. Privately owned, it offers one of a kind nightly accommodations to those who were born to wander, find adventure, and seek respite in the most unique and curious of places.

Day 2

STOP 4: Waterfront Park

The Washington Waterfront Docks borders a park where you can spend the entire afternoon laying around and enjoying the scenery. Watch as jet skis and boats pass by. Talk to the locals that promenade to see the sunset. Enjoy the fresh breeze coming off the water. If you're looking for the perfect spot for contemplation, relaxation and the occasional selfie, head down to the waterfront.

STOP 5: Copper Canyon Wellness

Sometimes doing nothing is everything. That’s the idea at Copper Canyon Wellness. This upscale modern retreat for both men and women is located in downtown Washington. Lay back and get a facial that will leave your skin glowing at your candle light dinner. Or get a full body Swedish massage to work out those knots from reeling in last night's dinner. The professionals at Copper Canyon Wellness will give you the pampering that you deserve.

STOP 6: The Bank Bistro & Bar

The Bank Bistro & Bar is a place to enjoy an expertly crafted meal and take in the ambiance with your date night darling. This upscale dining experience in a laid back environment not only offers you a chance to try one of Washington's best dining spots, but it's the perfect spot to spend with someone special.

Day 3

STOP 7: Washington Cafe

The Washington Cafe smells like your grandmother’s kitchen and tastes like it, too. A menu of fresh baked, scratch made pastries, breads, sweets are as comforting as they are filling. The bakery works closely with local farmers to use local, in season ingredients and boy, can you tell. Oh and don’t forget a cup of organic Counter Culture coffee; it smells and tastes amazing. Breakfast here is a must for starting the day off right.

STOP 8: Nauti Life

You don’t have to cast a wide net to catch a keeper at Nauti Life. Their friendly staff will steer you in the right direction for local artwork, kids’ room decor, and other gift items. Get reeled in by a crab painted on a throw pillow, handmade beaded platters, or selection of Yeti coolers and tumblers.

STOP 9: Pamlico Boat Rentals

Sail the same waterways as the infamous pirate Blackbeard and experience all that the Pamlico River has to offer. Located in Moss Landing Marina, Pamlico Boat offers many options to get out on the water. Rent a deck boat or Pontoon if you want to fish or swim. Grab a kayak or canoe if you feel like exploring the coastline. Or, take your chance on a paddle board if you need a good core workout. 

STOP 10: Parle Riverfront Restaurant & Bar

Fresh seafood with million dollar views. That's what you'll get at Parle’. This local favorite has been a staple in Washington since it opened its doors a few years ago. Sit outside and enjoy a glass of Chardonnay. Order up some Oysters Rockefeller, locally caught that day. Or try their famous flatbreads, shrimp scampi, juicy steaks, and prime cuts. Any choice is a good choice.