If you’re looking for the best things to do in Washington, NC, you’re in the right place. Washington, NC, nestled along the Pamlico River, offers a rich tapestry of experiences for locals and visitors alike. From its rich historical significance to the plethora of recreational opportunities, this town beckons explorers to immerse themselves in its charm.

There’s lots to see and do in Washington, North Carolina, whether you’re interested in history, culture, or the great outdoors. The city boasts a historic downtown and welcoming residents that will keep you entertained all through your visit.

Fun Things to do in Washington, NC

1.Explore the Waterfront

Visit the city waterfront to get started on your adventurous trip to Washington, NC. The park’s inviting ambiance, complemented by the river’s gentle flow, offers the perfect backdrop for relaxation and introspection. The well-maintained pathways meander through lush greenery, inviting visitors to soak up the tranquil atmosphere.

A leisurely stroll around the scenic Waterfront Park is one of the most calm experiences when looking for the top things to do in Washington, North Carolina.

2. Cruise on the Pamlico River

Embark on a river tour or a relaxing cruise to truly appreciate the beauty of the Pamlico River. The river is known for its excellent wildlife viewing and birdwatching opportunities.

Companies like “Pamlico River Cruises provide guided excursions, offering insights into the town’s history while showcasing breathtaking vistas.

There are many options to enjoy and discover nature by strolling, hiking, and bicycling on this perfect river, which is well-known for having the best.

3. Visit the North Carolina Estuarium

Dive into the world of coastal ecosystems at the North Carolina Estuarium. The Estuarium has many interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore the estuary ecosystem. Some of the exhibits include a touch tank with live animals, a virtual reality experience, and a 3D map of the Pamlico-Tar River system.

Located in downtown Washington, NC,  the Estuarium hosts many events and programs throughout the year, such as guided tours, educational workshops, and summer camps. These programs offer visitors a chance to learn more about the estuary ecosystem and the importance of conservation.

4. Go swimming, fishing, or boating at Goose Creek State Park

Visit Creek State Park in Washington, North Carolina, if you’re searching for the ideal coastline with plenty of water sports activities.

The park has a swimming beach, a fishing pier, and a boat ramp. There are also several hiking trails in the park.

The park has more than eight miles of hiking trails, including the wheelchair-accessible Palmetto Boardwalk, the Goose Creek Trail, and the Live Oak Trail, all of which are short and easy. Other amenities include a swimming beach, tent camping, boat docks, picnic areas, and a nature center.

The River Access picnic grounds are set in a mixed forest on the way to the swimming beach. In addition to four tables under the shelter and two adjacent grills, there are eight more tables and three more grills.

Take advantage of the best water sports available at this alluring beach, and remember to bring your camera.

5. Visit the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum

Does the railway appeal to you? Washington has something in store for you. This captivating museum is dedicated to the history of the Underground Railroad in Washington, NC.

Visitors can learn about the local people who helped slaves escape to freedom, as well as the challenges and dangers faced by those who sought freedom.

6. Go Fishing at Havens Gardens Park

Are you trying to find somewhere in Washington where you can put your fishing talents to use? Havens Gardens Park is just a short distance away from the Pamlico River.

The park is home to a variety of fish species, including striped bass, catfish, and sunfish. Visitors can fish from the park’s pier or from their boats.

Visitors can rent fishing equipment from local outfitters, such as Inner Banks Outfitters and Paddle NC. These outfitters also offer guided fishing tours and lessons for those who are new to fishing.

Be aware of the fishing regulations in the area, such as size and catch limits, as well as any required permits or licenses. These regulations are in place to protect fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices.

7. Visit the Chocowinity Amusements

If you’re looking for an amusement park to add to your list of things to do in Washington, NC, consider a visit to Chocowinity amusement park.

Chocowinity Amusements is a family-friendly amusement park located just outside of Washington. The park has a variety of rides, games, and attractions to offer visitors of all ages.

With thrilling rides, good food, and entertainment, there are plenty of memories to be made at the theme parks in North Carolina. For an unforgettable day of family fun, explore the awesome amusement parks near Chocowinity, NC

8. Explore Turnage Theater

Washington, NC, is a hub of arts and culture, offering visitors a variety of experiences to enjoy. The Turnage Theater is located on the main strip of Little Washington, steps away from the waterfront. It’s a charming theater that has hosted a variety of community events, movies, and concerts.

The Turnage Theater is a historic theater that has been restored and now serves as a cultural center for the community. Visitors can attend concerts, plays, and other performances at the theater.

9. Take Part in the Smoke on the Water BBQ Competition

Washington, NC, is home to many festivals and events throughout the year, offering visitors a chance to experience the local culture and community.

This annual event is a must-visit for barbecue lovers. The competition features local and regional barbecue teams competing for the title of best barbecue.

Also, Read 16 Best Things to Do in Terrell, TX

10. Take a Day trip to Bath

Bath is a small town located about 30 minutes from Washington. Located on the Pamlico River, Bath is North Carolina’s first town and port. Incorporated in 1705, take a step back into a rich history when you visit the town.

Bath is known for its historic downtown and its beautiful waterfront. Be sure to check out Blackbeard’s Pirate Lair, which is a replica of the pirate’s ship.

11. 1906 Bistro & Bourbons

Looking for where to savor a delicious meal in Washington? Be sure to visit 1906 Bistro & Bourbons.

Established in October 2021, the 1906 Bistro-Bar is a classy and genuine bistro. This restaurant’s goal is to serve excellent food to everyone who wants to enjoy a great atmosphere along with deft cooking for a remarkable breakfast, lunch, or dinner. At 1906, they also provide an excellent assortment of fine wines, spirits, and cocktails to round out your visit.

12. Moss Landing Marina

Situated in the inner harbor near the downtown area of Washington, Moss Landing Marina is the city’s top marina and ship store. They sell drinks, snacks, ice, canoe, kayak, and powerboat rentals, in addition to short- and long-term slip rentals.

Another establishment on the property is Sweet Things Coffee and Ice Cream, where you can have coffee and take in the expansive view from our balcony.

13. Go antiquing in the Little Shoppes of Washington

If you’re looking for a place to go shopping in Washington NC, Little Shoppes has you covered.

The Little Shoppes of Washington is a collection of antique shops located in downtown Washington. The shops sell a variety of antique items, including furniture, jewelry, and collectibles.

Little Shoppes and South Market Antiques have everything you need, from gifts to dog toys to antique dishes.

14. Stroll in the Historic Downtown

When you arrive in Washington, NC, start your journey by exploring the picturesque waterfront. The scenic boardwalk along the Pamlico River offers breathtaking views of the water, boats, and vibrant sunsets. You can take a leisurely stroll, snap some photos, or simply relax on one of the benches and soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

Downtown Washington’s Main Street is a quaint neighborhood with old buildings, one-of-a-kind stores, and quaint cafes. Enjoy a stroll while taking in the beautifully preserved architecture. Don’t forget to have a cup of coffee at a charming café or browse the local boutiques for mementos.

15. Hampton Inn Washington

On the last list of things to do in Washington, NC, is to visit The Hampton Inn Washington Hotel.

The Hampton Inn Washington Hotel is a very elegant hotel that is northwest of downtown Washington, North Carolina and has easy access to Highways 264 and 17.

The hotel serves a hot breakfast every morning and features an indoor pool. Free WiFi is available to all visitors.

Each room has a flat-screen TV with cable programming. There’s also a microwave, coffee maker, and refrigerator. Some rooms have a spa-style bathtub.

At the Washington Hampton Inn, guests can work out in the health facility or unwind in the hot tub. Additionally, there are on-site guest laundry facilities and a business center.

Visitors can make use of this by going 13.2 miles to Goose Creek State Park or 9.2 miles to Washington Yacht and Country Club from the hotel.

Frequently Asked Questions About Washington NC


What are the best outdoor activities in Washington, NC?

Engaging in paddleboarding, kayaking, and fishing at Goose Creek State Park tops the list for outdoor enthusiasts.

Are there any historical sites worth visiting in the area?

Absolutely! Take a historic downtown walking tour and explore the Turnage Theater and the Estuarium for a glimpse into the town’s past.

How can one enjoy the Pamlico River?

Embarking on a river tour or a cruise is an excellent way to experience the beauty of the Pamlico River.

Is there a cultural hub in Washington, NC?

Yes, the Arts of the Pamlico is a vibrant cultural center that hosts various art exhibitions and live performances.

What entertainment options are available in the town?

The town boasts a lively music scene with festivals like the Summer Festival Series, showcasing diverse musical genres.

Where can visitors find serene spots in Washington, NC?

The Waterfront Park offers a tranquil setting for leisurely strolls and moments of relaxation.

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