By TMoM Team Member Suzy Fielders
I have lived in North Carolina most of my life, and honestly had not really heard much about Washington, NC until last month. My finance and I decided to take a pre-honeymoon – highly recommend this notion if you are getting married – to this quaint, water-side town for a weekend. It did not disappoint. It is a great destination for both couples and families. Here are some highlights from our trip and some suggestions for either type of weekend getaway.
We stayed at Elmwood 1820 and it was absolutely amazing. The service was wonderful, and the breakfasts were delicious. They did a great job of accommodating my Celiac with gluten-free options. I was happy to see they even offered gluten-free biscuits and blueberry pancakes! They have happy hour with wine every night. My finance and I had a fun time enjoying wine and playing chess each night while we were there. We also loved that it was within walking distance of downtown Washington. It is a great place for couples. Or, if you are looking to splurge you could rent multiple rooms for the family.
While we did not stay there, the Fairfield Inn & Suites seemed like a great and affordable choice for families. Here is a link to all the accommodation options in Washington, NC.
If you are looking for unique and nicer dining options, both The Bank Bar & Bistro and The Hackney are top-notch food and service. The Bank is a retrofitted restaurant in a building that was built in 1852 and was, as you probably guessed, a bank. We loved how the old vault was behind the bar and where they stored the alcohol! The Hackney is also in a building that used to be a bank, but the unique thing about this restaurant is it is next door too and looks into their gin distillery. Their 1000 Piers Gin was truly a different and good tasting gin – and I am not normally a gin drinker!
For more casual dinners or lunch, we loved the Washington Crab & Seafood Shack. It had lots of larger table options as well as smaller so is a perfect setting for families or couples. This restaurant is set up where you order your food at a register and then they will bring it to you when it is ready. The seafood was also fresh and tasted great!
Things to Do
While simple, we loved walking down the boardwalk along the river, especially at sunset. It provided great views of the water and boats. For those with kids, there is a cute little park about halfway down the walkway strip. The downtown area also has some great shops, restaurants, and galleries. It is only one block over from the river walkway.
We traveled over to Bath, NC which was an easy 20 minute-max drive. While there was not a lot to do there, if you love pirates and/or Blackbeard it is a fun place to check out. The visit center had some cool artifacts to see and a small gift shop. We enjoyed seeing the views at Bonner’s Point. It was fun walking around and seeing the old church and buildings as well.
Between Bath and Washington, was a must-not miss stop for both couples and families. Goose Creek State Park was such a cool place. It had tons of trails and camping spots. Plus, it had these great little beaches among the trails. While it might be busier in the summer, when we went in March there were tons of private beach spots to enjoy the view and relax. There was one slightly large beach where most of the kids and families seemed to be playing and gathering.
One night of our nights there we did a sunset boat tour with Captain Scott of XploreBX Charters. (See lead image!) It was a fun way to see the river and area. He was also truly knowledgeable about the area and shared lots of cool facts. This is another activity that is great for both couples and families. The boat left out of the Havens Garden Dock. Across the street from this dock is a really nice playground that is the perfect place to let the kids run and play.
A few things we did not get time to try, but looked fun or interesting:
- Kayaking or Paddle boarding with Inner Banks Outfitters
- North Carolina Estuarium
- Underground Railroad Museum
- Down on Main Street
Here is a full list of all the things to do Washington, NC has to offer families and couples.
From our house in Winston-Salem, Washington, NC was about a three-and-a-half-hour drive. It was a relatively easy drive, but in the second part of the journey there is a stretch that does not have any stops for awhile.
While Covid stopped a lot of their regular events, it seems like those are slowly picking up. From talking with the locals (everyone is so friendly there!), it sounds like summers and Christmastime usually have a ton of fun events there.
We had such a fun time there, and highly recommend adding it to your weekend getaway destination list!
For more travel ideas, click here!
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