For the first one-and-a-half centuries of its existence, Washington was a vital sea-going trading port, particularly during the Revolutionary War, when most other harbors on the east coast were blockaded and the swift ships that plied the rivers and sounds of Eastern North Carolina were able to slip through. As commercial traffic shifted to highways in the 20th century, the river assumed a new importance as a recreational mecca and a sportsman’s paradise, and Washington’s reputation as a tourism destination began to grow.
Friends of Carolina Wind
These great businesses and organizations help make Washington special!
The Turnage Theater – The Turnage Theater, built by C. A. Turnage around 1930, was, in his words, “....One of the most modern theatres in eastern North Carolina. ... The Turnage opened on February 28, 1930, and the first picture shown was ‘Lord Byrum of Broadway.’” Turnage kept the existing vaudeville theater, located within the same building, and created a classic “palace”-style theater for the showing of motion pictures.
North Carolina Estuarium – The Estuarium, so named because it depicts wildlife found both on land and in the water in the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System, is operated by the nonprofit Partnership for the Sounds and is funded in part by legislative appropriations. This unique facility provides a wide array of fascinating exhibits, in addition to a theater showing a custom film describing the many features of the estuary. Of the more than 15,000 visitors in 2003, more than half were school tours and other groups from across the state. About one fourth of visitors were from out-of-state.
The Downtown Washington Historic District was established in 1978 and encompasses 18 antebellum buildings, homes that housed Federal troops during the Civil War, depots and hotels from the heyday of railroads, and our own Havens Wharf warehouse! The Walking Tour Guide available at the Visitor's Center will guide you on a 1.9 mile stroll to see the attractions at your own pace.
Crabs on the Move is a public art project sponsored by the Beaufort County Arts Council and the Pine Needles Garden Club. Local artists painted the blue crab statues on display throughout the downtown area. These colorful crabs are the subject of many visitor's photography.
Saturday Market is the place to find local produce, starting at 8 am on the waterfront April through October.
Waterfront – Our waterfront welcomes boaters to Washington. With the addition of town docks along the boardwalk, Washington gives visiting boaters a wonderful new approach to the city. Facilities include water and electrical hookups as well as a free pump-out station. Several spaces are set aside on a first-come, first-served basis that allow visitors free use of the facilities for up to three days. Other slips are reserved for longer rentals. Come visit the town, walk the waterfront, and enjoy the restaurants along Main Street!