Located at the head of Pamlico Sound, Oriental, North Carolina, is well-known as the halfway point between New York and Florida among sailors using the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and a true gem along North Carolina’s more than 5,000 miles of navigable water.
The village was once a peaceful fishing settlement with a small harbor and first-rate marine services but few facilities. Today, that’s all changed.
Just over 1,100 people live in “The Sailing Capital of North Carolina.” However, nearly 3,000 boats are kept in the marinas and private docks among the creeks that meander through this vibrant community. The Oriental Harbor is protected, has few lunar tides, and hosts numerous fishing opportunities and sailing competitions while boasting every imaginable marine-related business.
While you’re staying in one of Oriental’s best vacation rental homes, take a stroll through these marinas to check out the sailboats and small yachts harbored there. Or, if you’re planning to arrive via boat, we’ll help you decide which marina suits your needs.
So let’s dive (no pun intended) into the marinas of Oriental, NC.
Blackwell Point Marina
Blackwell Point Marina is a charming small marina tucked away along the banks of Smith Creek, a tributary of the Neuse River. This marina is secure and well-guarded with several amenities.
You can enjoy Blackwell Point Marina’s shower facilities, fitness center, bike rentals, and free wifi while you’re there. In addition, you can picnic while gazing out at the water’s edge. If you don’t have all you need for a barbecue in your galley, a well-stocked grocery is a short drive from the marina.
Blackwell Point is also close to many dining establishments, retail establishments, pubs, and boutiques. For example, Rick’s NC BBQ and The New Village Brewery are both nearby if you’d prefer to go out and fully savor your restful vacation.
At the meeting of Smith and Camp Creeks, Clancy’s Marina offers calm, safe waters. Clancy’s is conveniently situated minutes from the IntraCoastal Waterway and the Neuse River, as well as Oriental’s business district.
In addition, Clancy’s Marina boasts new restroom facilities, a free pump-out facility, ample parking, water sports rentals, and bicycles to borrow if you fancy a ride into the quaint village of Oriental where you can peruse the work of local artists before grabbing a satiating bite to eat at M&M’s Cafe.
Dragons Island Marina
Dragons Island Marina is a small marina located on the Harbor just off Scott Bridge. The marina features 30/110 power and 12 slips that are 16′ wide, 8′ deep and can house a 45′ boat.
The facility allows for short-term or long-term leasing, and there are plans to add a boathouse, pump out, and laundry in the future.
Ensign Harbor Marina
Established in 1987 and located on Brown’s Creek in Whortonville, NC, Ensign Harbor Marina is a quaint and picturesque location. Owned since 2019 by a husband and wife duo, the marina features 29 slips that can accommodate 40′ and will house catamarans. The navigable depth is 5.5 feet.
The serene setting is ideal, and the marina features modern amenities including a water hook-up, showers, a clubhouse and Wi-Fi. Items like gas, groceries, etc. can be purchased nearby.
Oriental Harbor Marina
For $1.25 per foot each night, Oriental Harbor Marina offers deep water slips and dockage for boats up to 75 feet. The Oriental Harbor Marina offers guests unrestricted access to various amenities and attractions, thanks to its excellent location a few short blocks from the shoreline at the center of downtown Oriental.
Slips with all utilities and wireless internet, free pump-out, showers, laundry facilities, and temporary membership in the nearby Harbor Club are available in the waterfront park environment. Enjoy breathtaking views from your boat in proximity to Oriental’s eateries and stores. Restaurants, including Barcos Food Co., specialized stores and galleries, boating supplies, and maintenance are all nearby.
Pecan Grove Marina
Situated on the western side of the Oriental Road Bridge, The Pecan Grove Marina is close to the coastal town’s attractions, stores, and restaurants. However, the location of this 222 deep-water slip marina is regarded by many sailors as its best feature. Because the marina is surrounded by land on almost all sides, the mariners who dock for the evening will be less affected by the strong winds characteristic of the Pamlico Sound area.
As one of the most protected marinas in Oriental, NC, Pecan Grove Marina also features a pump-out station, a clubhouse overlooking scenic Oriental Harbor, wifi, a full-time dockmaster, two pools, and much more.
Walk to the nearby seafood market for the fresh catch of the day, or if you don’t feel like cooking, Oriental’s renowned Toucan Grill & Fresh Bar is just a mile away. Be sure to check out their tiki bar with live music on the weekends.
River Dunes Harbor Club & Marina
The Neuse River, the ICW, and Pamlico Sound create an unmatched environment for year-round sailing, coastal living, and world-class fishing, and River Dunes is a perfect spot to enjoy the scenery. River Dunes Harbor Club & Marina provides a picturesque stop for those passing through or looking to stay awhile.
Navigating the 28-acre marina is simple thanks to its floating ipe docks, broad gangways, and full-length finger piers that provide easy access. The marina can handle yachts up to 150′.
This Harbor Club also has both formal and informal dining, a pool, and a Village Center for exceptional onshore amenities such as Yawl’s Cafe, a fitness facility, a spa, and housing. Additionally, a courtesy car is offered to boaters for a modest cost. Finally, along with supplies, the adjacent Grace Harbor Provision Company sells snacks, drinks, clothes, and gifts.
Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor
Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor, located approximately at mile marker 181, is a must-stop location if you’re seeking a comfortable place to rest along the Neuse River and Intracoastal Waterway. There are clean, private restrooms and showers available for visitors. In addition, the pet-friendly property includes wifi and a lovely picnic area, making it an ideal location.
You won’t have to go far to the middle of town to find more things to do and see, including a delicious lunch or dinner at The Silos. Food stores, eateries, shops, supplies, and more are all conveniently close to the boat slips.
Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor is your go-to location if you need to stop anywhere due to mechanical problems. They are a full-service marina with the ability to handle everything from simple maintenance tasks to comprehensive engine servicing. Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor Marina is a great one-stop shop for all of your sailcraft requirements.
Whittaker Pointe Marina
The newest marina in the Oriental region offers first-rate amenities in addition to breathtaking views of the Neuse River, Whittaker Creek, and the village of Oriental.
Whittaker Pointe also offers fuel and marine supplies, maintenance work, boat repair, bilge and sewage pumping, and docking and storage. Additionally, the marina provides facilities, including laundry, showers, boat rentals, and training on boat operation and safety.
Finally, for your convenience, groceries, dining, banking, a post office, and related amenities are just a few miles away.
Get Ready for Your Visit to Oriental, North Carolina
For recreation, you can go hunting and fishing on your own or with one of the numerous skilled guides who operate out of Oriental & Pamlico County. Both offer opportunities for world-class recreational experiences. Or, take a boat tour to explore the Inner and Outer Banks. Golfers can also put their skills to the test at local championship golf courses like the Minnesott Golf Club.
While you’re in town, be sure to visit at least one of these marinas. You’ll love strolling the docks and eyeing the boats. It’s a lot of fun to check the flags or talk to fellow travelers to see just how far they’ve traveled.. And if you happen to be arriving via boat, one of these 7 marinas is sure to fit your needs!