Morehead City is a beautiful coastal port town that has been around for hundreds of years. It is small yet vibrant. It maintains its history but thrives in everything the pristine environment has to offer. We celebrate life while maintaining a lifestyle that is indicative of great southern living. Welcome! We thought you might enjoy a brief sampling of our history, climate, fun, business and healthcare!
Morehead City History
John Motley Morehead was the 29th Governor of North Carolina serving from 1841-1845. During the 1850’s Morehead was instrumental in developing the port at Beaufort Harbor and bringing the railway system to the area. By 1861,”Morehead City” was incorporated. Bridges Arendell, Jr. was the first mayor. Arendell Street (Highway 70) and Bridges Street are the two main thoroughfares in town today. The port developed by John Motley Morehead is now one of two North Carolina State Ports in use today.
Morehead City: Income and Housing
Median sold home price is approximately $210,000. Median household income is around $38,000. 92 percent of Morehead City residents have a high school diploma with 30 percent having a bachelor’s degree from a four year college. Both graduation levels are above state average.
Population and Demographics
Morehead City is located in the county of Carteret. The county has a year round population of 67,632. Its population is almost an even 50-50 split between male and female. 55 percent are between the ages of 18 and 65. The county’s total area includes 1,341 square miles, most of which is water. According to the US Census Bureau 520 square miles is land and 821 square miles of Carteret County is water.
There are approximately 90 miles of oceanfront beaches along Carteret Counties barrier islands of Portsmouth Island, Core Banks, Shackleford Banks and Bogue Banks. The 28 mile long Bogue Banks is the only inhabited island which is home to Atlantic Beach, Salter Path, Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach and Emerald Isle. The islands are separated by the 5 inlets of Ocracoke Inlet, Drum Inlet, Barden’s Inlet, Beaufort Inlet, and Bogue Inlet.
The highest elevation is approximately 30-35 feet above sea level. It can be found in the western part of the county around Hadnots Creek located in the Croatan National Forest.
Weather and Climate
Carteret County averages 56 inches of rainfall each year. It has 211 sunny days with less than 2 inches of snow in the winter. It is not uncommon for no snowfall at all for multiple years in a row.
High temperatures during July average around 86-88 degrees with January low temperatures in the mid to upper 30’s.
Events, Facilities, Hospitals, Festivals and Tournaments
Just like there are is an almost endless number of fish in the sea, so are the many events, facilities and happenings in Morehead City. Here is a brief overview and description of some of the major ones
North Carolina Seafood Festival
The North Carolina Seafood Festival (NCSF) is the second largest festival in the state of North Carolina. In 2011 it was voted “Best Over-All Festival”. This annual event is held during the first full weekend of October on the Morehead City waterfront. Over 200,000 people attend in celebration of one of North Carolina’s most sought after commodities-Seafood!
The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament
By far one of the biggest and most prestigious marlin tournaments in the United States is hosted each year from the Morehead city waterfront. This annual event is entering into its 55th year and attracts over 200 of the finest offshore fishing boats and captains. The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is a 6 day fishing tournament with each boat allowed to fish 4 of those days. The main target species are blue marlin and white marlin. In recent years the tournament has added a gamefish category which includes dolphin and wahoo.
Heading out to the gulf stream waters anglers and captains compete for cash and prizes of over $1 million dollars. Everyone can join the fun at the Big Rock weigh-ins on the Morehead City waterfront.
The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament goes beyond cash and prizes. The tournament has its focal point on benefiting the fishery, the coast of North Carolina and the people who live and work here. It’s best said in their mission statement.
“To promote sportfishing throughout Carteret County and the state of North Carolina.
To promote Conservation among Sportfishermen.
To raise money for Charities and Worthy Community Projects.
To preserve Maritime Culture and Heritage.
To promote Marine Education.”
To date the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament has raised over $2 million dollars for charity.
North Carolina State Port
The North Carolina Port Authority has one of its two ports located here. It is one of the deepest ports along the eastern seaboard with water depths between 40-60 feet. It is the “second largest importer in the country for natural rubber” and is the “leading exporter of phosphate,” according to the NC Ports website.
Part of the mission statement and purpose of the Morehead City Port is, “Be recognized for our self-sustaining operations, environmental stewardship, highly efficient workforce, satisfied customers, and modern, well-maintained facilities and equipment.”
Educational opportunities abound with excellent primary and secondary schools. Croatan High School, one of two high schools in Morehead City was picked by US News and World Report as one of the top schools in the United States in 2009 and in 2010.
Higher educational opportunities are available in Morehead City as well. Carteret Community College (CCC) is located along the banks of Bogue Sound. It is 1 of 59 institutions of the North Carolina Community College system. CCC offers a 2 year associate degrees, continuing education and certificate programs.
Major universities in Morehead City include North Carolina State University’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, Duke University Marine Lab and University of North Carolina’s Institute of Marine Sciences
Carteret General Hospital
Carteret General Hospital is a 135 bed hospital that overlooks Bogue Sound and Atlantic Beach here in Carteret County. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The Joint Commission is “recognized as the symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards”.
Carteret General first opened in 1967 with a mission to improve health care for Morehead City, the county and the surrounding area. The hospital is committed to “being the best choice in hospital care”. And that they have done just that for almost 50 years.
Some of the services and care offered at Carteret General Hospital include, but not limited to cancer care, birthing center, surgical, emergency, inpatient, radiology, rehabilitation, sleep disorder, pharmacy, cardiopulmonary, diabetes, joint and spine, hospice and many more.
The town has a wide range of private medical practices, rehabilitation and health care facilities and urgent care medical facilities. The town is also fortunate to have several nearby pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS, Eckerd’s, Wal-Mart Pharmacy, K-Mart Pharmacy, Rite-Aid and several independent concerns.
The Crystal Coast Civic Center sits on the shores of Bogue Banks just an arms length away from the Intra-Coastal Waterway (ICW). The main hall can easily handle up to 1,000 people within its 12,000 square foot facility. Conferences, trade shows, seminars and entertainment events are mainstays at the Civic Center. Weddings, reunions, business expos and educational seminars are too. Some of the popular annual events at the Crystal Coast Civic Center include the Coastal Home and Garden Show and the Carolina Chocolate Festival.
Morehead City Marlins Baseball
Baseball has deep roots in the county. Morehead City was very pleased to get the Morehead City Marlins baseball team a few years back. The Marlins are part of the Coastal Plain League which has 14 teams in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The 17 year old league is composed of college players that are housed in local homes during the summer season. It’s a great opportunity for the players to hone their skills for the big leagues and gives the residents a chance to help a future major league all star. It is great baseball and great fun all played at Morehead City’s Puck O’Neal Field.
Information and Calendar of Events
Morehead City is host to a wide range of festivals, concerts, fishing tournaments, business events, cultural, arts and crafts exhibitions, parades and more. The above is just a very small sampling of what you can find here. Click on the following links to see all of the events that are going on.
All you need to know for real estate in Morehead City is Margaret Hitchcock of Hitchcock Realty. Margaret is a veteran Realtor accustomed to working with out of the area and out of state buyers. She knows firsthand what it is like to relocate to a new and unfamiliar area. And with the diverse geographic area of all of the Crystal Coast you need someone with special knowledge, training and skill to help make your relocation a success.
What are you looking for? A new house? A secondary residence? A vacation home or condo? Waterfront property or vacant lot? Land to build on? Investment property? Call Margaret Hitchcock today at (252) 269-2893 to start your move to the coast of North Carolina.
The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament: Weigh-ins
Morehead City: Wikipedia
Morehead City and Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament: Weather