North Carolina


Washington NC Waterfront
Published on December 4, 2013

Situated along the Inner Banks of North Carolina, Washington draws visitors from all around to sail along the picturesque waters of the Pamlico River and for boating in NC. Downtown is an attraction of its own; lined with historic architecture, restaurants, and stores. Year-round festivals and performances such as Smoke On The Water and Music In the Streets bring this charming city to life.

Previously named ‘Forks of the Tar’ due to its location at the junction of the Tar and Pamlico River, Washington, North Carolina is now named after the imminent General George Washington. Known by locals as ‘The Original Washington,' the roots of the city extend as far back as the mid 18th century with charming colonial architecture and stately housing accentuating its historic landmarks along the area's coastal retirement communities.

Washington’s low population and tranquil bay provides for the perfect escape from the bustle of the big city. State highways 264 and 17 allow easy access to bordering cities such as Greenville and New Bern, North Carolina. 

Sail towards the Pamlico Sound for a relaxing day on the water or head down the coast for an adventure in of the numerous wildlife refugees located on the border. McCotters Marina and Grace Harbor Marina at River Dunes are located off the Intracoastal Waterway and cater to the North Carolina boating community. If you’re searching for Pamlico Sound real estate, here are reasons to consider Washington:


Washington is home to a thriving arts and culture community. The newly built Inner Banks Artisans' Center houses 18 different studios incorporating over 75 artists and over 50 musicians. The three story venue includes live performances, jewelry shops, and their very own gourmet chocolatier! As a community that embraces the arts, Washington also hosts the quarterly Artwalk along Main, Water, and Gladden streets. Artisans, musicians, and collectors fill the streets from 6pm to 9pm to experience downtown Washington at its liveliest. Visitors can browse through hundreds of unique galleries while enjoying the soothing sound of live music. 


Washington has mellow transitions throughout the seasons. The average temperature December through February is in the mid 40’s. May through September, the average temperature ranges from the high 70’s to the mid 80's. Precipitation increases in the summer and fall months, while the city maintains over 50% sunshine all year-round. The Washington area’s largest weather concern is tornado activity; however, the last significantly large tornado that struck Washington, North Carolina was in 1984. 


The Beaufort County School District serves over 7,000 students throughout 14 schools. The district is well-known for its dedication to furthering the education of its students. 

Students also have the option to attend high-ranking private and charter schools such as Washington Montessori, or Emmanual Christian School. Mount Olive College is a private college for working-adults and traditional students seeking a higher education. 

Other institutes include The Art Institute of Washington, and East Carolina University. The Art Institute hosts events and classes to celebrate the work of its students and educate the community. 


Washington’s small-town facilities offer exceptional in and outpatient care to the coastal retirement communities. Vidant Beaufort Hospital is a non-for-profit hospital with over 20 specialties and a state-of-art cancer treatment facility. 

The larger Carolina East Medical Center of New Bern is a quick ride from Washington, North Carolina. This 350 bed facility has sophisticated surgical suites designed for use with the DaVinci Robotic Assisted Surgical System. This hospital has received numerous awards for its excellence in patient care and surgical practices.


Some popular activities on the Tar and Pamlico Rivers include world class fishing, boating in NC, and swimming. Other recreational activities include hiking and biking through Goose Creek State Park.  

Home to the second largest estuarine system in the Nation, Washington has numerous paddle trails for sight-seeing on the water. Residents enjoy spending the afternoon at Washington Yacht & Country Club with award-winning golf courses and private boat slips. 

Washington, North Carolina also hosts the annual Washington triathlon; A 2 mile water run followed by an 88 mile bike ride. The McConnell Sports Complex is home to the local youth softball and baseball fields. Swing by for a community game, and root for the home team.


Downtown Washington is lined with small boutique shops, and custom jewelers. Pamlico Plaza, located on the outskirts of the city, houses the larger retail stores such as Walgreens, Lowe’s, and Walmart.

Along Main Street is South Market Antiques; the largest antique store in the area. Here you can find anything from glassware collectibles to antique furniture. 

Main Street offers a variety of dining options. Indulge in the seafood cuisine at Fish Hooks Cafe, or head over to Backwater Jacks Tiki Bar for an umbrella drink overlooking the water and folks boating in NC.


Home prices average $150,000 in Washington, North Carolina and are among the lowest they've ever been. Choose from waterfront properties, historic housing, or low maintenance condominiums. The City Center is an Inner Banks neighborhood with historic properties on the water. Pinetown attracts residents to its rural location along the Pamlico River. Located next to the Goose Creek State Park, it is a quiet area ranking among the top 6.8% of retiree-friendly neighborhoods in North Carolina.

Washington, North Carolina sits within the Beaufort County district.  The City of Washington property tax rate is 53 cents per $100 valuation. Beaufort County's property tax rate is 50 cents per $100 valuation. If you're interested in coastal retirement communities on a scenic waterfront, we may have just the right Pamlico Sound real estate development for you.

Population: 10,000
Median State Property Tax: 0.78%
State Sales Tax: 4.75%
State Income Tax: 4.99%
  • Pitt-Greenville Airport (PGV)
  • Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN)
  • Warren Field (OCW)
Arts & Culture
  • ArtWalk
  • Beaufort County Traditional Music Association
  • Inner Banks Artisan Center
  • NC Estuarium
  • River Walk Gallery & Arts Center
  • The Beaufort County Arts Council
  • The Inner Banks Artisan Center
  • The Lone Leaf Gallery
  • Turnage Theater
Events & Festivals
  • Annual Wildlife Arts Festival - FEB
  • BoCo Music Festival - APR
  • Music In the Streets - MAY
  • Summer Festival - JUN
  • Smoke on the Water - OCT
Hospitals & Healthcare
  • CarolinaEast Medical Center
  • Vidant Beaufort Hospital
  • Vidant Women’s Care Washington
Colleges & Universities
  • East Carolina University
  • Beaufort County Community College
  • Martin Community College
Shopping & Retail
  • Cherry Run Center
  • Pamlico Plaza
  • Pamlico River Antiques
  • South Market Antiques
  • Washington Square Mall
  • PCM Skatepark
  • McConnell Sports Complex
State & National Parks
  • Festival Park
  • Goose Creek State Park
  • Veteran’s Park
Top Employers
  • Beaufort County Schools
  • PCS Phosphate Company Inc
  • East Carolina Health Inc
  • Flanders Airpure N. C. Division
  • Wal-Mart Associates Inc
  • The Mega Force Staffing Group Inc
  • County Of Beaufort
  • Beaufort County Community College
  • City Of Washington