Consider your lifestyle: Although Havelock is a small community, the different areas of the town do have varying housing options and area perks to fit your lifestyle. For example, Havelock is located on the banks of the Neuse River, and the more rural parts of Havelock feature many estuaries, small lakes and riverfront properties. If boating, kayaking, fishing and watersports are activities you are interested in, then these areas may benefit your aquaphile lifestyle. However, if you rather live in an area where restaurants, grocery stores and other community amenities are more readily available, then Havelock's City Center area may be more suited to your taste.
When to plan your search: The military presence of Havelock cannot be understated, and planning a home or apartment search around national holidays, such as Memorial Day or Veteran's Day, is probably not the best idea. Other well-known Havelock events include the Cherry Point Air Show that sees about 100,000 attendees and the Chili Festival in the fall that produces a large influx of people. Searching for a home during these events is probably unwise. Unless you really like chili, then give it a shot. Remember, Havelock is also a gateway city to popular tourist destinations on the Crystal Coast, so if you search for a rental home in Havelock around The Fourth of July or Labor Day weekend, you may have to deal with a fair amount of sand-starved beach tourist traffic.
Take into consideration the amenities you look for in a neighborhood before you go pick any ol' area all willy nilly. Check out the list below for an idea of what Havelock has to offer.
Neuse Forest: Havelock is bordered on three sides by the Croatan National Forest, and no other area in Havelock is more forested than the Neuse Forest area on the western side. Hence, the name. This area is a sportsmen's paradise and offers easy access to some of the best hunting grounds and fishing in the United States. In fact, Babe Ruth and Chris Mathewson were known to hunt and fish the area in the 1930s, and some say you can still smell the Bambino's cigar smoke. Neuse Forest area features many single-family, 2- or 3-bedroom houses for rent. Although all the housing in Havelock is predominantly more affordable than the national average, the Neuse Forest area features some of the more expensive options, especially near the Carolina Pines Golf and Country Club and properties around the riverfront.
Roosevelt Boulevard / Lenoir Road: This area is directly to the west of the Cherry Point Air Base and east of Neuse Forest. Not as rural as Neuse Forest, the area around Roosevelt Boulevard and Lenoir Road is directly adjacent to the air base's gate, and you can find a rental apartment to fit any budget. Somewhat less expensive than City Center and Neuse Forest, this area is home to many military personnel that live off-base, and you can find an affordable house to rent in military and civilian mixed neighborhoods.
City Center: Although Havelock is small, it does have a good amount of eateries, shops and entertainment. For those looking to live in the heart of the city, the City Center area offers movie theaters, bowling alleys, pool halls, restaurants and pubs, many within walking distance of nearby condos and apartments for rent. To find Havelock's nightlife pulse, you have to put two fingers on the City Center area. For the most part, other areas will be pretty flat-lined after 10 p.m.. In addition, City Center is home to the Havelock Tourist and Event Center and the popular USMC Aviation Museum. The area's central location also makes it convenient to both neighboring New Bern and the beaches on the Crystal Coast.
Great Neck: Particularly popular for water sports, boating and fishing enthusiasts, the Great Neck area is on the eastern side of Havelock. Located on the Neuse River, the Great Neck area has the most riverfront and creekside properties available of any of Havelock's areas. The most luxurious homes of Havelock can be found in the Great Neck area, and the area is home to Great Neck Creek, Godfrey Creek, Matthew's Point Marina and the Pine Cliff Recreation Area. Neck Creek is also the closest to the nearby Crystal Coast beaches and communities.
In relation to neighboring cities, the same sentiment -- water activities versus community amenities -- can be said about which side of Havelock you'd prefer to live on. Havelock is located 20 minutes from North Carolina's Crystal Coast beaches and communities, which dot the coastline to the southeast, and 20 minutes from the larger historical city of New Bern, which is to the northwest. Both neighboring destinations are an easy jaunt on Highway 70 that runs directly through Havelock. For beachcombers, living on the southeast part of town may be beneficial, while the northwest may benefit convenience connoisseurs.
Havelock is very close to the larger city of New Bern, which provides more shopping, entertainment and dining options than Havelock. And New Bern's nightlife has a bit more of a heartbeat. However, local nature destinations such as the Neuse River Recreation Area and Fishers Landing provide residents the outdoor activities that make the Neuse Forest area popular.
In recent years, the Neck Creek area has become popular for beach lovers that prefer not to be tourist-trodden every season. Unlike neighboring beach communities such as Morehead City and Beaufort, the Neck Creek area of Havelock provides easy access to the beach without tourists gaining access to permanent residents' last nerves.