It bears repeating: Housing prices (including rental properties) are much cheaper here than in most waterfront resort cities. Whether you're looking for a duplex, condo for rent or luxury apartments, be prepared for a bit of reverse sticker shock, especially if you're used to big city prices.
Best Time to Find Apartments
Since Morehead City gets a bit chilly during the winter, the peak tourist season is during the summer, so you'll have more luck renting an apartment during the off-season. Otherwise, anytime is a good time to move here; and you can start your search to find apartments by scouring the Internet and local websites. Tourist rentals are typically month to month, so a landlord might like you better if you're in it for the long haul.
Have on hand your essential identification, a few phone numbers from personal references, and proof of your current or future employment. You may have to agree to a credit check, especially if you're renting from an apartment or condo complex. Be prepared to pay first month's rent, plus a security deposit.
You might be surprised to see so many modern homes here, but this is partly because of the town's renovation during the 1980s. Neighborhoods are bike and pedestrian friendly, and many are within walking distance of area amenities. Here are some places to keep an eye out for:
Miami Avenue: This bike-friendly, tree-lined neighborhood has homes at surprisingly affordable prices. You'll also want to check here for rental houses. It's close to a number of retailers, including Kmart, Food Lion and the Parkway Shopping Center.
Lands End Road: If you want to live on the water, check out this area, where you'll find a number of waterfront homes for sale, as well as newly-built condos for rent with amenities such as granite countertops and recessed lighting. It's close to Walmart Supercenter, Best Buy and Staples.
Condo Rentals and Apartment Complexes in Morehead City
Country Club Road: Here's where you'll find Country Club Apartments (4600 Country Club Rd), which features spacious, affordable townhouses. It's close to the Morehead City Country Club, and retailers such as Tuesday Morning, Jim Dandy Food Stores and Rite Aid Pharmacy.
Barbour Road: In this area, you'll find The Courtyard (502 Barbour Rd), which has large apartment townhouses at reasonable monthly rates. It's close to Lowes Foods and Tuesday Morning.
The weather here is gratifyingly mild, with July highs topping at the upper 80s. There's just enough of a winter chill to invigorate the locals, with January highs in the upper 50s and lows in the upper 30s -- and you can expect barely an inch or so of snow a year.
Getting here is easy -- Morehead City is just off US 70. As for getting around, this area is bike and scooter friendly. Plus, there's a great bus system, courtesy of the Carteret County Area Transportation System (CCATS).
Things to Do
Morehead City may be a small town, but you'll never run out of things to do. For starters, you can take a fabulous Crystal Coast Ecotour (112 Hodges St), a boating experience where you can view dolphins and rare birds. You can also charter a fishing boat for the afternoon, courtesy of companies such as Lookout Adventures (208 Arendell St) and Down East Guide Service (1907 Paulette Rd). If you prefer staying on land, you can explore the area's amazing history with a guided walk from the Port City Tour Company (Historic Waterfront District), where you can view everything from wild horses to pirate hideaways. For even more history, you'll want to visit the Carteret County Historical Association (1008 Arendell St), which tells the story of Morehead City's rich past.
Eating and Drinking
Any waterfront resort town worth its salt has its share of great seafood restaurants, and Morehead City doesn't disappoint. Check out Red Fish Grill (711 Evans St), a locals' favorite that serves up specialties such as grilled fish platters and bacon-wrapped scallops. Another winner is the Ruddy Duck Tavern (509 Evans St), where you can enjoy classic American cuisine and great burgers. Thirsty? Stop by Jack's Waterfront Bar (513 Evans St), where you can enjoy a specialty drink while gazing at the sun setting over the harbor.
Let's face it, a lot of waterfront resorts rest on their hype, which they may or may not live up to. On the flip side, Morehead City doesn't have a lot of hype to begin with -- and it surpasses expectations on nearly all fronts. In fact, many folks consider Morehead City to be a best-kept secret among its locals and regular tourists -- so if you haven't heard of it before, that's probably the reason why.