Morehead City was the brainchild of John Motley Morehead, governor of North Carolina from 1841 to 1845. Governor Morehead foresaw the commercial potential of Shepherd's Point,the promontory at the intersection of the Newport River and Beaufort Inlet, and envisioned "a great commercial city" there. Morehead and his associates acquired a large portion of the surrounding property and then made plans to extend the North Carolina Railroad from Goldsboro to Shepherd's Point.

A public auction was held in 1857, and 150 lots were sold in the new town. Within three days of the celebration of the railroad's completion in 1858, every property parcel in the city and the surrounding area was sold.

The Civil War interrupted Morehead City's development as a port. Following the war, the shipping terminal deteriorated, but the railroad continued hauling vast quantities of seafood to the state's inland sections.

In the late 1800s, Morehead City received a new group of residents from nearby Shackleford Banks. Many whaling families were driven from Diamond City and the other Shackleford settlements by the great hurricane of 1899. While most of these salty folk moved to Harkers Island, one group came to Morehead City and settled along present-day Bridges Street in a tract still known as the "Promised Land."

Until recently, Morehead City was known more as a resort community than a major port. A large charter-fishing fleet, the town's central location on the ICW, and the proximity to Atlantic Beach have all served to promote Morehead City as an ideal spot to spend a summer vacation. This popularity continues unabated. It is rare indeed to find a North Carolinian who has not spent at least one vacation in Morehead City.

Governor Morehead's belief in the commercial viability of the city has been vindicated at last. Under Governor Kerr Scott, a large bond program was approved which funded a modern port terminal. Commercial traffic has steadily increased since those early days.

 

Kitty Hawk Kites Beaufort

Kitty Hawk Kites Beaufort

Kitty Hawk Kites has remodeled and opened its new doors directly on the Beaufort waterfront. This shop offers the leading selection of kites, wind art, toys, t-shirts and apparel, Hobie kayaks, and more. In addition, stop by and make your reservation for one of our new Beaufort adventures:

Scenic Spots in Morehead City

Scenic Spots in Morehead City

With a stunning waterfront, a collection of more than 120 historical structures, and a central locale in the heart of the Crystal Coast, it should come as no surprise that Morehead City can be a scene stealer when it comes to eye-catching scenic spots in the Southern Outer Banks.

Beaufort Historic Site Visitor Center and Museum

Beaufort Historic Site Visitor Center and Museum

Soak up the centuries-old history of beautiful Beaufort with a visit to the Beaufort Historic Site. Renowned as the third oldest town in North Carolina, there’s a lot of history to explore in this quiet Southern Outer Banks community, and visitors can dive right in by touring a collection of 10 historic homes and structures that are located within the downtown region.

Rainy Day Activities in Morehead City

Rainy Day Activities in Morehead City

Because Morehead City is one of the busiest towns along the Crystal Coast, it’s easy for visitors of all interests to find something to do when a bout of rain puts a damper on an otherwise sunny vacation. From incredible shopping opportunities to cool attractions that are barely off the beaten path, there’s tons of ways to while away a full morning or afternoon while having miles of fun.