A vibrant port town on North Carolina's beautiful Crystal Coast, Morehead City is not only incredibly picturesque, but it also boasts a unique charm and character. With everything from waterfront walks to sprawling city parks, as well as dog-friendly restaurants, bars and three veterinary hospitals, it is no surprise that Morehead City is so popular with pooches.
There are a few different urban walking trails to be found in Morehead City. The Fish Walk is a public art trail that passes by 12 colorful sculptures in various locations, while the 2.3 mile Promise Land Heritage Trail will teach you and Fido all about the rich history of the area. The Calico Creek Boardwalk is also worth taking your pup to. Extending out for just over a mile, this walk is pawtastic for spotting a wide range of bird species.
After all of that walking, your pooch will be tired, but there are plenty of dog-friendly restaurants at which the two of you can sit down and relax in Morehead City. Floyd's 1921 Restaurant is quite casual, with a menu featuring everything from tapas to seafood to steak, while Dank Burrito specializes in Mexican-American dishes. If you are craving something sweet, Twisted Spoon is a frozen yogurt bar with so many varieties, and a flavor list that changes each day.
With so many pawsome walks to choose from, as well as numerous restaurants to chow down at afterwards, dogs are sure to have fun in Morehead City.
Every dog loves the Wildwood neighborhood, because it is home to the very first dog park in the entire county. PAWS Bark Park is a privately-owned off-lead dog park with two separate sections, one for smaller dogs and one for larger dogs. With shade, restrooms, seating, a water fountain and doggie bag dispensers, all you need to bring is your dog! If your pooch would like another park to explore, Swinson Park can also be found in Wildwood. This 34 acre city park is home to a range of sports facilities, and also provides access to the Morehead Alternative Transportation System. This is a two mile trail that takes you through the city, with dogs welcome to use it so long as they are kept on a lead.
With a couple of parks to explore, as well as some dog-friendly restaurants, the Arendell St/ S 24th St neighborhood has everything you need for a fun day out with Fido. Begin at Shevans Park, a two acre city park complete with tennis courts, a large playground, picnic shelters and restrooms. Then, make your way over to Jaycee Park, which is slightly smaller at a quarter of an acre but provides some gorgeous waterfront views. For a bite to eat, the dog-friendly Tight Lines Pub and Brewing Company serves up tasty pub fare, while the Beach Bumz Pub and Pizzeria specializes in Italian cuisine.
No matter where you go in Mansfield, you and your pooch will be greeted with panoramic waterfront views. This is quite a luxurious neighborhood, and the Spooners Creek Marina always makes for a great dog walk, as the two of you will be able to view an impressive range of boats and yachts. After your walk, head to Circa 81 Tapas and Cocktaileria. This dog-friendly restaurant prides themselves on their farm-to-table concept, with all of the ingredients used being fresh and locally sourced. If you need somewhere to stay, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Morehead City is also in this neighborhood and allows two dogs per guest room, with no restrictions on size. Just make sure to call ahead to ensure a pet-friendly room is available.
Just an eight minute drive south of Morehead City is the Atlantic Beach neighborhood of Money Island Beach. Here you will find the Fort Macon State Park, which is not only home to a restored Civil War-era fort, but also to a pristine, unspoiled beach. The beach stretches out for one and a half miles, pawfectf for a dog walk, but you and Fido can also take the 3.2 mile Elliott Coues Nature Trail to explore the park's marsh, maritime forest and sand dunes. For even more beach-side fun, Atlantic Beach is just nearby, with two miles of white sand to stroll on.
Emerald Isle is just a 30 minute drive from Morehead City, and its rich natural diversity makes it worth the journey. The best place to experience this is at the Emerald Isle Woods, a 41 acre park complete with a pier, floating docks, picnic areas and grills. The park is also home to a network of hiking and birding trails, from which you and your pup will be able to see everything from white-tailed deer to woodpeckers. If you are feeling hungry afterwards, Lazzara's Pizza and Subs is an authentic Italian restaurant with five dog-friendly outdoor tables.