Snowbirds and sportsmen alike enjoy the mild weather in Eastern North Carolina when it comes to hiking, fishing and sailing.
Cold weather doesn’t always mean the end of water activities for Eastern North Carolina.
Fishing and duck hunting in Pamlico County are just some of the fun things to do on the water, according to Joyce Swimm, executive director for the Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce.
“Unless it’s freezing rain or something bad, no, it doesn’t keep people away,” Swimm said.
In fact, out-of-state fisherman are drawn to Pamlico’s waterside, too, and have been making calls in to the chamber and tourism offices to check on the weather.
“Since Pamlico is such a water county, we have opportunity to share our resources,” Swimm said.
She said the fishing is year-round, mostly because the weather is mild and Pamlico is surrounded by water on three sides.
“There’s always some kind of regatta or sailing activity going on here,” Swimm said.
Additionally, the county’s other big attractions on the water are canoeing boating lessons. The Oriental School of Sailing is usually busy with something, Swimm said.
In Surf City, Pender County Department of Tourism director Tammy Proctor says the county emphasizes its history when it gets cold outside.
Of note is the reenactment of the battle at Moores Creek National Park, usually in late Feburary as part of the “Stories from the American Revolution” education with the National Park Service.
“We let visitors know about these sort of events so visitors know what it’s like to be a local,” Proctor said.
Proctor said a lot of snow birds from northern states spend the winter months in the area, so the tourism department tries to advertise local events.
“We have vacation rentals [who are] very good at offering long-term rentals so folks can get out of the winter,” Proctor said.
While the weather and the water gets colder in the winter months, Proctor said it doesn’t usually put a bar on people’s plans.
“If you’re that gentleman in Buffalo, N.Y., you’ve already had 16 inches of snow, so that’s relative,” Proctor said.
Besides historical exploration, Pender County is home to the mountain sea trails that go from Pender County into Onslow county.
Proctor said the lower temperatures make for perfect hiking weather because it’s not too hot.
If you’d rather hit the beach, Surf City will be hosting its 16th annual Dolphin Dip charity event at noon New Year’s Day at the Roland Avenue beach access entrance.
In Atlantic Beach, people wanting to hit the beach on New Year’s can join in the Penguin Plunge at 1 p.m. at Alfred B. Cooper Memorial Park to benefit the Austin Vet Outreach and Rescue.
Entertainment will begin an hour before the dip at 11 a.m. with belly dancers, pirates and acrobats, according to the Dolphin Dip Facebook page. The event is free and open to the public. Proceeds from T-shirts and souvenirs will benefit Share the Table.
“We are a good alternative to some of these commercial beaches,” Proctor said. “Onslow and Pender are very similar in that we have some very nice beaches.”
Reporter Kelsey Stiglitz can be reached at kstiglitz@JDNews.com or 910-219-8453.