Friday, January 25, 2008
The City at the End of the Highway: Oriental, NC
Though Oriental is out of the way, it's worth the travel time to get there. According to the "Visit Oriental, NC!" site, this upscale villa was established in the 1870's, making it a young pup compared to other NC coastal cities. This is obvious in the architecture (some of the trees look older than most of the houses) and the set up of the city, which seems to have been built along the water instead of centralized around a downtown area.
And a dragon keeps watch in a lagoon.
From what we saw and heard in the few short hours we were there, the people of Oriental seem bent on enjoying life, which means appreciating the vast water supply sitting at the tips of their toes. One can see rocking chairs, porch swings, and a variety of unusual wooden chairs and benches crammed on porches and scattered in yards and waterfront parks. I'm told they often have wine tastings (Croakertown, one of the shops in the area, hosted a wine tasting that evening.) Kayaking is also a favorite pastime.
As I mentioned earlier, Oriental is located where the Neuse meets the Pamlico Sound, and if you look at a map, you'll see three creeks snaking their way into the land nearby. At least one shop rents kayaks. We're going to give it a shot in the spring.
For more photos, check out our Oriental Gallery on Smugmug.
For more information on Oriental, go to http://www.visitoriental.com/history.html