The chances are, that if you have orders to MCAS Cherry Point, you have probably heard many rumors about it. Cherry Point sits in a sleepy town called Havelock, NC. Like all duty stations, there are good things and bad things to hear. The list of good things is rather long. If you are a fast-paced city person you may struggle here. But, we’ve got you covered on great things to do near MCAS Cherry Point.
Everything You Need to Know about MCAS Cherry Point
Where to Live Near MCAS Cherry Point
Starting with the trickiest subject first. In September of 2018, Hurricane Florence obliterated this region of North Carolina. New Bern, NC took the surge of the storm. As this is one of the more popular areas to live off base, this was quite significant. Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Florence, base housing was completely shut down to on-coming families until as recently as July 2019.
To give a little location reference, MCAS Cherry Point sits approximately 40 minutes inland from the nearest ocean beach. It is next to a beautiful river and the limited housing that is available on Cherry Point itself has beautiful views to offer. As you head west from Cherry Point you have New Bern as a housing option. If you head towards the beach you have Newport, Morehead City, and Beaufort.
New Bern is approximately a 25-minute drive to the installation and is a popular place to live. One of the best—and most popular—neighborhoods to live in is Taberna. It is beautiful, well maintained, and comes with a hefty HOA fee. They rarely allow renters, so this would be an option if you were looking to buy.
If renting is your best bet, try Brices Crossing. It is very close to the best school in the area, Creekside Elementary. There are a lot of elementary-aged children in this neighborhood and plenty of military renters. This is also a great neighborhood to buy in as it is incredibly affordable.
If you are looking to be closer to the beach or aren’t worried about schools, check out Morehead City or Atlantic Beach, which offers numerous bars and beachfront rentals.
MCAS Cherry Point is taking new tenants now. Many of the homes received new roofs and they have been working diligently for almost a year to get the housing situation under control on base.
Where to Eat Near MCAS Cherry Point
Finding good food is an important part of any new duty station. New Bern has a plethora of wonderful restaurants! Food is done very well here. Add these restaurants to your list of things to do near MCAS Cherry Point, and you won’t regret it.
One great place to try is Beer Army, a fabulous burger and beer joint that is decked out in all military decor. They have wonderful hard ciders and a huge selection of meat-based dishes and drinks.
Probably the most popular and well-known restaurant in New Bern is Baker’s Kitchen. They offer big hearty meals and breakfast served most of the day. Once owned by a local Mennonite family, it is notorious for large portions and delicious baked goods.
Dank Burrito is perfect for Taco Tuesday and offers a great spin on the traditional burrito. Dank Burrito has both meat and vegetarian options and is kid-friendly. This company also has a food truck on Cherry Point numerous times per week. This great, low-key restaurant can be found in Morehead City. One favorite is the “Tree Hugger” burrito.
Beaufort, North Carolina is home to half a dozen excellent seafood restaurants. There’s always a debate on which one is better, but most people can agree that any found near Beaufort’s waterfront is a winner. The ones you will hear the most about are the Sanitary Fish Market, Moon Rackers, The Dock House, Finz, Front Street Grill, and Blackbeard’s Bar and Grill. You really cannot go wrong with any of them. Coastal North Carolina does seafood well.
Things to do near MCAS Cherry Point
While there are many things to do near MCAS Cherry Point, some of them will require a drive. The drive from New Bern, NC to Beaufort, NC is about an hour. This is a drive that you will come to know well as the list of things to do is spread out across this region.
Tryon Palace. The was the first government seat in North Carolina. The Palace is located in New Bern and does events numerous times per week. If your family is into history at all you will come to use Tryon Palace as a wonderful resource.
Creekside Park. This the “the park” in the New Bern area. Everyone goes here, everyone meets here, everyone uses it as a direction landmark.
Atlantic Beach City Park. Home to a great park, wonderful climbing trees, a skate park, most of the larger events (helicopter egg drop), and a splash pad! If you want to be outside, but the beach and sand isn’t your first choice, this is a safe place to spend the afternoon.
Fort Macon State Park. This is one of the places we enjoyed the most. It hosts many free events, has an amazing interactive free museum, and has beach access with facilities. Fort Macon is a very understated activity in the area. It’s a great place to put on your list.
Hammocks Beach State Park. Another state park, although on the smaller side. Hammocks Beach State Park offers weekly nature walks with a ranger, Sunday morning trail runs, and Kayak rentals.
Life is much slower in Costal Carolina. There is nowhere to be in a hurry. There is nothing more important than sweet tea and fishing. You may have to search for entertainment, but there are many wonderful areas to enjoy, especially if you are an outdoorsy person.
There are many things to do near MCAS Cherry Point, especially if you take the time to interact with the locals—they have the best secrets to tell and know so much more about the area than you could ever imagine. Coastal Carolina duty stations have become the “rest areas” of duty stations. Enjoy your time in here, take like a little slower and enjoy the rest.
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Check out Living Like a Local: MCAS Cherry Point