25 years of reporting in ENC: My favorite places
BEAUFORT & CARTERET COUNTIES, N.C. (WITN) - I have called Washington in Beaufort County home for the 25 years that I have been at WITN and as I continue my look back at those 25 years I’m taking you to some of my favorite spots I like to visit when I’m not at work.
The beauty, peace, and serenity are among the things I like most about Goose Creek State Park in Beaufort County. Another is the hiking trails that my dog Max and I enjoy. But there’s so much more to do at the park
Nick Botello is a Park Ranger and says, “Goose Creek is very popular because it is very family-friendly. If you like outdoors then your going to be coming out here.”
You can enjoy the water by swimming, kayaking, fishing, and boating, and you can enjoy the land by exploring and camping, including in several new cabins.
Botello says, “They’ve got AC, they’ve got heat inside of them. Queen size bed and two sets of bunk beds in the back.”
And the park is a great place to learn about nature and where you’ll find the unexpected, like cemeteries.
It’s believed there was an outbreak of disease on the southside of the river in the 1800′s, and to protect themselves and others, family brought their deceased loved ones across the river and buried them at what is now Goose Creek State Park.
Just down the road is Washington, another place I love and one that I have called home since moving here in 1997.
Catherine Glover is the Executive Director for the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and says, “Over 25 years it has been amazing to see this community just develop and to watch it keep its history but also look at the future growth.”
The downtown has seen an amazing rebirth. Glover says, “There’s been a lot of infrastructure done and ya know if you look at downtown right now compared to 25 years ago it’s completely different. The sidewalks are different, the buildings are different, there’s a nightlife. There are things to do. There are businesses open past nine o’clock. We have breweries. We have fun things for all ages now.”
The waterfront has seen a transformation too with a major facelift, the opening of the North Carolina Estuarium in 1998, and a new upscale community where houses are still being built. Glover says, “I just see continued growth and good things for our community.”
I also love hitting the coast and there are so many great beaches to visit, each with its own unique appeal, but one of my favorites is Fort Macon State Park. It’s a place that many of you also seem to love.
Fort Macon Park Ranger Paul Bridge says, “And we are one of the most visited of all North Carolina parks. We have a visitation of approximately 1.25 million visitors a year.”
Those who visit have a big, lifeguarded beach to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. And there are great amenities that make Fort Macon the perfect place for a day trip. Bridge says, “If you do go in the water then you got a bathhouse, a concession stand, parking is free.”
Just down from the beach, you’ll find plenty of history to explore with the fort itself and the visitors center that opened about 13 years ago, with new replicas of cannons currently being added. Bridge told me, “All of these things make Fort Macon a place that people like to come.”
All of these places I’ve visited are part of what I think makes eastern Carolina not just a great place to work but also to live and enjoy life.
Next month I’ll continue my look back at my 25 years of reporting at WITN reflecting on some of the hurricanes I have covered and what I still consider the worst.
To watch my June anniversary report on the impact of CMN on lives and a hospital you can click here.
To watch and read my May anniversary report on the biggest mystery I have covered you can click here.
To watch and read my April anniversary report on working through and covering a pandemic you can click here.
To watch and read my March anniversary report on familiar faces and changes through the years you can click here.
To watch and read my February report on my most impactful story you can click here.
To watch and read my January report on my first story I ever covered you can click here.
Copyright 2022 WITN. All rights reserved.