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Exploring Down East, October 10 & 11, 2020

Micro Travel edition

What is micro travel? For us, its a one night trip... 18-20 hours tops.

Why? The virus situation made out travel come to a standstill... After a full 6 weeks of travel in Europe this summer was canceled due to COVID, we haven't traveled, eaten out or gone longer than a day trip since February. It was time to find a way to go, play, eat and stay... but do it safely.

7:45 AM- left the triangle bound for Beaufort, NC to attend the Old Beau's Farmers Market... looking for some handcrafted soaps and maybe a cool poster designed by a retired Art teacher (retirement goals). After researching online, we determined the open air market held on the courthouse grounds should be a safe excursion... and it was. Every vendor and shopper was masked and there were more hand washing/sanitizer stations than I've seen locally. We purchased soaps from Beaufort Apothecary & as well as market swag from the retired teacher.

Noon- Lunch time! Morehead City, NC is a waterfront port town with railroad tracks running right down the center of the main street. Friends had recommended Ruddy Duck Tavern for its great food, drinks and a covered outdoor seating area overlooking the water. It was great. After the enormous fish sandwich and oh so yummy crab cake sandwich we walked along the waterfront and found a park where one could picnic like a few families were doing in the afternoon sun. For adherence to NCDHHS safety protocols due to the virus, scenic location and wonderful food, we highly recommend Ruddy Duck Tavern.

1:30 PM Our First hotel room in a long time! We booked a room at Palm Suites through We were able to check in early and put on some exploring clothes for Fort Macon. This Civil War era fort protected the NC coast with a massive bunker. Today it's home to a large Visitors Center with lots of public access beach parking as the same entrance to the river that needed protecting has great fishing and recreation. Highly recommend a visit this spring as there were renovations on part of the bumber's chambers to recreate period correct doors and windows... but we aren't sure on the purpose.

3:30 PM- Another recommendation- Friendly Market in Morehead. You simply HAVE TO GO. The ready to eat, heat and eat, fresh bakery, preserved & pickled goods and great selection of wine... HAD we known exactly what this place offered, I would have planned a picnic. You should make it a number one "must do" while in the area. Great Picnic locations: Beaches around Fort Macon, public waterfront part in Morehead city, Public beach along the boardwalk in Atlantic Beach, Courthouse grounds in Beaufort! Everything we purchased was good... the Monster Cookies and Spicy Cheese Straws are my favorite.

5:30 PM Sundowners is a cocktail tradition for the boating community that Laney wants us to incorporate wherever we are using whichever mode of travel so we needed to find a restaurant for fresh seafood where I could hear the water and we could see the sunset. The Crab's Claw is located on the boardwalk in Atlantic Beach with two tiers of outdoor, oceanfront seating that serves a steam pot... one of our favorite dinners. We were sold and after a 30 minute wait for an outdoor table on the covered deck we enjoyed our sundowner. A mojito for me and a Caribbean Sunset for Laney. The drinks washed down a fabulous Caribbean curried shrimp appetizer and the mixed seafood in the steam pot was great. The corn was a little mushy but we did like the celery, carrot and onion that was included unlike many pots. We agree with the Trip Advior review of the establishment and wanted to add that they took all COVID safety precautions seriously.

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