The village of Oriental is often referred to as “the sailing capital of NC”, because there are three boats for every resident (or about 2700 boats, most of which are sailboats). This quaint little town with its Victorian homes was built where three creeks converge into the Neuse River. The town takes its name from a Union sailing ship that wrecked during the Civil War. Although there are a preponderance of sailboats, all types of boating is popular in this area, including power boating, canoes, and kayaks. The many creeks and marshes offer good fishing and opportunities to watch birds and wildlife.
Oriental’s main industry is commercial fishing and fresh fish are a mainstay at all the restaurants in town. The village is also known for its local artists and galleries. It has a quaint history museum that is open daily and there are walking tours of the historic areas of town. Folks are friendly here and people routinely wave to passers-by.