Come stay with us for the Down East Mardi Gras (February), Romantic Valentine's Day, Chocolate Festival (February), Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July, Pirate Festival (September), Seafood Festival (October), Halloween, Thanksgiving, Harker's Island Decoy Festival (December), and Christmas Holidays. Our newly renovated beach cottage is located Down East, off Harker’s Island Road, in the Straits Community, near Gloucester and Smyrna, North Carolina. This charming cottage has beautiful water views off the dock, access to fishing, kayaking (kayaks provided) fishing with casting nets (provided), and even crabbing with crab pots (pots provided). Catch your own dinner off the dock. If you are seeking relaxation, a place to get away from it all, and privacy….this is your vacation rental. Cottage is decorated throughout with gorgeous antiques and duck decoys, many from local carvers. All the comforts of home: • Full size, fully stocked kitchen with glassware, pots, pans, dish ware, coffee maker, and cook books for cooking beach cuisine. Upon request, a steamer can be provided, fueled with propane gas, to cook large steamed meals outdoors for a small family gathering. Consider cooking a Beaufort Boil….we can provide the recipe and suggestions on local venders to access for your seafood requirements • Breakfast nook in kitchen • Dining area that comfortably seats 4-6 • Cottage sleeps 4-6 comfortably, has 2 bedrooms, 3 full size beds, one full bathroom, and one half bathroom. The cottage does not have a washer and dryer. • Sit and relax on the front covered porch or back porch (for sunning), cooking out with grill, or simply relaxing in the sun. • Cable / TV satellite access at the Cottage; there is a TV with DVD player downstairs, and a TV and DVD player upstairs. Just 4 miles away is a local Red Box. We also provide a collection of DVD’s for entertainment. • Wireless Internet access is provided. We can also assist you with sending and receiving fax transmissions if needed. • There is more than ample parking at the cottage for your family, friends, watercraft, and other needs, as the cottage is located on over 3 acres of land. • Need your boat, golf cart, or ATV serviced or fixed while you are here…we can help…within 2 miles of our cottage you will find several local service providers. • We provide Kayaks (2) for your use or you can rent kayaks in Beaufort, N.C. Put in at our dock and spend the day picnicking, sightseeing, fishing, and exploring the many Down East inlets. • Gas Grill and, upon request, we can provide an extra large steamer, fueled by propane, for cooking all sorts of seafood. Fresh seafood is typically available roadside, as many local fisherman sell directly to the public from their own homes. Where to go and what to do: • Shackleford Banks. Take your own boat or a local ferry across to Shackleford Banks for swimming, fishing, shelling, sunning, and picnicking. Enjoy and be sure to photograph the infamous Shackleford Banks wild ponies which roam freely and can even been seen swimming in the water areas. • Harker’s Island Bridge area. There are several marinas located close by, as well as a public boat ramp at the Harker’s Island Bridge, no further than 3 miles from our beach cottage, where you can launch your boat, jet ski, kayak, sail, or simply swim and fish in the water. Recently, fishing piers, which are open to the public at no charge, have been built at the Harker’s Island bridge, to make your fishing experience that much easier. Also check out the Decoy Carver's Guild to purchase decoys. • Harker’s Island. It will take you mere minutes to get to Harker’s Island from the cottage. On the island are the Core Sound Waterfowl & Heritage Museum (ie: the “Decoy Museum” - a must see with an upstairs devoted to documenting and displaying heritage from many of our local communities), several seafood restaurants, Cape Lookout National Seashore, gift shops, a small grocery store, and bait and tackle shops. Harker’s Island hosts an annual Decoy Festival the first weekend in December which always draws a huge crowd. • Exercise, Sports, Diving. The Smyrna recreational fields are located close by with walking paths, tennis, soccer, softball/baseball and basketball courts that are open to the public. A mere 1 mile from our cottage is the well-known Poseidon Dive facility. You can arrange for half-day or full-day dive trips to several of our local area wrecks. • Beaufort, N.C. A short distance from the cottage, approximately 15 minutes, is the historic town of Beaufort – voted Coolest Small Town in America 2013! There you can enjoy dining at locally known restaurants such as Clawson’s, Aqua, Stillwater, and the Spouter’s Inn Restaurant. There is an abundance of shopping on the waterfront in Beaufort. You can take a sunset cruise, rent kayaks on the waterfront, and even rent a water taxi to take you to various locations nearby, including Cape Lookout Lighthouse, and Shackleford Banks. For the lover of history, the Old Burial Grounds, the Maritime Museum and Wooden Boat Building facility (part of the Maritime Museum) offer insight into the history and culture of this area. • Morehead City, N.C. Morehead City is approximately 20 minutes away. On the waterfront you can find charter fishing boats for half-day, full-day trips and even sunset cruises. There is also shopping and some of the best local restaurants and bars (Beach Bums Pizzeria, Jack’s, The Sanitary Restaurant, Ruddy Duck…to name a few). To learn about the unique history of our area, make sure to visit The History Place (museum) on Arendell Street. • Atlantic Beach, N.C. In Atlantic Beach, over the causeway, experience our beautiful Crystal Coast beaches! If you enjoy surf boarding, there is no better place to be! Also make time to visit the Civil War Era Fort Macon. • Pine Knoll Shores, N.C. In Pine Knoll Shores experience the amazing N.C. Aquarium. If you prefer a quieter beach experience, Pine Knoll Shores has several public beach access areas. Sea turtles have been known to nest in this area. • Cedar Island. Cedar Island is known for duck hunting, fishing, and the Cedar Island ferry which takes you to Okracoke Island. Cedar Island is approximately 20 miles from our cottage. • Ocracoke Island, NC. Take the Cedar Island Ferry (20 miles from our cottage) to Ocracoke Island and spend the day visiting this community. The best way to enjoy Ocracoke is by renting a bicycle or golf cart on the island in order to access local shops, bars, and restaurants. • Cape Carteret / Swansboro, N.C. Have children? MacDaddy’s in Cape Carteret/Swansboro is the place to go for bowling, go carts, batting cages, video games, wonderful food, and much more. • Fishing. Depending on the time of year, you will find flounder, spanish, wahoo, cobia, blues, kings, trout, snapper, puppy drum, and mullet in abundance. There is also clamming and the local salty oysters are amazing. Catch your own fresh shrimp. • Diving. There are numerous diving opportunities found in this area. The Crystal Coast is known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” To access these wrecks, you can take your own boat or use one of many dive shops located throughout the county. Poseidon Dive facility is a mere 1 mile from our cottage. You can arrange for half-day or full-day dive trips to several of the local wrecks. • Churches. There are churches of many denominations within a short drive from the cottage. Walk to and visit the historic Straits United Methodist Church, only 100 yards away. The church has weathered many a downeaster storm, and the beautiful historic architecture exists to this day and is worth seeing and enjoying at a Sunday Service with the friendly members from the Straits community. • Entertainment. Our cottage is located in a very quiet area, but within a short drive of restaurants and bars in the town of Beaufort which provide local live music on weekends throughout the year. During the summer, there is nothing better than enjoying a meal on Front Street in Beaufort, and then going to the Beaufort Docks to listen to local musicians. Also enjoy walking along the Front Street Docks to see the many motor yachts and sport fishing boats that call Beaufort home, or who are visiting on their travels up and down the coast. There are also many specialty shops for those looking for a good deal, or for a memento of their travels to this area. • Special events to consider when determining when to book your stay: * February: There is a Down East Mardi Gras, featuring the Cajon Ziedeko band Unknown Tongues, in February of each year. You should visit their website for exact dates. This is something locals faithfully attend and something everyone should experience at least once. All food is prepared New Orleans style. Make sure to bring your costume and dress in Mardi Gras appropriate attire * February. Need a perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? In February, there is the infamous, and local, Chocolate Festival, in Morehead City, NC at the Civic Center. Nothing is more romantic and entertaining. * September. The Pirate Invasion takes place in Beaufort, NC in September of each year. This is an outrageous, fun filled, weekend gathering. Bring your best pirate costume. * October of each year – the infamous Seafood Festival takes place in Morehead City, N.C. * Each Saturday, there is a local Farmer’s Market open to the public on the grounds of the Beaufort Courthouse. Purchase some local honey, vegetables, and/or crafts. * In Emerald Isle there is an annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. * Each summer, there is the wooden boat building event in Beaufort, NC. It is a must see. * December. The Decoy Festival takes place in Harker’s island and is the first weekend in December.