Tourism is the very breath of Morehead City’s industry and economy. Every facet of local life is built around the allure of the environment and the optimization of its beauty and resources. Be it boating or fishing, seafood or coastal arts and crafts, the city is finessed solely to bring it to each and every curious traveler. The streets are lined with marinas, restaurants, shops and art galleries, all in celebration of Eastern North Carolina’s rich history and natural splendor.
Sport fishing serves as an important attraction for the area. In June of each year, Morehead is host to the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, which brings sport fisherman from all over the country to participate. Incredible cash prizes are awarded to the largest catches, which historically weigh in at more than 500 pounds. A sizable crowd of curious spectators gathers on the waterfront docks each time a marlin is brought to shore. The elaborate pulley system implemented to hoist and weigh these giant fish is a sight to behold.
The coves and inlets created by the surrounding waters have historically been the hiding places of notorious pirates, such as the ever-infamous Edward Teach (known more familiarly as Blackbeard). “Pirate culture” is celebrated to this day throughout the area, and many homes and storefronts unabashedly fly the Jolly Roger in their windows and on their flagpoles.