10 Best Things to Do in Havelock NC

Havelock, North Carolina is an interesting place with a lot of natural beauty.

You can find forests and creeks throughout, as well as the Neuse River, so it’s no wonder that settlers chose this area very early on.

There were fishermen, woodsmen and farmers living in Havelock before the Revolutionary War!

When it came time to name the city, people in the area chose to name it after General Henry Havelock, who was a British military general responsible for saving several citizens who were held hostage during the Indian Rebellion.

During the 1850s, Americans still admired some British leaders.

After all, Britain is America’s motherland!

Now there are loads of attractions and sights to see in Havelock, so let’s explore them.

Neusiok Trail

Neusiok TrailSource: Flickr.com/Patrick Mueller | CC BY 2.0 GenericPin

The Neusiok Trail is 21.1 miles of beautiful scenery in Havelock. It’s considered a point-to-point hiking trail, and a moderately challenging route.

On average, if you walk the whole trail, it will take you a little over 6 hours to complete, so make sure you’re well-equipped with lots of water and snacks for the trip and make a day of it!

It’s a popular trail for birdwatching, hiking and backpacking, which means that if you go during high-traffic times, you’re likely to see other people on the trail.

You also have the option to do the 2.7 mile out-and-back beach section of the trail. It’s an easy section of the trail and will only take 50 minutes to complete.

You can bring your dog with you on the trail, and in most sections your pup will have to remain leashed, although there are some off-leash areas along the beach section of the trail.

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Address: 2945 State Rte 101, Havelock, NC 28532, United States

Pine Cliff Equestrian Trail Head

Pine Cliff Equestrian Trail HeadSource: Flickr.com/Patrick Mueller | CC BY 2.0 GenericPin

The Pine Cliff Equestrian Trail Head is a section of the Croatan National Forest devoted to horse riding.

There’s an equestrian parking lot where you can load and unload horse trailers, cars, etc.

There isn’t any running water at the parking area, although there is a restroom area, so make note of that.

There are actually several equestrian trails in the Croatan National Forest, and you can find a map of them here.

The Pine Cliff Equestrian Trail is maintained by the Back Country Horsemen, which is an interesting group to consider if you want to check the trail out with other like-minded people, or if you want some expert guidance.

You can find membership information here.

Address: Havelock, NC 28532, United States

Fort Macon State Park

Fort Macon State ParkSource: Flickr.com/Kamoteus (A New Beginning) | CC BY 2.0 GenericPin

Want to get a little something more from your park experience?

The Fort Macon State Park is a restored pre-Civil War fort.

You can spend all day learning about the history of the area, but be sure to plan time to check out the rest of the park afterwards!

Not only is the park home to a 5-sided fort with both above and below-ground sections that was originally built in response to pirate attacks in the state, monthly Civil War reenactments, musket and cannon demonstrations, and guided tours, there’s a large section of gorgeous beach!

If you walk out on the jetty you have the opportunity to find starfish, sea urchins and various mollusk shells during low tide.

So bring a beach chair and your favorite book and enjoy a relaxing day at the beach!

Address: 2303 E Fort Macon Rd, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512, United States

New Bern Battlefield Park

If you’re in Havelock for vacation or want to check out something different in the area, the New Bern Battlefield Park is just a short drive away.

It’s a 30 acre park that features things like a “History Walk” which is a sort of self-guided tour featuring 35 interpretive panels, and a gigantic concrete map that marks historic sites of note.

Some of the features of interest here are the granite monument that the 26th North Carolina Regiment Reactivated donated to the park, which is 11.5 tons of granite, the Visitor’s Center, and bridges that go over the wetlands and lead to the breastworks (temporary fortifications).

Call ahead (at least 3 days prior) for a guided tour from a member of the New Bern Historical Society.

Information can be found here under “Guided Tour Information”.

Address: 300 Battlefield Trail, New Bern, NC 28560, United States

Croatan National Forest

 Croatan National ForestSource: Wikimedia.org/Lauren "Lolly" Weinhold | CC BY 2.0 GenericPin

If you want to tick visiting a national forest off your bucket list, then Croatan National Forest will fit that bill.

There are actually 4 national forests in North Carolina, which means it’s a member of an exclusive club, but it’s the only one that can say it’s truly a coastal forest.

There are 160,000 acres in the forest, and you can find some interesting raised swamps that are called pocosins, as well as saltwater estuaries, bogs, and pine forests.

You can find loads of wildlife at Croatan, like deer, turkeys, ospreys, black bears, alligators and wading birds, as well as carnivorous plants like pitcher plants and Venus fly traps.

If you decide that a few hours isn’t enough, you can camp at Croatan, as well as swim, canoe, hike, fish or hunt.

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Address: Havelock, NC 28532, United States

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresSource: Flickr.com/Jack | CC BY-SA 2.0 GenericPin

If you’re interested in the marine wildlife in North Carolina, then check out the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.

It’s home to more than 4,000 animals, and you can experience more than 50 different exhibits.

You can giggle while watching jovial river otters at play, pet stingrays, and feed some of the animals.

Make sure you visit the “Living Shipwreck”.

It’s a replication of a German U-352 submarine, as well as Blackbeard the pirate’s Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Some other popular things to see at the aquarium aside from the otters and stingrays include shark exhibits and sea turtles.

To find out what’s currently going on at the aquarium, visit their website.

Address: 1 Roosevelt Blvd, Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512, United States

AMC CLASSIC Havelock 6

In the mood for a movie?

Check out the AMC Classic Havelock 6 movie theater!

With an AMC Stubs Premiere membership, you can get discounts on things like popcorn and drinks.

They have loads of different flavored drinks, like Sprite Peach, Mello Yello Orange and Raspberry Lime Hi-C with Coca-Cola Freestyle.

Their app makes it easy to put in mobile orders for concessions so you don’t have to wait in line, which means you won’t miss a minute of cinematic adventure.

And certain Stubs membership levels allow you to get discounted movie prices on Tuesdays, which means you can plan trips in advance to save some money.

To find out what’s showing, visit their website here.

Address: 500 McCotter Blvd, Havelock, NC 28532, United States

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry PointSource: Wikimedia.org/LCpl Andrea Cleopatra Dickerson | Public Domain Mark 1.0Pin

One of the more interesting things about Havelock is that it welcomed a Marine Corps Air Station in the 1940’s, so residents are quite used to the noise of aircraft takeoffs and drills.

There’s even a sign at Cherry Point that reads “Pardon Our Noise, It’s the sound of freedom”!

You’re able to drive around the base as a civilian, but for tours it’s a better idea to reach out to the Base Information number, which you can find at the bottom of the page here.

You can check upcoming Cherrypointairshow.com on this website.

Address: MCAS Cherry Point, NC 28533, United States

Neuse River Recreation Area

Neuse River Recreation AreaSource: Flickr.com/Ken Lund | CC BY-SA 2.0 GenericPin

The Neuse River Recreation Area has a lot to offer for both experienced campers and beginners.

Carefully pay attention to any directions you’re using to get to the Neuse River Recreation Area because the entrance is almost a mile down a nondescript, almost hidden side road.

There are several nature trails that encircle the campground, making hiking a popular activity, and bird lovers have the opportunity to spot cardinals, jays, eagles, hawks, ibises and herons. If you go, don’t miss Flanners Beach.

It’s on the shoreline of the Neuse River, and you get to it by going down the stairs off the boarding campground.

Swimming is allowed here, and fishers can catch both saltwater and freshwater varieties, like Striped, Rock and Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Sunfish, Gar and Flounder.

Because of its centralized location, you can get to beaches and major metropolitan areas just a few miles away.

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Address: Flanners Beach Rd, New Bern, NC 28560, United States

Nightmare Factory Haunted Attraction

If you’re in the area during Spooky Season, there’s no way you can leave before you check out the Nightmare Factory Haunted Attraction!

It’s a walk-through style haunted house, and you can guarantee you won’t leave without getting at least one jump scare- even if you’re one of those people who “don’t get scared”!

The setting is an industrial complex or factory that made tons of… questionable products during the early 1900’s, but then in 1923 the mistreated workers burned it down, solidifying “Albert Knight’s Factory”’s place among the long list of cover-ups in America.

The story goes that the factory was rediscovered in 2007 and now there are spooks that haunt the place.

There are lots of terrifying sights and sounds, as well as smells, movie-quality effects and makeup, tons of live actors, and frights you’d only expect from horror movies.

You don’t even have the comfort of knowing that the actors can’t touch you, because they probably will. Already been once? No problem. They change it up every year.

It’s one of the best haunts in the state, so I definitely recommend that everybody goes and checks it out, and not just once!

Address: 29 Park Ln, Havelock, NC 28532, United States


Havelock, North Carolina may not be one of the most well-known cities in the state, but it definitely has enough attractions to make it worth a visit.

Whether you want a chill movie night, a peaceful nature walk, an intense hike, or a night of frights, Havelock has you covered!

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