At Albemarle Plantation, getting out on the water is easy and there’s no shortage of great nearby destinations to enjoy. From historic Edenton to secret beauty spots along the shore, our area is brimming with opportunity for boaters. We spoke with Albemarle Plantation residents and boating enthusiasts, Buzz and Barbara Savage, about their favorite Day Trip destinations.
You might say Buzz and Barbara Savage’s first ‘Albemarle adventure’ began about 20 years ago, when they got a postcard in the mail about the community. They visited Albemarle Plantation and took to it like a duck to… well, you know. A few years later, their new home at Albemarle Plantation was complete. It was perfect for long weekend getaways and was a lovely retreat from their then primary residence in Northern Virginia.
The Savages moved to Albemarle Plantation full time in 2010. There’s a lot to love here, but as boaters, they especially enjoy the marina and the full water access it affords them. Though they’re passionate about long range cruising in their 42’ Grand Banks Trawler, they also enjoy setting out on short local jaunts and day trips as a couple, or with friends and fellow members of the Osprey Yacht Club.
“One of the activities we’ve been involved with a lot is The Osprey Yacht Club Sail Racing program in the spring and the fall,” says Buzz. “On Tuesday afternoons, somewhere between six and 10 sailboats go out and race. They need a powerboat like ours to go out and anchor and be the committee boat. That’s where the racing committee runs the race. So, a lot of our day trips are just out here into the sound, maybe a mile from the channel entrance,” says Buzz Savage.
“We can sit and just watch the sailboats race. It’s very enjoyable, especially when there’s a nice breeze!” adds his wife, Barbara.
Any time of day or evening is a great time to enjoy the water here: “People enjoy going out, doing sunset cruises or sometimes they’ll anchor out and have dinner, watch the sunset, and then come back in,” says Barbara.
Day Trips Close by and Farther Afield
So what adventures lie just beyond the marina? Plenty!
“We like to just go out and anchor,” says Buzz. “There are a lot of places to anchor right here in the Yeopim River. And in the sound, there’s a favorite place we go to called ‘Secret Beach,’ he says.
Secret Beach is about 300 yards of beach right along the shoreline, just five or six miles from Albemarle Plantation. Folks with smaller boats and pontoon boats pull right up to the shore and picnic there.
“When we go, we usually anchor out and go swimming there, barbecue or put our dinghy in the water and go ashore,” Buzz explains. “We like to do that with our grandkids,” he adds.
Exploring Nearby Towns: Edenton | Hertford | Columbia
Day trips are an easy way to explore our colorful Inner Banks region. For a fun-filled day trip (or overnight), the charming small towns along the shore are a great destination.
Edenton, named ‘One of America’s Prettiest Towns’ by Forbes, is a quintessential gracious small town. This waterfront beauty is picturesque, historic and easy to explore.
“We like Edenton,” says Barbara. “that’s my favorite. We go there for dinner, spend the night, and come home the next day,” she says. “It’s perfect.”
“You can go up there just for lunch if you have a fast enough boat,” says Buzz. “Edenton’s a short ride by boat—about 15 miles.”
On the day we spoke, Buzz shared that there was a boat headed from Albemarle Plantation up to Edenton with their grandkids. What a great trip for memory-making! For boaters new to Albemarle Plantation, both Buzz and Barbara agree that Edenton is an ideal excursion.
“I’d recommend Edenton for that first trip,” says Barbara. “You come in right downtown, you don’t need a car, and you can walk from one end of the town to the other.”
With a long history dating back to the 1700’s, Edenton is graced with colonial architecture, historic sites and southern charm. Beyond history, Edenton offers canoe and kayak trails, biking routes and of course, great places to grab a bite to eat or a souvenir.
“There are plenty of restaurants and little shops…it’s just a great little town for a first-time boater,” Barbara says. “And, really, it’s a great place for your first adventure in the sound.”
Albemarle Plantation’s tips for first-time visitors to Edenton:
- Check out the Penelope Barker House, an 18thcentury residence turned Welcome Center where you can get a good overview of Edenton’s history and where to explore.
- Historic Edenton Trolley Tour: there are plenty of inviting avenues where you can stroll along and take in the historic homes, storybook oak trees and charm of the town. But this trolley tour, which runs about an hour, is a relaxing way to see all the super-scenic high points of Edenton.
- Enjoy lunch or dinner in Edenton’s charming downtown district. Seafood, cafes, coffeeshops, a diner… Which place is best? You’ll have to decide for yourself— trying them is part of the fun!
If you’re looking for an even closer destination, “The town of Columbia is straight across the sound from Albemarle Plantation,” says Buzz. “You can go there for lunch.”
The town of Columbia got its start centuries ago as a trading post on the Scuppernong River. Its annual fall Scuppernong River Festival draws people for a day of good food, arts and activities.
Columbia is small but still a great way to get out for a little excursion. “We’ve gone to Columbia with Yacht Club members,” Buzz says.
At around 180 members, the Osprey Yacht Club at Albemarle Plantation is an excellent way to connect with other boaters—whether for joint day trips or to participate in the Sail Racing program in the spring and fall.
About 20 miles from the Albemarle Plantation marina by boat (and only about 8 miles by car), is Hertford. In Buzz and Barbara’s Trawler, the trip to Hertford is about three hours up the Perquimans River.
“The Perquimans is a beautiful river,” says Barbara of the scenic journey to Hertford.
“Hertford has a small municipal dock to tie up to,” explains Buzz. “They have events that are nice, like Toast the Perquimans.”
An annual fall event, Toast the Perquimans is a celebration of local wine, craft beers with food and music along the Perquimans river. Historic Hertford hosts many events throughout the year, from musical performances to holiday illuminations, and more.
“We took our boat to Toast the Perquimans and spent the night—and we really enjoyed that evening!” laughs Barbara.
Albemarle Plantation shares a few of our favorite things to do in Hertford:
- Have a picnic under the pavilion and look out on the river, watch the water birds, and turtles at Hertford’s “quirky little landmark,” The Turtle Log.
- Stroll to Woodard’s Pharmacy for a fresh squeezed orangeade at the soda fountain
Just across the bay from Edenton…
“There’s a new marina that just re-opened—Mackey’s Marina—that had been a favorite of a lot of people,” Buzz informs us. “It’s in the town of Roper, across the bay from Edenton,” he says.
Now open under new management, Mackey’s Marina in Roper, NC, is a protected marina on the southside of Albemarle Sound, with a ships store, picnic areas and facilities. It’s also home to The Landing at Mackey’s, a restaurant open for lunch and dinner—with appetizers like fried pickles and sweet potato waffle fries with cinnamon maple sugar.
Though there’s no shortage of fun day trips for boaters at Albemarle Plantation, it isn’t always the destination that’s the main attraction. The gorgeous views around Albemarle Plantation are a constant source of inspiration. Going out on the water to witness them is richly rewarding.
”There’s so much around here if you just take the time to look,” says Barbara. “There’s so much natural beauty around us. And you’re always amazed,” she adds. “It’s always a different sunset, different clouds and birds to see…I like to say there are hidden treasures all over the sound here.”
Barbara says boating around Albemarle in the fall is especially spectacular. “There is a place, Bennetts Creek off the Chowan River, north of Edenton…” she explains. “In fall, oh my gosh—it’s like God took out his paintbrush. The colors are gorgeous, and there’s no one out there,” she adds. “It’s like time forgotten up there. We go up, anchor and spend the night sometimes. There’s usually another boat or two with us and you can launch your dinghy and ride up the river,” she says. “And this is all free for us to enjoy.”
Bennetts Creek is about four hours by boat from Albemarle Plantation and offers unforgettable natural beauty. “It’s incredible, and untouched by man—absolutely gorgeous out there,” says Barbara. “You just can’t pay for a view like that,” she adds.
Albemarle Plantation is fortunate to be set among such natural beauty, and unique coastal North Carolina towns. Our marina is the launching point for many an enjoyable hour—from afternoon excursions with friends, to destination day trips, or just quiet moments watching nature.
Why not start thinking about your next adventure on the pristine waters of the Albemarle Sound?
Buzz and Barbara Savage have been full time residents of Albemarle Plantation since 2010. They are members of the Osprey Yacht Club and have written articles for Waterway Guide, Salty Southeast Cruisers, and Marina Trawler Owners Association. Buzz was Commodore of the Osprey Yacht Club in 2015, and is currently serving as Marina Governor.
Thank you, Buzz and Barbara Savage for sharing your insight on exploring the priceless haven that is our amazing Inner Banks home. See you out on the water!