Art Stops on the NC Coast
Take an arts-style vacation or weekend getaway anytime along North Carolina’s breathtaking 300 miles of coastline. Check out the charming art galleries and artists’ cooperatives all year long. Distinct coastal seasons offer festivals, concerts and others arts-related events ranging from outdoor drama to jazz under the stars. Whether you are looking to browse through galleries or experience live entertainment, the NC coast has something for you.
Start your summer vacation with an evening performance of the outdoor drama The Lost Colony, the story of the first English settlers to the New World. The 74th season opens at the Waterside Theatre in Manteo. Start the morning with a visit to the Dare County Arts Council’s Art Gallery housed in a historic courthouse in downtown Manteo. Drive less than 20 minutes to Kill Devil Hills and treat yourself to handcrafted jewelry, pottery, glass, mosaics or paintings from the KDH Cooperative Gallery and Studios featuring the work of 40 Outer Banks artists.
Every Saturday from mid-April through mid-October hear local musicians play traditional music at the Saturday Market located in the Harbor District in Washington. While you shop for produce, artisan breads and seafood, enjoy the jam sessions open to anyone who would like to play. On the second Saturday of the month, artists sell their wares at the market. During your visit to Washington, tour the Inner Banks Artisans’ Center located on Main Street featuring 30 artist studios open to the public and also the home of the Union Alley Coffee House, a performing space. Also downtown is RiverWalk Gallery and Art Center, one of downtown Washington’s oldest galleries and an artist cooperative. For edgier work, check out the Lone Leaf Gallery and Custom Framing also located on Main Street. Then stop by the Beaufort County Arts Council’s Lane Gift Shop and Gallery, which showcases work from regional artists ranging from fine art paintings to wooden toys.
Stroll through the Cameron Art Museum, the largest art museum in Southeastern NC. The museum itself is a piece of art. The 40,000-square-foot facility was designed in 2002 by the renowned N.Y. architectural firm of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates. Walk around the museum’s grounds where Civil War Major General Robert F. Hoke made his last stand against Union soldiers comprised primarily of U.S. Colored Troops in the final fight for Wilmington on Feb. 20, 1865.
Also visit one of Wilmington’s premier art and craft galleries, New Elements, located in historic downtown. New Elements carries national and regional artists’ works including paintings, prints, sculpture, contemporary craft and jewelry.
For detailed information about historic sites, art and history museums, and more check out the ultimate resource for North Carolina’s Cultural Resources, NCDCR.
added: March 21, 2011
updated: May 31, 2012
Ideas & What To Do
Take an arts-style vacation or weekend getaway anytime along North…
Outdoor drama is a melding of literature and landscape. North Carolina…
All of North Carolina’s outdoor dramas are stars in their own…
Every summer theater groups across North Carolina bring history alive…
Here are a few fun facts about the long and storied history of outdoor…