Attractions in Havelock, NC

Many Crystal Coast visitors find themselves stopping into Havelock, NC for military attractions like restored Harrier jets and the Croatan National Forest, but there are two events each year that are destinations unto themselves. Held every other year, the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Airshow is one of the largest events in all of Eastern North Carolina, complete with skydivers, air acrobatics and static displays of historical planes. Havelock holds several annual events during the year, however, autumn is the best time to find some "heated" competition with the town's annual Chili Festival

Aviation lovers will certainly see their imaginations come alive in Havelock. As the home to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, the influence military planes have had on Havelock is hard to miss. Visitor’s driving through town can see two static plane displays from Highway 70. Located on the westbound side of the highway and in the middle of town you’ll find the static monument of an 8V-8A Harrier plane. Also located by the town’s 9/11 Memorial and the Public Safety Center, this iconic image of Havelock has been a mainstay of the town since 1986 and is even located on the town seal.
Havelock’s more recent addition of the Havelock Tourist and Event Center brought even more military monuments to the city’s main thoroughfare. Located on the eastbound side of Highway 70, just in front of the Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express, an 8-6E TRAM Intruder marks the gateway to the town’s Aviation Exhibit on Tourist Center Drive. Located at the end of this street you’ll find three more planes outside the tourist center, including a F9F-6P and RF-4B Phantom II, which were both used for photo reconnaissance, and an A-4 Skyhawk that was commonly used for supporting missions during the Vietnam War. Of course, these planes are only part of the exhibit, which continues inside the Tourist Center with a bi-plane known as an F4B-3 and several rotating exhibits of planes, photographs and other historic moments in Havelock’s aviation history.

Havelock’s most recent attraction is the 9/11 Memorial, located on Highway 70 between the Havelock Police Department and the Harrier monument. Erected on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, the 9/11 monument consists of a charred beam from the World Trade Center that’s surrounded by four sections representing two planes from the World Trade Center, one from the Pentagon and one from Shanksville, Pa. Once you stop to remember that Havelock is a military town that was greatly involved with the subsequent  U.S. missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the inscription carved into the side of the 9/11 monument carries more weight. It simply reads: “We Shall Never Forget.”

From the town’s newest attraction we move to a family favorite that’s actually older than the town itself – The Croatan National Forest. The national forests and Neuse River that surround Havelock have a reputation for great camping, fishing, boating and hunting that was even recognized by legendary baseball player, Babe Ruth. From a weekend at Flanners Beach to a day hiking the Neusiok Trail, Havelock has plenty of outdoor fun to offer at just about anytime of the year. 

It’s no secret that Havelock has a lot to compete with when it comes to drawing visitors. To the west it has historic New Bern, to the north the sailing capital of Oriental and to the east, North Carolina’s prized Crystal Coast beaches. But even among all that competition, there’s no doubt that Havelock has several attractions that are worth a trip all their own.

Featured Local Businesses
North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
Olympus Dive Center
The Boathouse at Front Street Village

General Attractions

Walter B. Jones Park
1 Government Avenue
Havelock, NC
(252) 447-1101

October 2021 Event has been cancelled  Walter B. Jones Park in Havelock is the place to be for the first taste of gourmet chili, wings, free music, lots of vendors and fun at the North Carolina State Chili Festival. The winners of the Red Chili, Green Chili, and Salsa competitions will represent...more about Chili Festival

U.S. Hwy. 70 and Cunningham Blvd.
Havelock, NC

Vehicles passing the intersection of U.S. 70 and Cunningham Boulevard in Havelock, North Carolina often slow for a good look at the AV-8A Harrier jump jet decorating the corner. Mounted on a pedestal in a circle of flags, the AV-8A celebrates aircraft design history. Although Cherry Point is home to the...more about Harrier Monument

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
Cherry Point, NC
(866) WINGS NC (946-4762)

May 2020 - Cancelled  Held every other year, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Air Show is the state's largest air show on the East Coast's largest Marine Corps air station.

This year's event will offer a Friday Night Show along with daytime performances on Saturday and Sunday.
Friday's show will feature nighttime...more about Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Air Show

404 Miller Blvd.
Havelock, NC
(252) 447-5616

At one time housing the only telephone in town, The Trader Store became just another derelict building by 1990. The Havelock Historical Preservation Society grew out of an ongoing effort begun in 1998 to restore the landmark Store on Miller Boulevard. The Trader Store, originally owned by Hugh and Elsie Trader...more about The Trader Store

The Boathouse at Front Street Village

State and National Parks

Ranger's Office, 141 E. Fisher Ave.
New Bern, NC 28560
(252) 638-5628

Located between New Bern and Emerald Isle, the Croatan National Forest is a 161,000 acre coastal and inland swamp habitat. The Croatan Forest is home to the largest collection of carnivorous plants in any national forest and it is near the northern range limit of the American alligator. It also has...more about Croatan National Forest

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