Cruising the ICW: Manteo, NC to Norfolk, VA
Date Posted: June 6, 2023
Source: Waterway Guide Explorer Magazine

The final leg of our journey up the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Key West heads for port in Norfolk, Virginia—the terminus of this remarkable blue highway. For the final stretch, get a taste of North Carolina's Outer Banks, discover charming port towns, scout for wildlife, reach back into history, and celebrate your arrival with Virginia's heralded bounty: oysters.


MILE 75 (+ 18 Nautical Miles East)
Beer-Batter Up
Manteo, NC

This Outer Banks enclave is well worth the side trip, starting with fish-and-chips at Lost Colony Brewery and Café. Take a taxi across the bridge for a stroll on the beach, which is largely empty (perfect!) this time of year.

TIE UP: Dockage at Manteo Waterfront Marina, Shallowbag Bay Marina, or Pirate's Cove Yacht Club & Marina.


Explore the Manteo, NC area in Waterway Guide Explorer.


Harbor of Hospitality
Elizabeth City, NC

Time your arrival for the month's first Friday, for the First Friday ArtWalk. Make a sweet caffeine run at Muddy Waters Coffee House, where you (and any four-legged crew) will be welcome, and the pastries are made from scratch.

TIE UP: Dockage at Mariner's Wharf Elizabeth City, Jennette Brothers Bulkhead, or Mid-Atlantic Christian University.

Explore the Elizabeth City, NC area in Waterway Guide Explorer.


Watch the Wildlife
Dismal Swamp Canal

The Dismal Swamp Canal, which opened in 1805, has a fascinating history involving the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. Now, though, the point here is wildlife: bears, bobcats, and river otters.

Explore the Dismal Swamp Canal in Waterway Guide Explorer.



MILE 0.4
History Lesson
Portsmouth, VA

Saunter from the waterfront of this naval seaport into the Olde Town Historic District, and then take in dinner
and a movie at the Art Deco–style Commodore Theater, which originally opened its doors in 1945.

TIE UP: Dockage at Ocean Yacht Marina or Tidewater Yacht Marina.

Explore the Portsmouth, VA area in Waterway Guide Explorer.


Home Port
Norfolk, VA

It's brisk in this harbor in November, but the eateries at the newly renovated The Market in Norfolk's Waterside District offer warm welcome. Feast at Rappahannock Oyster Co., and toast your journey.

TIE UP: Dockage at Morningstar Marinas - Little Creek, Cobb's Marina Inc., Little Creek Marina, or Waterside Marina

Explore the Norfolk, VA area in Waterway Guide Explorer.



Get all of the information you need for cruising the Atlantic ICW and the Myrtle Beach, SC to Topsail Island, NC area with a Print Waterway Guide Atlantic ICW 2023 Edition or a Print + Digital Subscription.







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