Pamlico County and Pamlico Sound get their names from the Native Americans that inhabited the area called the “Pampticoe”. This area is centered on the lower coastal plain of North Carolina and has abundant land and water. We have 235 square miles of water and 341 square miles of land. Marshlands, cypress forests, open sound waters, rivers and mixed hardwood forests make up this coastal county. The village of Oriental is located on Pamlico Sound at the mouth of the Neuse River. The Neuse River is the widest river in the U.S. To the south, the Minnesott Ridge was formed at the shoreline of an ancient ocean called The Pamlico Sea. This prehistoric sea once occupied the entire southeastern basin including the Everglades. Lake Okeechobee, located in Florida, is a remnant of this ancient ocean.
After the Tuscarora War of 1711, the Scottish and English started to settle here. Commercial fishing, forestry and farming have been the major enterprises since the county was settled. Considering Oriental was built around fishing in its early days, it should come as no surprise that people here still enjoy life on the water today with our many fishing tournaments, outstanding summer camps with youth sailing programs and a slew of regatta's. You can say that we have a larger population of boats than full time residents. The 2019 census count was just under 900 people with about 3 boats per person! We are known as “The Sailing Capital of North Carolina” for a reason.
If you love to fish, kayak, paddle board or take a nice, quiet sail on one of our beautiful days, Oriental would be the just the place you would want to pay a visit. Our sub tropical summer climate can be hot and humid, but we are cooled by the sea breezes. In the winter, the average temperature is in the upper 40’s. We have had a dusting of snow on occasion but, more often than not, it's gone within a few hours. This is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and our friendly village is a great place to stay, for a short vacation or more long term.