Open the windows, break out the hoodies, fire up the crockpot and pumpkin spice it up… summer has officially given into fall.

One of the things we love about living on the Carolina coast are the shoulder seasons… the months of Family walking down the tree lined streets in Oriental, NC.October, November, March and April where our friends to the North might be stuck inside and where us North Carolinians are enjoying what we lovingly call “porch weather”.

The story of the season is falling leaves, falling temps, fall festivals, fishing, food, football… did I miss any f’s?

With the cooler air comes a renewed sense of spirit. As summer waves goodbye, autumn invites us to come outside and live in a world without humidity. The crowds have returned home, the water is still warm, and 75 is a high, not a low. It’s pretty hard to resist being outside so why even try?

Brant Island Strings performing at the brewery in Oriental, NC.Man holding a Speckled Trout caught in the Neuse River.ECU football tailgating kids

Tight lines & full bellies

Young girl fly fishing in the Neuse River.

No matter the season, the fishing never stops… but fall reigns supreme. The wide waters of the Neuse and the warm waters of the local creeks prove to be one of the top fisheries on the East Coast year after year.

Brisk mornings on the water will put your angler skills to the test catching drum, tarpon, flounder, trout, stripers and more. Huge drum are spawning visitors to our rivers, and larger trout arrive and hang out for months in our local waters. It doesn’t get much better, kinda like when baseball and football are on at the same time… another fun October overlap.

Man holding a big Old Drum caught in the Neuse River.Man holding Speckled Trout caught in the Neuse River.
Speckled Trout caught in the Neuse River.Young man holding a large blue crab.
Man holding a big Old Red Drum caught in the Neuse River.Man holding a speckled trout caught in the Neuse River.

And this year we actually caught crabs until late-October. With the largest “King Jimmy” crab of the season caught on October 23rd! 2019 takes the prize for the best crabbing year we’ve had in quite some time.

Blue crabs caught in the Neuse River.Little boy holding up a blue crab caught in the Neuse River.

Suffice it to say, we’ve had many happy dinner tables lately. Check out few of our favorite neighborhood seafood recipes. It’s an exciting time of year for those that have a love of fishing and those that have a love of eating!

Let’s go festing

Ol Front Porch Music festival in Oriental, NC.We are surrounded by fall festivals that draw hundreds of thousands of people to the area, and lucky locals get to enjoy them right in our backyard! The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, NC Seafood Festival, MumFest and Oktoberfest to name a few have all been popular weekend hot-spots. Add in the Oriental Chili Cook-Off and neighborhood trick-or-treating and you’re totally booked for October.

Ol’ front porch music festival

This is my favorite festival of them all, just down the street in Oriental. Thousands descend on our little village to “band hop” around town the first weekend in October. From Cane Mill Road and Chatham Rabbits on the main stage to blueberry beer and bluegrass at the brewery, the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival rocks. Such a neat experience to walk the village streets on a fall day and hear sweet strum’n sounds on just about every corner.

Salty Dogs performing at the Ol' Front Porch Music Festival in Oriental NC.Brant Island Strings playing at the brewery in Oriental.Chatham Rabbits playing at the Ol Front Porch Music Festival in Oriental, NC.

Seafood festival

The first weekend of October is the NC Seafood Festival, the largest 3-day festival in the state. Morehead City has hosted the growing event for over three decades. Come and “catch” the excitement… there’s lots to see, do, and eat with vendors and artisans from all over the coast and the main attraction, the delicious seafood cooked up just about every way you can imagine. Bring your walking shoes and your appetite!

Seafood festival aerial
Awesome aerial pic courtesy of TriWork Studios


MumFest draws 100,000+ visitors to New Bern’s revitalized downtown waterfront for all of the Mumfestivities the second weekend in October. Festival-goers enjoy live music, boat shows, amusement rides, street performers, dog shows, shopping, a petting zoo, and lots of tasty treats.

New Bern, NC Mumfest flowers and rides.   New Bern, NC Mumfest flower arch.

O’town chili cookoff

Annual chili cook off attendees.

What’s better than all you can eat chili on a cool October day? At this delicious event, local chefs compete on the Oriental waterfront for the People’s Choice and Judges Awards and probably most important award of all……’best chili in town’ bragging rights! Perhaps we’re biased but Team AP sure does make a tasty bowl of chili. And we’re not the only ones, we were runner up for the People’s Choice award two years in a row and this year took FIRST PLACE 2019 People’s Choice!

Annual chili cook off team.Annual chili cook off team.

Halloween in the hood

Lion and Tigers and… Ninjas? A growing annual tradition, the kiddos (and kids at heart) love making their rounds through the neighborhood and showing off their costumes… and filling their pumpkins of course. The evening starts with a party at the clubhouse then BEWARE… ghosts, superheroes and princesses are let loose in Burton Village, and will no doubt be on a sugar high!

Kids trick or treating in the neighborhood.Neighborhood trick or treating at Arlington Place.Halloween trick or treating

As my great-great-great Aunt once wrote “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Lucy, I couldn’t agree more.

Sunset on Mill Creek
Arlington Place blog author Becca Lang. Story by Becca Lang

Hey there, I’m Becca. I live and work in Arlington Place with my husband Blair and kids Evie (13) and Keegan (10)... oh and our fur babies Gus (14) and Hank (4). We’re lucky to live in such a unique place and do our best to make the most of what our little slice of heaven has to offer.