It’s the beginning of a new year, and Washington, NC has a lot to be proud of as we continue to grow. We credit this growth to new initiatives by the community and recognition from important organizations in North Carolina.

Did you know that Beaufort County has over 300 miles of shoreline? More room for activities on the water. Or that Washington has its own gin distillery? A bottle of 1000 Piers Gin makes a great souvenir. How about all of the fun-filled events that Washington organizations put on year-round? The Sails and Ales Festival will occur for the first time at the Washington Civic Center this year and is coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Tourism Development Authority (WTDA). There are so many fun things in store when you take a trip to Little Washington and outsiders are starting to take notice.

Looking back at 2019, Washington received acknowledgement from some important organizations in North Carolina.  The NC Rural Center named Washington the 2019 Small Town of the Year at the NC Rural Assembly. Washington received this award due to its’ community engagement, strong partnerships, and strides for diversity. Washington has its very own Underground Railroad museum that greets tourists from all over the world seeking to understand the harbor’s history.

Washington was one of six small towns across the country that made it to the finals to be featured on Hulu’s TV show “Small Business Revolution.” Ultimately Washington was not selected as the winner, but the PR press tour for the competition reached approximately 232 million people nationwide, creating great exposure for the town.

Speaking of great exposure, the WTDA has joined forces with WRAL Digital Solutions to reach a large network of online viewers through Spotlight web stories, themed videos, and more. This past weekend, the WTDA release a video to promote a dog-friendly Washington, which featured sights like Goose Creek State Park, Havens Gardens, the boardwalk, and Main Street. This video is the first to be released, so stay tuned for more hometown pride in our next video!

In 2018 Beaufort County saw the 2nd highest increased spending level in the state! The largest percent increases in visitor spending were seen in Onslow (8 percent), Beaufort (7.7 percent), Johnston (7.1 percent), Cherokee (7 percent) and Madison (6.8 percent) counties. Washington has seen a steady increase in the number of visitors that tour the town.

This year Little Washington is the face of the 2020 North Carolina Travel Guide. This travel guide is distributed across the country and is read by both in-state and out-of-state guests. The photo of Washington is featured on the cover and showcases Sound Rivers’ paddle trail camping platforms. The WTDA’s partnership with Visit NC also initiated a campaign in Washington D.C. to encourage people to visit the Original Washington.

If you didn’t know… now you know. We hope that this inspires our community to continue to share our accomplishments with visitors. At the end of the day, we are all proud of #ourwashingtonnc.