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Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

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Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

Need advise on the following places since we are using Hilton points and travelling with 6 adults over Christmas to visit family stationed at Camp LeJeune: Hampton Inn Kinston, Hampton Inn New Bern and Hampton Inn Moorehead City. I can get 3 rooms in Kinston for less points than at New Bern or Moorehead City but am afraid it might be a real dump?? Also flying into Raleigh airport because of free flights with Southwest Airlines. OR is it worth the extra drive to stay at Hampton Moorehead City? Kinston would probably be the most practical but am uneasy because it's rated so much lower on the point scale at Hilton.

New Bern, North...
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1. Re: Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

The Hampton Inn in Kinston is actually decent place to stay, but it is the furthest of the three locations from Jacksonville, but its an easy drive to and from RDU airport (about an hour and a half from airport). Kinston to Jacksonville, about an hour to hour 15min drive. The lower point value for the Hampton Inn in Kinston is probably because Kinston does no have a lot to offer tourist. Whereas New Bern and Morehead have a lot more to offer, its a destination people want to stay and visit. Kinston is more of a place people stay for a night or two on their way to some place else.

Morehead and New Bern are both about 30 to 45 min. from Jacksonville.

The Hampton Inn in New Bern and Kinston are older Hamptons but they are well kept.

All three are located right off of highway 70. As far as safety I would feel safe at all three Hampton Inn's.

Hope this helps.

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2. Re: Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

That really helps! Thanks so much!

Charleston, SC
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3. Re: Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

I just stayed at the Hampton Inn Kinston, NC last month when I was at Camp Lejeune for business. It really is convenient, but there is not much there at all in regards to sightseeing or activities. It is a safe place, rooms are decent, and the staff is friendly. Just be ready for the shock of being in the middle of nowhere. I ended up moving hotels after the first night of not finding anything to do and went down to Wilmington. The difference was night and day. Wilmington has plenty to offer and the location is great. In my opinion you can't go wrong with either north or south of Jacksonville. It's a shame that the Hampton Inn Jax is now a Baymont. It was much more convenient!

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4. Re: Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

I agree - it would have been so much easier to stay right in Jacksonville. Have booked rooms at Kinston since only staying there to sleep. Spending all our time in Jacksonville. Any suggestions on good places to eat and whether it's worth to spend the day in Morehead City or other places by the ocean?

Raleigh, NC
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5. Re: Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

I think you should definitely check out Swannsboro, a village about 20 mi. from the main gate with several nice restaurants in town and on the water. Another 5-6 miles will get you to Emerald Isle with even more options. Morehead is about 35 miles from Jacksonville and worth a visit, as is Beaufort, anothe r10 or so miles down the road. I really think you should spring for the axtra points and stay in Morehead. I just feel your family will welcome the change of scenery as well

Charleston, SC
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6. Re: Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

I took a drive north of Jax to checkout Emerald Isle, Morehead City, and Atlantic Beach. In my opinion (keep in mind that i'm a single guy and 27) I felt that there was not much out there to the north. However, it is beautiful. Taking the drive from Emerald Isle to Atlantic Beach was gorgeous. Beautiful houses and beach scenery. My idea of a good "touristy" time is a good selection of different cuisine, good selection of different bars, and lots of things to sightsee. If that's what you are looking for, I'd recommend Wilmington. I sampled a different restaurant every night and never felt like I was bored. Plus, Wrightsville beach was 5 minutes away from where I was staying, downtown Front st. was 5 minutes away. Best place I tried was Circa 1922 which was a phenomenal tapas-style bar with an awesome wine selection. A little pricy, but absolutely worth it. Wilmington also has your horse and carriage rides, historic area sightseeing, your chain restaurants, and the beaches. Best of all worlds in my opinion. Either way, you can't go wrong with seeing what is outside of the Jax area!

-Mark

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7. Re: Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

Thank you for your recommendations. How far away is Wilmington from Jacksonville? Can you suggest a good seafood restaurant, especially where we could eat crabs?

Charleston, SC
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8. Re: Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

Absolutely! I'd recommend the Bluewater Grille: http://www.bluewaterdining.com/

Bluewater overlooks the marina, you can eat indoors or outdoors on the porches and have a great view of the harbor. Ambiance is casual and they occasionaly have live music there.

9. Re: Other places to stay close to Jacksonville

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