Downtown Morehead City, Inc. fosters a healthy downtown by promoting assets and maximizing economic opportunities while preserving our coastal lifestyle.


Downtown Morehead City is the premier year-round waterfront community in eastern North Carolina, known for its coastal lifestyle for residents and visitors.


Your contribution goes directly back into downtown Morehead City to support its many projects and endeavors. CLICK HERE to make your contribution.



Where is Downtown Morehead City?
The commercial and residential area from the NC Port to 14th Street and north to Calico Creek and south to Bogue Sound, including Sugarloaf Island.

What is the Downtown Morehead City, Inc.?
Downtown Morehead City, Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to making Downtown Morehead City a vital community. This is done through the Main Street 4-Point Approach to downtown revitalization strategy: Organization – Promotion – Economic Vitality - Design.

How did Downtown Morehead City, Inc. begin and why?
In November 1996, the Morehead City East division of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce determined it would be beneficial to the community to develop ways to improve business conditions to attract more people to the waterfront and Arendell Street.

In April 1997 a presentation was made about the NC Main Street Program and 65 people attended. From that group, a 17-member steering committee was formed, consisting of interested downtown business and property owners, Chamber of Commerce, Downtown MHC Merchant’s Association and town and county government officials.

This group reorganized itself into the present Downtown MHC Revitalization Association in July 1997. 

Morehead City became a Main Street Community in June 2000.

The organization voted to rename to Downtown Morehead City, Inc. in 2017.

Morehead City is an NC Main Street Community

Learn More



The Big Rock Blue Marlin Fountain serves as a perpetual trophy for the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament and the Big Rock Keli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament. All of the past and future winners of both tournaments are memorialized with a permanent etching on the base of the fountain. The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament organizers donated the 17-foot, 1400 pound, bronze, hand-crafted statue of a blue marlin leaping out of the water.

You are invited to purchase an inscribed brick paver which will be a permanent part of the fountain.  Orders are placed twice a year (June and December) and are often tax deductible contributions.  Three sizes are available and pavers start at $150.  The form to purchase is below.

Funds raised with the purchase help fund the maintenance of the fountain and also go into projects that help improve downtown Morehead City.

Big Rock fountain. Big Rock plaza, Morehead City, NC.


The appearance of a downtown is largely determined by the condition of its buildings, parking lots and public spaces. It also forms the basis of the public's overall impression of downtown.

Downtown Morehead City, Inc. has developed a Facade Improvement Grant to help business and property owners improve the exteriors of their businesses and properties, respectively.  The purpose of the program is to provide an economic incentive to:

  • Promote storefront rehabilitation
  • Preserve the character of downtown
  • Encourage aesthetic compatibility for improvements to facades of non-historic properties
  • Encourage the use of quality materials
  • Make landscaping and other site improvements that will enhance the appearance of downtown

The Matching Grant Facade application will be accepted for review from September 1, 2019 - November 30, 2019. Recipients will be notified by January 15, 2020 if grant is awarded.

This is a matching $1 for every $1 expended by the owner on approved facade improvements. Depending on the availability of funds a maximum that may be awarded per facade is $5,000 or a minimum of $5,000 of expended facade improvements/repairs by the owner.

Please contact our office with questions at 252-808-0440.



Lisa Rueh
Executive Director

Arrington Moore
Assistant Director

Board of Directors
Downtown Morehead City, Inc. 2018

Doug Brady, Bruce Caldwell, Steve Chalk, Fran Emory, Lee Hinson, Tony Holloway, Mark Kelly, Erin Meeks, Bill Rogerson, Chrissy Suralik, Dean Vick

Ex-Officio Members
Eugene Foxworth (Gene), Tom Kies, Keri McCann, Sandi Watkins



The Train Depot is equipped with:

Chairs: 64 Upholstered; 10 Black Plastic

Catering Kitchen: Refrigerator, Sink, Microwave

Tables: Round 60", 8 quantity, seats 8 adults, table cloths 120" to floor/90" with overhang
Rectangular 8' x 2.5', 6 quantity, seats 10 adults, table cloth 10' by 5'

NOTE: Table cloths are NOT supplied. Renting tenant must provide (rent/purchase) own for event. Sizes are listed above for convenience and should be checked by renting tenant.

Train Depot Building Layout (PDF)

Book The Train Depot

If you're interested in booking the Train Depot for your event, please email (info@downtownmoreheadcity.com) or call us (252-808-0440) for availability as it books up quickly.

Rates are detailed on the contract link below but are as follows:

$25 Administrative Fee

$40/hour nights and weekends or $30/hour during business hours M-F from 9-5

$100 refundable security deposit

$80 alcohol fee (only if being served)


Morehead City Planning & Inspections Department provides a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs, business developers, and property owners to meet with staff to learn about applicable City requirements for opening a new business in existing locations, as well as guidance on new commercial construction and development projects in Morehead City. During these meetings, City staff from the Public Services, Fire, Police, and Planning and Inspections Departments will be available to help guide you through City permitting processes. Staff can also help make the applicant aware of other applicable federal and state agencies which may have jurisdiction over the project.