We've been traveling aboard our boat for the last 4 months. As you might imagine, we've stayed at a lot of great marinas. Our standards are pretty high. However, Son Rise blew the competition out of the water! From the moment we arrived we could tell Son Rise was a special place. Despite its size, they make every customer feel known, and important. The attention to detail is unparalleled! The docks are clean and very well kept, along with every other inch of the marina from the parking lot to the swimming pool. Son Rise offers many extra amenities such as: a community room with coffee available 42/7, beautiful, clean bathrooms and shower facilities, huge indoor heated storage, a huge pool and a nice laundry room. The entire marina is gated making it very secure. Our family was extremely impressed with the friendly and kind attitudes of everyone at Son Rise. It obviously starts with the Manager, Tim, and trickles down through the staff and even the other customers. My daughter even mentioned that Son Rise was exactly like Disney World. It magically looks perfect- though you never actually see the effort that goes into maintaining it so well. Son Rise has set the bar for how all marinas should be! We will absolutely be back.
Waterside Marina in Norfolk is an awesome place to stay. You definitely pay a high price for location, but it's worth it! You will be docked in the heart of Norfolk within a quick walking distance to pretty much everything. We loved being surrounded by all of the huge Navy ships and watching all of the interesting sights of the harbor. Waterside is right in the center of all of it, but very protected and safe. The docks are extremely nice and the dock hands are knowledgeable and helpful. If you are needing/wanting to stay in the Norfolk area, this marina would be my top choice.
Wormley Creek marina welcomes transient boats and I'm not sure you will find a more friendly place to stay! We were extremely pleased with our 2 day stay there. There are lots of mechanics onsight and a great boat store with pretty much anything you could need. They are also able to order things and have them within a day or two. The marina has a pool and a laundry facility. We rented a car to visit Jamestown and someone from the marina offered to take us to pick up the rental. We were also able to take our dinghy on a short trip to downtown Yorktown to explore and eat dinner. Wormley Creek is in a great location, has a super friendly staff, and very reasonable rates!
The New Bern Grand Marina Yacht Club has been one of our very favorite stops! The proximity to town is unbeatable! We loved being able to step off our boat and be in the heart of New Bern's charming downtown area. There were so many things for our kids to do and explore in the area. The marina itself is in a rebuilding state from a recent hurricane. The office is housed in a temporary building that is about a block away from the docks. They do have bathrooms and laundry, but the pool is still closed. The transient dock is brand new and extremely nice. We docked on the far side and struggled to get the marina wifi. My advice would be to try to dock closer to the gate at the end. You will have a shorter walk with laundry and closer proximity to wifi. The staff is very friendly at New Bern Grand Marina Yacht Club and they offered our family several suggestions on restaurants. We will definitely return!
Osprey Marina has an incredible reputation, and for good reason. The fuel price was notably lower than all other marinas up and down the ICW in the area. It's also extremely unique as it's a fresh water marina. The docks are in pretty good condition and there are lots of dock hands available to help. You also receive a really nice gift bag upon check in. And, you really can't beat the transient rate! On the other hand, it isn't the most family friendly marina because there is not much in the area and there is no courtesy car. You are in the middle of nowhere so you will spend a bit of money either renting a car or taking an Uber to the grocery store. The other downside is that laundry will really add up ($4 per load.) We will definitely return for the inexpensive fuel and dockage, but probably not for the amenities.
Georgetown Landing Marina is a great stop just off of the ICW. What the marina lacks, the town makes up for...making it a worthwhile stop! The transient dock is old and gets rocked significantly by every passing boat. Georgetown is a short walk through some beautiful old neighborhoods. We really enjoyed dining and shopping, as well as looking at all of the historical buildings in the area. Overall, we would return to GLM but probably try to avoid weekends as there was probably more traffic passing by and waking us regularly. The transient dock is also very exposed and would be extremely uncomfortable in bad weather (although we did not experience this first hand.)
Leland Oil Company is what it is...which is a safe place to dock your boat overnight. The main premise of this marina is for a huge fleet of shrimp and fishing boats; however, there is about 200 feet of transient dockage. We arrived late (about 8PM). Although we'd been assured twice that there was "plenty" of space on the transient dock, we arrived at a full dock. Thankfully, the other boat owners were extremely kind and moved their boats closer together to accommodate ours. It was a little bit of a frustrating situation though because we had called ahead and really didn't have a backup plan. If you are coming from the South on the ICW there aren't a lot of marinas close by. We would definitely stay there again if we needed to, but we would try to arrive earlier as reservations don't seem to mean anything.
Shelter Cove Marina has been a family favorite destination since long before we owned our own boat. So as you could imagine, it was truly a dream come true to dock our boat here for a week! It was everything we hoped it would be, and more! The marina itself is very well maintained. The entire staff is kind, helpful and very customer focused. There are security guards that walk around 24/7 and we felt extremely safe. There are amenities in the marina (bathrooms, free laundry, free bikes) as well as many restaurants. There is also a large grocery store (Kroger) that is a quick walk away. Plus some great shops! Shelter Cove does have beach access. It's a long bike ride though to get to the beach. The only negative about this marina is the proximity of some of the docks to the facilities. Hauling laundry to and from the laundry room was not easy. If you plan to use the laundry room a lot during your stay, you may want to mention that as you make your reservation and ask for the closest possible spot. Overall, we absolutely loved our stay at Shelter Cove! Definitely a Top pick as far as marinas go!
Hands down, Dowry Creek Marina is one of the best stops on the East Coast! The location, just minutes off the ICW, is an ideal spot between Elizabeth City and New Bern/Beaufort. The owners and staff at the marina are extremely welcoming and really make you feel at home. Amenities include an awesome pool, a well stocked store, a free laundry room with 3 washer/dryer sets, a lounge with books, puzzles and games, fuel, pump outs (even available at your slip), 3 private and very clean bathrooms/showers, and a courtesy car. The town of Belhaven isn’t large, but there is a good grocery store and several restaurants. The staff went out of their way to take care of everyone. Afternoon storms popped up on 2 of the days we were there. Both days the staff made their way around the marina checking on boats and helping people secure their lines. We travel with our two kids and they both remarked that they would like to stay at Dowry Creek Marina forever. The marina is extremely family-friendly and it felt like a true vacation staying there. We will absolutely be back and will probably choose to keep our boat there full time after we complete the Great Loop.