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An appreciated investment

Wake up, bright and early, with sun streaming into the room of an elegant Airbnb in a historic building. Mosey around the corner to grab a steaming hot cup of gourmet coffee, along with a fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon bun. Take a walk on the boardwalk along the river and have a gander at nature or the boat traffic. Rent a kayak or paddleboard to get a closer look at the river; if not, take a yoga class and get a massage. Dress up for an evening out at fine restaurant. Attend the opera at a historic theater.

Twenty years ago, the place described above would have been unrecognizable. That place would have been a drive away, perhaps New Bern, Beaufort or Wilmington.

Today, it’s not so very far away at all. In fact, it’s here.

Washington is slowly, and surely, joining the ranks of destination getaways. Its history, its charm, its beauty and its proximity to nature are its obvious draws. They are the foundation of the town’s appeal. But it is its people who have built on this foundation that are putting Washington on the map for adventurers — those looking for charm, beauty, good food and great places to stay, just a short car ride away.

They are artists who have formed their own collectives and opened galleries. They are small-business owners who sell anything from antiques to high-end women’s clothing, from spa services to escape-room adventures. They are bakers and restauranteurs; they are realtors and real estate investors. They are Beaufort County natives, and they are transplants who have chosen this place to call home.

Each one is investing not only of themselves, but also their money, into rebuilding downtown Washington. They are not recreating the past — a community center, where people did all of their shopping, from school supplies to groceries — but are creating a future, in keeping with the times. And the times declare a charming, historic town on the water, with great places to shop and dine, are in high demand.

For all those who are doing the work, a resounding, “Thank you.” Your investment is very much appreciated.