We still have a few weeks of great beach weather left this year! Today, the Outer Banks certainly make up some of North Carolina’s most popular beach vacation destinations. Before Highway 12, however, they were not as easy to get to for those seeking a vacation getaway. North Carolina’s Inner Banks were more accessible. In honor of beach vacations throughout history, today we are highlighting a publication designed to attract tourists to the Atlantic Hotel in Morehead City in 1885.
The publication has information about the beach, sailing, the “surf-bath”, and fishing. The Atlantic Hotel is described as a health resort. Page 18 (digital 22) of the publication lists advantages to Morehead City, the first of which is, “Its absolute freedom from malaria. This will be verified by every visitor who has spent the whole season at Morehead City.” How much did a stay at the Atlantic Hotel cost in 1885? $2.50 a day, $14 to $17.50 a week, or $45 to $60 a month. That roughly translates into $60 a day, $338 – $422 a week, or $1090 to $1450 a month according to the Purchasing Power Calculator from MeasuringWorth.com.
Before the ability to read reviews online, however, how might one check to see if it was a nice place to stay? Page 20 (digital 24) of the guide lists an assortment of people and their cities of residence who had stayed there the previous year to serve as references. Looking over the list, visitors traveled from as close as New Bern, NC and as far as Alabama and New York. Interested in knowing how much it would cost to travel to Morehead City from different places in North Carolina? Railway fares are published on page 21 (digital 25). The round trip fare from Raleigh cost $7.20 (approximately $174 in today’s dollars). From Atlanta, Georgia, it cost $26.80 (approximately $647 in today’s dollars).
Items like this provide an interesting snapshot of life, for some, in 1885.