Base Survival Guide Series: MCAS Cherry Point

Base Survival Guide Series: MCAS Cherry Point


This Base Survival Guide on MCAS Cherry Point is brought to you by my friend A (she prefers to stay anonymous) and Erin B. A's husband is a 100% Permanent and Total disabled Marine Corps veteran. He did 8 years of active service before getting out. They have 3 boys, all 3 have varying special needs or disabilities. They just moved back on base to Cherry Point! Erin is a Marine Corps wife and her husband has been an active duty Marine for 7 1/2 years. They have two dogs and a new baby! They’ve been stationed at four different bases and have gone through one deployment together.


What's the weather like at this base?

Summers are HOT. Like H-O-T. The humidity is really what gets to you, so I hope you have a great hair care routine. Spring and fall are so pretty, and winter tends to be pretty mild. Not much snow!

It’s beautiful here! The winters are not bad at all, with no snow and lows in the 40’s. Spring is beautiful and my favorite season. Summer does get pretty hot and thoroughly humid, but it’s not the entire summer. Love the weather here!


What's your favorite time of year there?

Late fall and early winter is gorgeous. But, watching the ocean warm up and the coast come to life is amazing in the spring.
Spring! It doesn’t rain a lot during the spring and the weather is breezy and beautiful!

What's your favorite thing about living at this duty station? 

It’s a “small town” base. Everyone looks out for each other. It’s very small and tight knit.

The towns around it! And the fact that people are SO nice! Lots of things to do that are family friendly.


What's your least favorite thing about living at this duty station?

There isn’t much to do for kids.

It is in a smaller town, so larger stores or bigger events you have to drive a little ways for.


Is there anything you wish you knew about this duty station before your PCS there?

It’s an air wing! I thought the base was getting attacked the first time a plane flew over my house. I called my husband freaking out!


What amenities are on base? And what are they like? For example: Is the commissary large or small? Well stocked? Pool on base? Parks? How many? Etc.

The commissary and MCX are clean and well stocked. There are 2 pools on base and 1 in off base housing. So many parks! There’s even an ADA compliant park. There’s also a golf course, marina, movie theater, and gym.

The EFMP Park on base is great. There’s some walking trails, and a really pretty water area! Fun spouse events and base events. The theater is a great place, there's a new restaurant with lots of entertainment and games. The thrift shop (known as the Whistle Stop) is a wonderful place to shop and also volunteer. The base library has a cafe and is a great place for kids. There’s and outdoor pool for summer time that’s fun. The commissary is okay, it’s definitely older.


What tips or hacks would you give a  military spouse who just PCSed to that base?

Join the wives page and get to know some fellow spouses. You’ll find your group so much faster that way. If you have an idea for a group or activity, share it! Chances are other spouses want to as well. It’s tiny here, so we all love to find stuff to do.

There’s lots of fun things in the community to be involved in. Running clubs, neighborhood groups, monthly events. And the spouse club on base is really fun! So get involved!


Do you live on or off base? What is/was your experience like?

We’ve lived on base all 3 times. You can’t beat the price. We love the community that comes with living on base and there are lots of options! There’s also “off base” base housing that’s out the front gates. This is open to civilians, too, so it’s somewhat hard to get into.

We live off base and absolutely LOVE it. There’s obviously a huge military population but lots of neighborhoods that are close together so it’s easy to meet people.

For on base housing:

New Nugent is the best! (anything without carpet!)


For off base housing:

Long Leaf Pines

Brice’s Crossing

Bluewater Rise



Lake Tyler in West New Bern


Tucker Creek

Lynnwood Highlands

Carolina Pines Area

neighborhoods in Newport 


What are your favorite hang out spots on base? Why?

I have kids, so we love the EFMP park on base. The movie theater is only $3/person and sometimes has free movies, so we love to go see movies.

Hancock lodge area, the library cafe, the public house, and EFMP park.


Did you do a DITY move or military move?

We did a DITY the first time, partial DITY when we moved here from Cali, and moved on our own as a veteran family.
Military move!


Are there any base specific traditions that take place? What is the culture like?

Rocktoberfest every October! It’s SO fun and they bring in awesome bands. The air show is also here for 2024. New Bern has the MumFest every October and in February, Morehead City has The Chocolate Festival! The people are very friendly!


Are there any base FB pages, bloggers, or accounts/websites people should follow for the base or area?

MCCS Cherry Point Facebook page is the best way to stay up to date.

Wives Of MCAS Cherry Point Facebook Page and the Cherry Point Spouse Club Facebook page!

Erin (The Short Wife) on Instagram and her website.


What is your favorite coffee shop there? Why? What is your favorite order?

We just got a Starbucks! So, that’s my favorite. I get a venti iced latte with caramel and hazelnut.
Crema Brew and Bella’s Cafe!


What are your favorite spots for date night?

Morgan’s Tavern and Grill in New Bern!

Beary The Hatchet Axe Throwing, Tonic bar, Baxters, and Freshwater Brewery.


What are your favorite restaurants? What is your go to order?

Baker's Kitchen has the best French toast. Anything from Dank Burrito. Ziggy's is so good for a cheap breakfast. Bayside is like a hometown Waffle House.

So many good ones! Morgan’s, Bay Leaf, Thai Angel, Savages Pizza, and The Island Grille.


Are there any fun things to do in the area or close to base like amusements parks etc?

New Bern has a weekend farmers market that is so fun! The beach is about 30 minutes away, and there’s a small aquarium about 45 minutes or so away. There’s also Ellis Planetarium in Kinston!

Nothing big like that but there’s an axe throwing place, the beach, and tons of fun tourists things down by the beach.


What are some of the things you would put on a bucket list for other military spouses coming to that base?

Eat at Ziggy's and Bakers Kitchen, go blue crab fishing, hunt for shells at Atlantic Beach, find bears in New Bern (look it up!), explore the Pepsi store in New Bern.

Carolina Home and Gardens is a super eclectic place with wine, a garden, a cool place for kids and a fun place to hang out! Downtown New Bern, all the things it offers! Tyron Palace Tour and the gardens Ghost Tours Of New Bern it's done by the Black Cat Shop Shoppe. Super fun and really interesting stories! Fort Macon State Park, the beach and touring the actual fort. All the restaurants on Atlantic Beach! The beach of course!


Are there any cities you recommend for weekend getaways? Why? What did you do there?

Wilmington is 2 hours south. The culture is the perfect picture of southern charm. Also, if you’re a Dawson’s Creek or One Tree Hill fan, both were filmed there.

Others are Charlotte, Asheville, or even Beaufort.


Best places or activities for kids? Why?

There isn’t much here for kids. That’s the only downfall, in my opinion.

• Tumble/Cheer Studio

• Martial Arts Gym

• Little League

• Carolina Home and Gardens, it’s got a cool playground that’s unique (like a treehouse sort of) with a small petting zoo

• Creekside Park, it's a great park in New Bern!

• Martin Marietta Park

Anything else, you’ll have to travel a bit for.


Any local festivals/traditions held for the holidays in that area?

The calendar of events for New Bern and Morehead City are great resources. Atlantic Beach probably has more too!
• Mum Fest in October

Local Recommendations:


Envee Spa


Nail Tech

Jan Nails

Focus Nails



Ashley Rouse with The Suites at La Bella Donna



Jessica Ipock, CNM with Eastern Carolina Women's Center

Dr. Kristi Brown OB with Eastern Carolina Women's Center



Coastal Children’s Clinic


Primary Care Doctor

 Dr. Ronald Lather with Carolina East Health System



McCarthy Dentist in New Bern

Ocean Side Dentistry in Morehead City



ERCarolinaEast Medical Center

Urgent Care: Med First Primary & Urgent Care and CCHC Havelock Primary and Urgent Care



The Pet Hospital Of New Bern


Dog Parks

There’s a few close to downtown New Bern that you have to pay a small fee for and show vaccination records.

Glenburnie Park



There are a few on base that are open to active duty and their family.


Kids Tutor/Babysitter

It's always a good idea to check the spouse pages on base!



CDC on base



Creekside Elementary School



Meg Underwood you can find her here!



• Hannah Rose Photography

You can find her on Instagram here and her booking page here!



Famous Restaurant & Baking Company

Mayte Sweets


Grocery Stores

Harris Teeter, Publix, Aldi, Food Lion, Commissary, and Walmart.


Shops + Boutiques

Lula Balou, Target, TJ Maxx, and Surf Wind & Fire.



Overall I would rate this base at a... (1-10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best)

A: 10/10

Erin: 9/10



Slideshow Cherry Point 



If you'd like to learn more, have any questions or just want to follow A's special needs mama journey you can find her over at her on Facebook page: The Special Mama, where she shares life as a special needs mom. You can also follow Erin and her families journey on Instagram here and her website here!


You can also get a PDF version of this guide here!

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