Washington supports a thriving arts and culture community. It’s easy to see this for yourself, with just a quick glance at the full calendar of exhibits, theater productions, local and touring musical acts, museum and gallery shows, and the always popular annual festivals.

Take the numerous galleries, for instance, featuring local artists, artisans and craftspeople of all stripes. Or the Historic Turnage Theater, the lovingly restored art deco jewel and cultural hub that now features gallery space, a Fashion & Entertainment Museum, films, community theater productions and live podcast tapings. Among other things. You can’t go wrong connecting with Arts of the Pamlico, owner of the theater and committed supporters of bringing arts to the community. And vice versa.

And festivals? There are lots to choose from throughout the year, whether you prefer arts or food or music. Or if you’d like all of the above, plus a little more, stick around for the Washington Summer Festival.

Maybe the best place to begin exploring is with an eye-opening, appetite-whetting and creativity-sparking tour of some area highlights. (See how many crab sculptures you can count along the way.)