Situated on a peninsula marking the center of North Carolina's Lower Coastal Plain, Pamlico County is a rich environment of land and water. A variety of habitats are found throughout the area, including open sound water, marshlands, and mixed pine and hardwood forests. Wildlife is abundant.
The county is mostly bordered by water on three sides: Goose Creek and the Pamlico River on the north, Upper Broad Creek on the western boundary, and the Neuse River to the south.
Salt marshes comprise approximately 16,660 acres (7%) of the land area. The Minnesott Ridge, which runs along NC Highway 306 was formed at the shoreline of an ancient ocean. The elevation along this ridge is approximately 45 feet above sea level and is the highest area in the county.