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My 11 Favourite Seashores To Go to In North Carolina


There are such a lot of wonderful seashores to go to in North Carolina, it’s arduous to decide on only one favourite! North Carolina boasts 322 miles of shoreline alongside the Atlantic and greater than 25 completely different seashores providing beautiful views and distinctive experiences. From the huge, sandy shores of Outer Banks to the secluded coves and inlets of the Crystal Coast, there’s one thing for everybody.

I don’t reside on the seaside and have by no means discovered a seaside I didn’t get pleasure from. As I inform my associates, my favourite seaside is the one I’m at present visiting. In Could, three different journey writers and I visited the Outer Banks. We talked to a variety of the locals and loved the realm.

The perfect time to go to is late spring by fall. September and October are nice if you wish to keep away from the summer time crowds. 

Here’s a checklist of my favorites, based mostly on my experiences and people of some shut associates. The seashores are listed north to south in line with their location.

The Outer Banks Guests Bureau hosted our go to. All opinions are my very own.

Wild Horse Tour on Beach - Corolla, NC
Wild Horse Tour on Seashore in Corolla

(Picture Credit score: Wild Horse Journey Excursions)

1. Corolla Seashore

Corolla Seashore is an ideal selection in case you want a secluded seaside. It’s situated on the Outer Banks’s northern coast, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound. 

Broad seashores are the primary attraction; you may drive on this seaside together with your four-wheel-drive automobile. There’s a historic district and a lighthouse to discover. On a wet day, you may go to the Wild Horse Museum whereas in Corolla or go to the pink lighthouse. One of many highlights of this space is the wild Spanish Mustang horses roaming the island.

Professional Tip: Horses are wild. Please don’t try and feed or contact them. If you wish to ensure and see them, join a guided tour.

NC Atlantic Ocean - Outer Banks, NC
Atlantic Ocean from Outer Banks, NC

(Picture Credit score: Robin O’Neal Smith)

2. Duck

A small, upscale seaside city simply south of Corolla, Duck attracts many guests every year to benefit from the 7 miles of beautiful sandy seashores, distinctive eating, and a consumer’s paradise.

As a result of rain, we have been solely capable of go to in the course of the night, so we didn’t get to see as a lot as we might have favored, however we cherished the water’s edge boardwalk and may’t wait to return to this enjoyable little seaside city.

When you go to Duck, it would be best to make sure you get pleasure from a Duck Donut. The road could also be lengthy, however getting one among these nationally well-known donuts from the unique location is price it.

Rental properties are plentiful to your keep, however there are few motels.

Bathhouses and free parking can be found on the public seaside entry factors alongside Freeway 12.

NC Beach - Outer Banks, NC
North Carolina Seashore

(Picture Credit score: Robin O’Neal Smith)

3. Kitty Hawk

When arriving from the north on Freeway 158 throughout the Currituck Sound, Kitty Hawk is the primary city you come to. This historic coastal city has fabulous seashores within the Outer Banks. Low-rise buildings dot the city, and a country vibe helps preserve its distinctive character. You should have no bother discovering your spot on the seaside to benefit from the sunshine and the ocean.

You may as well kayak or hike the marine forest reserve.

The Wright Brothers Nationwide Memorial in neighboring Kill Satan Hills is a enjoyable exercise for a less-than-perfect climate day. It’s the web site of the primary profitable motor-operated flight in 1903.

Guests to Kitty Hawk get pleasure from a big number of eating places, grocery shops, and retailers. Free parking tons and public seaside entry factors can be found alongside Freeway 12.

Professional Tip: Kitty Hawk welcomes canines year-round. 

Bodie Island Light House at Sunset  -  Outer Banks, NC
Bodie Island Gentle Home at Sundown

(Picture Credit score: Outer Banks Guests Bureau)

4. Nags Head

Boasting summer time enjoyable for the entire household, Nags Head is without doubt one of the hottest Outer Banks seashores, with large golden sand seashores and crystal clear water. There’s easy accessibility and a wealth of facilities to get pleasure from.

We visited in Could and located the realm to be pleasant and stuffed with enjoyable issues to do for all the household. Moreover hanging out on the seaside, you may parasail, play mini-golf, fish, eat scrumptious meals, go to a lighthouse, and revel in some distinctive ice cream treats. 

The seaside is pet-friendly, so carry Fido alongside on trip. As you journey Freeway 12, free parking and public seaside entry factors can be found.

There are 12 miles of seaside to stroll, so make sure you carry your strolling footwear, except you might be like me and like to stroll barefoot within the sand.

When you get uninterested in the seaside, go to the Bodie Island Gentle Station. You can see spectacular views up and down the coast whenever you climb to the highest. Tickets should be bought on-line.

Jeanette's Pier - Outer Banks, NC
Jeanette’s Pier

(Picture Credit score: Robin O’Neal Smith)

Stroll right down to the 1,000-foot-long Jennette’s Pier, an area fishing scorching spot. There’s a price to stroll the pier or to fish, however we loved strolling underneath the pier and taking pictures. When you don’t carry your fishing tools, you may hire it from the store on the pier.

Close by is Jockey’s Ridge State Park, a wonderful place for mountaineering, flying kites, and taking a hang-gliding lesson with Kitty Hawk Kites. The 4 of us took a lesson, climbed the huge sand dune, and tried our luck at hang-gliding. What enjoyable! It’s a implausible seaside exercise that doesn’t contain water.

There are a number of motels, seaside cottages, and trip leases accessible. After we visited, we stayed on the Whalebone Cottages by Kees Trip Leases, Constructing E. It was a two-story, four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath house with free parking underneath the home. We have been steps from the ocean and in a wonderful location for all of the issues to do within the space.

Professional Tip: 4-wheel-drive automobiles can drive on the seaside solely in the course of the low season (October to April).

Coquina Beach Walk - Outer Banks, NC
Coquina Seashore Stroll

(Picture Credit score: Outer Banks Guests Bureau)

5. Coquina Seashore

This seaside was one I hadn’t heard of till we visited. After we talked with the locals about their favourite seashores, they stored mentioning Coquina Seashore — so we got down to see it for ourselves. 

We discovered it simply south of Nags Head and understood why everybody was raving about it. The seaside was a large and secluded undeveloped shoreline. There’s a boardwalk to a part of the seaside space, we didn’t discover that till after we visited and climbed over sand dunes to get to the seaside.

There have been only some different folks and plenty of shells.

Riding Horses on Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Outer Banks, NC
Using Horses on Cape Hatteras Nationwide Seashore

(Picture Credit score: Outer Banks Guests Bureau)

6. Cape Hatteras

The Cape Hatteras Nationwide Seashore is gorgeous, with miles and miles of unspoiled seashores and a striped lighthouse. You should have the seaside primarily to your self, and off-road automobiles are permitted on the seaside. 

You may discover some sea turtles throughout nesting season in case you are fortunate.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is gorgeous and definitely worth the time to go to. (At current, as a consequence of ongoing restoration efforts, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse isn’t accessible for climbing, however it’s nonetheless a terrific go to and an Instagramable web site.)

Cape Hatteras Island - Outer Banks, NC
Cape Hatteras Island

(Picture Credit score: Outer Banks Guests Bureau)

7. Ocracoke Island

I didn’t get to go to Ocracoke Island, however from what everybody has instructed me, it’s the place to go to get away from all of it. Much more distant than the Cape Hatteras Seashore, you may solely entry it by using the 25-minute ferry from Hatteras Island. You possibly can take your automotive on the ferry with you. 

We ran out of time and weren’t capable of make the journey. Whereas a bit more durable to succeed in the seaside, I’m instructed it’s price the additional effort, and we’ve it on our checklist for the subsequent go to. 

Ocracoke Island is small and stuffed with historical past. It’s regarded as the house of the pirate Blackbeard. The seashores are large, and the individuals are sparse on Ocracoke Island. It’s a distinctive city with some eating places and providers. There are nationwide park tenting, motels, and seaside homes.

Surf lessons on Atlantic Beach - North Carolina
Surf classes on Atlantic Seashore

(Picture Credit score: The Crystal Coast Tourism Authority)

8. Atlantic Seashore

A part of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, Atlantic Seashore is a favourite household vacation spot. Well-known for its crystal clear waters and simply accessible strolling trails, they’ve many enjoyable actions, together with swimming, fishing, biking, water sports activities leases, and different sights.

There are a lot of eateries, the North Carolina Aquarium, and a few boutiques. Fort Macon State Park affords a little bit of Civil Battle-era historical past. To assist guests discover the realm on foot, there are 4 marked strolling trails across the metropolis as a part of the Stroll Atlantic Seashore initiative.

For lodging, you will discover nearly every thing from the massive chain motels to cozy trip leases.

Parking tons alongside the seaside are for a price and are charged by the hour (bank cards solely — no money).

Crystal Coast Sunset - North Carolina
Crystal Coast Sundown

(Picture Credit score: The Crystal Coast Tourism Authority)

9. Emerald Isle

Rated the highest North Carolina Seashore by U.S. Information, Emerald Isle affords 12 miles of fresh large seashores, a fishing pier, and a relaxed environment.

You’ll usually see a dolphin or probably even a wild horse on the seaside. There’s loads to do on Emerald Isle with mini-golf programs, a waterslide park, biking trails, a fishing pier, and extra. 

“The Level” is a perfect spot for catching a spectacular sundown. 

Lodging is primarily trip leases on and off the seaside with just one oceanfront lodge, the Islander Resort & Resort.

Some entry factors have free parking and some expenses on weekends solely.

Standup Paddleboarding - North Carolina
Stand-up Paddleboarding

(Picture Credit score: The Crystal Coast Tourism Authority)

10. Topsail Seashore

Situated on the southernmost finish of Topsail Island, Topsail Seashore has implausible sundown views. Pronounced “Tops’l,” it’s a small, quiet seaside group centered on conservation efforts and preserving the pure surroundings.

Topsail is the place for a tranquil seaside getaway in a trip rental in a peaceable, non-commercialized surroundings. There aren’t any high-rise condos.

The seaside is great for gathering shells and collaborating in water sports activities. You could have distinctive seashores on each the Atlantic and Sound sides of the island.

Public parking tons can be found at seaside entry factors.

Wrightsville Beach - North Carolina
Household on Wrightsville Seashore

(Picture Credit score: Wrightsville Seashore)

11. Wrightsville Seashore

Wrightsville Seashore is within the Wilmington space and is a favourite amongst folks of all ages. Individuals journey from across the U.S. to go to due to its deep blue glowing waters and large sandy seashores. 

Wrightsville Seashore alone has 44 public entry factors. 

Regarded as the birthplace of browsing on the East Coast, Wrightsville Seashore can be a preferred spot to catch some waves and a main location for kiteboarding and stand-up paddleboarding. 

Close by you can find golf programs and jogging trails. 

Wrightsville Seashore affords a mixture of short-term trip leases, oceanfront motels, and resorts.

Professional Tip: Browsing is strictly forbidden in entrance of the lifeguard stands. 

When you’re searching for a soothing seaside trip, North Carolina is the place to be. With miles of shoreline and loads of seashores to select from, you’re certain to search out the right spot to chill out and benefit from the sand and surf. So pack your sunscreen and swimsuit and head to North Carolina for a seaside getaway within the Tar Heel State that you simply received’t overlook!



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