Albemarle, NC Area

Our coverage of the Albemarle, NC area includes Elizabeth City, Edenton, Hertford, Columbia, and the Outer Banks

Elizabeth City, NC

Elizabeth City, located in the northeastern corner of the state and part of the newly famed "Inner Banks," has developed a reputation as an up-and-comer on the North Carolina tourism scene. With a growing cultural and arts center that features museums, theaters, a conference center, and a world of other amenities, eastern North Carolina visitors are taking a second look at this otherwise small town, and are being pleasantly surprised by all the amenities and attractions that this coastal community has to offer.

Hertford, NC

Traditional southern hospitality and small-town living is carefully preserved in quiet and undiscovered Hertfort, North Carolina. This prototypical small town has a world of amenities and attractions just waiting to be discovered by curious newcomers who venture off the main highway, including numerous historic sites, a charming downtown, and miles of riverfront water views.

Columbia, NC

The small town of Columbia, located approximately 45 miles west of the Outer Banks, is a rising star along the central North Carolina coastline. An anchor of the informally named "Inner Banks" region, this small community of less than 1,000 residents is slowly becoming a destination all its own, even landing a feature article in North Carolina's renowned Our State Magazine. The sudden growing interest is due to a number of features, not the least of which are breathtaking scenery, incredible wildlife, and a host of attractions, both old and new, that are ripe for exploring.

Pamlico, NC Area

The Pamlico area of North Carolina includes the small and rural towns of Washington, Bath, Belhaven, Oriental and Havelock, as well as the city of New Bern.

Bath, NC

Small and sleepy, visitors won't find too much action or excitement in Bath, but the incredible waterfront views, historical homes that are carefully preserved, and an all-around southern charm has made this small town a popular destination with weekend vacationers who want to enjoy the genuine peace and quiet. For a relaxing day trip or a quiet escape, discover North Carolina's oldest town - a community that, despite its wild history, remains relatively unchanged population-wise from its original incorporation over 300 years ago.

Washington, NC

The town of Washington is rapidly becoming one of the highlights of North Carolina's Inner Banks due to its small town charm, incredible location along the Pamlico River, and eclectic blend of boutiques, restaurants, and attractions. This small community of just under 10,000 residents has a maritime culture all its own, with dozens of colorful crab statues lining the downtown streets, hundreds of boats, big and small, lining the waterfront, and miles of open Tar and Pamlico River views, extending in virtually every direction. Quaint and quiet, but with enough activity to keep anyone entertained, Washington is an ideal long weekend retreat for visitors who want to experience the heart and unique culture of coastal Eastern North Carolina.

New Bern, NC

The small Inner Banks city of New Bern has gained popularity among North Carolina visitors over the years, and for good reason. The picturesque town with outstanding Trent and Neuse River views in virtually all directions boasts a thriving downtown, a state-of-the-art convention center, and enough historical attractions and homes to fill up a week's worth of walking tours. Chock full of southern hospitality, a surprisingly famous legacy, and a world of arts and culture, a getaway to the town of New Bern allows visitors to get a taste of coastal North Carolina heritage while exploring the Inner Banks at its very best.

Havelock, NC

While the small town of Havelock is often overshadowed by its Crystal Coast neighbors, the city is nonetheless a prime waterfront retreat for eastern North Carolina visitors who want to experience the real everyday life of the Inner Banks. Home to the renowned Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, the expansive and wild Pine Cliff Recreational Area, and a small handful of shops and restaurants that shine a light on the local culture, Havelock is a fun day trip for nature lovers, military buffs, and anyone who wants an inside glimpse into the real, hardworking Coastal Carolina.

Cape Fear, NC Area

Welcome to a North Carolina region where the Antebellum South meets modern art, and local southern hospitality mixes with movie stars. Wilmington is one of the most unique towns along the Carolina coastline, as it combines all the attributes of an engaging southern town into one distinctive and altogether exceptional community. Artists, actors, professional beach bums, tourists, and college students all congregate in Wilmington, and the end result is an incredible destination that has something for everyone.

Bald Head Island, NC

Bald Head Island, a roughly 5 square mile southern North Carolina barrier island that extends into the Atlantic Ocean, may be a small and secluded island destination, but it makes up for its size with a world of exclusive and elite vacation style.

Oak Island, NC

Visitors will find an easy-to-get-to beach paradise at Oak Island, an expansive but peaceful retreat that's located an easy drive away from Southport, Wilmington, and other inland North Carolina communities. Both the main town and the island itself share the name of "Oak Island," and while the town extends slightly inland, encompassing the Cape Fear Regional Jetport, the rest of the community is cut off from the world by the long Elizabeth River, and a network of salty creeks and canals. This watery gap may not be particularly wide, but visitors will feel the change as soon as they cross over the bridge. Once ashore, Oak Island is a picturesque landscape of charming vacation rental homes, cool seafood restaurants and shops, and miles of ocean shoreline.

Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Accommodating and altogether fun, Ocean Isle Beach is a favorite family-friendly destination for vacationers from all over the East Coast. Well stocked with fantastic beaches, challenging area golf courses, great fishing, local attractions, acclaimed restaurants, and virtually every amenity a beach lover could ask for, this barrier island community clearly has it all. With the added bonus of an easy-to-get-to location just over the Intracoastal Waterway, visitors will find plenty to love about this exemplary North Carolina beach town.

Sunset Beach, NC

Sunset Beach is a unique little North Carolina coastal destination that encompasses both mainland and barrier island terrain, and is located just a seashell's throw from the South Carolina border. Despite its proximity to larger destinations like Wilmington, NC to the north and Myrtle Beach, SC to the south, the community has never lost its small town charm, and its decidedly beachy atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for laid back vacationers who want to soak up the salt, the sun, and the endless ocean views.

Morehead City, NC

The Morehead City waterfront and downtown area go together hand in hand, in fact, with a number of marinas and docking spaces available for travelers who are arriving by boat. Several marinas, including the Morehead City Yacht Basin, the Portside Marina, and the Spooners Creek Marina, call this section of the Inner Banks home, and the town of Morehead City even has its own public docking facilities, newly completed, with deep water slips that are close to Arendell Street, one of the major streets that runs along Morehead City in the heart of the downtown region.

Beaufort, NC

The coastal town of Beaufort has quickly become one of the most popular vacation destinations for Inner Banks travelers and boating enthusiasts of all varieties, and for good reason. The small 2.7 mile town, (surrounded by nearly a mile of water), is a vacationer and maritime lover's dream, with a hearty downtown scene lined with shops, galleries, and acclaimed restaurants, in addition to dozens of maritime supply stores.

Emerald Isle, NC

The long barrier island that borders central North Carolina is known by a wide range of nicknames, including the "Crystal Coast," "Bogue Banks," and "Emerald Isle." This last moniker, which is probably most of the most frequent terms for the stretch of coastline from Atlantic Beach to the western edge of the island, just happens to share its name with the island's westernmost town, Emerald Isle.

Pine Knoll Shores, NC

The oceanside community of Pine Knoll Shores is a shining example of the Crystal Coast beach scene. Filled with charming vacation rentals, natural preserves, an acclaimed country club, and little else to draw attention away from the postcard perfect beaches, Pine Knoll Shores is a perfect beach lover's retreat. Located in between the western beaches of Emerald Isle and bustling Atlantic Beach, this beach town is just a five minute drive away from the Atlantic Beach Causeway, (the bridge which connects the mainland with the Bogue Banks), and yet feels miles away from everyday mainland life.

Low Country, SC Area

The coastal "low country" area of South Carolina includes Myrtle Beach, Pawley's Island, Georgetown, Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach visitors certainly never have to worry about finding things to do. This southern vacation paradise has been hailed as one of the biggest vacation destinations on the Eastern Seaboard, and the collection of beachside towns that make up the "Grand Strand," specifically Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Surfside Beach, and Garden City, welcome millions of visitors every year for the white sand beaches and the overwhelming atmosphere of endless fun.

Georgetown, SC

Like many of coastal South Carolina's smaller cities, Georgetown has a big personality and an eclectic character all its own, which initially allures visitors, and then entices them to stay for the authentic southern charm and a uniquely modern southern style. Known for centuries as one of the nation's leaders in industrial pursuits and business, today Georgetown still serves as a manufacturing hub with a world of attractions and activities waiting for visitors to discover on and off the water.

Charleston, SC

South Carolina's oldest city is arguably also one of its most charming, inviting, and altogether purely fun. A collection of historic structures that pre-date the birth of America, opulent gardens and mansions open to the public, and some of the best shopping, dining, and lodging options in the southeast, it's easy to see why this ancient southern town is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the state.

Sullivan's Island, SC

Sullivan's Island is arguably a South Carolina beach lover's paradise. With a laid-back atmosphere and little development, the town is a Mecca for busy Charleston urbanites, part-time resident retirees and vacationing families from all over the East Coast. Though just 3.3 square miles in area, with little commercialization besides a handful of galleries and restaurants, this small barrier island nonetheless has a big reputation as one of the best family-friendly destinations along the Carolina coastline, and thousands of visitors or part-time residents flock to the area every year for a refreshing day trip, or a much needed weeklong break from the daily grind.

Beaufort, SC

Beaufort is, at its heart, a small southern town with a big population, that's chock-full of historical sites, a thriving arts scene, and plentiful attractions, which are readily available for curious newcomers to explore. Smaller than its' northern South Carolina neighbor Charleston, Beaufort nonetheless has a far-reaching reputation as one of the most historically relevant and undeniably charming towns along the eastern coastline.

Rainy Day Activities in Carova

Rainy Day Activities in Carova

Carova is an outdoor lover's oasis, but on a rainy day, Carova vacationers can make a quick trip down the beach to Corolla and Duck to explore all the fun indoor activities and sites that the Outer Banks has to offer.

Oak Island

Oak Island

Visitors will find an easy-to-get-to beach paradise at Oak Island, an expansive but peaceful retreat that's located an easy drive away from Wilmington, Southport, and other inland North Carolina communities. Both the main town and the island itself share the name of "Oak Island," and while the town extends slightly inland, encompassing the Cape Fear Regional Jetport, the rest of the community is cut off from the world by the long Elizabeth River, and a network of salty creeks and canals. This watery gap may not be particularly wide, but visitors will feel the change as soon as they cross over the bridge. Once ashore, Oak Island is a picturesque landscape of charming vacation rental homes, cool seafood restaurants and shops, and miles of ocean shoreline.

Event Homes

Event Homes

In the past few years, the Outer Banks has become a popular destination for large families and groups who are planning a beach wedding, a corporate retreat, or just a casual family reunion. This turn of recent events is due in no small part to the crop of sprawling vacation rental homes that have popped up throughout the coastline providing gorgeous accommodations, ample meeting or gathering spaces, and fantastic access to the nearby beaches and attractions.

Things to do in Carova

Things to do in Carova

Despite the limited development, Carova visitors who appreciate and adore the great outdoors will find plenty of ways to stay entertained.Be sure and enjoy the following activities on your next Carova vacation, and make the most out of your visit to the Outer Banks' most wild region.

Rainy Day Activities in Beaufort, NC

Rainy Day Activities in Beaufort, NC

Even a town as sunny as Beaufort can be subjected to the occasional rainy day, but visitors will soon discover that a dreary afternoon is no reason to forego the fun in this small town destination that’s overflowing with on-site and neighboring activities. From cool and educational classes to some of the best eateries in Eastern NC, Beaufort is designed for entertainment inside and out. So if a rainy day happens to coincide with your upcoming Beaufort vacation, use it as an excuse to discover these fascinating and engaging activities that can be effortlessly enjoyed, rain or shine.

Top 10 Attractions in Morehead City

Top 10 Attractions in Morehead City

While the beach towns of the Crystal Coast may get the lion’s share of attention from vacationers, Morehead City is a treasure trove of unique attractions in its own right, thanks to a vibrant scene where local history, arts, culture, and a love of the water all combine. From stunning views of the heart of the on-the-water action to historical sites or museums where centuries of artifacts are housed, there is truly a little something for every visitor in this unique coastal community.

Currituck Beaches

Currituck Beaches

 Currituck County is effectively divided in two by the Currituck Sound, which creates two distinct and ecologically diverse regions: the Currituck Mainland, and the Currituck Barrier Island Beaches.

Oriental History

Oriental History

What we now know as Oriental was first settled about 1870 by Louis B. Midyette. He took shelter in the area's natural harbor on the Neuse River and the mouth of Smith Creek when he was blown off course on his way to New Bern.

Downtown Beaufort

Downtown Beaufort

Beaufort's historic and altogether picturesque downtown is one of the most visited and most acclaimed town centers in the Inner Banks. Filled with a history that intermingles seamlessly with acclaimed shops and restaurants, (as well as front row views of the activity at the expansive harbor front docks), this otherwise typical Eastern North Carolina town has become a favorite among Inner Banks visitors.

Outer Banks Tours

Outer Banks Tours

Many newcomers to the Outer Banks find the best way to delve into the local history, scenery and culture is via a tour, and luckily the Outer Banks has a world of different tours available. Vacationers can take to the sea, skies, or the land for an in-depth view of the Outer Banks, and can choose from quick one-hour excursions to overnight trips that explore the region's little known hidden treasures.

For an introduction to everything the Outer Banks has to offer, or to experience the North Carolina Coast from an entirely new perspective, hop on board a boat, kayak, bus or plane, and begin a guided adventure that will surely leave your family completely fascinated with the rich landscape of the Outer Banks.

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding

Spring and fall visitors will notice the popularity of kiteboarding on the Outer Banks the moment they ride down a stretch of soundfront highway. In the off-season months, it's not unusual to spot dozens if not hundreds of multi-colored kites lining the skies over the Outer Banks' miles of sound waters.

Ocracoke's Banker Ponies

Ocracoke's Banker Ponies

The Ocracoke Wild Horses, or "Banker Ponies" are easily Ocracoke's oldest residents, and have been plodding along the island for the last few hundred years. These famed horses are arguably one of the island's top attractions, and can be easily admired by any Ocracoke visitor via a quick trip to the National Park Service's Ocracoke Pony Pen.

Activities for Kids

Activities for Kids

Part natural oasis and part sunny beach town, Kitty Hawk is a fantastic destination for kids who love adventure. From watersports lessons to museums designed for busy hands, families will want to discover these top Outer Banks attractions and activities to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Blackbeard and other Pirates

Blackbeard and other Pirates

The Southern Outer Banks, particularly Ocracoke Island, is notorious as the stomping grounds for some of history's most infamous pirates. Notable swashbucklers from Calico Jack to Anne Bonney and Mary Reed, arguably the most famous women pirates, have made a splash in this area, robbing privateers blind and making intricate, sneaky escapes in the inlets and soundside waters off of these barrier islands.

Plymouth and Washington County

Plymouth and Washington County

The town of Plymouth became the first incorporated town in Washington County in 1787 when Arthur Rhodes divided 100 acres of his Brick House Plantation along the Roanoke River into lots. In its heyday, it was the fifth-largest port in North Carolina and the eight-largest town, and citizens thrived for a time before the Civil War.

Ocracoke, NC

Ocracoke, NC

The Ocracoke Harbor is easily the busiest quarter mile stretch of Ocracoke Island. Consisting of a small, lagoon-like section of saltwater, and lined by a semi-circle of docks, restaurants, shops, marinas and motels, visitors will find that any and all of the activities on Ocracoke Island can most certainly be found harbor front.

Rainy Day Activities in Morehead City

Rainy Day Activities in Morehead City

Because Morehead City is one of the busiest towns along the Crystal Coast, it’s easy for visitors of all interests to find something to do when a bout of rain puts a damper on an otherwise sunny vacation. From incredible shopping opportunities to cool attractions that are barely off the beaten path, there’s tons of ways to while away a full morning or afternoon while having miles of fun.

Fripp Island, SC

Fripp Island, SC

Great golfing, beautiful beaches, and genuine southern hospitality easily combine on Fripp Island, the most seaward of South Carolina's Sea Islands, and a gorgeous barrier island destination that is a relaxing oceanfront haven for its loyal vacationers.

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Mt. Pleasant, SC

The sunny community of Mt. Pleasant is often overlooked by its more famous neighbor to the south, Charleston, but this large suburban town has a wealth of authentic southern charm, history, activities and dining options that are sure to keep any South Carolina newcomer completely entertained.

Scenic Spots in Beaufort, NC

Scenic Spots in Beaufort, NC

Vacationers on the hunt for stunning scenery won’t have to look very far when they land in Beaufort, NC. Well known for its vibrant downtown region, its centuries-deep historical roots, and its location that is literally surrounded by water, finding a spot to sit and enjoy a picturesque view is a breeze in this barely-coastal destination.

Bath, NC

Bath, NC

The small community of Bath hasn't changed that much since it was officially established in 1705, and locals and long-time visitors wouldn't have it any other way. The small town, barely over a square mile in area, hugs the waterfront of the Pamlico River and Bath Creek in virtually every direction, and is well stocked with historic residences and buildings that pay tribute to a rich history filled with pirates, Indian wars, and fierce political rivalries.

New Bern History

New Bern History

Founded in 1710 at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse rivers, New Bern was settled by Swiss and German adventurers led by Baron Christopher de Graffenried from Bern, Switzerland. New Bern is the second oldest town in the state. Royal Governor William Tryon made this seaport his colonial capitol and residence, Tryon Palace, was built in 1770.

Parris Island

Parris Island

The Parris Island Marine Corps Base is easily one of the most recognizable marine corps bases in the country, if not the world, even though it is located on a small and undeveloped island on the outskirts of coastal South Carolina.

Rainy Day Activities

Rainy Day Activities

The occasional rainy day doesn't have to stall a vacation, as Nags Head has number of shops, restaurants and sites, and is within an easy drive of some of the most acclaimed attractions on the Outer Banks.

Wilmington, NC Boating Guide

Wilmington, NC Boating Guide

Wilmington originated as a port city, and its reputation as a haven for vessels of all sizes has lasted throughout the generations, making it one of the most popular boating destinations in southeastern North Carolina. From unique cruises of the downtown area to extended treks along the Intracoastal Waterway, the sheer range of boating adventures will entice any mariner to drop anchor in this distinctive town. Spend a day exploring the local waterways, or sign up for an area cruise, and discover why Wilmington life is at its finest on the water.

Wilmington, NC History

Wilmington, NC History

The history of Wilmington is one of the biggest lures for vacationers, as this popular Port City has an undeniably fascinating background that can be effortlessly explored and uncovered today. From its early roots at the dawn of the Colonial era, to its tumultuous role in the Civil War, the story of Wilmington is always engaging and as distinctive as the cityscape itself.

Educational Activities

Educational Activities

Considering that the small town of Beaufort is more than 300 years old, and the adjacent communities are famous as historic vacation destinations, port towns, pirate haunts, Civil War battlefields, or all of the above, it’s no wonder that the Crystal Coast is brimming with educational activities.

Charleston History

Charleston History

Charleston County and the city of Charleston, its county seat, are the most historic locations in the state. English settlers arrived in the colony of Carolina in 1670 and established a town at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River. The settlement, named Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England, was subsequently moved a few miles away to a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Charles Town (renamed Charleston in 1783) was the political, social, and economic center of South Carolina throughout the colonial and ante-bellum periods, and it served as the state capital until 1790.

Wrightsville Beach History

Wrightsville Beach History

Wrightsville Beach is a family destination without the carnival atmosphere and maintains over 3000 permanent residents. That number swells to over 30,000 in the tourist season.

Shelling near New Bern, NC

Shelling near New Bern, NC

Treasure hunters of all varieties will find that New Bern serves as a fine launching point for a shelling adventure or two. From the ancient relics that are buried just outside the Aurora Fossil Museum to the isolated finds along the Cape Lookout National Seashore, New Bern visitors will find that some of the best shelling in the coastal Carolina region is just a short road trip away.

Folly Beach

Folly Beach

The seaside town of Folly Beach, and the barrier island of the same name, has a lot of lovingly applied nicknames from long-time locals and visitors alike. Known as "One of the last real American Beach towns," and "The Edge of America," this family-friendly destination features a world of outdoor fun, entertainment, shopping and dining, conveniently located around every sand dune.

Fishing in Morehead City

Fishing in Morehead City

Morehead City is a coastal community that revolves around fishing. From its early ties to the commercial fishing industry to its modern day reputation as home to one of the biggest fishing tournaments along the Eastern Seaboard, anglers will find that when it comes to great and diverse fishing grounds, Morehead City is hard to beat.

Beaufort, NC Fishing Guide

Beaufort, NC Fishing Guide

Beaufort is a community that is obsessed with life on the water, so it should come as no surprise that fishing of all varieties is celebrated in this coastal town that’s found at the intersections of marshy creeks, major rivers, and miles-wide sounds. From casting a fishing line off a local dock in the downtown area, to signing up for a fishing adventure that will take anglers well offshore, the sheer diversity of fishing opportunities - (and great tasting catches) - are what keep anglers coming back year after year for more.

Surfing the Crystal Coast

Surfing the Crystal Coast

The Southern Outer Banks are gaining popularity as a surfing destination, for newcomers to the sport and advanced borders alike. With mainly south or southeast facing beaches, and seasonal swells that are enhanced by passing tropical systems or nor’easters, surfers can catch the ride of a lifetime on the Crystal Coast if the timing and conditions are just right.

Wadmalaw Island

Wadmalaw Island

Despite its expansive size and proximity to the major tourist destinations of Charleston, Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, and Folly Beach, Wadmalaw Island is a refreshingly unpopulated, quiet, and authentically local realm of the South Carolina region, with just a couple of surprises for visitors hidden under acres of live oaks.

Rainy Day Activities

Rainy Day Activities

In Kill Devil Hills, the entertainment extends well off the shoreline to a number of plazas, shopping centers, museums, and other iconic OBX sites. Because Kill Devil Hills is located in the heart of the Outer Banks, it's veritably close to everything, making it easier for visitors to explore the following list of quintessential rainy day destinations

Ocracoke, NC History

Ocracoke, NC History

Ocracoke has a unique history that revolves around pirates, shipwrecks, and offshore battles. Occupied for hundreds of years, this now booming tourism destination has deep roots that run parallel to the history of the country.

Top 10 Things to Do in Beaufort, NC

Top 10 Things to Do in Beaufort, NC

With brilliant waterfront vistas, a collection of shops and restaurants, and enticing attractions, it can be hard to figure out what to discover first when vacationing in scenic Beaufort, NC. A small town with a lot of coastal charm, this waterfront destination is surprisingly packed with things to do that will appeal to visitors of all tastes, and all interests.

New Bern Kayaking Guide

New Bern Kayaking Guide

Visitors who crave a kayaking adventure will fall in love with New Bern. This Inner Banks destination at the heart of the “Twin Rivers” region boasts access to more than 250 miles of mapped paddling trails as well as more than 30 launch sites throughout Craven County. As a result, paddlers from beginner to expert levels will find endless room to roam, from the downtown area to the wilds of the nearby Croatan National Forest.

Swansboro

Swansboro

Though not too many Eastern NC visitors will encounter Swansboro unless they are en route to the Emerald Isle shoreline, this small coastal town is most certainly worth a second look. One of the oldest towns along the Crystal Coast, and easily one of the most diverse, Swansboro is a surprising paradise for any visitor who loves shopping, dining, kayaking, beaching, and ample waterfront views around virtually every city block. Gradually growing a reputation as one of Coastal Carolina's best long weekend destinations, new visitors to Emerald Island or the Crystal Coast should definitely pull up anchor in historic Swansboro for a day or two, and see for themselves what all the fuss is about.

Outer Banks Museums

Outer Banks Museums

The Outer Banks is rich in history, from the early explorers who first set foot on its shores 400 years ago to the groundbreaking first flight that launched modern aviation. Every community has a story and a resonant heritage, and as a result, the Outer Banks is home to a number of locally and nationally renowned museums honoring the area's unique stories, culture and landmarks.

H.L. Hunley

H.L. Hunley

On February 17th 1864, the city of Charleston, deep in the throes of the Civil War, made history with a small 8 men crew that was stationed in a revolutionary new vessel in the Charleston Harbor. The H.L. Hunley was an experimental new addition to the Confederate's fleet of warships, but on that clear but chilly evening, it would land in military history books for generations to come as the first submarine to successfully take down another wartime vessel.

Activities for Kids in Beaufort, NC

Activities for Kids in Beaufort, NC

Beaufort NC is distinctive in that the cool waterfront town can appeal to visitors of all tastes, styles, and ages, and this is especially evident when it comes to the region’s youngest visitors. From wild pirate-themed tours and cruises to afternoon ice cream trips, there are plenty of activities for the young and the young-at-heart to discover. Check out these essential activities for kids on your next Beaufort vacation, and get busy creating fun and amazing memories that will linger well after your Crystal Coast stay is over.

Activities for Kids

Activities for Kids

Young visitors will adore both the mainland and barrier island beaches of Currituck County for the endless array of activities and attractions designed with kids in mind. Explore any of these wild, educational, and altogether fun local destinations for a memorable excursion that kids will truly treasure

Hyde county, NC

Hyde county, NC

This Northeastern North Carolina county - surrounded by the Pamlico Sound, the Alligator and Pungo Rivers, home to North Carolina's largest natural lake --Lake Mattamuskeet--, and bisected by the Intracoastal Waterway - is known as "the land of many waters". Ocracoke Island, once home to the pirate Blackbeard and now a tourist Mecca, is accessible only by air or water.

Atlantic Beach, NC

Atlantic Beach, NC

Atlantic Beach, arguably one of the most visited beach towns along the Crystal Coast, is a longstanding favorite destination for coastal fun in the sun. A perfect little representation of the North Carolina beach scene, this oceanfront town is an easy locale for a day-trip, a long weekend, of a full week's vacation, with loads of amenities, entertainment, and of course, those famous Emerald Isle beaches.

Shelling near Morehead City, NC

Shelling near Morehead City, NC

One of the best attributes of Morehead City for many longtime vacationers is that this central Crystal Coast town is close to everything the Southern Outer Banks has to offer. And when it comes to beachcombing, this means that shell seekers will be a quick drive or water taxi away from some of the most promising and coveted beaches along the North Carolina coastline.

Outer Banks Pets Guide

Outer Banks Pets Guide

Most vacationers consider their pet to be a part of their family, and as a result, thousands of Outer Banks visitors bring their furry family members in tow year after year. While planning a vacation that includes everyone in the family, including a beloved dog or other pet, can initially seem a little daunting, on the Outer Banks, it's actually an easy affair.

Beaufort History

Beaufort History

Established in 1709, and renowned as the third oldest town in the state, Beaufort truly is a community where history comes alive. From dozens of residences that have decorated the local downtown streets for centuries, to hidden landmarks and offshore destinations where pirates used to roam, Beaufort’s history is legendary, romantic, and all-together fascinating.

Outer Banks Nature Spots

Outer Banks Nature Spots

With 150 miles of pristine coastline, and some of the East Coast's largest swaths of undisturbed maritime forest, the Outer Banks is a popular destination for nature lovers. As an important spot on America's "Flyway," which is the route that migrating birds take on their northern and southern treks across the country, the Outer Banks is the temporary home to hundreds of species of birds. Combine this with the number of deer, foxes, waterfowl, fish, turtles, and even alligators, and it's clear that the Outer Banks is truly a wild vacation destination.

Activities for Kids

Activities for Kids

Let the kids run wild in Carova, a desolate beach destination that's famed for wild horses, isolated beaches, and miles of pristine shoreline. Combined with the neighboring town of Corolla, which features a world of shops and entertainment, kids will never be bored in this unique, Currituck Banks destination.

Washington, NC History

Washington, NC History

Explored in the late 1500s it was finally settled in 1690. James Bonner started the town on his own farm in the 1770s. After serving in the Continental Army, Bonner returned home and in 1776 renamed his town, originally called ''Forks of the Tar,'' for his commanding general, Washington. The town boasts that it is the ''original Washington.'' It was a major shipping port playing an important role in supplying the colonists when the British held Savannah, Charles Town and Wilmington under siege. Prized for its good waters it became a major commercial and cultural center for nearly a century.

Rainy Day Activities

Rainy Day Activities

No need for a rainy day to dampen the fun on Ocracoke Island. These rainy day activities will ensure that vacationers of all ages will have a blast without the beach.

Dismal Swamp History

Dismal Swamp History

In the midst of the metropolitan area known as Hampton Roads, Virginia, and extending well into North Carolina, there is a unique primeval forest inhabited by a variety of mammals, 21 species of reptiles, 58 species of turtles, lizards, salamanders, frogs & toads, and over 200 species of birds, as well as history, mystery and lore... the Great Dismal Swamp.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is a unique little North Carolina coastal destination that encompasses both mainland and barrier island terrain, and is located just a seashell's throw from the South Carolina border. Despite its proximity to larger destinations like Wilmington, NC to the north and Myrtle Beach, SC to the south, the community has never lost its small town charm, and its decidedly beachy atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for laid back vacationers who want to soak up the salt, the sun, and the endless ocean views.

Surfing in the Outer Banks

Surfing in the Outer Banks

Forget Hawaii and California - on the East Coast, the best place for surf is on the Outer Banks, and this region is renowned as one of the best surfing destinations from New York to Florida. Surfers from all over the country and the world flock to the Outer Banks for the annual ESA tournament, or just after a storm swell, to paddle out to the Atlantic and enjoy some of the best waves on the coast.

Bodie Island

Bodie Island

Bodie Island tends to cause a lot of confusion, for both the pronunciation of its name as well as its precise location. This small strip of the Outer Banks doesn't get a lot of attention, and most North Carolina visitors simply pass through the area on their way to or from the Hatteras and Ocracoke Island resort towns, or make a quick stop for an up-close-and-personal view of the Bodie Island Lighthouse.

Museums near Wrightsville Beach

Museums near Wrightsville Beach

Because of Wrightsville Beach’s long legacy as a hot vacation destination, as well as its proximity to a collection of historically or environmentally significant sites, the community is close to a wealth of museums where furthering an area education is always a fun adventure. Dedicate an afternoon or two to checking out these area museums for an opportunity to fully discover the Cape Fear region – from its early roots to its current status as one of the most unique corners of the Carolinas.

Rainy Day Activities in Wrightsville Beach

Rainy Day Activities in Wrightsville Beach

A Wrightsville Beach vacation may center on long sunny days on the seashore, but the occasional rainy day presents a perfect opportunity to get out and about and discover the historically and culturally rich Cape Fear region. From top rated museums to fun activities the whole family will love, the Cape Fear region is brimming with things to do that can be enjoyed, rain or shine. Use a rainy day as an opportunity to check out these destinations and attractions that will keep visitors entertained long after the sun comes out again.

Wrightsville Beach Camping Guide

Wrightsville Beach Camping Guide

Wrightsville Beach is one of the Cape Fear region’s favorite vacation hot spots, and as a result, it’s a popular destination for campers and RV explorers who want to discover everything that this town and area has to offer. While there are no campgrounds or RV parks directly within the town limits, visitors who are staying at a local camping or RV resort will have no problem accessing the shoreline. Many area campgrounds are located just a few miles from the beaches, or may be in attractive neighboring beach communities – like Carolina Beach – where there’s plenty of fun and sun to go around.

Beaufort, NC Kayaking

Beaufort, NC Kayaking

Water lovers of all varieties are discovering that one of the best ways to explore this chic coastal town is from on on-the-water perspective, and there’s no better or accessible way to acquire this vantage point than via a kayak expedition.

Holden Beach

Holden Beach

Holden Beach is a gem of a vacation destination. Accommodating a world of outdoor sports and interests, with crystal clear beaches that are uncrowded even during the busiest summer days, the island was recently ranked as one of the top family friendly beaches in the country. An ideal launching point for boating, kayaking, fishing, surfing, and any number of sandy and salty past times, Holden Beach is a nationally acclaimed barrier island that is a perfect escape for families who want to throw on the flip flops, spread out the beach towel, and enjoy the laid-back, coastal scene.

Morehead City Vacation Rentals

Morehead City Vacation Rentals

Visitors who want to be close to everything the Crystal Coast has to offer – including charming downtowns, shopping complexes, hopping beaches, and everything in between – may want to set their vacation sights on the central town of Morehead City. This barley inland small town features easy access to area beaches, a great shopping and dining scene, and a cool waterfront downtown with miles of views. As a result of these combined factors, Morehead City is a fine destination for any Crystal Coast visitor who wants to experience it all.

Downtown Southport, NC

Downtown Southport, NC

Southport's downtown is a genuinely unique destination that combines all the charms of a laid-back coastal village with historic southern architecture and style. The end result is a collection of restaurants, museums, shops and services with a flair all their own, and a slow-as-molasses pace that invites visitors to pull up a rocking chair, take in a water view, and simply relax.

Downtown Swansboro

Downtown Swansboro

Downtown Swansboro certainly brings the town's mantra as the "Friendly City by the Sea" to life. Home to a number of acclaimed art galleries, restaurants, shops, and fun events for locals and visitors alike during virtually any time of year, a visit to the community's busiest section of town is sure to be a highlight of any Eastern North Carolina vacation.

Fishing in Currituck

Fishing in Currituck

Fishing is exceptional in Currituck County due to the miles of ocean shoreline and the 30-mile wide Currituck Sound, which has the surprising distinction of being able to accommodate both freshwater and saltwater species.

Things to do in Kitty Hawk

Things to do in Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk visitors will be overwhelmed with possibilities, from amazing shopping to quiet soundside hikes. The following Kitty Hawk activities are popular and most always in season for Outer Banks vacationers.

Georgetown, SC History

Georgetown, SC History

The Tidelands of Georgetown County, South Carolina have hosted inhabitants for the past 50,000 years. Imagine the same beaches, swamps, salt marshes and forest land that we have today undisturbed by roadway and highrises.

Sugarloaf Island

Sugarloaf Island

Visitors to the central Crystal Coast region who want to embark on a wild island adventure without venturing too far away from the mainland can enjoy a relatively easy trek with a visit to Sugarloaf Island. Veritably hidden in plain sight, this unique little island is located just a shell’s throw away from Morehead City, and yet feels like it’s worlds away from the busy downtown area.

Ocracoke Ferry System

Ocracoke Ferry System

Ocracoke is separated from the rest of the world by the 20+ mile wide Pamlico Sound, which means that the only way to access the island is via a personal vessel, or more commonly, by a North Carolina State Ferry.

Edenton, NC

The small town of Edenton may very be one of the first Inner Banks destinations to rise to regional and even national fame as a stunning spot along coastal North Carolina to enjoy a full, historic vacation, just a few short miles away from the Atlantic Ocean-facing beaches. The coastal community is a small town at heart with a deeply rich history and a big personality that is sure to charm anyone looking for a quiet but engaging weekend destination that's relatively close to home.

Outer Banks, NC

There's a reason why so many aspiring and professional photographers flock to the Outer Banks. Ocean sunrises, sound sunsets, and miles of quiet wildlife in between create some breathtaking landscapes, ideal for photographers, painters, or plain-old vacationers who love an astounding view.

Belhaven, NC

The little town of Belhaven may be a blink-and-you'll-miss-it town, but Eastern North Carolina visitors who decide to take the long way home along US Highway 264 will be rewarded with a visit to a picturesque waterfront town that is filled with historical and coastal charm. This small community of less than 2,000 residents has a prime location on the north shore of the Pungo River, just eight miles away from the massive Pamlico Sound which separates North Carolina's Inner Banks from its Outer Banks. As a result, visitors here will find exceptional fishing, incredible open water views, and a hardy, salty culture that is typical of North Carolina's life on the water.

Oriental, NC

Many locals attest that Oriental is a "contagious destination," where vehicular travelers via the two lane US 55, or maritime travelers along the Neuse River or Pamlico Sound, tend to stop by for a night or two, and end up sticking around for an extended, if not permanent, stay. A salty and friendly community that is relatively isolated from the rest of the central Inner Banks, this small town is big on community spirit, and possesses a natural love of all things nautical that is evident around every boat dock, every waterfront boardwalk, and every winding creek.

Southport, NC

Southport has been hailed by North Carolina locals and visitors alike as one of the most authentic and unique coastal communities along the shoreline, and it doesn't take long for newcomers to figure out why. The small, 2.2 square mile village is a stunning combination of historic residences, lush coastal landscaping, and miles of water in every direction, making it a both a quintessentially southern and maritime community with a distinct culture all its own.

Holden Beach, NC

Holden Beach is a gem of a vacation destination. Accommodating a world of outdoor sports and interests, with crystal clear beaches that are uncrowded even during the busiest summer days, the island was recently ranked as one of the top family friendly beaches in the country. An ideal launching point for boating, kayaking, fishing, surfing, and any number of sandy and salty past times, Holden Beach is a nationally acclaimed barrier island that is a perfect escape for families who want to throw on the flip flops, spread out the beach towel, and enjoy the laid-back, coastal scene.

Crystal Coast, NC Area

The beautiful Crystal Coast area includes Morehead City, Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, and Swandboro, NC.

Atlantic Beach, NC

Atlantic Beach, arguably one of the most visited beach towns along the Crystal Coast, is a longstanding favorite destination for coastal fun in the sun. A perfect little representation of the North Carolina beach scene, this oceanfront town is an easy locale for a day-trip, a long weekend, of a full week's vacation, with loads of amenities, entertainment, and of course, those famous Emerald Isle beaches. Though Atlantic Beach is easily the busiest community along the Emerald Isle shoreline, it's also one of its most family-friendly, and newcomers will have no trouble finding a world of things to do both on and off the sand.

Swansboro, NC

Though not too many Eastern NC visitors will encounter Swansboro unless they are en route to the Emerald Isle shoreline, this small coastal town is most certainly worth a second look. One of the oldest towns along the Crystal Coast, and easily one of the most diverse, Swansboro is a surprising paradise for any visitor who loves shopping, dining, kayaking, beaching, and ample waterfront views around virtually every city block. Gradually growing a reputation as one of Coastal Carolina's best long weekend destinations, new visitors to Emerald Island or the Crystal Coast should definitely pull up anchor in historic Swansboro for a day or two, and see for themselves what all the fuss is about.

Pawley's Island, SC

Visitors who crave peace and quiet in a beach vacation will find isolated and scenic Pawleys Island a breath of fresh air. As one of the oldest resort areas along the Eastern United States, this unimposing, quiet getaway still holds a well-earned reputation as one of the most scenic and relaxing parcels of shoreline along the South Carolina Grand Strand.

Isle of Palms

When it comes to a well-deserved break from the everyday grind, Charleston movers and shakers head to the Isle of Palms, a gorgeous 5.6 square mile barrier island that's just 12 miles away from the city, but feels miles away from the rest of the world. Once on the island, (easily accessible via the Isle of Palms Connecting Bridge from the mainland town of Mt. Pleasant), life is a breath of fresh, salt air, as the island is purposely small with a modest handful of local inns, several hundred vacation rental homes, and miles of unpopulated Atlantic Ocean facing beaches.

Hilton Head Island, SC

Hilton Head Island is arguably one of the most popular beach towns along the southern Carolina coast, with world class resorts and vacation rentals, gorgeous beaches, and plenty of entertainment available both on and off the beach. A regular on national "Top Ten Vacation Destination" lists, the island has an elite resort town feel that can easily cater to a wide range of tastes and interests.

Cedar Island

Cedar Island

Cedar Island is the closest mainland region to Ocracoke Island, and serves as the launching point for many Ocracoke visitors who arrive on the Outer Banks from the south, via the Cedar Island / Ocracoke Ferry.

Outer Banks Beach Guidelines

Outer Banks Beach Guidelines

The Outer Banks has its fair share of attractions for vacationers, including the Wright Brothers Memorial, 4 famous North Carolina lighthouses, the NC Aquarium, the Lost Colony, and enough shopping and dining to keep any family entertained for a week-long vacation. But the biggest attraction that draws seasoned Outer Banks vacationers back every year are the miles and miles of pristine beaches.

Educational Activities in Beaufort, NC

Educational Activities in Beaufort, NC

With a history that spans more than three centuries, and a unique ecosystem where barely coastal Nature Reserves run parallel to undeveloped barrier island shorelines, Beaufort is truly an enlightening destination for visitors of all interests. Stocked with historical homes and residences, unique ecosystems, and a myriad of ways to explore further, there’s lots to discover in this educational coastal town. Stop by one of the region’s museums, take a walk around the historic blocks, or embark on an on-the-water adventure that you’ll never forget. In Beaufort, where history and culture is found around every corner, education is naturally a part of every vacation.

Nags Head Area Information

Nags Head Area Information

The modern-day Bodie Island region from Nags Head to Oregon Inlet is sparsely developed, but nevertheless a popular destination for nature lovers and anglers alike. Visitors will find the following activities, attractions and amenities just miles away from the town borders of Nags Head, and all close to the distinguished Bodie Island Lighthouse.

Kitty Hawk History

Kitty Hawk History

Kitty Hawk may have rose to national fame with the arrival of the Wright Brothers, but the region was home to salty locals for centuries before the Wrights took flight. From the long lost soundside communities in Kitty Hawk Woods to the historic lifesaving station that guarded the coastline, Kitty Hawk has plenty of stories to share.

Shelling

Shelling

If you know where to look, the Outer Banks can be a beachcomber's paradise. With miles of shoreline to explore, hidden beaches that are relatively untouched, and literally piles of shells washing up on the beaches after a storm, shelling on the OBX beaches is simply a matter of timing and area expertise.

Crystal Coast Rainy Day Activities

Crystal Coast Rainy Day Activities

No vacationer looks forward to a rainy day while trying to soak up the sun along the Crystal Coast, but the fact is that some of the region’s favorite and most treasured destinations are found off the sand, and a rainy day serves as the perfect excuse to get off the beach, and start exploring.

Things to do in Kill Devil Hills

Things to do in Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Hills is arguably one of the busiest summertime towns in the Outer Banks, due to its wide collection of shops, restaurants, and off-the-beach entertainment options.

Hatteras Inlet

Hatteras Inlet

The southernmost attraction on Hatteras Island is Hatteras Inlet, and fishermen, mariners, beachcombers, and island lovers all know this area of the Outer Banks shoreline very well. Located approximately half mile past the edge of the populated Hatteras village and the Hatteras/ Ocracoke ferry docks, Hatteras Inlet provides plenty of outdoor entertainment and simply incredible scenery for those who pull up a beach chair, or are just passing through en route to Ocracoke Island or the Gulf Stream.

Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II

Anyone with a fascination of history and America's European roots will love a day exploring the Elizabeth II, a historic 16th century sailing vessel that is docked along the borders of the Roanoke Island Festival Park. This ship can be admired by virtually anyone who takes a stroll along the downtown Manteo waterfront, as it sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the modern day sail boats, yachts, and fishing boats that are docked nearby. The wooden exterior and brightly colored Tudor flags sail in the breeze, and the sight of the resting ship certainly feels like a step back in time.

Wilmington Museums

Wilmington Museums

With its collegiate prestige and unique roots that extend from the Antebellum era to modern day Hollywood, it should come as no surprise that the museums that are found in and around Wilmington are as diverse as the vibrant cityscape itself. Expand your knowledge on everything from military history to scaly and scary reptiles by paying a visit to these acclaimed museums that call the Wilmington region home.

Fishing on the Outer Banks

Fishing on the Outer Banks

Long before the summer vacationing families discovered the Outer Banks as a hot tourist destination, fishermen from across the country flocked to coastal North Carolina. With no roads to navigate, and no vacation homes to stay in, anglers would brave the makeshift sandy paths that ran along thebeaches, and would set up makeshift campsites whenever there was protection from the wind and waves. They went through great efforts to visit the Outer Banks for one reason: Exceptional fishing.

Crystal Coast Beaches

Crystal Coast Beaches

One of the biggest attractions for Crystal Coast visitors is naturally the beaches, and new vacationers will soon discover that there’s a lot of shoreline to go around. From the hopping summertime beaches in Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach, to the more secluded Cape Lookout National Seashore, enjoying the local beaches is a breeze in this corner of the Southern Outer Banks.

Wrightsville Beach Shelling

Wrightsville Beach Shelling

One of the most common questions from new visitors to Wrightsville Beach is “Where can I find shells?” And while Wrightsville Beach can have decent shelling conditions, a little planning and timing may be required to find the true treasures that wash up on this section of the North Carolina coastline. Visitors who love beachcombing, however, will find ample options for catching a ride to the best shelling spots, or increasing their chances of finding a prize-worthy shell or two close to home. So bring along your bags and your sense of adventure on your next Wrightsville Beach vacation, and try your hand at uncovering some of the best souvenirs that Atlantic Ocean has to offer.

Wrightsville Beach Surfing Guide

Wrightsville Beach Surfing Guide

Surfing has always been big on Wrightsville Beach, and visitors and surfers from all across the East Coast are starting to take notice. The town was named one of the “World’s 20 Best Surf Towns” by National Geographic Magazine, and was one of only seven town in the US to earn the distinction. The designation was due to the sleepy surf town vibe, the family friendly atmosphere, and even the growing number of things to do for visitors who aren’t necessarily interested in riding waves.

Little Lollipop Bay

Little Lollipop Bay

Little Lollipop Bay is a small oval-shaped bay that lies just north of the US 74 / Wrightsville Beach Bridge. The small enclosure of water, surrounded by vacation rental homes with private docks and fishing piers, is a popular launching point for novice kayakers, windsurfers and kiteboarders who want to enjoy a quick paddle in a safe location, or experienced boaters who want a fast way to head out to the deserted, and barely-above-water islands in between Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach.

En-Route to the Outer Banks

En-Route to the Outer Banks

The drive to your Outer Banks destination can and should be part of the fun of heading to the beach, and with the wealth of roadside attractions, iconic destinations, and hidden gems, it’s easy to transform a long drive into an integral part of your getaway. So instead of making a beeline to the beach, take some time to check out the variety of activities and sites that are found along both the main routes and just slightly off the beaten path. Whether you come to the Outer Banks from the north, south, or west, you’ll find that there’s tons to discover along the way.

Activities for Kids

Activities for Kids

There may not be any major amusement parks or shopping malls on Ocracoke Island, but kids seem to have no problem staying entertained. On your next Ocracoke Island vacation, be sure and visit these fun, educational and altogether engaging kid-friendly Ocracoke activities and destinations.

Beaufort Historical Society

Beaufort Historical Society

There's a reason why Beaufort earned the title of the "Coolest Small Town in the USA" by national publication Budget Travel Magazine, and one of the driving forces behind this honor is Beaufort's dedicated preservation of its history, orchestrated, mainly, by the Beaufort Historical Association.

Belhaven, NC History

Belhaven, NC History

Originally named Jack's Neck, Belhaven was once a bustling industrial town with a half-dozen lumber companies and a branch of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad.

Morehead City Kayaking

Morehead City Kayaking

While the Morehead City kayaking scene may be overshadowed by neighboring communities like Beaufort or Atlantic Beach, the town is nevertheless a great place to get out and explore, thanks to miles of water in every direction, and “hidden gem” destinations like Harlowe Creek or Sugarloaf Island. With lots of makeshift routes to explore, and conditions that can be conducive to newcomers and advanced paddlers alike, a Morehead City kayaking expedition can serve as a fine way to enjoy the local landscape from an entirely new perspective.

Johns Island

Johns Island

Johns Island is a unique region that sits almost directly in between the popular city of Charleston and the barrier island beaches that border the Atlantic shoreline. Technically the largest island in the state of South Carolina, this isle has more of a down-home, Lowcountry feel with acres of flat terrain, a spread out population, and a surprisingly large number of natural, historical, and altogether entertaining attractions that can be found well off the beaten path, under Spanish moss covered live oaks, lush vegetation, and South Carolina's signature Palmetto trees.

Indian Beach

Indian Beach

The small communities of Indian Beach and Salter Path, located in between Emerald Isle and Pine Knoll Shores, are scenic Crystal Coast destinations in their own right. Home to some of the area's favorite attractions, multiple options for weekly stays or long-term escapes, and plenty of gorgeous beaches and docks for travelling mariners, this region of the southern Outer Banks has just about everything a beach vacationer could ask for.

Top 10 Attractions Beaufort NC

Top 10 Attractions Beaufort NC

Beaufort is a community where history and coastal charm is found around every downtown corner, and where top Crystal Coast restaurants are found side-by-side with historic residences and museums. As a result, it’s an easy task for sightseers to spend an afternoon, a day, or even a full week exploring the collection of sites that are situated in the immediate area, or located just a water taxi ride away.

Hatteras History

Hatteras History

Hatteras Island has been occupied for more than 1,500 years, and as a result, the small barrier island is filled with historic sites, headline-grabbing events, and impressive archeological finds.

Scenic Spots on the Outer Banks

Scenic Spots on the Outer Banks

There's a reason why so many aspiring and professional photographers flock to the Outer Banks. Ocean sunrises, sound sunsets, and miles of quiet wildlife in between create some breathtaking landscapes, ideal for photographers, painters, or plain-old vacationers who love an astounding view.

Washington, NC

Washington, NC

The town of Washington is rapidly becoming one of the highlights of North Carolina's Inner Banks due to its small town charm, incredible location along the Pamlico River, and eclectic blend of boutiques, restaurants, and attractions. This small community of just under 10,000 residents has a maritime culture all its own, with dozens of colorful crab statues lining the downtown streets, hundreds of boats, big and small, lining the waterfront, and miles of open Tar and Pamlico River views, extending in virtually every direction. Quaint and quiet, but with enough activity to keep anyone entertained, Washington is an ideal long weekend retreat for visitors who want to experience the heart and unique culture of coastal Eastern North Carolina.

History of Morehead City

History of Morehead City

Though not as old as some as its neighbors - like the adjacent and more than 300-year-old town of Beaufort – Morehead City nevertheless has a unique history that’s evident around every waterfront corner. Envisioned by a governor, and eventually inhabited by residents fleeing a hurricane, the town of Morehead City stands out for its deliberate creation, as well as its slow but steady rise to fame as a maritime-oriented vacation destination.

Hatteras - Ocracoke Ferry

Hatteras - Ocracoke Ferry

The Hatteras / Ocracoke ferry is one of the most popular of the seven coastal ferry routes that are orchestrated and managed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT.) Open for everyone, with daily runs that occur 365 days a year, the short 40-45 minute island-hopping ferry provides an integral link for Ocracoke Island to the rest of the Outer Banks, and provides visitors of all seasons with an exciting way to enjoy a coastal day trip. For a little bit of completely free entertainment, hop aboard via car, truck, bike or even just on foot, and discover a scenic boat ride that's just as thrilling as discovering the island of Ocracoke itself.

Hunting Island

Hunting Island

Beautiful Hunting Island is a bit of a contradiction. Located 15 miles east of Beaufort, the island is completely isolated, with just a handful of campsites and a main Visitor's Center. Despite this fact, the island is also the most visited state park in South Carolina, and one of the most acclaimed beaches in the southeast. Regularly landing on "Top Beaches" lists around the country, (including Trip Advisor's own ranking of "America's Top Ten Beaches"), Hunting Island is an oasis for coastal visitors who crave nothing more than gorgeous shorelines, endless water views, and an abundance of natural surroundings.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) may be considered one of the Outer Bank's newest crazes to hit the water, but the sport itself is actually centuries old, originating in the Hawaiian and Polynesian Islands as an easy-going mode of transportation from one waterfront beach to another.

Outer Banks Birding

Outer Banks Birding

For bird lovers, the Outer Banks is hard to beat. This delicate chain of barrier islands is not only home to dozens of different native shorebirds, but also thousands of migrating birds who make a rest stop on the Outer Banks every year. Add to this the fact that the islands have hundreds of miles of deserted beaches, maritime forest, and marshlands for species to quietly flourish, and it's clear that the Outer Banks is literally for the birds.

New Bern Museums

New Bern Museums

From extensive complexes that will keep visitors engaged for hours, to charming and historic destinations that are stocked with period antiques, New Bern’s museums are a major reason why visitors return to this region year after year. Discover all the ways to soak up the local history, culture, and centuries of stories, and pay a visit to these museums that will fascinate visitors of all ages, and all interests.

Wrightsville Beach Fishing Guide

Wrightsville Beach Fishing Guide

Visitors who want to spend a chunk of their vacation dropping a line will find plenty of opportunities to go fishing in Wrightsville Beach. Surrounded by water, home to numerous charter businesses, and featuring roughly four miles of beaches, fishing is easily one of this coastal town’s most popular activities. On your next vacation, spend a day at the beach or at Johnnie Mercer's Pier, or head out to the outlying shipwrecks on an offshore charter trip to target the big catches – regardless of your angling ambitions, Wrightsville Beach has every fishing adventure covered, and then some.

Hatteras Island

Hatteras Island

Head south over the Herbert C. Bonner bridge, or take the Hatteras / Ocracoke ferry from Ocracoke Island, and you'll land on the shores of Hatteras Island.

Activities for Kids in Wrightsville Beach

Activities for Kids in Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach is a fun vacation destination for visitors of all ages, but it’s arguably the most entertaining for the younger crowd. From watersports to boat tours, museums to shops, the town and surrounding Cape Fear region is brimming with activities and attractions that kids will adore. Start planning your kid-friendly itinerary by investigating these activities, attractions, and things to do that will appeal to the youngest members of your vacationing party, as well as the young at heart.