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.

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.

Beaufort, NC Boating Guide

Beaufort, NC Boating Guide

As evident by the dozens if not hundreds of vessels that are perched along the downtown docks on a daily basis, Beaufort is clearly a community that’s in love with boating. From marine stores in the heart of the downtown area, to water tours and taxis that cross Taylor’s Creek and the Bogue Sound on an hourly basis, the town of Beaufort is truly a boater’s dream.

Fishing in Hatteras, NC

Fishing in Hatteras, NC

Hatteras Island's first tourists were fishermen, and fishing along the 50 miles of shoreline has become an institution on the island that is still enjoyed today, in every season.

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.

Top 10 Attractions in Wrightsville Beach

Top 10 Attractions in Wrightsville Beach

While the Cape Fear area is brimming with attractions that span from the historic Civil War Fort Fisher to the chic downtown streets of Wilmington, the small beach town of Wrightsville Beach has its own allures to attract visitors of all interests. With unique public parks and pathways, cool local museums, and ample ways to have fun on the water, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to fun destinations in this popular beach community.

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.

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.

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.

Surfing near Beaufort, NC

Surfing near Beaufort, NC

Life is truly a beach on the Crystal Coast, and visitors to the barley inland town of Beaufort, NC will find that there are a number of coastal shorelines nearby to appease a need for wave riding. From isolated barrier island destinations to popular beach towns that attract a crowd, surfers will discover that a great day of waves is a quick drive or boat ride away when they stay in historical Beaufort, NC.

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

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.

Wrightsville Beach Vacation Rentals

Wrightsville Beach Vacation Rentals

While Wrightsville Beach has a collection of hotels and motels, the primary type of accommodations in this region are vacation rentals. There are literally hundreds of vacation rentals in the town of Wrightsville Beach, which are scattered throughout the landscape and are found along the oceanfront, soundfront, and in between waterfront regions in the interior section of the island. Because of the sheer geography of this skinny barrier island, guests in vacation rentals will never be far from the town’s top attractions, which include the local beaches, the waterfront boasting, fishing, and paddling scenes, and the variety of shops and restaurants that are found throughout the area.

Harkers Island

Harkers Island

Vacationers who want to experience a slice of authentic “Down East” culture will want to visit picturesque Harker’s Island. Located just east of the town of Beaufort and the Crystal Coast beaches, this small coastal community has retained its small-town charm throughout the centuries, and is a popular destination for fishermen, mariners, and anyone who appreciates a slower pace of life.

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, 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.

Wrightsville Beach Guide

Wrightsville Beach Guide

One of the largest attractions in Wrightsville Beach – both literally and figuratively – is the town’s miles of ocean-facing shoreline. And over the decades, the local beaches are the prime reason why millions of visitors have discovered, (and return to), this cool coastal community. With parking available throughout the town, seasonal lifeguarded beaches, and wide shorelines where splashing around is a breeze, it’s easy to see why people keep coming back to enjoy the local shorelines that have made this vacation destination famous throughout the generations.

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.

Crystal Coast Vacation Rentals

Crystal Coast Vacation Rentals

Visitors who are heading to the Crystal Coast will find a scattering of hotels and motels throughout the shoreline and inland communities, but will soon discover that the primary type of accommodations available are vacation rentals. Located all along the Crystal Coast beaches from Atlantic Beach to the town of Emerald Isle, a vacation rental is the generally preferred accommodations option for vacationers thanks to ample space, exceptional locales close to the water, and plenty of homes and condos to choose from.

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.

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.

Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach

Visitors who want to be close to all the action of the Grand Strand, but stay in a relatively quieter community, will fall in love with Surfside Beach. This small beach town located just south of Myrtle Beach, and located only 8 miles from the Myrtle Beach International Airport, is a great representative sample of all the grand attractions, lodging options, amenities and activities that its more populated neighbors have to offer, but with the relaxed atmosphere of a smaller beach getaway.

Activities for Kids

Activities for Kids

Kill Devil Hills is ideal for kids, thanks to a collection of on and off-the-beach activities, and a central locale that makes a trip to neighboring Outer Banks attractions a breeze. Take a break from the sandcastle building, and discover these sites, attractions and activities that are sure to keep little hands busy

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.

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.

Activities for Kids

Activities for Kids

Hatteras Island is well known as the naturally family-friendly destination on the Outer Banks, and for good reason. The sprawling collection of museums, shops, and miles of outdoor terrain makes this barrier island a kids' paradise.

Scenic Spots in Wrightsville Beach

Scenic Spots in Wrightsville Beach

With a location that borders water in veritably every direction, it’s not surprising that Wrightsville Beach has more than its fair share of scenic spot around the town. Close to incredible beaches, local landmarks, and neighboring communities that are known for their stature and beauty, Wrightsville Beach is a dream for sightseers who want to relax and enjoy the view. Start your scenic exploration with a visit to these sites that are found a shell’s throw or a short drive away, and which offer miles of natural beauty.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ocean Isle Beach

Ocean Isle Beach

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.

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.

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 Real Estate

Outer Banks Real Estate

After a few days of sunny beach afternoons, fantastic local attractions, and all the amenities that attract people to the Outer Banks, many visitors find themselves daydreaming about a more permanent vacation. Whether your ultimate goal is to own an investment property, a retirement or vacation home, or simply a year-round home on the beach, the Outer Banks is filled with incredible opportunities and a variety of properties for sale.

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.

Shackleford Banks Wild Horses

Shackleford Banks Wild Horses

One of the most sought-after attractions of the Shackleford Banks are the famed wild horses that call this deserted barrier island terrain home – the Shackleford Banks Wild Horses. Local residents for hundreds of years, these feral horses may be shy and only make occasional appearances when humans are around, but they are nonetheless one of the most unique and popular aspects of the 56-mile long Cape Lookout National Seashore. Every beach visitor hopes for an opportunity to spot one of these feral horses in their natural environment, and often, a chance to see one of these famed island residents is just a short water taxi or ferry ride away.

Emerald Isle History

Emerald Isle History

Like many of North Carolina's coastal islands, Emerald Isle was first home to Indians; the Algonquin Indian tribe occupied the surrounding countryside from about 500 A.D. to colonial times. Later, the area was settled by whalers and fishermen.

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.

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.

Windsurfing the Outer Banks

Windsurfing the Outer Banks

While several of the Outer Banks' most popular sports seemingly flew onto the scene in the past decade or two, like kiteboarding or stand up paddle boarding (SUP), windsurfing has been drawing water sports lovers to the North Carolina coast for nearly fifty years. In essence, windsurfing can pride itself as being the Outer Bank's oldest, and one of its most beloved sound-based sports, and everyone from seasoned riders to windsurfing newcomers can catch an exceptional ride.

Kill Devil Hills History

Kill Devil Hills History

With the exception of local family stories and legends, Kill Devil Hills' history is hard to trace prior to the Wright Brothers' historic First Flight in 1903. In fact, even the origin of the town's fascinating name is not certain, and the many theories that surround the moniker involve pirates, shipwrecked buccaneers, and barrels of rum strong enough to "kill the devil."

New Bern NC Marinas, Boat Ramps, Charters and Tours

New Bern NC Marinas, Boat Ramps, Charters and Tours

With a fantastic locale that borders the intersection of the Trent and Neuse Rivers, New Bern is a prime destination for mariners of all varieties. Whether a visitor wants to explore the local waters for an afternoon, or an adventurer needs a place to rest for a couple nights during a long trek along the Intracoastal Waterway, New Bern has everything a boating enthusiast could require to enjoy ample time on the water.

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.

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.

Back Sound

Back Sound

The Back Sound is a popular playground for inshore fishermen, sightseers, and cruising vacationers alike, thanks to its locale that’s easily accessible from the Crystal Coast beach towns as well as the inland communities of Harkers Island and Beaufort.

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.

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.

Hang Gliding

Hang Gliding

Flight takes many forms on the Outer Banks, from the thousands of migratory birds that travel along these barrier islands to and from their winter destinations, to aviation pioneers like the Wright Brothers who launched the world's first airplane off the sand dunes of Kill Devil Hills. Visitors can also experience the Outer Banks' inherent love of all things aerial by taking flight themselves with a day of Hang Gliding.

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.

Outer Banks Milepost System

Outer Banks Milepost System

Many newcomers to the Outer Banks who are browsing the local restaurants, shops and area attractions online or in the local guide books notice an interesting addition to the standard address. Besides the typical business name, street name, street number and town, many local businesses also include a Milepost number. This may initially appear to be an odd notation to include, but on the Outer Banks, this is incredibly helpful to new visitors on the lookout for a specific restaurant or shop.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cape Fear River

Cape Fear River

While Wilmington visitors will arguably enjoy the best views of the Cape Fear River, this distinctive river actually spreads out throughout most of the coastal and piedmont regions of North Carolina, originating in the town of Haywood, just north of Greensboro, NC, and flowing all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

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.

Columbia, NC

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.

Crystal Coast Camping

Crystal Coast Camping

The Crystal Coast is a dream destination for campers, road warriors, and anyone who appreciates the great outdoors. Comprising of miles of desolate beaches, hopping waterfront communities, and everything in between, campers will soon discover that their getaway can be as laid-back or as action packed as they desire, with a myriad of camping options to choose from.

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.

New Bern History

New Bern History

Throughout its more than three centuries of existence, New Bern is a city that has seen tremendous highs and devastating lows. From its original stature as the capital of North Carolina, to its rise to fame as the Birthplace of Pepsi, New Bern has had more than its fair share of incredible events, which makes it a delightful destination for any visitor who appreciates American history. Discover the stories that are hidden in plain sight throughout this coastal town, and see why when it comes to historical importance and local legacy, New Bern is hard to beat.

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

Swan Quarter

Swan Quarter

Two stories prevail as to how Hyde Countys seat got its name. One legend has it named for the thousands of swan that came to "quarter" in the this little village at the head of Swan Quarter Bay. The second, less romantic story, says it was named after Samuel Swann who settled in the area in the 1700s.

Top 10 New Bren Attractions

Top 10 New Bren Attractions

It can be difficult for New Bern newcomers to figure out what to do first. In a community that’s teaming with history, a vibrant arts scene, and a chic downtown area, new visitors will soon discover that he town is brimming with all sorts of attractions and destinations for vacationers to explore. With that being said, however, there are a few “must see” destinations that any vacationer will want to visit to enjoy the full New Bern experience.

Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kayaking

Kayaking

Recreation in the Outer Banks centers around the water, so it's no surprise that almost every town on this stretch of North Carolina coastline, from Corolla to Ocracoke, offers kayaking tours, adventures and rentals to seasonal visitors. With so many watery avenues to explore, from small marshy canals littered with wildlife, to crushing ocean waves for extreme ocean kayakers, kayaking on the Outer Banks can cater to all types of vacationers, from novices to experts.

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.

Things to do in Currituck

Things to do in Currituck

Currituck County features hundreds of miles of water, thanks to the 30-mile long Currituck Sound, as well as a handful of major reserves, parks and refuges, including the Currituck Banks Reserve, the Currituck Wildlife Refuge, and the Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge. As a result, every visitor should be prepared to spend ample time enjoying Currituck's endless Great Outdoors

Fishing in Kill Devil Hills, NC

Fishing in Kill Devil Hills, NC

The Outer Banks began as a fisherman's paradise and continues its reputation today as one of the best fishing destinations on the East Coast. In Kill Devil Hills, anglers will find plenty of good catches on the beaches, from the pier, and even in the open Albemarle Sound waters, making the town a great, central locale to cast a line.

Crystal Coast Boating Guide

Crystal Coast Boating Guide

As a corridor along the famed Intracoastal Waterway, it should come as no surprise that the Crystal Coast is a Mecca for mariners of all varieties. Whether you want to book a cruise that uncovers the hard-to-reach sites found just offshore, or want to sail in for a multi-day stay at a local marina, the Crystal Coast shoreline is designed for miles of maritime enjoyment.

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 - 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.

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.

7 Best Beach & Fishing Coolers 2017

7 Best Beach & Fishing Coolers 2017

Nothing beats an ice-cold beverage while relaxing on the beach. Nothing is worse than reaching for an icy drink and finding your cans swimming. Coolers are essential for family days on the sand. A good modern cooler will keep food and drinks fresh for days. In addition to beverages, fishermen rely coolers to keep bait fresh, and hopefully the catch of the day. Walk onto any beach or pier in North or South Carolina and you’ll see a plethora of cooler models and sizes. Cooler technology has advanced rapidly in modern years. Top-end hard-sided coolers can keep ice frozen for a week. Soft coolers are easier for one person to carry onto a beach, but can still keep food cool for days. Cooler materials and price points vary wildly, so we put together this guide with our recommendations for your coastal vacation.

Scenic Spots in Wilmington, NC

Scenic Spots in Wilmington, NC

From antebellum mansions that steal the scene, to stunning waterfront vistas that can be admired from the downtown streets, Wilmington is a city that is brimming with beauty in every direction. On your next Wilmington vacation, pack along your camera, and be sure and plan an outing to these iconic landmarks, parks, and attractions where the views are breathtaking, and the local landscape is simply unforgettable.

Crystal Coast Museums

Crystal Coast Museums

Considering that the Crystal Coast has centuries of history as well as one of the most unique environments along the North Carolina coastline, it should come as no surprise that the region is home to an array of fascinating and thoroughly engaging museums. For a fun and educational rainy day activity, (or just a little excuse to get out of the sun), be sure you check out these “must see” museums that are found throughout the Crystal Coast.

Wilmington, NC Fishing Guide

Wilmington, NC Fishing Guide

For anglers who crave variety, there’s no place like Wilmington. Home to massive manmade lakes, seldom-visited creeks, wide Cape Fear River waters, and even easy proximity to ocean shorelines, the sheer options when it comes to casting a line is enough to make any fisherman excited about a visit.

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.

Rainy Day Activities

Rainy Day Activities

Need a little inspiration on how to have fun during the occasional rainy day in Currituck County? Then check out these museums, shops, attractions and "at-home" activities that will appeal to visitors of all ages.

Bogue Sound

Bogue Sound

The Bogue Sound is one of the primary enticing backdrops on the Crystal Coast. Bordering all of the coastal beach towns from Emerald Isle to Atlantic Beach, and serving as a popular portion of the Intracoastal Waterway that cruises through this coastal Carolina region, the Bogue Sound is arguably the most popular – and the most visited – sound along the entirety of the Crystal Coast.

Bath, NC History

Bath, NC History

European settlement near the Pamlico River in the 1690's led to the creation of Bath, North Carolina's first town, in 1705. The town's location seemed ideal with easy access to the river and the Atlantic Ocean 50 miles away--at Ocracoke Inlet.

Beaches

Beaches

The Carova beaches are unique from any other region of the Outer Banks, and as such, the region has its own, and sometimes distinctive, set of rules and regulations. Review the following beach information to brush up on the do's and don'ts in the local Carova community, and along Currituck Banks shoreline.

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.

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.

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.

Wrightsville Beach Kayaking Guide

Wrightsville Beach Kayaking Guide

Watersports are huge in Wrightsville Beach, and kayaking and paddle boarding have certainly taken this island community by storm. With multiple waterways, unique coastal destinations, and miles of wild terrain, a paddling adventure can easily be the highlight of any Wrightsville Beach vacation, and is an accessible sport that can be enjoyed by beginners and experts alike. Plan a kayaking expedition during your next vacation, and discover a new Wrightsville Beach experience that can only be enjoyed from a waterfront perspective.

Educational Activities in Morehead City

Educational Activities in Morehead City

Morehead City is surrounded by a centuries-deep maritime history, a wide array of unique coastal ecosystems, and a vibrant artistic culture, and as a result, it’s the perfect place to learn all about the Crystal Coast and beyond. From in-depth museums that are stocked with research materials to natural islands where the wild residents can be viewed up close and personal, every exploration seemingly contains a little education and a lot of fun in this wholly unique coastal town.

Ocracoke Wild Horses

Ocracoke Wild Horses

Seasoned visitors to Ocracoke Island love to soak in its rich heritage and culture which dates back to the 1500s, and features some legendary and longstanding residents. Some of the most popular Ocracoke locals are the Wild Ponies, which are protected in a secluded 180 acre area enclosure on the soundside of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but can still be enjoyed by anyone passing through the island on NC Highway 12.

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.

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.

Wrightsville Beach Educational Activities

Wrightsville Beach Educational Activities

Because of Wrightsville Beach’s longstanding status as a popular beach town, as well as its proximity to historic sites like Fort Fisher and Downtown Wilmington, the area is the perfect spot to add a little learning to a traditional beach vacation. Check out these destinations, museums, and veritable natural playgrounds where garnering a little education is a breeze, and is always a fun and exciting way to fully explore the Cape Fear area.

Crystal Coast Fishing Guide

Crystal Coast Fishing Guide

The Crystal Coast is a well-known paradise for anglers, thanks to miles of water in every direction, and a famed distinction as the locale for some of the biggest fishing tournaments along the East Coast. From heading miles offshore to target the summertime billfish to checking out the two local oceanfront piers, there’s ample ways for fishermen to get their lines wet.

Corolla

Corolla

Vacationers can stay in Corolla for a night or more at a hotel or generally for a week or more at a vacation rental home or condo.

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.

Beaches

Beaches

A list of beaches along the coasts of North and South Carolina

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.

Wilmington, NC Campgrounds and RV Parks

Wilmington, NC Campgrounds and RV Parks

The camping scene in the greater Wilmington area is just as diverse and inviting as the city itself. From incredible all-inclusive campgrounds that has all the amenities of a world-class resort, to smaller and rustic destinations on the edge of a riverfront landscape, every taste can be accounted for in this expensive destination.

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.