There are such a lot of wonderful seashores to go to in North Carolina, it’s arduous to decide on only one favourite! North Carolina boasts 322 miles of shoreline alongside the Atlantic and greater than 25 totally different seashores providing beautiful views and distinctive experiences. From the huge, sandy shores of Outer Banks to the secluded coves and inlets of the Crystal Coast, there’s one thing for everybody.
I don’t reside on the seashore and have by no means discovered a seashore I didn’t take pleasure in. As I inform my buddies, my favourite seashore is the one I’m at present visiting. In Might, three different journey writers and I visited the Outer Banks. We talked to lots of the locals and loved the realm.
The perfect time to go to is late spring by means of fall. September and October are nice if you wish to keep away from the summer season crowds.
Here’s a record of my favorites, primarily based on my experiences and people of some shut buddies. The seashores are listed north to south in line with their location.
The Outer Banks Guests Bureau hosted our go to. All opinions are my very own.
1. Corolla Seaside
Corolla Seaside is an ideal alternative in case you want a secluded seashore. It’s situated on the Outer Banks’s northern coast, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound.
Large seashores are the principle attraction; you’ll be able to drive on this seashore along with your four-wheel-drive car. There’s a historic district and a lighthouse to discover. On a wet day, you’ll be able to go to the Wild Horse Museum whereas in Corolla or go to the pink lighthouse. One of many highlights of this space is the wild Spanish Mustang horses roaming the island.
Professional Tip: Horses are wild. Please don’t try to feed or contact them. If you wish to make sure and see them, join a guided tour.
A small, upscale seashore city simply south of Corolla, Duck attracts many guests annually to benefit from the 7 miles of attractive sandy seashores, distinctive eating, and a client’s paradise.
Attributable to rain, we have been solely capable of go to through the night, so we didn’t get to see as a lot as we’d have appreciated, however we beloved the water’s edge boardwalk and may’t wait to return to this enjoyable little seashore city.
In case you go to Duck, it would be best to you’ll want to take pleasure in a Duck Donut. The road could also be lengthy, however getting considered one of these nationally well-known donuts from the unique location is value it.
Rental properties are plentiful on your keep, however there are few accommodations.
Bathhouses and free parking can be found on the public seashore entry factors alongside Freeway 12.
3. Kitty Hawk
When arriving from the north on Freeway 158 throughout the Currituck Sound, Kitty Hawk is the primary city you come to. This historic coastal city has fabulous seashores within the Outer Banks. Low-rise buildings dot the city, and a country vibe helps keep its distinctive character. You’ll have no hassle discovering your spot on the seashore to benefit from the sunshine and the ocean.
It’s also possible to kayak or hike the marine forest reserve.
The Wright Brothers Nationwide Memorial in neighboring Kill Satan Hills is a enjoyable exercise for a less-than-perfect climate day. It’s the website of the primary profitable motor-operated flight in 1903.
Guests to Kitty Hawk take pleasure in a big number of eating places, grocery shops, and retailers. Free parking tons and public seashore entry factors can be found alongside Freeway 12.
Professional Tip: Kitty Hawk welcomes canine year-round.
4. Nags Head
Boasting summer season enjoyable for the entire household, Nags Head is among the hottest Outer Banks seashores, with extensive golden sand seashores and crystal clear water. There may be easy accessibility and a wealth of facilities to take pleasure in.
We visited in Might and located the realm to be pleasant and filled with enjoyable issues to do for your complete household. Apart from hanging out on the seashore, you’ll be able to parasail, play mini-golf, fish, eat scrumptious meals, go to a lighthouse, and luxuriate in some distinctive ice cream treats.
The seashore is pet-friendly, so deliver Fido alongside on trip. As you journey Freeway 12, free parking and public seashore entry factors can be found.
There are 12 miles of seashore to stroll, so you’ll want to deliver your strolling footwear, except you might be like me and like to stroll barefoot within the sand.
In case you get bored with the seashore, go to the Bodie Island Mild Station. You’ll find spectacular views up and down the coast while you climb to the highest. Tickets should be bought on-line.
Stroll right down to the 1,000-foot-long Jennette’s Pier, an area fishing sizzling spot. There’s a payment to stroll the pier or to fish, however we loved strolling below the pier and taking pictures. In case you don’t deliver your fishing gear, you’ll be able to hire it from the store on the pier.
Close by is Jockey’s Ridge State Park, a superb place for climbing, flying kites, and taking a hang-gliding lesson with Kitty Hawk Kites. The 4 of us took a lesson, climbed the huge sand dune, and tried our luck at hang-gliding. What enjoyable! It’s a unbelievable seashore exercise that doesn’t contain water.
There are a selection of accommodations, seashore cottages, and trip leases obtainable. After we visited, we stayed on the Whalebone Cottages by Kees Trip Leases, Constructing E. It was a two-story, four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath dwelling with free parking below the home. We have been steps from the ocean and in a superb location for all of the issues to do within the space.
Professional Tip: 4-wheel-drive autos can drive on the seashore solely through the low season (October to April).
5. Coquina Seaside
This seashore was one I hadn’t heard of till we visited. After we talked with the locals about their favourite seashores, they stored mentioning Coquina Seaside — so we got down to see it for ourselves.
We discovered it simply south of Nags Head and understood why everybody was raving about it. The seashore was a large and secluded undeveloped shoreline. There’s a boardwalk to a part of the seashore space, we didn’t discover that till after we visited and climbed over sand dunes to get to the seashore.
There have been just a few different folks and many shells.
6. Cape Hatteras
The Cape Hatteras Nationwide Seashore is gorgeous, with miles and miles of unspoiled seashores and a striped lighthouse. You’ll have the seashore primarily to your self, and off-road autos are permitted on the seashore.
You may discover some sea turtles throughout nesting season if you’re fortunate.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is gorgeous and well worth the time to go to. (At current, attributable to ongoing restoration efforts, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is just not obtainable for climbing, however it’s nonetheless an awesome go to and an Instagramable website.)
7. Ocracoke Island
I didn’t get to go to Ocracoke Island, however from what everybody has informed me, it’s the place to go to get away from all of it. Much more distant than the Cape Hatteras Seashore, you’ll be able to solely entry it by driving the 25-minute ferry from Hatteras Island. You possibly can take your automotive on the ferry with you.
We ran out of time and weren’t capable of make the journey. Whereas a bit more durable to succeed in the seashore, I’m informed it’s value the additional effort, and now we have it on our record for the following go to.
Ocracoke Island is small and filled with historical past. It’s considered the house of the pirate Blackbeard. The seashores are extensive, and the persons are sparse on Ocracoke Island. It’s a distinctive city with some eating places and companies. There are nationwide park tenting, accommodations, and seashore homes.
8. Atlantic Seaside
A part of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, Atlantic Seaside is a favourite household vacation spot. Well-known for its crystal clear waters and simply accessible strolling trails, they’ve many enjoyable actions, together with swimming, fishing, biking, water sports activities leases, and different sights.
There are a lot of eateries, the North Carolina Aquarium, and a few boutiques. Fort Macon State Park affords a little bit of Civil Warfare-era historical past. To assist guests discover the realm on foot, there are 4 marked strolling trails across the metropolis as a part of the Stroll Atlantic Seaside initiative.
For lodging, you could find nearly all the things from the big chain accommodations to cozy trip leases.
Parking tons alongside the seashore are for a payment and are charged by the hour (bank cards solely — no money).
9. Emerald Isle
Rated the highest North Carolina Seaside by U.S. Information, Emerald Isle affords 12 miles of fresh extensive seashores, a fishing pier, and a relaxed ambiance.
You’ll typically see a dolphin or probably even a wild horse on the seashore. There may be loads to do on Emerald Isle with mini-golf programs, a waterslide park, biking trails, a fishing pier, and extra.
“The Level” is a perfect spot for catching a spectacular sundown.
Lodging is primarily trip leases on and off the seashore with just one oceanfront lodge, the Islander Lodge & Resort.
Some entry factors have free parking and some prices on weekends solely.
10. Topsail Seaside
Situated on the southernmost finish of Topsail Island, Topsail Seaside has unbelievable sundown views. Pronounced “Tops’l,” it’s a small, quiet seashore group centered on conservation efforts and preserving the pure surroundings.
Topsail is the place for a tranquil seashore getaway in a trip rental in a peaceable, non-commercialized surroundings. There aren’t any high-rise condos.
The seashore is great for gathering shells and collaborating in water sports activities. You may have distinctive seashores on each the Atlantic and Sound sides of the island.
Public parking tons can be found at seashore entry factors.
11. Wrightsville Seaside
Wrightsville Seaside is within the Wilmington space and is a favourite amongst folks of all ages. Folks journey from across the U.S. to go to due to its deep blue glowing waters and extensive sandy seashores.
Wrightsville Seaside alone has 44 public entry factors.
Regarded as the birthplace of browsing on the East Coast, Wrightsville Seaside can also be a preferred spot to catch some waves and a major location for kiteboarding and stand-up paddleboarding.
Close by you can see golf programs and jogging trails.
Wrightsville Seaside affords a mixture of short-term trip leases, oceanfront accommodations, and resorts.
Professional Tip: Browsing is strictly forbidden in entrance of the lifeguard stands.
In case you’re in search of a soothing seashore trip, North Carolina is the place to be. With miles of shoreline and loads of seashores to select from, you’re positive to search out the proper spot to loosen up and benefit from the sand and surf. So pack your sunscreen and swimsuit and head to North Carolina for a seashore getaway within the Tar Heel State that you just received’t neglect!