best beaches in north carolina

NORTH CAROLINA (WNCN) - With beaches beginning to open their arms to visitors again, what better time to know what spots are among the best of the best to visit? mindful of at high tide, for the most part and definitely at low tide the beaches are wide expanses of white clean sand. While you’re not on the water, check out a local military history museum, beachfront restaurants, and fun activities like a putt-putt course. Michael DeFreitas / robertharding/Getty Images. Follow along as we discover some of the best beaches in North Carolina that are certainly worth the visit. ), for a North Carolina beach vacation that everyone can enjoy. From Sunset Beach to Duck, these are the best North Carolina beaches. You can even turn your beach trip into an educational opportunity by visiting the Coastal Education Center. Atlantic Beach is also a popular destination for sea turtles looking for a place to nest — every year, from May through October, sea turtles lay their eggs in this area. The beaches offer pedestrian access, so you need not a car or boat to cast away. If you’re seeking an activity a bit more thrilling, travelers rave about the local guided helicopters tours. Colorful homes and billowing palmetto trees line Kure Beach, a white sandy beach located in New Hanover County, NC. Wrightsville Beach is a top destination for a North Carolina beach vacation among families and active travelers. Take it slow on Bald Head Island: no cars are allowed on this barrier island, making it one of the best beaches in North Carolina for escaping the hustle and bustle of city life. Accessible exclusively via a 2.5-hour ferry ride, this gorgeous hidden gem in the Outer Banks is home to a fishing village and a little over 15 miles of breathtaking undeveloped coastline. No cars are allowed on Bald Head Island, which can be accessed by ferry from nearby Southport. Outdoor recreation over relaxation? The Carolina Beach boardwalk features plenty of seaside entertainment for the whole family from live music performances to rides at the seaside amusement park and weekly firework displays. This seaside town is home to feral “Banker” horses that can occasionally be spotted along the coast. Stretches of remote, rarely crowded beaches and a string of beautiful barrier islands characterize North Carolina's coast. Plan an overnight stay at one of the park’s beachfront cabins or campgrounds to soak up even more of this seashore’s undeveloped, natural beauty. If you plan to visit in the autumn, check out the two-day North Carolina Festival by the Sea at the Holden Beach Pavilion. Coquina Beach is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and gets its name for the colorful coquina clams that amass on the margins of the beach. Here you can learn about the beach’s coastal environment, and enjoy kid-friendly programs such as Touch Tank Tuesdays. Located in the central Outer Banks north of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Nags Head offers a range of unique experiences that everyone will love. ∙ From miniature golf to biking, surfing, and kayaking, outdoor adventures abound. Here you can surf, fish, or catch some much-needed Vitamin D. Even though there may be concerns about swimming in the Carolina Beach from the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, Carolina Beach passed it’s. One cool and unique attraction here is the Kindred Spirit Mailbox, a lonely mailbox located at the end of a long nature walk to an uncrowded beach area. Moreover, tour one of many sites recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, such as the distinct Bradley-Latimer Summer House, an alluring historic structure built in 1855; and the Cape Fear Civil War Shipwreck District, which — true to its name — consists of the remnants of naval shipwrecks from the American Civil War era. For a laid back getaway, leave your car and cares behind and head to Bald Head Island. Map updates are paused. At the end of the day, take in the sunset over Silver Lake Harbor — there are a number of shops, restaurants, and inns located along this harbor. more. Travel + Leisure is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation Travel + Leisure Group All Rights Reserved, registered in the United States and other countries. . This is a great place to go shelling, scalloping, and camping. Spend the day relaxing by the ocean, or check out the two public fishing piers, the Nags Head Fishing Pier, and the Outer Banks Fishing Pier. This sunny spot is popular for a big group getaway with friends or a family vacation. TripAdvisor users love the comforts and amenities of a Sunset Beach rental, like screened-in porches, pool access, and fitness centers. Hatteras area shops and restaurants, take the free ferry to Ocracoke Island to see the ponies. There is plenty to see and do on the island from fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, searching for shells, surfing, or exploring the touristy beach town. At the end of the day, send the kids up to bed and enjoy having your own space to unwind in your rental. Rent a boat or golf cart to explore the island, or check out one of the trails for a peaceful nature walk. The history buffs in your group getaway will particularly appreciate the exhibits on local culture at Wrightsville Beach Museum of History. ∙ There are no pins in your viewport. All other times of the year dogs must remain on a maximum 12-foot leash. This article was written by Content Contributor Laura Hu and edited by Anne Harris. Also, the ocean's clear waters provide scuba divers with perfect viewing for the nearly 200 sunken wrecks lying on the ocean floor. Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. Or, take it easy and read a book and hang out in the air conditioning at your vacation rental—we won’t judge! Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. , where you can learn about the history of Edward Teach, also better known as the famous Blackbeard pirate. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. In fact, the sand dunes are the tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States and will provide you with an exceptional view of the town from the top! A Topsail Beach rental home offers the perfect home base no matter what activities you get into. With 300 miles of pristine coastline, it’s no wonder North Carolina is one of the nation’s top beach destinations. The Intracoastal Waterway welcomes those fond of kayaking and paddleboating — on occasion, lucky guests paddling in the waters can even spot a dolphin or two. Hosted by Kellee Edwards. A vacation rental is the most popular way to stay in Corolla, a trending Outer Banks community that offers low-key and luxury lodging alike. Here are our top 15 best beaches to visit in North Carolina: Visit The Top 15 North Carolina Beaches In 2020 1. Turn on JavaScript so our search engine can do its magic. During the summer, visitors can climb the diamond-painted Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Discover why this spot got its name while visiting the south-facing beaches — from late fall through early spring, you can actually see the sun rise and set over the water, making for a uniquely picturesque experience. Furthermore, aviation enthusiasts, be sure to check out the Wright Brothers National Memorial after spending the day at the beach! The calm waters are ideal for kayaking, paddle boarding, or fishing off the iconic Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier. Currituck Beach. Not only is the water breathtaking but Atlantic Beach is one of the best North Carolina beaches because it boasts friendly locals, has a wide range of restaurants to please every type of traveler, has great shopping opportunities, and has a wonderful coastal environment you don’t want to miss. Dedicated to the state's marine habitats, the exhibits include native creatures like stingrays, sea turtles, sharks, and river otters as well as replicas of the infamous Blackbeard's ship and a German U-352 submarine. Hike to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, catch sight of wild horses at the Spanish Mustang Reserve, or peek into local history at the Whalehead Club. Holden Beach is an ideal destination for families, as one of five barrier islands that … If you don’t bring your own surfboard, kayak, or paddle board along, look for vacation rentals that offer them as part of the package. Explore the area's past with a guided tour at historic Fort Macon, visit the wild horses found on Shackleford Banks Island, or spend time at a local outpost of the North Carolina Aquarium. For breakfast or lunch, Cafe Lachine is a must-visit with offerings like stuffed French toast, thoughtful sandwiches, and freshly baked pastries, which include favorites such as chocolate croissants, Key lime tarts, and pie. Find the perfect North Carolina vacation rental on Our new 24-hour cancellation policy means you can pre-book before arriving, but still have the flexibility to cancel if your itinerary changes. Find a vacation rental on Topsail Beach, North Carolina. Here are the 10 best beaches in North Carolina. Great amenities, museum, and access to climb to the top of the lighthouse for spectacular 360 degree vistas! Check out our post “Is This North Carolina’s Most Stunning Mountain Lodge?”, you can book all your tours, activities, and attractions right on TripAdvisor, Is This North Carolina’s Most Stunning Mountain Lodge, 15 Unbeatable Florida Family Vacations With Kid-Friendly Activities, 13 Beautiful Australia Beaches (And Towns) That Belong On Your Bucket List, 21 Best Tropical Vacation Destinations Around The World (For Adventure Or Relaxation), This Gorgeous Gulf-Front Rental Makes For A Peaceful And Relaxing Beach Getaway, We’re In Awe Of The Epic Backyard At This Oceanfront Myrtle Beach Home, 17 Best Winter Beach Vacations For Sun Seekers, Your Last Beach Days Of The Year Would Be Well Spent At This Stately Beachfront Home, Ocean Or Hot Tub? The island features a quaint laid-back atmosphere and breathtaking beaches you don’t want to miss! With 44 public access points, there is plenty of space for visitors to spread out. The beach passed water quality tests 95% of the time making it perfectly safe to swim in. While there may only be only one oceanfront hotel, there are still many private condos and rentals available to visitors for rent. Try moving the map or changing your filters. ∙ For beach-goers, there is a delightful, long stretch of sandy coastline along Cape Fear. Do you prefer a mountain vacation over the beach? Don't miss catching stunning views of the shore from the 19th-century era Bodie Island Lighthouse, fishing from the Nag's Head Fishing Pier, or strolling through the forests of the Nags Head Woods Preserve.

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