Best Beaches In North Carolina : Spectacular 13

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A getaway to the Nicholas Sparks-inspired destination, the Coast of North Carolina, is worth your vacation. It has been a popular destination for families since the 1930s.

The Atlantic waters and the tranquil yet suave oceanic breeze of the best beaches in North Carolina are a gracious escape location from the daily hustle-bustle.

Even though thousands of people crowd the beaches during peak time, they still create a calming and small-town feel atmosphere.

The best beaches in the United States are all in North Carolina, and they offer great outing adventures.

Best Beaches in North Carolina

Have a run through the best beaches in North Carolina before finalizing the location you want to set off for this vacation.

1. Bald Head Island

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The rich, adventurous island in North Carolina is Bald Head Island. It is one of the best beaches in North Carolina. It is widely known as the home of the oldest lighthouse in the state, Old Baldy.

A passenger ferry or a private vessel is the only mode of transport to visit the beauty of this subtropical island. Bald Head Island is an ideal vacation place as most of its neighborhood includes beach, marsh, and maritime forest preserves.

Things to do

If you want to explore Bald Head Island, you need to follow the lead of the Conservancy tours, which would help you immerse yourself in the island’s ecosystem.

Bald Head Island has the best beaches in North Carolina, including the South Beach, a perfect place to de-stress, and the East Beach if you want to dive onto the waves of the calm waters.

Apart from it, Bald Head Island also offers a variety of recreational activities such as hiking, birding excursions, fishing adventures, and kid-friendly programs, which include Sea Turtle Patrol.

With a guided island walking tour, don’t miss the remains of Fort Holmes and the Smith Island Museum, which narrates a beautiful and rich story of the past.

2. Wrightsville Beach

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The picturesque view of the surrounding island, the beautiful sandy beaches, and the beautiful crystalline blue waters make Wrightsville Beach one of the most famous and best beaches in North Carolina. It is a short drive away from Wilmington.

In summer, the waves at Wrightsville Beach are very gently allowing the newbies to get their feet wet by surfing.

Wrightsville beach is where surfing first commenced in North Carolina.

Things to do

Wrightsville Beach is an ideal family destination that offers multiple activities such as fishing, paddle boarding, surfing, kiteboarding, and many more. Couples enjoy the most relaxing and romantic walks on this accessible beach in North Carolina.

This beach is a perfect relaxation spot.

Visitors visit the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, which wonderfully narrates the story of Wrightsville Beach’s past.

There is a beautiful shopping village, the Lumina Station, by the beach. It has a charming collection of boutiques owned by the locals and restaurants and cafes.

Mayfaire Town Center is yet another shopping place where you’d find everything you are looking for.

3. Nags Head Beach

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The popular tourist destination of the Outer Banks’ is Nags Head Beach which is known for its crystalline waters, plentiful amenities, and classic views.

The golden sand and the crystal clear waters of one of the best beaches in North Carolina are perfect for swimming. It has been attracting thousands of tourists for decades.

Things to do

A vacationer can savor its natural beauty by relaxing on the sandy shore while enjoying the delicious cuisines in the luxurious restaurants. History lovers can go on the lookout for popular historical attractions.

One of the famous attractions of Nags Head Beach is the Bodie Island Lighthouse which is open year-round for visitors. In summer, travelers get a chance to climb the 156 towers.

The remodeled Jennette’s Pier is the longest in North Carolina, where visitors can enjoy world-class fishing, adventurous camps, and various banquet facilities. It is considered a favorite family destination.

Yet another thing that would marvel you about Nags Head is the Jockey’s Ridge State park was is the tallest dune system in the United States with natural sand.

4. Ocracoke Island

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Ocracoke Island is yours if you look for a remarkable beach experience away from the mainland. As miles and miles of this island are undeveloped, it connects you with nature. Additionally, it is spacious and uncrowded.

Ocracoke Island is considered one of the the best beaches in North Carolina.

Things to do

While you relax at Ocracoke island, it is recommended to explore entertaining programs such as the Ocracoke’s Ghost and History Tour, which narrates the fascinating and unique history of the island.

Visitors can set off to discover the Ocracoke village with golf cart rental. It is the most convenient, enjoyable, and leisurely ride around the village. Golf carts are well equipped with tail lights, headlights, and seat belts.

The oldest lighthouse in North Carolina is located on Ocracoke Island, and it is still in operation. Visitors are permitted into the lighthouse; however, they cannot climb it.

Springer’s Point is N.C.’s Coastal Land Trust Preserve with tidal red cedar forest, salt marsh, tidal ponds, etc. This heritage area has an abundance of coastal birds and maritime forests.

5. Emerald Isle

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On the Bogue Banks Island of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast lies a town, the Emerald Isle. It is a family-friendly beach destination with numerous activities for people of all ages.

Emerald Isle has the most transparent waters and the whitest sand in the state. Additionally, it offers a marvelous view of the sunset.

Emerald Isle has more houses and vacation rentals than hostels, making it a unique location.

Things to do

If you take a trip to Emerald Isle, consider going to the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier. Whether you are professional or amateur at fishing, grab the opportunity to fish the wahoo, king mackerel, sea mullet, and other fishes at this famous fishing pier.

The inhabited Bear island is located at the hammocks beach state park, surrounded by a tranquil aura. It paints a beautiful picture of the Atlantic coast. Apart from the ethereal setting, hammocks beach state park offers year-round camping opportunities.

Ensure to head out to the Salty Pirate Water Park and the Fort Macon State Park.

6. Cape Hatteras Island

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If you want to know and experience a bit of the past life of the Outer Banks, then Hatteras Island is one for you. Cape Hatteras Island comprises multiple villages, a Cape Lookout National Seashore, and a Cape Hatteras lighthouse.

At Bodie Island, the Whalebone Junction, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore begins. Here, the Bodie Island Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and Ocracoke Lighthouse form the three guards of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Keep an eye on the Cape lookout lighthouse.

Things to do

Surfing, sport fishing, windsurfing, scuba diving, standup paddleboarding, kiteboarding, and many other activities are the major activities of the Outer Banks beaches.

Tourists can make beautiful memories at Hatteras Island by experiencing the unique horse ride.

At the south end of this island locates the Hatteras Landing Marina, which is considered the best marina destination on the Outer Banks. Along with the eateries, fine stores, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum and other historical sites also surround the marina.

7. Topsail Island

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The pristine beaches along the white sandy shores are a popular attraction for the residents and tourists to Topsail Island.

One of the best beaches in North Carolina, the North Topsail Beach and Surf City are a part of this island.

The famous destination of Topsail Beach is the Missiles and More Museum, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtles Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, and the Patio Playground.

Things to do

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtles Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is located in Surf City, where numerous tourists visit the rescued sea turtles.

On the Sneads Ferry and Holly Ridge, the visitors can enjoy the feel of the small town. Preservation of the beach is the primary goal of Topsail Island.

Apart from dining in the local eateries or relaxing at the beach, one can either pamper themselves in local spas or go out for a myriad of water sports such as boating, surfing, fishing, jet skis, and much more.

Jolly Roger Pier at Topsail Beach provides a beautiful view of the green water. You might even get a chance to see the beautiful dolphins and sea turtles in the ocean.

Click here for Top Exciting Activities in North Carolina.

8. Kitty Hawk

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Kitty Hawk is one of the most beautiful outer banks beaches with a lovely name and setting. It is believed that the name is the Anglicization of the native word Chickahauk.

Visitors travel to this destination as this beach features golden sand. It also welcomes dogs.

Kitty Hawk Beach is a mixture of residential and rental homes.

Things to do

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In-flight history, the first flight by the Wright Brothers was associated with the Kitty Hawk. In the south, the Kill Devil Hills, and in the north, the Southern Shores, borders this place. So while you are at Kitty Hawk, ensure to take a trip to the Wright Brothers National Memorial.

Kitty Hawk is a popular recreational destination for water sports such as surfing, boating, parasailing, and standup paddleboarding.

At these beach destinations, there is excellent availability and accessibility of service. Additionally, restaurants, grocery stores, and various retail shops are abundant and varied.

9. Atlantic Beach

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Atlantic Beach is one of the famous beach vacation destinations on the Crystal Coast. It is on the top of the high-ranking list of beaches from the entire North Carolina coast.

The Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Sound border Atlantic beach, situated on North Carolina’s barrier islands.

This small captivating Atlantic beach is considered one of the family beaches destinations.

Things to do

The outdoor recreation paradise on the beautiful beaches in North Carolina offers activities such as surfing, boating, fishing, kayaking, and much more.

Visit North Carolina beach state park, the Fort Macon State Park, a restored Civil War-era fort.

If rain hinders your outdoor vacation, you can always visit the gorgeous North Carolina Aquarium sitting at the Pine Knoll Shores.

The famous spot of the Atlantic Beach, the Oceanana Fishing Pier, provides mesmerizing ocean views, and it is also a great fishing spot.

10. Carolina Beach

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On the Atlantic Coast, around 15 miles from Wilmington, lies one of the best beaches in North Carolina, the Carolina Beach. You’d have an extraordinary beach vacation with live music, events, and a vintage-style boardwalk at this beach.

Unlike other beaches, Carolina Beach is a quiet and peaceful beach.

Things to do

The Carolina Beach State Park has hiking trails that lead to places that give a gorgeous view of the Cape Fear River. It also has the Flytrap Trail and is a popular fishing spot.

At the North End or ocean, you can enjoy boating and fishing.

Experience the intriguing and vibrant nightlife and the colorful island hotspot in-famous for the legendary walk-in beer cooler. It is known as the oceanfront tiki bar that features performances of the local people.

View the local cultural exhibits at the Federal Point History Center.

The Carolina beach town has numerous worship places, such as the First Baptist Church of C.B., C.B. Presbyterian Church, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, and the Seaside Chapel.

11. Carova Beach

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Carova Beach is one of the best beaches in North Carolina in Currituck County. This northern Outer Banks beach offers breathtaking ocean views and extraordinary rental vacation homes.

This part of the Outer Banks is considered the secluded beaches in America because the legendary Corolla wild horses used to roam freely for centuries. It is famous for wild horses as well as wide sandy beaches.

While you are at Carova Beach, do not forget your cameras to capture the wild horses in OBX.

Things to do

You can find your paradise by driving on the beach or setting off for bird watching while spotting wildlife.

Beach driving permit is available on the sand at this North Carolina shoreline. You can sight the wild Mustang trotting at the shoreline while you relax for any outdoor dining or barbecuing on any deck.

While you are at Carova Beach, do not forget your cameras to capture the wild horses in OBX.

At Corolla, renting a kayak and exploring the Currituck Sound is a popular pastime apart from kiteboarding and hand gliding or hopping on a fishing charter.

12. Holden Beach

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Brunswick County locates at Holden Beach, one of the best beaches in North Carolina. The vast sand beaches flourishing with multiple restaurants, local attractions, and much more are the best family beaches destinations.

The unspoiled beauty nestled in the seaside town has a certain charm that draws back families year after year.

This North Carolina beach is quiet and safest as well.

Things to do

The most popular recreational activities of the Brunswick islands are boating, surf fishing, and hiking along the island.

Apart from it, this Atlantic ocean is ideal for swimming, shelling, and strolling.

Holden Beach is perfect for a day trip destination as it is 35 minutes south of Wilmington. For experiencing the actions and culture of the city during a vacation, it is better to rent a beach house.

13. Kure Beach

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Eighteen miles away from Wilmington, the wonderful beach of all the North Carolina beaches. This beach would retrieve old memories due to the small town beach setting you must have visited as a child. Irrespective of the seasons, this beach is less hectic with a laid-back style.

Kure beach is the ideal family destination due to its pure and natural aura surrounding the seaside. As a result, it is listed amongst the best beaches in North Carolina.

Things to do

This beach is considered the home of the oldest fishing pier, the oceanfront park, the state aquarium, and historic forts.

Visitors often take a tour of the largest land-sea battle of the Civil War at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site. The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is labeled

as the best aquarium in the U.S. by the Travel Channel.

Kure beach organizes various family-friendly beaches, such as the free Boogie in the Park concert series.

In Southeast, Kure beach is the best family-friendly beach among the North Carolina beaches.

North Carolina is endowed with gorgeous beaches which are worth exploring. Apart from that, it is home to a wide array of wildlife species, historic sites, and thrilling water sports.

No matter what recreational beach adventures you are looking for, you’d find it all at the best beaches in North Carolina.

As a result, North Carolina is the nation’s top beach vacation destination.

With these multiple options for beach vacations in North Carolina, you can select the perfect one for yourself!

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Suggested Reads:

10 Amazing Things To Do In Carolina Beach


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