North Carolina welcomes over 50 million visitors every year. For locals and travelers alike, there is so much waiting for folks in the Tar Heel State. While further inland is home to vast forests and cozy towns, the coast is open to massive expanses of beautiful beaches. Take a look at some of the best beaches to visit in North Carolina, from surfing in the Outer Banks to Bald Head Island rentals.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
This sprawling beach stretches nearly 75 miles along the Atlantic Coast. Visitors are called to enjoy trademark sandy beaches with high-rolling dunes, perfect waves for water sports like surfing, and one of the country’s tallest lighthouses. Also in the nearby area, beach-goers can take advantage of a nearby maritime museum that chronicles the area’s high amount of shipwrecks. The rocky and dangerous coast made things difficult for incoming ships for a longtime, so this educational component is great for families with children and history buffs alike. For nature lovers, the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge allows visitors to enjoy bird watching and take in the natural landscape.
Located in the southern part of the Outer Banks, the Emerald Isle is known as one of the most beautiful parts of the Carolina’s “Crystal Coast,” named of for the beautiful waters. This calmer stretch of beach makes the area perfect for lounging about in the sun, wading into the water, and taking gentle boat tours that allow visitors to see wild ponies and even dolphins.
Lastly, this area is just east of Wilmington and welcomes more outdoor enthusiasts. This lovely stretch along the ocean has a marina, kiteboarding lessons, and more scuba opportunities for those interested in exploring the many aforementioned shipwrecks. With gardens, piers, and a museum of history all in town, this area is once again a great destination, especially for families that might have folks at different ages and with different interests. Across North Carolina, there’s no way to go wrong.