I love to hit the beach … but that’s probably no secret to any of you visiting my blog since I live on the East coast! I like to think that I am one of the leading experts on all things North and South Carolina. After all of that time in the Carolinas it’s probably good that I learned something, right? Keep reading for a full list of the BEST beaches in North Carolina.
Best Beaches In North Carolina
Head to Carteret County, North Carolina to visit this iconic beach. Known for its crystal clear waters and rich history, vacationers of all ages can enjoy an afternoon here. Supposedly, Blackbeard ran his pirate ship only miles from the coastline!
I couldn’t NOT mention miss this iconic beach tucked away in New Hanover County. There is an expansive boardwalk that covers most of the beach, so this is not somewhere to visit if you like a little more peace when at the beach! Vacationers should visit Britt’s Donut shop when craving a snack.
This place definitely makes the list for the best beaches in North Carolina. Known for the crabs that nestle along the shore here, Coquina Beach is great for swimming, birdwatching, and even fishing! Locals recommend visiting in early spring and summer for best conditions.
Head to Topsail Beach (in Pender County) for the best summer surfing and even ice skating in the winter! There are pretty conch shells scattered all across these sandy shores, but make sure you leave them where you found them!
If you are looking for more historic places like that of Atlantic Beach, visit Kure Beach and the Civil War building, Fort Fisher! While you’re there, explore the Atlantic Ocean with a snorkeling lesson or two, and try the local fare with several family-owned restaurants scattered along the beach. You can’t beat the quality of seafood along a coastal town!
Pssst….the colorful pier is perfect for a photo op!
No…we aren’t talking about the Wizard of Oz! Or is that the Emerald City? Either way, beachgoers must make it a point to visit the Emerland Isle at least once before they die. There are no oceanfront hotels ruining the views here and visitors can even spot dolphins from time to time. I really enjoyed how quiet the beach was in the area, and ended up spending an afternoon lost in a book beachfront here!
Keep an eye on the Shackleford Banks in the summertime, many sea turtles hit these sandy shores to lay their eggs. You can even see them hatch later on in the year! If you like to collect seashells, this is the perfect place! I’ve found many of my seashells (used for home decor!) on this beach! Here’s what I did with some of them: 12 Things to Do With Your Found Seashells