Top 4 North Carolina Beaches
From the Outer Banks to the Crystal Coast, North Carolina offers a coastline full of gorgeous beaches. Next time you’re in the mood for some sun, sand, and sea, take a trip to one of these top four beaches in the state. You may find a new favorite vacation destination in your own backyard.
Wrightsville Beach is an island beach in the Wilmington area of southern North Carolina. Its location puts you close to the Wilmington Historic River District, but pulling yourself away from the pristine beach may be difficult. Fortunately, there is plenty to do on the beach itself, including kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing and fishing. Enjoy a walk through the village or a cruise along the coast. If you visit during the summer, you may be able to catch a summer concert or a surfing competition. Kids will enjoy a host of available activities, from summer science camps to pirate treasure hunts.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Stretching from Bodie Island to Ocracoke Island, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore includes 70 miles of coastline in the Outer Banks — one of the most popular vacation spots on the East Coast. The highlight of the seashore, of course, is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Since it is the tallest brick lighthouse in North America, the climb is well worth the few dollars you pay for a ticket. For those afraid of heights, there are plenty of other attractions. Visit the sea turtle nests along the seashore or the ponies on Ocracoke Island; then camp out near the beach for some of the best stargazing east of the Mississippi River.
One of the south-facing Brunswick Islands, Oak Island offers 10 miles of beachfront with family-friendly attractions. Enjoy some ice cream on the beach, rent bicycles for a family excursion, or play a round of miniature golf. Oak Island has 60 different access points to the beach, two marinas, three public ramps for boats and canoes, and two fishing piers. For the best views on the island, be sure to visit the western point during low tide. You can also spend time on the other nearby islands or the mainland with its golf course, historical sites, shopping, dining, and more.
Corolla Beach is another popular destination in the Outer Banks. The Corolla horses are its unique draw. Although guests are prohibited from coming within 50 feet of the horses intentionally, several tour companies offer opportunities to observe the free-roaming horses at a close enough range to take pictures. You can also enjoy Corolla Beach from a 4WD vehicle or visit the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and Whalehead mansion, both of which are located in Historic Corolla Village. The village also boasts several other restored residences that now house museums and shops.
Although Wrightsville, Cape Hatteras, Oak Island, and Corolla are among the highest rated beaches in the state, the list goes on. Whether you need a weekend getaway or a weeklong vacation, you don’t have to drive far. You can visit a different beach every week this summer without ever leaving North Carolina.
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