Beach is one of five communities located on Bogue Banks, a barrier island separated from mainland North Carolina by Bogue Sound. Access to the Atlantic Beach is provided by a bridge from Morehead City. Atlantic Beach and the entire Bogue Banks are some of the most popular vacation destinations along North Carolina’s famed Crystal Coast.
Atlantic Beach’s primary activity is in its name, and the city has four public beach access points — Circle Regional Beach Access, Tom Doe Memorial Beach Access, The Les and Sally Moore Public Beach Access, and Fort Macon State Park — all of which provide bathrooms and parking. While there, go out on the water by parasailing, chartering a boat, or taking a paddle tour. Atlantic Beach is also known for its great fishing, and visitors can catch mackerel, flounder, and trout. The town is also home to two famous historic sites. At Fort Macon State Park is Fort Macon, a perfectly restored Civil War fort where the Siege of Fort Macon took place in 1862. Queen Anne’s Revenge, one of the pirate Blackbeard’s flagships, that he ran aground in North Carolina in 1718, is also in Atlantic Beach. A private firm discovered the remains of it around 20 years ago and have since worked to restore the ship.
For a day trip, get off the island and explore some destinations on the North Carolina mainland. The closest is Beaufort,the third-oldest town in the state, a mere 15 minute drive away. In Beaufort, pay a visit to the North Carolina Maritime Museum, take a moment to the Beaufort Historic Site Old Burying Ground, and journey to the Rachel Carson Reserve, where you can watch wild horses gallop on the beach. If you’re looking to go farther, drive two hours to Wilmington, one of the most populous cities in the state. There, visit the beautiful Airlie Gardens, the Historic District, Bellamy Mansion, and Battleship North Carolina.
Atlantic Beach runs east to west, and the south side of the island is the beach. If you’d like an ocean front escape, try to find a rental on Ocean Ridge Drive or Boardwalk Boulevard. Many properties are located on these main streets or smaller side streets around them. On the other side of Atlantic Beach’s main thoroughfare, Fort Macon Road, is Cedar Hammock, a series of peninsulas jutting into Bogue Sound.
Atlantic Beach is served by the Carteret County Area Transportation System, and address to address shuttle that you must call to schedule at least 24 hours in advance. The base fare for a ride is $3. If you arrive by plane, renting a car is advisable, but you can also taxi to your destination. One of the best ways to get around the small city, though, is by bike. There are multiple bike rental companies, including Beachside Bike and Crystal Coast Bicycles.
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