Looking for a calm and relaxing place to get away from the hustle and bustle? Well look no further! Whether you’re on the hunt for waves, sun, or simply a little peace and quiet, the beaches of North Carolina have got you covered. Here’s Tripping.com’s top 10 best beaches to visit in North Carolina:
1. Atlantic Beach
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Located in Carteret County, NC, Atlantic Beach is one of five communities in the Bogue Banks portion of “North Carolina’s Crystal Coast,” so-called for its crystal water beaches. This sunny spot is popular for a getaway with friends or a family vacation. The infamous pirate Blackbeard ran his flagship The Queen Anne’s Revenge aground a few miles from the beach, and buccaneers of all ages can learn more about the ship’s history at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in nearby Beaufort.
2. Bald Head Island
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3. Carolina Beach
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4. Carova Beach
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Carova Beach is the most isolated of North Carolina’s Outer Banks beaches, largely due to the lack of paved roads. However, those looking for a private getaway with clean white sands may love this out-of-the-way destination. Animal lovers can also keep their eyes peeled for the wild mustangs roaming the shore. Carova Beach is generally accessible by 4x4s only, and vacation rental homes are available for accommodation. It is strongly recommended that guests make reservations several months to a year in advance of their trip, as spots fill up quickly.
5. Coquina Beach
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Coquina Beach is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and gets its name for the colorful coquina clams that amass on the margins of the beach. This beach features golden sun-kissed sand dunes and is home to the shipwreck of Laura Barnes, a 4-masted schooner that was blown off-course from Maine in 1921. Coquina Beach is ideal for those who like to surf, swim, fish, and birdwatch. The best time to visit is during the warm spring and summer months when the shore becomes a beachcomber’s heaven with various shells, coquina clams, sea glass, and the occasional starfish or sand dollar.
6. Topsail Beach
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Situated in Pender County, Topsail Beach is a common summer nesting place for the loggerhead sea turtle. This beach boasts the best conch shells on the East Coast, and there is also justifiable pride for the entertainment and dining options in nearby Surf City. Visitors have a whole array of beachside activities to choose from: sunbathing, surfing, fishing, boating…even ice skating!
7. Shackleford Banks
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8. Kure Beach
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9. Harkers Island
10. Emerald Isle
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Situated in Carteret County, NC, Emerald Isle is a great family-friendly location with quiet beaches and the occasional bottlenose dolphin sighting. Fishermen can aim for catches like wahoo, speckled trout, king mackerel, and red drum. Emerald Isle prides itself on an ‘unspoiled’ atmosphere with no oceanfront hotels, so visitors should look to book a vacation home there or in nearby Swansboro or Bogue.
Which beach will you visit next? Find your beach rental now on Tripping.com.
This article was written by Content Contributor Laura Hu and edited by Anne Harris.