Located along the Bogue Banks of North Carolina, Atlantic Beach is a scenic destination for families seeking vacation rentals and solace from their busy daily lives. Pristine beaches, scenic parks, and plenty of attractions make this area the perfect place to plan a getaway. Book an Atlantic Beach vacation rental today. Whether finalizing your itinerary or playing it by ear, be sure to check out these 10 popular activities for families.

1. Take a Ferry Ride to Shackelford Banks

Sign up for a 15-minute ferry ride to the Outer Banks island of Shackelford Banks. Part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, this remote beach is ideal for families that enjoy hiking. Let your guide navigate you through muddy salt marshes and over untouched sand while you track and view the wild horses on the island. Afterwards, your group will explore some of the best shelling beaches in the area.

2. Visit the North Carolina Aquarium

Located just a few miles from Atlantic Beach, the North Carolina Aquarium is a popular spot for families. Learn about the different habitats of the region and the animals that call them home. Marvel at shipwreck recreations with sharks, fish, seahorses, and various other sea creatures. Children love touching the sea stars, horseshoe crabs, and shells in the touch tanks. Stop at the gift shop to purchase souvenirs before leaving.

3. Rent a Boat

Located near the pier, the Anchorage Marina rents boats and other equipment, including navigational charts and tackle. Enjoy an afternoon away from your vacation rental in Atlantic Beach, and spend the day on a deep sea fishing excursion. If you have your own boat, you can pay for a slip and dock it at the marina during your stay.

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4. Tour Fort Macon State Park

Learn a little about the Civil War and its effects on North Carolina with a guided tour of Fort Macon State Park. This coastal museum includes various exhibits both inside and outside of the structure that are interesting to all ages. You’ll also find a bathhouse and a wheelchair-accessible stretch of beach where you can go swimming or surfing along the unspoiled shoreline or explore the salt marshes, estuaries, and dune fields.

5. Have Fun at the North Carolina Maritime Museum

Learn about the seafood industry at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Exhibits include sailboats and reproductions of lighthouses. Kids will enjoy the artifacts from Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, which dropped anchor in 1719 in Beaufort. Every July, the museum hosts its annual crab cake cookout that you won’t want to miss.

6. Spend the Day at the Atlantic Beach Skate Park

Let your children expend some energy at the Atlantic Beach Skate Park. This outdoor paved area includes multiple ramps, grind boxes, and rails for learning new tricks and showing off old ones. Food and drinks are allowed inside the park, so you can cool off and relax between flips. The park is located just a few blocks from the beach, so you can go swimming afterwards.

7. Go On a Treasure Hunt

Embark on the Pirate Island Treasure Hunt, and make memories you won’t soon forget. Leave your vacation rental and catch a ferry to Pirate Island. Marooned with Blackbeard’s Crew, you’ll work together with your family to solve puzzles, compete in various challenges, and crack the riddles of a treasure map to help locate Blackbeard’s buried treasure. At the end of the trip, all participants take home some unique prizes as a reminder of your adventure.

8. Take a Ghost Tour

Explore the next door city of Beaufort at night by walking the streets while on a guided ghost tour. Beaufort is known for its chilling stories of unexplained happenings, haunted houses, pirates running rampant, and ghost ships. During the tour, the pirate guides dance and perform to keep you entertained throughout the walk, and they tell tales of events they’ve experienced. The tour takes place in the historic district and is one of the most popular attractions for travelers to the area.

9. Discover the Wildlife

Atlantic Beach is a haven for all types of wildlife. Head out from your vacation rental early in the morning to the Hoop Pole Creek Nature Trail. Paved pathways that accommodate hikers of all skill levels invite you to get some exercise while bird-watching and enjoying the flora and fauna. Some of the trails take you through maritime forests and marshes, so you can experience different habitats. If you prefer being on the water, sign up for a dolphin tour, and watch these animals swim alongside the boat and jump out of the water as they play. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a meal outdoors.

10. Enjoy the Beach

Slow down and enjoy 2 miles of pristine white sandy beaches at Atlantic Beach. With 18 access points, there are plenty of places to explore and enjoy. Learn how to ski or go snorkeling. Kids can build sandcastles or bring a skim board and play on the water’s edge. Bring a chair and enjoy the sun, or try your hand at parasailing. If you prefer a little adventure, rent some kayaks or stand-up paddleboards, and enjoy the ocean waves. In October, the beach hosts the annual Carolina Kite Festival, which offers many family attractions.

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