The North Carolina Coast Experience
North Carolina Beaches
"Endless beaches" is hardly an overstatement when it comes to North Carolina's coast. From the north end's Outer Banks to the Central Coast's unspoiled Cape Lookout and the cottage-lined southern shores, white sands, and the pristine sea seem endless.
Continuous barrier islands comprise 300-plus miles of coastline. Explore lighthouses, aquariums, museums, woodlands, and historic sites galore. Playtime means golf, carnival rides, fishing, and water sports. The Outer Banks range from the north end's quiet Corolla, where wild horses roam, to shopping and nightlife in Nags Head, to untouched beaches on the far south end. The Crystal Coast proceeds with the quaint maritime town of Beaufort and onto family-friendly Bogue Banks beach towns. Wilmington's eclectic downtown scene gives the Cape Fear region an urban beat, while Wrightsville Beach, Pleasure Island, and the Brunswick County shore provide everything from old-fashioned boardwalks to exciting surfing safaris.
You can hardly walk a North Carolina beach without encountering a surfer. Watching them ride waves large and small might convince you to grab a "stick" and give the sport a try. The Outer Banks and Wrightsville Beach are surfing hot spots, especially near piers and jetties. It's best to take a class rather than try to teach yourself to surf. Check out the local surf shop for information on classes.
North Carolina's Best Beaches
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