Top Reasons to Go

Water, water everywhere: Surfers delight in Cape Hatteras's formidable waves. Kayakers and boaters prefer the Crystal Coast's sleepy estuaries. Beach strollers love Ocracoke's remote, unspoiled shore.

Pirate lore and hidden booty: The Graveyard of the Atlantic is littered with shipwrecks to dive. See artifacts from Blackbeard's flagship Queen Anne's Revenge at Beaufort's North Carolina Maritime Museum.

Lighting the darkness: North Carolina has seven lighthouses, each with its own personality; a few, you can climb to the top.

The Lost Colony: In a mystery for the ages, 117 settlers disappeared without a trace. Their story is presented both in historical context and dramatic entertainment in Manteo.

Fresh seafood: Prepared practically every way possible—fried, grilled, steamed, stuffed, blackened, or raw—the bounty of the ocean is available all along the coast.

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