The North Carolina Coast

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The North Carolina Coast - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Battleship North Carolina

    Downtown | Military Sight

    Across the Cape Fear River from downtown, take a self-guided tour of a ship that participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific...Read More

  • 2. Bodie Island Light Station

    Nautical Site/Lighthouse

    The original Bodie (pronounced "body") lighthouse was constructed in 1847 but had to be abandoned in 1859 because of structural issues; the...Read More

  • 3. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

    Nautical Site/Lighthouse

    Authorized by Congress in 1794 to help prevent shipwrecks, this was the first lighthouse built in the region. The original structure was lost...Read More

  • 4. Cape Lookout Lighthouse

    Nautical Site/Lighthouse

    This distinctive 1859 lighthouse's double walls allow the tower to rise as tall as required—169 feet—without making the building unstable. This...Read More

  • 5. Currituck Beach Lighthouse

    Nautical Site/Lighthouse

    The 1875 lighthouse was built from nearly 1 million bricks, which remain unpainted on the exterior. Except in high winds or thunderstorms, or...Read More

  • 6. Fort Fisher State Historic Site

    Military Sight

    This is one of the South's largest and most important earthworks fortifications from the Civil War, so tough and strategically placed along...Read More

  • 7. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

    Historic District/Site

    Fort Raleigh is a restoration of the original 1584–90 earthworks that mark the beginning of English-colonial history in America. The site has...Read More

  • 8. Jennette's Pier

    Marina/Pier

    Built in 1939, Jennette's Pier was North Carolina's oldest wooden ocean-fishing pier until 2003 when Hurricane Isabel knocked it down. In 2009...Read More

  • 9. Jockey's Ridge State Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    The 427 acres of this park encompass the tallest sand dune system on the East Coast (about 80 to 100 feet). Walk along the 384-foot boardwalk...Read More

  • 10. Kure Beach

    Beach

    Family memories are made here on tall ocean piers where kids reel in their first big catches. You can swim, beachcomb, kiteboard over the big...Read More

  • 11. Portsmouth Village

    Portsmouth Island | Ghost Town

    This coastal "ghost town" is like nowhere else on the southeastern Atlantic coast, and the few thousand people that make it here each year are...Read More

  • 12. Wright Brothers National Memorial

    Historic District/Site

    One of the most popular photo sites on the Outer Banks, 5 miles south of Kitty Hawk, is the 60-foot granite airplane's tail that stands as a...Read More

  • 13. Airlie Gardens

    Midtown | Garden

    This garden's 67 lush acres feature azaleas, magnolias, and camellias that flourish near two freshwater lakes that attract waterfowl. This is...Read More

  • 14. Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site

    Ruins

    About 10 miles north of Southport, you can explore the ruins and excavations of a colonial town and see the Civil War earthworks of Fort Anderson...Read More

  • 15. Carolina Beach

    Beach

    With ice cream cones, flashing arcade lights, seashell souvenirs, and paddleboats on the small inland lake, Carolina Beach's old-fashioned boardwalk...Read More

  • 16. Coquina Beach

    Beach

    In the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but just a few miles south of Nags Head, Coquina is considered by locals to be one of the loveliest...Read More

  • 17. Elizabethan Gardens

    Garden

    These lush gardens are a 10-acre re-creation of 16th-century English gardens, established as an elaborate memorial to the first English colonists...Read More

  • 18. Lake Phelps

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    At 16,600 acres, 5 miles across, and about 4 feet deep, Lake Phelps is North Carolina's second-largest natural lake. It's also part of Pettigrew...Read More

  • 19. Nags Head Beaches

    Beach

    Forty-three public Atlantic beach access points and five sound-side access points make Nags Head the perfect place to hit the shore, no matter...Read More

  • 20. North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

    Zoo/Aquarium

    This small but beautiful oceanfront aquarium features a 235,000-gallon saltwater tank that's home to sharks, stingrays, and a Goliath grouper...Read More

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