With 301 miles of coastline, North Carolina has some of the best beaches in America. Between breathtaking views, calming waves, warm sand and historic lighthouses…we have it all! With summer pretty much here, you’re probably wanting to rent a bungalow and prop up your umbrella. Here are ten of the best beaches in North Carolina.
1. Cape Hatteras National Seashore
For 72-miles along the Atlantic coast in the Outer Banks, this stretch of barrier island spans from Nags Head to Ocracoke Island. Climb the nation's tallest lighthouse and catch some rays in the same day.
2. Bald Head Island
Hop on the ferry and come explore this 12,000 acre slice of paradise. Bald Head Island is perfect for lazy beach days followed by killer seafood. You'll feel remote and the scenery is breathtaking. Don't forget to pay Old Baldy a visit.
3. Wrightsville Beach
Wilmington residents love to frequent Wrightsville. Vacationers love to get the beach and Wilmington's history and culture in one vacation. Five miles of seashore and crystal clear water make for a great beach day. With over 200 shipwrecks resting on the ocean floor, scuba divers also love Wrightsville. There is much to be explored here!
4. Emerald Isle
Emerald isle is a real North Carolina gem. Positioned between the Atlantic Ocean and the South Bogue Sound, this southern part of the Outer Banks is guaranteed to supply you with calm, crystal water and an awesome tan.
5. Carolina Beach
For sun, sand, surf, and a (little) crowd...Carolina Beach is perfect for a day trip. Being just 30 miles from the gulf stream, Carolina Beach is a popular destination for fishing, deep sea fishing, and water sports.
6. Corolla Beach
Located in the northernmost section of the Outer Banks, Corolla Beach has something extra special...wild ponies! You'll get a true OBX experience at Corolla, almost all stores are locally owned and you can take a Jeep tour of the beach. Popular attractions include the Whalehead Club and Currituck Lighthouse.
7. Topsail Beach
If you're looking for the best conch seashells on the NC coast, come to Topsail! This quiet community of 500 residents really takes you out of reality. High rise development is restricted and small beach bungalows will put you in the sun, sand, and surf mindset.
8. Oak Island
Located on a barrier island near the southeastern tip of North Carolina, Oak Island is sometimes overlooked but its beauty is abundant. Take a walk on the fishing pier or try out some fresh seafood. Fishing and kayaking are also very popular here on the Davis Canal.
9. Sunset Beach
You must visit Sunset Beach at least once, how else will you leave a letter in the Kindred Spirit mailbox? The mailbox was placed there in 1981 and since visitors have left letters with their hopes and dreams inside. Sunset Beach is extremely quiet and peaceful, if you're looking for some alone time this is your place!
10. Hammocks Beach State Park
To really get away from it all (more so just people) take the ferry or just kayak over to Hammocks Beach. While you'll have to pitch a tent if you wish to stay the night, this state park is so peaceful and remote you'll forget about reality for awhile.