While there are plenty of easy-access beaches throughout the state, sometimes discovering your own slice of paradise is the best way to experience sand and salt. From the northern Outer Banks to the southern tip of the state, this North Carolina beaches road trip guarantees you’ll discover some of the very best hidden beaches in North Carolina and have an outstanding adventure on the coast. Use our customizable interactive map of the route as your guide.

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North Carolina is home to some amazing hidden spots and in spite of the popularity of the lovely coastline, there are still many unspoiled spots just waiting to be explored. Ready to hit the road to discover your favorite among the best-hidden North Carolina beaches? Pack the road-trip essentials into the car and let’s get going!

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North Carolina beaches

What are the prettiest beaches in North Carolina?

The prettiest beaches in North Carolina include:

  • North Carolina's Outer Banks beaches
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Ocracoke Island
  • Cape Lookout National Seashore


What are the best beach towns in North Carolina?

The best beach towns in NC are:

  • Kitty Hawk
  • Kill Devil Hills
  • Nags Head
  • Duck


What beaches have the clearest water in North Carolina?

North Carolina's Crystal Coast has the whitest sand and the clearest water. The alluring turquoise water found along the Cape Lookout National Seashore is among the clearest waters found along the coast. Discover even more information about the gorgeous turquoise waters found along the crystal coast of North Carolina.

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