Best Beaches in North Carolina
If you met me, you probably would never be able to tell I grew up in New Jersey. North Carolina has my heart through and through. Depending on what mood I’m in, I could either drive 3 hours to the mountains or 3 hours to the beach! On the topic of beaches… North Carolina is home to some of the most beautiful beach destinations in the United States. Pack your bathing suit, we’re goin’ swimming!
North Carolina’s coastline stretches 301 miles long. That’s plenty of space for surfing, tanning, and fishing! As VisitNC.com says, “Worries can’t follow you to a place this beautiful.” 😉
It’s rumored that Topsail Beach got it’s name back in the 1700’s, when pirates roamed it’s waters. Merchants would look out for the top of the pirate’s sails. Get it?? Topsail is a quiet and small beach town. As of 2012, Topsail had a whopping population of 383 residents! It’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of mainland.
Wrightsville beach is only a short ways away from Topsail. However, Wrightsville is a bit larger and more of a tourist destination. The beach town offers many family-friendly attractions. Plus, the city of Wilmington is also a short drive west, offering TONS of evening activities. You’ll never get bored!
I may be a little bias because Kure beach is the beach I go to most… but Kure beach is wonderful!! The town gives off a very welcoming, southern vibe. The “boardwalk” is newly renovated and offers great views. Swings and benches are scattered across the boardwalk to relax on. You can also check out the Kure Beach Fishing pier, which is the oldest pier on the Atlantic Coast.
Nags Head is another popping’ vacay spot! The beaches are beautiful and is home to Jockey Ridge, the largest natural sand dune on the East Coast. Nags Head also has some great restaurants! Sam & Omie’s is a town favorite, serving up some of the BEST seafood around 😋
Emerald Isle is known to have the prettiest sunsets around. On the island, you’ll find a relaxing atmosphere, crystal clear water, and plenty of fun in the sun! There are tons of activities to do in Emerald Isle. You will also see lots of people fishing or hiking on Emerald Isle’s many trails.
Corolla is most famous for the Colonial Spanish Mustangs that walk the Northern beach. To see the horses, you do have to sign up for a guided tour though. Corolla is a unique because it borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound. You can go for ocean waves or calm sound water. The lighthouse is also a big attraction! (I’m terrified of heights though so don’t count on seeing me there.)
Ever wanted to I’ve in a movie? Southport is the perfect beach for you! Southport was the shooting location for Nicholas Spark’s Safe Haven. The small town is quite charming and is filled with friendly, happy people. Besides laying out on the beach, you’ll definitely want to walk around town and check out the cute (funky colored) shops. I’m dying to visit Check Six Brewing Company this summer! And of course, you need to walk the docks.
What’s your favorite beach in North Carolina? Did yours make the list?