Best Beaches in North Carolina

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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.” 😉

Top Sail

(PC: http://www.topsailbeach.org)

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

(PC: https://www.wrightsvillebeach.com)

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!

Kure Beach

(PC: https://www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/)

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

(PC: https://www.carolinadesigns.com)

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

(PC:  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org)

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

 (PC: https://www.outerbanks.com/)

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.)

Southport

 (PC: http://www.southharbourmarina.com)

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?

23 Comments

  1. Ariana

    I love Wrightsville, I went to Wilmington with my youth group summer camp and we spent a day at Wrightsville beach! It was so fun! I love this roundup post! It’s kind of sad as an NC resident and I’ve only ever been to one of these beaches haha!

    16 . Jun . 2017
  2. Annaliese

    I lived in NC for five years and only went to the beach there once- crazy right!! I visited Ocean Isle with my dad several years ago and really enjoyed it!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    16 . Jun . 2017
  3. Sydney

    Oh my goodness how gorgeous!! I would just love to go there!!

    16 . Jun . 2017
  4. Adrina

    OMG I am a beach person and didn’t know about some of these beaches. I definitely need to visit some of them when I drive north and this article was very helpful. Thank you so much for putting it together!

    16 . Jun . 2017
  5. adriana

    My friend has a home right on the water in Wrightsville! It’s STUNNING! I love North Carolina, it’s one of my favorite trips to take. It’s such a nice little getaway that you can just jump in the car and get to in a matter of a day! Great list!

    16 . Jun . 2017
  6. Julia

    Such a great list! Emerald Isle is one of my favorites, and my family always goes to Ocean Isle because it’s very pretty and usually pretty empty 🙂

    16 . Jun . 2017
  7. Cara

    I’ve never been to a beach in North Carolina, we always go to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Looks like I’ve been missing out on some great beaches.

    16 . Jun . 2017
  8. Lynn Woods

    I love Nags Head. I moved to NC and haven’t had a chance to go to the beach yet. Everyone keeps telling me about Top sail and Emerald Isle so I think those will be the first two I hit.

    16 . Jun . 2017
  9. Bella B (xoxoBella)

    I have seen many photos of the beaches there an they look amazing. I adore the Pacific Ocean beaches. I hope to get to see this area one day in my travels.

    16 . Jun . 2017
  10. Ying-NavigatingAdulthood

    Nags Head beach looks like the becah in Rhode Island where Taylor Swift has a house! It looks like a wonderful summer retreat

    17 . Jun . 2017
  11. Kate

    I also live in NC, so of course I’ve visited the beaches a lot. 🙂 My favorite NC beach is Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks – it’s a lot further down than Nags Head so there’s a lot fewer people and the landscape is more open and natural.

    17 . Jun . 2017
  12. Alix Maza

    Omg I’m so telling my cousins about this! They live in Raleigh so this is perfect.

    17 . Jun . 2017
  13. Rachel Ritlop

    I’ve always wanted to go to NC!! It looks SO lovely!

    17 . Jun . 2017
  14. Kaitlynn

    I’ve visited NC so many times that I have been to 3 of these beaches. I have to say that Corolla is by far one of the best places I have ever stayed. Those horses are amazingly beautiful!! I found so many great shells there too

    17 . Jun . 2017
  15. Lanae Bond

    I don’t live too far from Nags Head but it has been a long time since I been! I would love to go back because my family loved it so much! Thanks for showing the great spots in our state!

    17 . Jun . 2017
  16. Anna

    I’ve never been to the beach in North Carolina! My uncle recently bought a house in Highlands though so I might have to make a trip to the beach next time I visit!

    18 . Jun . 2017
  17. Michelle Paige

    These beaches are all so beautiful! I’ve never been to NC but I’d love to go one day.

    18 . Jun . 2017
  18. the sophia diaries

    Wow, I really should visit north carolina soon!!

    18 . Jun . 2017
  19. Molly | Miss Molly Moon

    I have honestly only been to one of these, but I love the Carolina beaches for some reason! I think it’s because they’re so different from the Gulf Coast Beaches that I grew up visiting.

    Molly // Miss Molly Moon

    18 . Jun . 2017
  20. Jenny

    Such pretty beaches! I’ve actually never visited a beach on the East coast haha. Just the beaches in Florida.

    19 . Jun . 2017
  21. Silvia

    I can’t wait to visit North Carolina and go to these pretty beaches!

    19 . Jun . 2017
  22. Alexis

    Oh I so want to come visit you! These beaches look so amazing! I’ve only been to OBX in NC.

    21 . Jun . 2017
  23. elly leavitt

    have always wanted to go to nag’s head! i have a friend who has a summer house there and it looks so so pretty x

    23 . Jun . 2017

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