Best Beaches in North Carolina

Two wild horses on the beach in Corolla on North Carolina Outer Banks
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North Carolina’s coastline is a treasure trove of stunning beaches that draw in visitors with their natural beauty and coastal charm. From the breathtaking expanse of Cape Hatteras National Seashore to the vibrant shores of Wrightsville Beach, this southeastern state boasts an impressive array of sandy stretches that cater to all beachgoers’ preferences. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful getaway on the secluded Ocracoke Island or an action-packed vacation at bustling Carolina Beach, North Carolina’s beaches offer something for everyone. Join us as we embark on a journey to explore the very best beaches this coastal paradise has to offer.



Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Prepare to be mesmerized by the untouched beauty of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. With its endless stretches of sandy shores, majestic sand dunes, and historic lighthouses, this coastal gem invites you to immerse yourself in a world of natural wonders. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure as you discover the awe-inspiring splendor of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Reasons to Visit Cape Hatteras National Seashore:

  • Untouched Beauty: Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of pristine sandy beaches, where the Atlantic Ocean meets untouched dunes, creating a picturesque coastal landscape.
  • Lighthouse Legacy: Discover the rich maritime history of the area with its iconic lighthouses, including the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, providing panoramic views and a glimpse into the past.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Engage in thrilling water sports like surfing, kiteboarding, and fishing. Explore the diverse ecosystem through kayaking, birdwatching, or hiking the scenic trails.
  • Wildlife Wonders: Encounter a variety of wildlife, including majestic sea turtles, shorebirds, and dolphins. Cape Hatteras is a prime spot for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.
  • Serene Escape: Find solace in the tranquil surroundings, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Relax on the pristine beaches, soak up the sun, and let the soothing sound of the waves rejuvenate your spirit.

Recommended Gear: Beach Umbrella, Beach Chairs, Beach Towels, Sunscreen, Cooler, Beach Bag, Beach Games


Wrightsville Beach

Bathed in endless sunshine and pulsating with a vibrant coastal energy, Wrightsville Beach beckons with its irresistible charm. With its pristine sandy shores, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and a lively atmosphere, this beach paradise offers a perfect blend of relaxation and exhilaration. Whether you’re seeking thrilling water sports, rejuvenating beach strolls, or simply unwinding under the sun, Wrightsville Beach promises an unforgettable seaside experience.

Reasons to Visit Wrightsville Beach:

  • Water Sports Haven: Immerse yourself in a world of thrilling water sports, including surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and jet skiing. Wrightsville Beach is a mecca for adventure enthusiasts seeking exhilarating aquatic experiences.
  • Pristine Beaches: Relax on the soft, powdery sands and soak up the sun on Wrightsville Beach’s pristine shoreline. The beach offers ample space for sunbathing, building sandcastles, or enjoying leisurely beach walks.
  • Lively Atmosphere: Experience a vibrant coastal atmosphere with a bustling beachfront and a lively town. Explore the charming shops, local restaurants, and vibrant nightlife that add a delightful touch to your beach vacation.
  • Crystal-Clear Waters: Dive into the refreshing, crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you’re swimming, snorkeling, or simply splashing around, the azure waters of Wrightsville Beach offer an invigorating and memorable experience.
  • Nature and Wildlife: Take a leisurely stroll along the beach and appreciate the stunning coastal scenery. Keep an eye out for unique bird species, dolphins playing in the waves, and other marine life that call this area home.

Recommended Gear: Beach Tent, Beach Mat, Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Waterproof Phone Case, Snorkeling Gear, Beach Volleyball, Beach Toys


Ocracoke Island

Escape to the untouched paradise of Ocracoke Island, where time seems to stand still. This hidden gem of North Carolina’s coastline boasts pristine beaches, serene dunes, and a peaceful ambiance. With its remote location accessible only by ferry, Ocracoke Island offers a tranquil retreat surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty. Step onto its shores and immerse yourself in the serenity of this coastal haven.

Reasons to Visit Ocracoke Island:

  • Secluded Beaches: Experience a sense of tranquility as you explore the secluded and unspoiled beaches of Ocracoke Island. Enjoy peaceful strolls along the shoreline, bask in the sun, and relish the serene beauty of this coastal oasis.
  • Historic Charm: Delve into the island’s rich history by visiting the Ocracoke Lighthouse and exploring the charming village with its historic buildings and quaint shops. Immerse yourself in the island’s unique culture and captivating maritime heritage.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Engage in a variety of outdoor activities, such as fishing, kayaking, and kayaking. Ocracoke Island provides an ideal setting for water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers to explore its diverse ecosystem.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Observe fascinating wildlife, including seabirds, dolphins, and even wild horses that roam the island. Wildlife enthusiasts will revel in the opportunity to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitats.
  • Relaxation and Serenity: Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and find a true sense of peace on Ocracoke Island. Unwind on the tranquil beaches, listen to the gentle lapping of the waves, and revel in the laid-back atmosphere that permeates this island paradise.

Recommended Gear: Beach Umbrella, Beach Chairs, Beach Towels, Sunscreen, Cooler, Beach Bag, Binoculars


Emerald Isle

Experience the enchantment of Emerald Isle, a coastal haven nestled on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. With its pristine stretches of sandy beaches, shimmering emerald waters, and breathtaking sunsets, this hidden gem invites you to unwind and reconnect with nature. Whether you’re seeking peaceful beach walks, thrilling water sports, or simply basking in the serenity of the surroundings, Emerald Isle promises a memorable seaside escape.

Reasons to Visit Emerald Isle:

  • Gorgeous Beaches: Explore the stunning stretches of sandy beaches that Emerald Isle has to offer. From sunbathing to beachcombing, the pristine shoreline provides the perfect setting for relaxation and natural beauty.
  • Water Sports Paradise: Dive into thrilling water sports adventures such as surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and fishing. The crystal-clear waters and favorable conditions make Emerald Isle a haven for water enthusiasts.
  • Nature and Wildlife: Immerse yourself in the island’s natural wonders. Discover the diverse ecosystem and encounter fascinating wildlife, including dolphins, sea turtles, and shorebirds.
  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Bring the whole family and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere that Emerald Isle provides. Build sandcastles, play beach games, and create cherished memories along the shore.
  • Coastal Scenic Beauty: Indulge in the breathtaking coastal scenery. Witness stunning sunsets over the water, stroll along the dunes, and take in the picturesque views that make Emerald Isle a true coastal paradise.

Recommended Gear: Beach Tent, Beach Mat, Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Snorkeling Gear, Waterproof Phone Case, Beach Frisbee, Beach Toys


Outer Banks Beaches

Experience the unparalleled beauty of the Outer Banks beaches, a coastal wonderland along the North Carolina coastline. With its endless stretches of golden sands, majestic dunes, and picturesque seascapes, this collection of beaches offers a captivating retreat for beach lovers. From the serene tranquility of Corolla to the iconic Cape Hatteras, prepare to be swept away by the breathtaking allure of the Outer Banks beaches.

Reasons to Visit Outer Banks Beaches:

  • Majestic Beauty: Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Outer Banks beaches, where pristine sands meet the endless horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. Experience breathtaking sunrises, stunning sunsets, and panoramic coastal vistas.
  • Rich History: Explore the historical landmarks and maritime heritage that grace the Outer Banks. From the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, these beaches offer a glimpse into the region’s fascinating past.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Engage in a myriad of outdoor activities, including fishing, surfing, kiteboarding, fishing, and wildlife spotting. The Outer Banks provide ample opportunities for adventure and exploration amidst its diverse ecosystems.
  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Create lasting memories with your family on the Outer Banks beaches. Build sandcastles, enjoy picnics by the shore, and partake in beach games and water sports suitable for all ages.
  • Natural Wonders: Discover the remarkable natural wonders that abound in the Outer Banks. From observing wild horses in Corolla to exploring the shifting sands of Jockey’s Ridge State Park, nature enthusiasts will be captivated by the unique ecosystems.

Recommended Gear: Beach Tent, Waterproof Phone Case, Beach Mat, Camping Tables, Snorkeling Gear, Beach Chairs, Beach Toys


Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach, located on the captivating coast of North Carolina, invites you to experience a slice of coastal paradise. With its wide sandy shores, gentle ocean breezes, and a lively atmosphere, this beach destination offers the perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment. Whether you’re soaking up the sun, strolling along the bustling boardwalk, or enjoying water sports, Carolina Beach promises an unforgettable beach getaway filled with sun-soaked memories.

Reasons to Visit Carolina Beach:

  • Beautiful Beaches: Carolina Beach boasts pristine sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters, providing the perfect backdrop for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing.
  • Vibrant Boardwalk: Explore the lively Carolina Beach Boardwalk, lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Enjoy delicious seafood, shop for souvenirs, and indulge in the lively atmosphere.
  • Water Sports Paradise: Engage in a variety of water sports activities such as surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and fishing. Carolina Beach offers ideal conditions for water enthusiasts of all skill levels.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Embark on outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, and exploring Carolina Beach State Park. Discover scenic trails, spot unique wildlife, and soak in the natural beauty of the area.
  • Festivals and Events: Experience the vibrant local culture through festivals and events held throughout the year. From seafood festivals to live music performances, Carolina Beach offers a lively and engaging atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.

Recommended Gear: Beach Tent, Beach Mat, Waterproof Phone Case, Beach Chairs, Snorkeling Gear, Beach Volleyball, Beach Toys


Topsail Island

Topsail Island, an idyllic coastal destination off the North Carolina coast, entices with its untouched beauty and serene ambiance. With its pristine beaches, calm waters, and captivating charm, Topsail Island offers a peaceful escape from the ordinary. Whether you’re yearning for tranquil beach moments, thrilling water activities, or a chance to reconnect with nature, Topsail Island promises an unforgettable coastal experience.

Reasons to Visit Topsail Island:

  • Untouched Natural Beauty: Experience the unspoiled natural beauty of Topsail Island, with its pristine beaches, dunes, and coastal landscapes. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of this coastal paradise.
  • Relaxation and Serenity: Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and unwind in the peaceful atmosphere of Topsail Island. Whether you’re lounging on the beach or enjoying a leisurely stroll, the island offers a serene retreat.
  • Water Sports and Activities: Engage in a variety of water sports and activities, including fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing. The clear waters and favorable conditions make Topsail Island a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Discover the rich marine life and wildlife that call Topsail Island home. From sea turtles nesting on the beaches to dolphins swimming offshore, the island offers unique opportunities for wildlife sightings.
  • Charming Coastal Communities: Explore the charming coastal communities of Topsail Island, each with its own character and charm. Visit local shops, savor fresh seafood, and immerse yourself in the laid-back coastal lifestyle.

Recommended Gear: Beach Umbrella, Beach Chairs, Beach Towels, Sunscreen, Cooler, Beach Bag, Portable Bluetooth Speaker


Kure Beach

Kure Beach, a hidden gem nestled along the coast of North Carolina, offers a charming seaside escape. With its pristine sandy shores, inviting Atlantic waters, and a relaxed atmosphere, this beach destination is a haven for beach lovers. Whether you’re seeking tranquil moments by the sea, thrilling water sports, or exploring nearby attractions, Kure Beach promises a delightful coastal retreat filled with warmth and natural beauty.

Reasons to Visit Kure Beach:

  • Stunning Beaches: Kure Beach boasts beautiful sandy shores and clear blue waters, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing.
  • Historical Charm: Explore the rich history of Kure Beach, from the iconic Fort Fisher State Historic Site to the North Carolina Aquarium. Immerse yourself in the area’s fascinating past and learn about its cultural heritage.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Engage in a range of outdoor activities, including fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing. Kure Beach offers ample opportunities for adventure and exploration amidst its scenic coastal surroundings.
  • Natural Wonders: Discover the natural wonders of Kure Beach, such as the beautiful Carolina Beach State Park and the nearby Zeke’s Island Reserve. These protected areas showcase the region’s diverse ecosystems and offer opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and birdwatching.
  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Kure Beach is a family-friendly destination, with a range of attractions and activities suitable for all ages. Enjoy family picnics, build sandcastles, and create lifelong memories by the sea.

Recommended Gear: Beach Tent, Beach Mat, Waterproof Phone Case, Camping Tables, Snorkeling Gear, Beach Volleyball, Beach Toys


Holden Beach

Holden Beach, situated in North Carolina, beckons you to unwind on its serene shores. With its unspoiled beaches, soothing ocean breezes, and captivating coastal atmosphere, Holden Beach offers a peaceful retreat for beach lovers. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach vacation, engaging in thrilling water activities, or simply immersing yourself in the natural beauty, Holden Beach promises a delightful seaside experience.

Reasons to Visit Holden Beach:

  • Untouched Beauty: Holden Beach boasts pristine, unspoiled beaches with powdery sand and clear waters, providing a picturesque backdrop for relaxation and scenic walks.
  • Peaceful Atmosphere: Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and embrace the tranquility of Holden Beach. Its serene ambiance and uncrowded shores offer a calm and rejuvenating getaway.
  • Water Activities: Dive into a world of water adventures with activities like swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. The calm waters of Holden Beach are perfect for both beginners and experienced water enthusiasts.
  • Family-Friendly Environment: Holden Beach is a family-friendly destination, offering a safe and welcoming environment for kids to play and families to bond. Build sandcastles, fly kites, and create cherished memories by the sea.
  • Scenic Nature Trails: Explore the natural beauty of Holden Beach through its scenic nature trails. Take a leisurely hike or bike ride, and discover the diverse coastal ecosystems and wildlife that thrive in the area.

Recommended Gear: Beach Umbrella, Beach Chairs, Cooler, Beach Wagon, Beach Shelter, Waterproof Dry Bag, Beach Games


Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach, situated on the beautiful Crystal Coast of North Carolina, beckons with its alluring blend of sun, sand, and surf. With its pristine stretches of shoreline, crystal-clear waters, and a relaxed ambiance, Atlantic Beach is a paradise for beach enthusiasts seeking a tranquil escape. Whether you’re looking to unwind, partake in water activities, or simply soak up the coastal splendor, Atlantic Beach offers an idyllic coastal retreat.

Reasons to Visit Atlantic Beach:

  • Breathtaking Beaches: Atlantic Beach boasts stunning, pristine beaches with soft sands and crystal-clear waters, providing the perfect setting for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Embark on thrilling outdoor adventures such as fishing, boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Atlantic Beach offers a range of water activities for enthusiasts of all skill levels.
  • Scenic Beauty: Immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of Atlantic Beach. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, marvel at picturesque sunsets, and spot local wildlife, including dolphins and seabirds.
  • Family-Friendly Environment: Atlantic Beach is a family-friendly destination with a welcoming atmosphere. Build sandcastles, play beach games, and create lasting memories with your loved ones amidst the serene coastal surroundings.
  • Fresh Seafood Delights: Indulge in the local culinary scene and savor the freshest seafood at Atlantic Beach. From casual seafood shacks to upscale waterfront restaurants, the area offers a variety of dining options to please your taste buds.

Recommended Gear: Beach Mat, Snorkeling Gear, Beach Tent, Waterproof Phone Case, Camping Tables, Beach Toys, Beach Volleyball


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