8 Amazing Coastal Towns in North Carolina (2022)
North Carolina is home to an extensive coastline. And guess what? This blesses the state with dozens of islands and Coastal Islands. While some offer authentic beach fun, others are quaint historic communities, but options are truly many. North Carolina is the perfect place for a beach vacation, and depending upon one’s interest; small towns are lining the Atlantic Coast to choose from. No matter what interest the place offers, each of them makes an ideal escape from the heat and humidity of summer.
Between the ocean waves and sandy shores, the Coastal towns in North Carolina offer delicious food as well. A vacation here is ideal for unwinding the daily life stress and having fun and enjoyment with the family. Since Carolina’s coastal towns are way too far from adultery, people can enjoy themselves here with kids as well.
8 Amazing Coastal Towns in North Carolina
With that said, here we go with finding the Most Popular Coastal Towns in North Carolina. Have a look:
1. Nags Head
The first stop for the best coastal town in North Carolina has to be Nags Head. It is the largest coastal town in the Outer Banks and is ideal for family visits. Popular for a sunny day escape, Nags Head has spectacular beaches with sandy shorelines and glimmering water. It is also one of the few Coastal towns in North Carolina that boasts some of the best selection of hotels, resorts, and restaurants. Though the town of Nags Head has a very limited population of no more than 3000 individuals during summers, it rises to half a lakh every single day quite easily.
Popular Places to Visit in Nags Head
- Jockey’s Ridge State Park (For the tallest active dune system in the eastern USA).
- Bodie Island Lighthouse
- Janette’s Pier (For excellent fishing opportunities).
- Nag’s Head Fishing Pier (For good fishing and great food).
- Tracks in the Sand (For beach hiking).
- Outlets Nags Head (For shopping and jaw-dropping sunset views).
- Seaside Art Gallery
- Outer Banks Adventures (For best water-based adventure).
Another popular coastal escape in North Carolina, Edenton, was the first Colonial capital of North Carolina (until 1743). The town today has seen over three centuries of life, development, and growth. It is home to an array of wonderfully restored historical homes and buildings which today serve as hotels and restaurants. Edenton, though, is a coastal town but a paradise for historical enthusiasts who are interested to learn about the past and culture. However, the surrounding picturesque waters of Edenton Bay and Albemarle Sound also make it a heaven for beach lovers.
Popular Places to Visit in Edenton
- Historic 1767 Chowan County Courthouse
- South Broad Street
- Edenton Cotton Mill Museum of History
- Roanoke River Lighthouse
- Colonial Edenton Downtown Harbor
- Chowan River Fishing Pier (For an abundance of fishing opportunities).
- Edenton Trolley Tour (For history lovers).
- Waterman’s Grill (For cozy mouthwatering dinner)
- A ghostly walk through Edenton’s streets
3. Kitty Hawk
A popular coastal town in North Carolina, Kitty Hawk, is one of the best-kept secrets of the state. This windswept town is Idyllic, charming, and beautiful and sits right adjacent to the Atlantic. Even though people know Kitty Hawk in association with the site of the first powered airplane flight by the Wright Brothers, the town has much more to that. Featuring quiet beaches with golden brown sand, the town isn’t as populated with tourism as other North Carolina destinations. Someone who wants to avoid the hustle and crowd of daily life can choose it as their go-to spot in North Carolina.
Popular Places to Visit in Kitty Hawk
- Sandy Run Park (For excellent coastal hiking opportunities).
- Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve (Known for its unique ecosystem, an abundance of wildlife, and excellent adventure opportunities).
- Sea Scape Golf Links
- Monument to a Century of Flight (A must-visit).
- Kitty Hawk Bay (For water sports and adventure).
- David Paul Pruitt Park
- Kity Hawk Beach
- Jean Guite Creek (For Cruise)
4. Carolina Beach
Located in the southeastern part of North Carolina, Carolina Beach is a beautiful coastal town. It is popular across the world for its beautiful beaches, fantastic nightlife, and summertime fun. However, the fun here isn’t limited to the season but stays live year-round. Carolina Beach is an island between the Atlantic Ocean on its east and Cape Fear River on its west. It is also one of the top surfing destinations in North Carolina, and surfing enthusiasts from all across the state and neighborhood visit here. This tropical getaway behaves as a slice of paradise and is also popular for its excellent seafood.
Popular Places to Visit in Carolina Beach
- The vintage Carolina Beach Boardwalk (A must-visit).
- Carolina Beach State Park, Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, Johnny Mercer Pier, and Gulf Stream Fishing Cruise (For fishing).
- North Regional Park or Arrowhead Park (For golf).
- Britts Donut Shop (For delicious donuts)
- Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar (For excellent seafood, especially fresh oysters)
5. Wrightsville Beach
An ideal weekend getaway destination, Wrightsville Beach is another famous coastal town in North Carolina. This walkable island has a wonderful waterfront, brown powdery sandy beach, and clear aquamarine color water. Throughout the year, especially during the summer season, Wrightsville organizes multiple events, including internationally recognized SUP events and surfing competitions, an annual holiday flotilla, and much more. The entire town is full of condo or beach home rentals and resorts that lure visitors the most. The laid-back vibe, surf culture, breweries, cafes, jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets, and excellent seafood makes the Wrightsville Beach town a go-to destination in North Carolina.
Popular Places to Visit in Wrightsville Beach
- The Wrightsville Beach itself.
- Fred and Alice Stanback Coastal Education Center
- Crystal Pier
- Wrightsville Beach Museum of History
- Jimmys at Red Dogs (For great food, drinks, and live music)
- 22 North Restaurant (For classic French fair).
One of the coolest towns on the Atlantic Coast, Beaufort is the third oldest town in North Carolina. Popular for its quirky feel, Beaufort boasts a rich coastal landscape, several historic homes, and an interesting maritime history. Travelers from across the Carolina State choose Beaufort for its rich local terrain, welcoming locals, mouthwatering food, and flavorful drinks. Upon walking through the streets, you will come across 17th-century homes on the beautiful tree-lined streets. The town is quite walkable and is excellent for catching up with friends and family at those outdoor patios.
Popular Places to Visit in Beaufort:
- North Carolina Maritime Museum
- Olde Beaufort Farmers Market
- Fishtowne Brew House (For unique ambiance)
- Rachel Carson Reserve, Beaufort, North Carolina
- Beaufort Historic Site Old Burying Ground
- Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge
7. Morehead City
Morehead is a Coastal City in North Carolina with a vibrant outdoorsy vibe. It is a treasure trove of unique attractions and is full of local history, arts, culture, and of course, water-based fun. Fishing is the major attraction of Morehead, and anglers from all across Carolina and its neighboring state choose it as their go-to spot. Morehead has a collection of charter boats that take enthusiasts on fishing trips. While small catches are too common, getting a big one isn’t very surprising here. Morehead City is walkable, and its waterfront patios have so much to do. Shopping, Dining, and live entertainment are the life of this coastal town.
Popular Places to Visit in Morehead:
- Morehead City Waterfront
- Jaycee Park
- Arts Council of Carteret County
- Sugarloaf Island
- Calico Creek Boardwalk
- The Fish Walk and the Promise Land Trails
- Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament
- North Carolina Seafood Festival
Popularly known as the Seafood Capital of the World, Calabash is the best coastal town to explore when in North Carolina. For the best seafood picks, places like Captain Nance’s Calabash Seafood Restaurant and Dockside Seafood House are some popular choices. However, seafood isn’t the only thing Calabash is known for. The town has been a synonym for family fun and adventure and, therefore, one of the number one in many destination lists. From art and craft to ultimate and unlimited fishing adventure, there’s so much to do in Calabash. Gold and Winery facilities too are some popular spots to check out in the town.
Popular Places to Visit in Calabash
- Callahan’s of Calabash
- Calabash Fishing Fleet
- Tropical Adventure Mini Golf
- Hurricane Fleet
- Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach
- Voyager Fishing Fleet