3 Interesting Places You Must Visit on the North Carolina Coast

When you visit the coast of North Carolina, it is very easy to stay on the beach, relaxing in the sun and enjoying all the activities the coast has to offer. However, there are a number of exciting non-beach outings to be enjoyed in coastal North Carolina and here’s a look at three memorable choices. That’s right, beyond our amazing shores, we have some interesting destinations that you’ll want to add to your must-see list for your next vacation.

Camden County Dismal Swamp

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3 Reasons You Should Book Your Summer Vacation on the North Carolina Coast Early

While a spontaneous weekend trip in the middle of the summer can be fun for the family, planning your vacation well in advance has many notable advantages. As North Carolina’s Coast is a popular vacation destination, if you’re hoping to visit anywhere from Elizabeth City to Wilmington this summer you may want to consider booking your trip a little earlier this year. This is also important if you’re considering booking one of the incredible rental properties on the Northern, Central and Southern coast. Here’s a look at why, if you’re thinking of visiting the NC coast, you should plan ahead:

crystal coast photo gallery

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How a NC Coast Host Membership Will Help Your Business

With a mission “to increase economic growth by promoting travel and tourism along North Carolina’s three hundred mile coastline,” NC Coast Host has established itself as the premier tourism marketing association in eastern North Carolina. Membership to our non-profit group allows tourism professionals to interact, network, and collaborate with one another to share the history, culture, and beauty of the North Carolina coast with visitors and residents. Some of the benefits members receive are: 

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Spring is in the Air in Eastern North Carolina

Spring is in the air in Eastern North Carolina – spring festivals that is. In addition to ideal weather, the eastern part of the state serves as a host to must-attend festivals each spring that you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re planning your next vacation for April or May, you’re sure to find a calendar of events chock-full with fun festivals for the whole family.

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A Lesson in North Carolina Wine

Close your eyes and think of North Carolina. Now open them. You probably weren’t thinking of wine, were you? Well, though you might not think about wine when you think of North Carolina, did you know that North Carolina is actually home to over 100 wineries? There are also two main focuses here in our state: Europena-Style Vinifera grapes, which are prominent in the Western and Piedmont areas, while native muscadine grapes are what populates the coastal region. 

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Celebrate North Carolina’s Rich Military History

Calling all history buffs! From the much-anticipated Wings Over Wayne event to a fort, which was once a project worked on by Robert E. Lee, the NC Coast is home to many military memorials that you don’t want to miss.

Wings Over Wayne

The “most exciting air show in North Carolina” is just weeks away! Wings Over Wayne is held in odd-numbered years and the event serves as a way for the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to thank local and regional communities for their support to the base’s mission. The mission of SJAFB is to “deliver dominant Strike Eagle Airpower…Anytime, Anyplace.”

This May 20th and 21st, the legendary US Navy Blue Angels venture to Goldsboro to put on a show you won’t forget. SJAFB graciously opens its doors for two days for FREE, daylong air and ground demonstrations. This family-friendly event will also feature performers, entertainment, vendors, food, and drinks.

Battleship North Carolina

The Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington welcomes visitors to walk her decks and step back in time. The crews’ vivid stories allow history to come to life by depicting daily life as well as the fierce combat that the original crew faced during World War II. Guests are even invited to steer the ship, start her engines, and fire her guns during this unique experience.

Fort Macon State Park

Nestled along the edge of Atlantic Beach is North Carolina’s most visited state park – which just happens to include a 19th Century Civil War fort.  The fort was once a project of Robert E. Lee, a famous young army engineer. Guided tours feature cannon and musket demonstrations.

Lejeune Memorial Gardens

Onslow County, home to some of the world’s fiercest fighters, United States Marines, is an area rich in history and patriotism. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Lejeune Memorial Gardens which includes the Beirut Memorial, Onslow Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, Montford Point Marine Memorial and the 9/11 Memorial which includes a beam from the Twin Towers, presented to the first troops who invaded Iraq from the police and firefighters of New York. If you’re in town on September 11th, be sure to attend the moving Patriot Day Observance Ceremony honoring those who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and those who continue to fight the war on terror.

For details regarding the schedule of events for Wings Over Wayne, tickets, as well as accommodation information, visit  If you are interested in any of the other military memorials home to the North Carolina Coast, visit

Soak Up the Sun this Summer in North Carolina

hammocks beach state park

While a visit to the North Carolina coast typically consists of long, sunny days spent on the beach, there is so much more to see and do – especially in the spring months when temperatures are still mild and enjoyable. We have rounded up 3 non-beach activities up and down the coast for you to check out this season.
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Celebrate July Fourth NC Style – North Carolina Coast Host

July Fourth

July Fourth is reason enough to celebrate, although a weekend on the NC Coast will make it even better. Whether you’ve already planned your getaway or are just considering it at this point, we’ve got a number of exciting events and festivities taking place up and down the entire coast for everyone to enjoy. Here’s a look at our Top 3 events that will have you dancing, enjoying delicious food and watching spectacular fireworks displays while celebrating America’s birthday:

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Experience Something New in North Carolina

The North Carolina coast is a hidden gem filled with adventure and unforgettable experiences! Come feel the excitement, feast on the region’s culinary delights, and relax in accommodations that range from large hotels to quaint rentals by the beach. Whatever type of getaway you’re looking for, we have it here on the North Carolina coast. Not sure what area to stay in? Here’s a look at our beloved coastline broken down into three regions: The Northern Coast, Central Coast, and Southern Coast.

 The Northern Coast offers adventure and some of the state’s most popular historical monuments, including the Wright Brothers National Memorial, home of the first successful airplane flight. In fact, this region is home to the world’s oldest and largest hang gliding school and the largest kite store on the east coast, Kitty Hawk Kites, located in Nags Head. Interested in more Outer Banks history, nature and recreation? Head over to Roanoke Island Festival Park, a 25-acre interactive historic site representing the first English settlement attempt in 1585. Don’t miss out on the area’s delectable seafood selection. Whether you want to fish offshore or just relax at an outdoor patio and dine on fresh seafood from local waters, you won’t want to miss the NC seafood experience. Want more adventure? If you are looking for the best surfing North Carolina has to offer look no further than Kitty Hawk, or travel a bit further south and head to Cape Hatteras, an outdoor adventure enthusiast’s playground. Click here to start planning your trip to the Northern Coast.

If you are looking for a romantic and historical escape, look no further than the Central Coast. Tour Tryon Palace, North Carolina’s first permanent state capitol. This unique and picturesque place offers visitors the chance to experience the adventure of North Carolina’s earliest beginnings. Guided tours, live re-enactments and conversations with costumed interpreters from centuries past bring history to life in vivid detail at the Governor’s Palace, Gardens and Historic Homes. If you’re a military history buff, you won’t want to miss the Lejeune Memorial Gardens in Onslow County, home to thousands of America’s fiercest fighters: United States Marines. From quaint waterfront restaurants and hotels in Swansboro and New Bern to small town experiences in an area rich with tradition and pride, the Central Coast offers something for everyone.

Last but certainly not least is the Southern Coast. Take a family trip to Wilmington to tour the Battleship North Carolina and build your own personal experience by steering the ship, starting the engines, or firing the guns. Enjoy a relaxing beach weekend with the family at Topsail beach! If you’re a wine lover, this region is home to the muscadine grape and wine, a varietal we’re known for in North Carolina. Once again, the NC Coast is known for seafood and good ol’ Southern cooking – especially barbecue. From fried shrimp to a pulled pork sandwich, a North Carolina staple, this region has it all! Whether you’re looking for relaxation that includes kayaking or paddle boarding the waterways or a more bustling beach experience, the Southern Coast offers something for everyone.

Click here to begin planning your stay on the NC Coast. Better yet, plan a long weekend spent traveling the coastline soaking up the unique attributes and offerings of each of our beloved coastal regions.

Fall Vacations on the North Carolina Coast

fall vacations

Does the idea of an uncrowded beach sound divine?  What about cooler nights and stars that light up the sky? If you’re more of a quiet avoid-crowds-at-any-expense kind of traveler, a trip to the North Carolina coast is just a few clicks away! Don’t worry, while the crowds may fade away the action is just picking up. With numerous events going on, specifically on the Central Coast, you and your family are sure to have an incredible time! After all, fall is the ideal time to relax at the beach, take advantage of the warmer water temperature and the cooler nights that allow you to miss the extreme heat of the summer. Looking to explore inland? We’ve got some great suggestions for things to do during your next NC coast getaway:

No matter where you choose to lay or head, be it the Northern Coast down to the Southern Coast, it’s bound to be a memorable vacation. However, the fall kicks off a slew of exciting events on the Central Coast that you won’t want to miss. First, plan a visit to the historic waterfront town of New Bern and enjoy a tour of Tryon Palace, North Carolina’s first state capital. Next, make the short twenty-minute trip to Morehead City where you’ll enjoy fresh local seafood brought in by one of the many charter fishing boats that line the waterfront.

Now, don’t even think about leaving the Crystal Coast, North Carolina’s gem, without a visit to historic Beaufort, named America’s Coolest Small Town by Travel + Leisure and listed among “The South’s Best Small Towns 2017” by Southern Living. Better yet? Reseve a room, or a rental home, and stay awhile! If you’re craving peaceful walks along the waterfront, mixed in with some excitement, plan your stay during one of the area’s local events including the second annual Beaufort Brewin’ Craft Beer Festival, taking place On September 29th and 30th  and the 2nd Annual Beaufort Wine and Food Runnin’ on Empty – Road Race on September 30th.

Did we mention the NC Coast is home to seafood that’s better than anywhere else? Well, if you love seafood as much as the locals, you won’t want to miss the always-anticipated North Carolina Seafood Festival, in its 31st  year, on October 6th through the 8th. This annual event offers locals and visitors alike an opportunity to wander the waterfront, dine on fresh Got to be NC seafood right out of our local waters, scream for joy on carnival rides, shop for unique items from local vendors and end the night with a powdered sugar-coated funnel cake!

Whether you’re looking for a serene escape after the crowds depart, a weekend filled with excitement, or maybe a bit of both, you won’t want to miss fall on the North Carolina coast. Clear your calendar and start planning your getaway today!.

The Top 5 Must-Do Activities at Hammocks Beach State Park

hammocks beach state park

Considering an island getaway filled with wildlife and privacy? Hammocks Beach State Park, or Bear Island, is a three-mile-long sanctuary for relaxation and serenity that can fulfill your summer desire right here in North Carolina. Hop on a ferry, equipped with your favorite picnic basket, and indulge in some needed leisure time with miles of unpopulated beach.


Five “Must-Do’s” of the state park you can’t miss out on:

  1. Camping
  2. Kayaking and Paddle Boarding
  3. Fishing
  4. Bird Watching
  5. Historic Swansboro Shops and Dining

Pitching a tent in one of Hammocks Beach’s backpack camping campsites allows for adventure and the ignition of primitive instinct. Once you’ve set up camp, kayaking and paddle boarding in the deserted waters are merely steps away with the beachfront view of your site.

Don’t forget your fishing pole. Hammocks Beach is ideal for fishing whether it’s off your kayak or paddleboard, surf fishing along the water’s edge, fishing is just steps from your tent. As the sun sets on your relaxing day, pull out those binoculars and watch the variety of birds, ranging from herons to egrets, as you wait for a dinner reservation in one of Swansboro’s best restaurants. The historic atmosphere, and waterfront dining experience will provide lasting memories but don’t stop there – be sure to bring home a momento from one of the area’s local boutiques. Hammocks Beach State Park offers countless outdoor activities so you can plan your trip from sun up to sun down.

For more information on Hammocks Beach State Park, click here or call (910) 326-4881 for NC Parks.



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