5 Best Beaches In North Carolina

August 6, 2015 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

North Carolina is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy their time away from home in a charming beachside community. However, not all beachside communities in North Carolina are equal when it comes to accessibility, quality and local amenities. But all offer beautiful weather, quaint bungalows, large estates, Southern hospitality and a fabulous place to sit back and relax.Pack your swimsuit and beach bags before heading out to some of the finest beaches the state of North Carolina has to offer.

Bald Head Island
PO Box 3069
Bald Head Island, NC 28461
(800) 432-7368
www.baldheadisland.comYou are sure to have a blast when visiting Bald Head Island and spending the day at the beaches on this quiet island located along the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River, marking the southernmost point of the cape islands. Start your day off by taking the ferry boat to the 12,000-acre island where you can explore 14 miles of beachfront. While exploring you will see private homes, find a beach rental, go golfing or take a hike through the maritime forest on the island. Do not forget to stop by Old Baldy Lighthouse and climb to the top for an amazing view of the island.

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive
Avon, NC 27915
(252) 473-2111
www.nps.gov/caha/index.htmThe Cape Hatteras National Seashore stretches along the Atlantic Coast on the Outer Banks for 72 miles. While exploring this beach area, you will be able to swim off the barrier islands scattered along the coast from Nags Head to Ocracoke Island. There is more to this beach than just being able to take a relaxing dip in the waters of the Atlantic. You will be amazed by the beautiful high sandy dunes and breathtaking landscapes throughout this national seashore. Don’t forget to stop by the Bodie Island Lighthouse, the tallest brick lighthouse in the country. This lighthouse, built back in the 1870s, stands 196 feet tall and has 248 steps to the climb before reaching the top.

Corolla Beach
Currituck County Visitor’s Center
500 Hunt Club Drive
Corolla, NC 27927
(877) 287-7488
www.corollaguide.comIf you are looking for a luxurious beach experience, make plans to visit Corolla Beach. This area is home to some of the most luxurious accommodations, upscale stores and fine dining establishments. In addition to shopping, dining and eating near Corolla Beach, there are plenty of recreational activities available to those looking to have a little fun in the sun. Beach activities available in the area include jet ski rentals, kayaking tours, surfing lessons and fishing charters. While in the area, do not forget to go searching for the wild horses that roam freely or go climbing the staircase to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. You will quickly discover why Corolla Beach has become such a popular Oceanside vacation destination.

Related: 7 Best Beach Reads for Summer 2015

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Emerald Isle
7500 Emerald Drive
Emerald Isle, NC 28594
(252) 354-3424Located on the southern portion of the Outer Banks you will find Emerald Isle.This is definitely one of the finest beaches along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast and something you do not want to miss seeing while in the area. This small island is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Bogue Sound. Its location is perfect for calm, crystal waters where you can play in the surf. While visiting Emerald Isle, make sure to go out on the waters aboard a coastal boat tour, where you will see local birds, wild ponies frolicking on the barrier islands and go searching for dolphins. Top boat tours in the area include Overtime Tours, Sandbar Safari Eco-Tours and Waterbug Harbor Tours.

Wrightsville Beach
321 Causeway Drive
PO Box 626
Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
(877) 406-2356
www.visitwrightsvillebeachnc.comAnother amazing beach in North Carolina that is a must-visit when looking to spend the day at the beach is Wrightsville Beach. This beach is the perfect location for surfers to catch a wave and sunbathers to soak of the sun. Want to spend time under the surface of the water? No problem. Wrightsville Beach is also home to 200 wrecks that can be found on the ocean’s floor just off of the coast. Other activities visitors can enjoy while exploring Wrightsville Beach include kayaking, fishing, pirate-themed activities and plenty of shopping and dining venues.Related: Your Guide to the Bay Area’s Best Beaches

Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.