Live Like a Crystal Coast Local

Dreaming of a year-round vacation on the Crystal Coast? We don’t blame you! With breathtaking beaches, quaint seaside towns, a lively fishing culture, and plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy some truly beautiful weather, the Crystal Coast is the ideal location for anyone seeking a relaxed shoreside retreat. Want to know what it’s really like to live in Carteret County? Here’s how to live like a local on the Crystal Coast.

Discover the Best of the Crystal Coast

The Crystal Coast is truly a seaside destination unlike any other. There’s something for everyone here: white-sand beaches; sparkling waterways; exciting downtown events and festivals; a plethora of shopping and dining; museums and historic sites; live music and entertainment; unique educational experiences… and so much more. Carteret County draws visitors from across the state to experience its truly one-of-a-kind culture—and now it’s your turn.

As Crystal Coast locals, we’d love to share the local living experience with you. Here are some of our favorite Crystal Coast experiences.

Crystal Coast Featured Homes for Sale


Must-See Attractions on the Crystal Coast

First time visiting the Crystal Coast? Welcome! Here are three experiences you definitely do not want to miss.

Morehead City Waterfront

Shop, dine, and discover in Downtown Morehead City! Nestled along a bustling marina, Morehead City’s waterfront district is awash in quaint maritime views and filled with unique shops, seafood restaurants, local businesses, and plenty of entertainment.

Discover Morehead City

Historic Downtown Beaufort

Explore one of the most visited town centers of the Inner Banks, Downtown Beaufort! History meets small-town charm on the picturesque streets of downtown Beaufort, where you’ll find a unique mix of businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Explore Beaufort

Fort Macon State Park

Lush parkland, scenic shoreline, and rich history collide in Fort Macon State Park, the site of a restored Civil War-era military fort, a coastal education center, and miles of pristine coastline signature to the Crystal Coast.

Visit Fort Macon

Beach, Surf & Swim the Crystal Coast

If you live for being out in the water or on the beach, then you’ll love living in the Crystal Coast. The communities of Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, and Atlantic Beach sit on a narrow barrier island, providing miles of both Atlantic and Bogue Sound waterfront—and making any of these communities ideal for those seeking waterfront living. Their combined miles of shoreline offer pristine white-sand beaches with several public access points, as well as a number of waterfront condos and communities.

The Crystal Coast is also known for its variety of waterfront homes and communities—many of which are ideal for boaters. If you’re looking for a home with a private dock or a neighborhood with a ramp, then Carteret County likely has something for you!

Top 3 Outdoor Adventures

The Crystal Coast is all about the outdoor lifestyle. Here in Carteret County, we spend days out on the beach and weekends on the boat. We hike and bike, surf and swim, adventure and explore. We live life under the sun, with our toes in the sand and our gaze on the horizon. If you really want to live like a local, you’ve got to get outside.

Shackleford Banks

Home to wild horses and white-sand beaches, the Shackleford Banks are sure to steal your heart with their tranquility and wild natural beauty. Like many of the undeveloped islands of the Outer Banks, the Shackleford Banks are only accessible by ferry or private boat.

Cape Lookout National Seashore

Home to the iconic Cape Lookout Lighthouse, Cape Lookout National Seashore offers miles of untouched shoreline just waiting to be explored. Like the Shackleford Banks, this tranquil barrier island is only accessible by ferry or private boat.

Rachel Carson Reserve

Rachel Carson Reserve is a breathtaking natural escape and a pristine estuarine environment directly across Taylor’s Creek from the charming town of Beaufort. Comprising tidal flats, salt marshes, ocean beaches, sand dunes, and maritime forest, this 2,300-acre park is filled with unique life.

Experience the Crystal Coast's Beautiful Sunsets

There's nothing quite like a serene sunset by the sea, and we have a few hidden spots around the Crystal Coast you won't want to miss! Take a look at our blog post to explore the best sunset viewpoints around Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, and other Crystal Coast communities.

Explore Sunset Spots

The Best Places to Dine on the Crystal Coast

If you’re looking for great food (especially seafood!), you’re sure to find it here on the Crystal Coast. As a coastal community with deep fishing roots, the Crystal Coast specializes in fresh-caught seafood. But even if you’re not a fan of an ocean-caught meal, you’ll still find plenty of great options to satisfy your cravings. Here are some of our favorites.

Amos Mosquito’s Swampside Cafe

It’s as unique as its name, with casual fine dining, marshlike decor, and Thursday night karaoke.

Eat at Amos

Front Street Grill at Stillwater Café

Unique dishes, like sweet potato ravioli with blackfin crab, are served in a charming waterfront bistro in the heart of the Historic District.

Dine Front Street

El’s Drive-In

Cooking with Paula Deen names its chili-, slaw-, mustard-, and chopped onions-topped burger as one of the "Best Burgers in America".

Drive in to El's

Want even more options for delicious dining? Take a look at some of the top Crystal Coast restaurants by location.

More Recommended Restaurants

Top Events on the Crystal Coast

Looking for a little action and excitement? There’s always something happening on the Crystal Coast! Here are some of our favorite annual events.

Favorite Golfing Retreats

Love to spend sunny days out on the fairway? You’re not alone; golfing is a popular Crystal Coast pastime. And we’ve got quite a few fantastic courses here, too. Take a look!

Morehead Country Club

This beautiful private club offers a year-round social calendar, an on-site bar & grille, a swimming pool, practice facilities, instruction, and views of the Newport River.

Crystal Coast Country Club

This fun and active club boasts amenities such as a resort pool, tennis courts, Bogue Sound views, year-round social events, and kid-friendly activities.

Brandywine Bay Golf Club

This beautiful waterfront club features a clubhouse with bar and grill, tennis courts, a pool, a private marina, and Bogue Sound views.

More Golf Courses

Ready to Find Home in the Crystal Coast?

Now that you’ve had a chance to explore all of Carteret County’s opportunities for enjoyment, it’s time to plan your vacation getaway! Start by exploring some of the Crystal Coast’s best neighborhoods, and maybe take a look at some homes for sale in the area, too. When you’re ready to schedule a showing, or if you have any questions at all, Linda Rike Real Estate is here to help! Reach out at any time; we’d love to help you discover your dream vacation on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.