Vacation on the Crystal Coast
Considering a vacation on the Crystal Coast? We don’t blame you—with breathtaking beaches, quaint towns and charming communities, a lively fishing culture, and plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy some truly beautiful weather, the Crystal Coast is pretty much the ideal location for anyone seeking a relaxed shoreside retreat. So take some time to discover the many wonderful opportunities available for entertainment, excitement, relaxation, exploration, and more!
Discover the Best of the Crystal Coast
Exciting downtown events and festivals, a plethora of shopping and dining, historic museums and sites, live music and entertainment, unique educational experiences... it's no mystery why the communities and attractions of the Crystal Coast draw visitors from across the nation to experience its truly one-of-a-kind culture. The Crystal Coast is a shoreside vacation unlike any other, and we'd love to help you explore the area.
Browse Crystal Coast Vacation Rentals
Must-See Attractions on the Crystal Coast
Want to live like a Crystal Coast local? Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned visitor, you won't want to miss these top-notch attractions.
Morehead City Waterfront
Morehead City should be on every vacationer's bucket list, and one visit is all it takes to see why. Sample the best seafood you’ve ever tasted, stroll the scenic waterfront streets, head out to the marina for some fishing, or enjoy a top event.
Historic Downtown Beaufort
As the fourth oldest town in North Carolina, Beaufort seamlessly blends its unique history with spectacular waterfront charm. Stroll down these storied streets to discover quaint boutiques, delicious restaurants with market-fresh seafood, and a number of year-round events.
North Carolina Maritime Museum
Step back through the ages and explore the development of Eastern North Carolina at the North Carolina Maritime Museum, from its strong fishing culture to its connected community. This Beaufort favorite also puts on nautical-inspired events all year long.
NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
Take a break from the sand and sun to learn more about the amazing creatures of the sea at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. This destination is an ideal spot for kids and adults alike, and you can even interact with some pretty amazing sea creatures.
Carteret Community Theatre
Catch a local show at the Carteret Community Theatre of Downtown Morehead City. From musical performances by top local musicians to comedy shows to educational symposiums, there’s something for everyone at this Crystal Coast favorite.
Beach, Surf & Swim the Crystal Coast
The communities of Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, and Atlantic Beach offer miles of combined Atlantic waterfront and stunning white-sand beaches with plenty of public access. Communities such as Morehead City and Beaufort operate ferries to the Shackleford Banks, known for its miles of pristine, undeveloped coastline, and its top attraction: wild horses. And don’t forget the possibilities of heading out to the open ocean—either with your own private vessel or a charter—to fish, explore, swim, snorkel, or scuba!
Top 5 Outdoor Adventures
Ready to get out and explore nature? Boundless adventure awaits on North Carolina's Crystal Coast, and this scenic region has more than just miles of beautiful beaches. Take a look at some of our favorite outdoor destinations in Carteret County and beyond.
Though only accessible via ferry or private boat, the Shackleford Banks are worth the extra travel time. Here, you'll discover undisturbed white-sand beaches, as well as herds of wild horses that are believed to have been shipwrecked on the island during the 16th century.
Fort Macon State Park
This Civil War-era fort might be the smallest official park in all of North Carolina, but it's actually the second most-visited destination in the state. Fort Macon consists of 2,379,546 bricks—more than any U.S. battle fort—and guests can also comb the nearby shores for unique shells.
Cape Lookout National Seashore
The Cape Lookout National Seashore is home to the iconic lighthouse of North Carolina, offers miles of untouched shoreline to explore and discover, and is only accessible by ferry or private boat. Here, you can scale the lighthouse, join a park ranger for a tour, or even explore the islands by moonlight.
Rachel Carson Reserve
Explore a diverse array of coastal habitats and creatures, partake in an educational tour or trip, or simply strike out to appreciate the beauty and solitude of nature on this secluded island, which is only reachable by private boat or passenger ferry. The Rachel Carson Reserve also has its own wild horse herd, as well as 200 different species of birds.
Boat and Fishing Charters
Want to explore the wide-open sea? For a more rugged adventure, try chartering a boat for a fishing or swimming expedition. You can also dock your own boat at one of the Crystal Coast's countless public and private marinas.
The Top 5 Events on the Crystal Coast
The Crystal Coast is always buzzing with one-of-a-kind festivals, events, and programs...and not just during the summer! Ready to mark your calendar? Here are a few of our favorite year-round picks.
Carteret County Arts & Crafts Coalition
Every spring, summer, and holiday season, the CCACC puts on a massive craft exhibition with booths from local artisans. There's no better place to pick up a gift or souvenir from your visit to the Crystal Coast.
Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament
Morehead City has hosted the Big Rock fishing tournament every year since 1957. This event attracts anglers from across the globe, and prizes for the biggest catch regularly top $1 million.
North Carolina Seafood Festival
Every fall, foodies gather in Downtown Morehead City to sample the freshest catches at the North Carolina Seafood Festival. Don't forget to buy tickets for the festival's signature event, Bites and Blues on the Morehead Waterfront!
July 4th Fireworks
There's no better way to celebrate Independence Day than with some fireworks—and if you're planning a vacation during the holiday weekend, you won't want to miss Atlantic Beach's impressive display of patriotism.
Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend
Since its inception in 2004, the Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend has strived to showcase the Crystal Coast's finest culinary offerings. This fall event features countless exciting restaurants, and the organizers have also donated nearly $1 million dollars to charity.
Looking for more fun things to do? Browse our event calendar to see everything going on near the Crystal Coast.More Recommended Events
Ready to Plan Your Crystal Coast Vacation?
There's no other destination quite like the Crystal Coast, and we'd love to help you plan the perfect vacation. Whether you're searching for a rental, a timeshare, or want to buy a home of your own, you can trust our decades of experience in Carteret County real estate.
Give us a call when you're ready to add some water to your lifestyle—the Linda Rike Team is always here to offer our expertise!