Which NC Beach Should you Visit This Summer?

Just about three hundred miles stretch between the Northern Outer Banks and Myrtle Beach. With that much coastline, summer is not nearly long enough to go everywhere. Here is a breakdown of some of our state’s best beaches. Hopefully this information will make it easier for you to make your beach trip plans this year and lead to a more fulfilling vacation. 

To start, let’s break down just a bit of geography. Now I know you don’t want to be focused on geography on vacation, but here are the basics for our coast. A thin band of islands stretch from the top of our state’s coast down to the middle. These islands, the Outer Banks, end right near Emerald Isle beach. A bit farther down the coast south is the town of Wilmington, home to Wrightsville Beach with Carolina Beach not far away. Jutting out of the coast is Southport, which faces Bald Head Island. Sunset Beach is the last beach in North Carolina until North Myrtle Beach just over the South Carolina border. 

Starting up north, the Outer Banks or OBX make a solid destination for almost any traveler. Many Apex kids know the name because of the hit Netflix show inspired by the area, but the Outer Banks is much more than a title. The beaches in the area are pristine, and in Corolla in the Northern OBX, you can even spot wild horses roaming! 

Aside from that, the Outer Banks has beautiful sand dunes and a historic past with great museums. The beautiful beaches are also accompanied by many lighthouses that once helped steer ships home. These lighthouses remain intact today and are very fun to tour and admire. 

A bit down the coast is the town of Wilmington. Wilmington is known for being home to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, or UNCW. Aside from a great college, Wilmington has a beautiful and vibrant downtown full of plenty of shops and restaurants. You can even walk on the Downtown RiverWalk, a historic boardwalk where you can spot the famous battleship across the water. 

Wilmington is also home to Wrightsville Beach, which is a great spot to visit. This beach is also one of the closest locations to Raleigh, so it makes a great and manageable day trip.  At night, Wilmington gets a little spooky as many tourists take ghost tours to hear the scary stories about the town they are visiting. 

Near Wrightsville is Carolina Beach. Aside from being another great beach itself, Carolina Beach is known for its boardwalk amusement park. There is a ferris wheel, bumper cars, and all of the other classic carnival style rides. The gem of this boardwalk is Britt’s Donuts, a famous donut shop open since 1939. They serve only plain glazed donuts, and while some people think that’s boring, those people clearly hadn’t had a donut from Britt’s. 

Sitting on the cross section of the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Ocean, Southport is a historic town that makes a great trip. It is known for its downtown that is buzzing with many cool shops. One of the famous stores is called the Christmas House. It’s a huge old house turned into a store specializing in holiday goods year round, with a Christmas tree in every room. In the back is a salt water taffy lover’s heaven with barrels full of candy. Southport also has many amazing restaurants to try as well. 

Right across from Southport is Bald Head Island. The island is only accessible by ferry, and for most people its secludedness is what makes it so special. Once you arrive off of the ferry from Southport, you will find beautiful untouched beaches and nature. Many of Bald Head’s residents get places using golf carts. The whole island has a very relaxed club feel. The nature aspect of the island makes it great for fishing, and you can even observe sea turtles nesting on the beach. 

There are countless other beaches aside from this list, and finding and exploring them is an adventure in itself. No matter what you like to do at the beach, hopefully this article opened your eyes to some new spots to check out this summer.

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