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Top things to do North Carolina Coast


Enjoy the following list of the Top 10 coastal treasures to put on your list, of things  to see and do on your North Carolina Coastal Getaway!
    Climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton, NC
    It is one of the defining symbols of North Carolina, a light in the darkness, a historic lifesaving sentinel towering over the Graveyard of the Atlantic. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, built in 1870 and moved 2,900 feet inland in 1999 to save it from the encroaching ocean, still shines over the Atlantic, and is available for climbing in warmer months. It’s a strenuous climb (248 spiral stairs – equal to climbing a 12 story building), but everyone should try it at least once.

    Bite into the taste of Calabash Seafood, Calabash
    Calabash, North Carolina is a tiny little fishing village tucked in the southeastern corner of the state. Only 180 people live here, along with 75 fishing boats and 32 restaurants, many with a reputation for excellent seafood. There are many variations on the ‘official’ Calabash style, but at its most basic the New York Times describes Calabash as “generous portions, reasonable prices, fresh food, and a relaxed and homey atmosphere.”
    Get the royal treatment at Tryon Palace, New Bern, NC
    Built between 1767 and 1770, Tryon Palace is a massive Georgian-style palace that served as North Carolina’s first state capitol after independence was declared. George Washington dined and danced here, and the palace remained the seat of state government until the capitol was moved to Raleigh in 1794. The palace burned in 1798 and was painstakingly rebuilt in the early 1950s. Today, the palace and its 13 acres of grounds are maintained as a State Historic Site.

    Dance to beach music on Carolina Beach
    It’s a unique blend of musical styles from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, but even to this day, Beach Music is as popular as ever on the NC coast. There are many places to ‘get into the groove’ on our beaches, but one of the best is at the Pleasure Island Beach Music Festival held every year on the first Saturday of June on Carolina Beach.
    Drive the length of NC Highway 12, Outer Banks, NC
    Spanning 148 miles from the Outer Banks village of Corolla to the town of Sealevel, there is no other road like it in the world. On this mostly two-lane highway, you will see the Atlantic Ocean, the Pamlico Sound, the Wright Brothers Memorial and four lighthouses. You’ll ride past mile upon mile of unspoiled coastline, go through several charming beach towns, and take two ferry rides. Experience this ride along the edge of the world, and witness the fragile beauty of this unique string of barrier islands.
    Slide down Jockey’s Ridge together at Nags Head, NC
    If you like to stick your toes in the sand, there are 12 million cubic yards of it at Jockey’s Ridge, a sand dune that stands 90 feet high and is visible from space. It was nearly paved over for development in 1973 but local resident Carolista Baum took a stand against a bulldozer and helped launch a grassroots campaign to preserve it as a state park. The sunset from the summit is worth the climb, and sliding down the slopes will make you feel like a kid again.

    Ride the ferry to Bear Island, Swansboro
    The state’s largest undeveloped barrier island, Bear Island is a genuine pearl in the necklace of islands that skirt the coast. The island is the centerpiece of Hammocks Beach State Park, where the only thing that’s crowded is the list of things to do. It’s accessible only by boat, but once you’re there you’ll find a quiet, pristine beach that is much the same as it was when it was discovered. Fish, paddle a canoe trail through the marshes, or stroll the three-mile beach with gulls and sandpipers. For a truly ‘wild’ experience, spend the night at one of the campsites.
    Hear about ‘Hoi Toide on the saned soid’, Ocracoke Island
    Isolated by geography for generations, this little fishing village on the Outer Banks still has an ‘other world’ feel to it. Still only accessible by boat, Ocracoke is as quaint as they come. The lighthouse, built in 1823, is the oldest operating lighthouse in NC. You’ll also see the famous Banker Ponies, wild horses believed to be descended from horses abandoned by the Lost Colony. And, the island has it’s own brogue handed down from the original Scots-Irish settlers in the region. If someone tells you that it’s ‘hoi toide on the saned soid’ (high tide on the sound side), you’re hearing a brogue like none other in the world.
    Explore Bald Head Island by bicycle
    Leave your car and your worries behind when you take the twenty-minute ferry ride from Southport to Bald Head Island. Transportation here is limited to golf carts, bicycles, skates, and walking…and 10,000 of the island’s 12,000 acres are unspoiled beach, marsh, and maritime forest. Climb to the top of Old Baldy, North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse. Play a round on the championship links at the Bald Head Island Club. Or, just ride around and enjoy the wildlife and scenery as you experience life at a slower, more leisurely pace.

    Marvel at the sight of wild horses at the Outer Banks, NC
    North Carolina’s Outer Banks are one of only a few places in the United States where horses still run free. While their origins are a matter of speculation, we do know that wild horses have occupied these barrier islands for more than 400 years. There are three distinct herds here… the Shackelford Ponies on the Shackelford Banks near Cape Lookout, the Ocracoke Ponies just south of the Hatteras ferry landing, and the Wild Horses of Corolla near the Virginia border. Many of the Outer Banks wild horses can be spotted from the road or on a ferry, but there are also several guided tours that will get you within photographic view of these majestic beasts.