10 Best Beaches in North Carolina for the Perfect Vacation


North Carolina, the 9th most populated state in the US, is blessed with more than 300 miles of coastline, which makes it a haven for people who love to hit the beach. People can enjoy a peaceful sunset, watersports, a variety of food by the beach and then come back to the rental home overlooking the waterfront and have a breezy stay. Everything makes beaches in North Carolina a perfect place to have a good vacation. 

We curated the list of Beaches in North Carolina for your perfect vacation whether it is family vacation or a romantic or crazy friends’ fun.

Beaches in North Carolina

This is a list of best beaches of North Carolina that you must visit during your vacation to Carolina.

1. Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach is situated on the Bogue Banks and is a part of the famous North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. The water is crystal clear. There are many eateries around the area for every kind of traveler. These eateries range from small fast food joints to luxurious restaurants. There are beach boutiques and surf shops for people who like shopping.


People can visit the North Carolina Aquarium which is located in the center of the island. People should look for affordable private homes to rent for accommodation as it is difficult to find hotels and resorts in this area. 

2. Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach attracts a lot of tourists as it is one of the most famous beaches in North Carolina. The wide sandy beaches and blue waters attract a lot of crowds but there is no space crunch as there are 44 public access points across which the public spreads.

Wrightsville Beach also attracts kite-boarders and surfers. Inexperienced surfers can also surf here during the summer season when the waters are shallow and the waves are smaller. 

3. Nags Head

Nags Head is an outer bank gem for people who love to spend time on the beach. There are a number of beach activities like hang-gliding, sailing, kayaking through the waves, and paddle-boarding that people can enjoy.


Apart from beach activities, people can also enjoy nearby amusements like mini-golf courses, go-kart tracks for kids, and dozens of ice cream shops. People can also go for horseback rides on the beach. People can also visit the nearby attractions such as the Jockey’s Ridge State Park that is famous for its scenic hikes, Jeannette’s Pier, or Bodie Island Lighthouse that offers amazing views of the surrounding areas.

4. Carova Beach

Carova Beach is the place for the people who want to escape city life and go for an adventure. This beach is the most isolated beach in entire North Carolina and not very crowded. There are no well-constructed roads, restaurants, supermarkets or gas stations in the area.

People who plan to visit should be carrying enough food items with them. Carova Beach is a perfect place for people looking for privacy and who love to explore the wildlife. The beaches are extremely clean. 

5. Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach is a white sand beach, which is located in New Hanover County. It is a perfect beach for fishing and surfing. Caroline beach offers more than relaxation. It has An arcade-filled boardwalk, kid-friendly restaurants, and amusements like mini-golf and water sports which makes Carolina Beach a popular among families. Live music performances and other events are also organized on the boardwalk.

The nearby Carolina Beach State Park offers a lot of activities to its visitors, like a marina, several campsites, and hiking trails. There are a few restaurants in the area, an ice cream store, and a donut shop that sells delicious donuts. For people who look forward to having a drink, can head to Good Hops Brewing, a traveler favorite for craft beers.

6. Topsail Island 

Topsail beach has a peaceful environment with only a few residents. There is a lack of commercialization in the area and thus it has been able to retain its natural beauty. Stretching over a coastline of 26 miles, the island features three amazing beach communities- Surf City, North Topsail Beach, and Topsail Beach stretch.

There are two bridges for connectivity. It is an ideal beach for a family vacation with a mild temperature year long. Water sports like boating and kayaking can be enjoyed here. It is home to Loggerhead Sea Turtles which can be seen while they come out to the dunes to lay their eggs. 

7. Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle is located in Carteret County with a shoreline of 12 miles. It is popular among its visitors because of the clean beaches, relaxing environment. Emerald isle is also famous for fishing piers. People can spot a few dolphins at times.

It is the perfect place for people who look forward to spending a relaxing time without luxurious services. There are some good barbeque and Italian restaurants that one can try.

8. Bald Head Island

This island is calm and peaceful and perfect to escape the cityscape. There are no cars allowed in Bald Head Island. People mostly use golf-carts to move about or bicycles or on foot. One of the attractions of this area is the old lighthouse, Old Baldy, which was built in 1817 and is the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina.

During low tide activities like crabbing, fishing, and shelling are preferred on the local beaches. Watersports like paddle-boarding and kite-boarding are common in the North Beach, the west beach offers awesome views and the south beach is popular among the families because of easy access to warm water. 

9. Holden Beach

Holden beach is a perfect place for a gettogether in a spacious rental. People celebrate reunions, special occasions or even spend a weekend with their friends in this place. There are fun activities like fishing charters, tubing adventures, and the kids can enjoy at the Magic Mountain Fun Park.

There is also the Lockwood Folly Country Club for the people who love a good game of golf. There are big rental vacations that can accommodate up to 20 people which is suitable for big groups to enjoy a beach vacation together. 

 10. Sunset Beach

As the name suggests, Sunset Beach is famous for the views of the sun as it goes down the seams.  However, it is not just the sun, sand, and the golden hour that makes this beach famous. The rentals in this area provide unique amenities like screened-in porches, pool access, and fitness centers. But the main attraction in this place in the Kindred Spirit Mailbox.

There is a mailbox located at a walking distance in a secluded area of the beach. People walk to the mailbox and leave letters that are read by the next person and as such the messages pass along. People claim that this is an incredible moment of their vacation in this place. 

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North Carolina can definitely be the next destination for your summer beach vacation. The beaches are picturesque and breezy and one can definitely have the best vacation here.