Best Boating Towns in North Carolina. Although the town is really a collection of retail stores and restaurants along the highway, it's the stunning beach and nearby attractions that make it a popular place to visit. A farmers market takes place throughout the summer, from the middle of May to the end of September on Monday's beginning at 8am. The town makes a somewhat outrageous claim as the "Seafood Capital of the World," but there is some substance to the statement. Regardless of your method of transportation, it's a beautiful little place, fun for a day away. Book a stay at one of the charming old bed and breakfasts and spend a leisurely day exploring the town. Often described as one of North Carolina's best beaches, Wrightsville Beach, lures visitors with its easy access and wonderful waterfront. Fresh breezes off the ocean and cool waters to swim in make for a refreshing retreat. Depending on the type of vacation you're after, you can find small towns lining the Atlantic Coast or along the sounds. One of the highlights is the Chowan County Courthouse. She enjoys writing, photography, filmmaking, travel, wine and cheese. In the summer, there are fireworks every Thursday night and live music concerts featuring a variety of musicians across the musical spectrum. Attractions for mom and dad are in the form of outlet malls, beach shops, Gallery Row, and the Historic District, with its unpainted traditional cedar shake beach cottages. It begins at the City Pier. Just a short drive from Wilmington brings you to golden sands and warm waters at Carolina Beach. You'll receive your first newsletter soon! Duck is unique from many of the towns in the Outer Banks. Some right on the coast and others high up in the mountains. Located on the banks of the Tuckasegee River, many people arrive to this quaint mountain town by train or boat. In fact, National Geographic even named it the seventh-best waterfront adventure town. Some of the attractions around town are the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History and the Fred and Alice Stanback Coastal Education Center. The small town of Beaufort is the county seat of Carteret County, on the ‘Inner Banks’ coastal area of North Carolina (specifically, Beaufort is situated just where the Outer Banks end). We’re lucky to have so many options in this state. Emory was born and raised in North Carolina. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data. North Carolina is chock-full of great beach towns, but one of the most popular is Wrightsville Beach. Both North and South Carolina offer many great active adult communities on the beach. Other forms of accommodation include vacation rentals and comfy bed and breakfasts. Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina Located just east of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach is made up of two different islands separated by two bodies of water. You can find more of her work on emoryrakestraw.com. If you prefer a hotel room, there are a few places just south of town in Buxton. We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. (Beaufort or even Bath are wonderful but much further away from Myrtle Beach) Southport is about an hour or so north of Myrtle Beach (up US 17 & then onto 211) & about 40-45 minutes from Wilmington.. There are reasons people have been coming to this stretch of coast since the early 1800s. This small coastal town is the third oldest in the state of North Carolina. Camping in the Outer Banks: Staying in coastal towns is a great way to enjoy summer in North Carolina. Fish you might catch here include Spanish mackerel, bluefish, triggerfish, sea mullet, croakers, and pigfish. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Carolina Beach. The town, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is wonderfully restored to its original glory, and over 40 movies and television shows have been shot here. North Carolina’s coast has always held some of the best vacation spots for boaters. For an even closer look, launch a kayak or canoe and explore the twisty waterways. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Nags Head. Nags Head is one of the few towns on the Outer Banks where you can find a good selection of hotels, including resorts. Bluffton has grown considerably over the years from the original one square mile next to the river, but the small town charm remains intact when you have a view like this one! Carolina Beach is perfect for families, with the ocean in front and fun and games behind. This tiny town has a rich history, but today it’s primarily known as an outdoors paradise and, as its name implies, for its natural hot springs. At the southern end of the coast and a quick hop from buzzy Wilmington, this laid-back beach town on a four-mile-long barrier island has charm in spades, from a bird nesting sanctuary at the south end to its iconic Johnnie Mercers Pier. North Carolina is a state located in the Southern United States.According to the 2010 United States Census, North Carolina is the ninth most populous state with 10,042,802 inhabitants but the 28th largest by land area spanning 53,819 square miles (139,390 km 2) of land. After analyzing more than 278 of North Carolina's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in North Carolina where you'd never want to live: The beach here is wide, and the sand is soft. The beach at Kitty Hawk is long and wide with golden brown sand, ideal for long beach walks. In addition to dining, shopping, and walking, additional things to do include fishing from the boardwalk, crabbing on the sound, cycling along the six-mile Duck Trail, or catching a free show at the Amphitheater. 6. The best way to capture the town's essence is to walk around. The trees you see growing in the water are bald cypress trees, ranging in age from 500 to 2,000 years old. Blackbeard ran his ship, Queen Anne's Revenge, aground near the present day inlet. Top 10 biggest cities by population are Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, High Point, and Concord. It's not far from popular destinations like Deep Creek. Not to be confused with the replica courthouse, this original structure looks out over a large green space and faces out onto the sound with cannons at the water's edge. The riverwalk is beautiful and filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, and a few places to grab a refreshing beverage. It’s a welcoming place where the water is clear, the sand is clean and the surf’s always up—yes, really. Image zoom. North Carolina is known to have dozens and dozens of extremely charming small towns. Surrounded by water on three sides, the town has a maritime feel about it. It is a calm, green place with large trees and stately homes. If you love the small-town vibe, pack a suitcase to discover the … While many people might not consider Asheville a small city with a population of 83,393 and the designation of if being one of the largest cities in North Carolina, it actually made the top ranking as one of the top 25 smallest cities in America according to American Style Magazine. Whether you are looking for a place to dock your yacht for a few days or somewhere you can put your skiff in the water and take a sunset cruise, you are sure to find your paradise in one of these North Carolina towns. Many take day trips here while visiting Wrightsville. One of the most interesting things to see near Avon is the towering Cape Hatteras lighthouse. Yet some of our towns and communities are so small they’re good at keeping their quaint beauty to themselves. If you want a more outdoorsy experience, you may also want to consider camping in the Outer Banks. As North Carolina's third-oldest town, your day will be filled with history and beauty. North Carolina has SO many small towns, it can sometimes feel impossible to keep track of them all. Thank you! These places make ideal escapes from the heat and humidity of summer. Located along the innerbanks, Swansboro has an extremely charming main street filled with shops and restaurants. Below please see all North Carolina cities and towns which are listed in alphabetical order. One of the fun things to do here is take a harbor tour, where you'll almost certainly be able to see dolphins racing in your bow wake. If you can plan for it, the North Carolina Seafood Festival happens the first weekend in October each year and is considered one of the most popular festivals in the state. A wonderful walk along the Duck Boardwalk starts at the kayak launch parking area and heads south along the shoreline ultimately ending at Aqua Restaurant, where you can have a leisurely lunch on their wonderful outdoor patio. Here, you'll find people fishing, strolling hand in hand, or just hanging out gazing out at the ocean. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Wrightsville Beach. Duck is also unique for its extensive, elevated, one-mile boardwalk out over the water that connects various restaurants, shops, and parks while providing great views out over the sound. You’ll find a small town with big charm in Bath, North Carolina. What’s your favorite river town in North Carolina? Kitty Hawk is located just north of Kill Devil Hills, and if you are driving along the highway 158, with its big box stores and shops, you could be forgiven for not noticing that you are in a new town. Just a short distance north of Avon brings you to the tri-cities of Waves, Rodanthe, and Salvo. The area has several good campgrounds for tenters or RVs. You'll def. The first Colonial capital of North Carolina, this 300-year-old town is replete with wonderfully restored historical homes and buildings. Wrightsville Beach is just a short drive from Wilmington, so getting here is easy and quick; parking is in well-marked lots, and you can pay by the hour and recharge your time via your phone. Beaufort, North Carolina. Just south of town you'll find the impressive Wright Brothers National Memorial. Rated as one of North Carolina's best small towns by Frommer's, Edenton sits on the Albemarle Sound and Edenton Bay, about 70 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia. The Outer Banks are where many people head, but there are numerous options. The main things to see and do are easily reached by foot, and if you find yourself tired out by the adventure, stop in at one of the restaurants and recharge with a fine seafood meal. You'll know you are in the right spot when you see the colorful kites of the kiteboarders just offshore. In fact, the world-famous Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament takes place here each year the second week of June. Jannette's Pier, Nags Head | Photo Copyright: Lana Law. If you’re a water baby who loves water sports, Beaufort is the place to be in. Take some time to discover why for yourself. A map of North Carolina cities will show that on one side of the state, you have miles of beaches, including the famed Outer Banks, where many hotels are events take place. Homes dating from the 17 th century are on beautiful tree-lined streets that entice you to stroll along and think about what … Straight south of town is the Bodie Island Lighthouse, and just a few miles north is the Wright Memorial National Monument. North Carolina: A Truly Vibrant State North Carolina is an interesting state because it features so many different things. History is everywhere here, from the Old Brunswick County Jail Museum to the Maritime Museum, right through to the Fort Johnson-Southport Museum and Visitors Center. Fun for all ages, activities include walking, running, and even surfing down the tallest sand dunes in the Eastern United States. Stroll past the various shops, stop by the waterfront to catch the action, and then retire to a waterfront patio to soak up the views of Sugarloaf Island. The canopied streets are the best for leisurely walks, be it by yourself or with your friends, while you look around and pop in to one of the stores for art, books, decorations, antiques, and the like. Nags Head is the largest town in the Outer Banks and also one of the best known beach towns. In addition to dining, the town offers great opportunities for shopping across a wide variety of retail shops. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Tar Heel State. Discover destinations, find outdoor adventures, follow the journeys of our travel writers around the world, and be inspired. The town has fishing piers: The Nags Head Fishing Pier, which also has a public aquarium, and the Outer Banks Fishing Pier. Swansboro is just a bridge drive over from popular Crystal Coast destinations ike Emerald Isle. Vendors set up nearby selling everything from homemade ice-cream to savory dishes. Its title as ‘America’s Coolest Small Town’ seems to be down to a combination of 300-years of history – complete with small historic district – and a thriving, convenient, modern-day downtown. Edenton. Most of the main attractions are within walking distance of one another, and many are free to enter. But with the weather warming up and adventure calling – it’s time to plan a trip to these beautiful ‘river towns.’. Like something straight from a storybook, the town’s charming downtown area is completely walkable and features a variety of restaurants and shops housed in a quaint mountain village. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. Friendly locals, land and water activities, and so much more makes this place epic. This black-and-white beacon can be climbed, and the reward for the effort of going up 257 stairs is amazing views up and down the coast. Perfect for those looking for a unique weekend getaway with plenty of landmarks to see and not far from beautiful beaches. This is a great place for families, with numerous things to do, including mini golf, family-friendly restaurants, and one of the best beaches in North Carolina. The famous vintage Carolina Beach Boardwalk is full of fun things to do, including carnival rides, a carousel, an arcade, ice-cream shops, and restaurants with beachfront patios. And those Inner Banks is where the lovely town of Beaufort is located. All that great fishing translates into great seafood at the many fine restaurants spread throughout the town. I agree with the Southport recommendations. Located in the 'inner banks,' Beaufort is still fairly close to the beach. Fishing is king here, with a fine collection of charter boats taking customers out for a day of fishing. The oldest community in North Carolina, it was actually an important city during the colonial era and vestiges of this proud past can be found throughout town. Perfect for those looking for a unique weekend getaway with plenty of landmarks to see and not far from beautiful beaches. 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Wilmington, N.C. 11 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in North Carolina, 3 Top Places for Deep Sea Fishing in North Carolina, 13 Top-Rated Small Towns in North Carolina, 7 Top-Rated Romantic Getaways in North Carolina, 11 Top-Rated Waterfalls in North Carolina, 12 Top-Rated Beach Resorts in North Carolina, 10 Top-Rated Rivers for Trout Fishing in North Carolina, 13 Top-Rated Mountain Towns in North Carolina, 9 Top-Rated Campgrounds in the Outer Banks, NC, 5 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in North Carolina 2021, 16 Top Cheap Ski Holidays in North America, 2021, 12 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Durham, NC, 12 Top-Rated Things to Do in Florence, OR, 12 Top-Rated Things to Do in Leavenworth, WA, 19 Best Places to Visit in the United States, 11 Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the World. Wrightsville Beach. Asheville, NC: A Small City With Many Accolades. One of the highlights of a visit to Beaufort is a stop at the North Carolina Maritime Museum, where treasures from Blackbeard's sunken pirate ship discovered just offshore are on display. Nags Head is well located for easy day trips. Avon is another wonderful beach town in the Outer Banks that is a great place to base yourself to see the best of the area. Hotel Prices & Photos One of North Carolina’s seaside beauties, Beaufort is a small coastal town and the third largest oldest town in the state. North Carolina in Pictures: 15 Beautiful Places to Photograph, 14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Charlotte, NC. Each of these towns has a population under 1,000…and sometimes under 500. Located at the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek in Madison County, Hot Springs is an official Appalachian Trail community. You won't find any big box stores or chain restaurants here, it's all local and sometimes eclectic establishments with a low-key scene. Camping is nearby at Carolina Beach State Park. North Carolina is in the Southeastern region of the United States and there are quite a few beautiful and charming small towns scattered throughout the state. The quirky little town of Bath is the perfect site for history lovers, as it is North Carolina’s oldest town by five years (it was founded in 1705, five years before New Bern). Wilmington was voted Best Riverfront Town by USA Today 10Best. The main streets are charming and this cool little town is perfect for a weekend getaway or even calling it your forever home.

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