North Carolina’s Crystal Coast offers 9 distinct Regions:
Pine Knoll Shores
Down East & Shackleford Banks
(Down East refers to communities east of Beaufort that begin at the
North River Bridge. The portion of U.S. 70 that runs through Down East
is designated as a NC Scenic Byway.)
Western Crystal Coast
(Cape Carteret, Cedar Point, Stella, Pelletier and Newport)
With more than 85 miles of enticing coastline, North Carolina's Crystal Coast is an amazing place to vacation, visit, and live!
The Crystal Coast is a family friendly destination. There are 12 months in a calendar year and 12 excellent months to be on the Crystal Coast! If you don't live here, now is a great time to plan your next trip. There is no bad time to visit.
Family Friendly Crystal Coast Happenings NOT To Miss!
Penguin Plunge - January 1st Every Year
Chocolate Festival - 1st Weekend in February
Mardi Gras in Beaufort
St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Emerald Isle
Easter Egg Hunts - Several in the area to choose from
Newport Pig Cooking Contest - April
Strawberry Picking - seasonal at local farms
Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend - April
Cherry Point Air Show - May, every other year
Wooden Boat Show - 1st Weekend in May
Beaufort Music Festival - 3rd Weekend in May
Crystal Coast Boat Show - 3rd Weekend in May
Atlantic Beach Music Festival
Mile of Hope - Typically occurs in May
Military Appreciation Day
Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament - June
Bogue Banks Kiteboarding Festival - June
Beaufort Old Homes & Garden Tour
Alive at 5 - Fridays starting at 5 during peak months
Morehead City Marlins Baseball Games - during summer months
Races at the Carteret County Speedway
Fort Macon Stargazing Events
Free Outdoor Movies in AB and EI all summer
Free indoor kids movies - on certain weekdays at local theaters during summer months
FireWorks in Every Town Celebrating July 4th
Take A Kid Fishing
NC Ducks Unlimited Billfish Tournament - July
Beaufort Pirate Invasion - August each year
Seafood Festival - 1st Weekend in October
Carolina Kite Fest - October
Garner’s Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch -seasonal
Small Business Saturday - November
Flotillas - These are boat parades! There are several flotillas in the area to choose from!
Beaufort Candlelight Home Tour - December
Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild, Harkers Island - December Veterans Day Parade
New Years Eve Events! - CrabPot Drop in Morehead, Pig Drop in Newport, and Pirate Drop in Beaufort
Carteret Partnership for Children Events
Check with the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce for more local news and events: www.nccoastchamber.com
Sea & Play, the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, museums and more are here!
SEA and PLAY is a space where kids are encouraged to explore! The hands-on opportunities, geared toward a wide range of ages, promote and encourage interactive play for everyone. We are offering various activities and events throughout the summer, as well as customizable birthday parties to make that special day the best one yet! Come in and see us!!
The NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m daily, including most holidays. The Aquarium is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
The Crystal Coast has 4 Museums:
Also, keep in mind that Chick Filet and Dairy Queen in Morehead City have indoor playgrounds. Michaels and Lowes' offer kids' activities on some weekends.
Bowling, Games, & Dining.
Driving Range, Batting Cages, Putt-Putt, & Go-Karts.
WaterSlides, Kiddie Area, & Games.
An Interactive Voyage for all ages.
Putt-Putt (train ride up to both courses), Go-Karts, Bumper-Boats, and more.
This town park has something for everyone! If you don't skate, it's still fun to watch. Putt-putt is free for ages 6 and under. Only $5 for older kiddos and adults. Restrooms and concessions available.
Shevans Park is a wooden castle-like park located in downtown Morehead just blocks from the water. Tennis courts, bathrooms, and two covered picnic areas are available. This playground is scheduled to be renovated soon. If you have questions or want to provide input, contact the Morehead City Parks & Recreation Department.
Swinson Park is considered an inclusion playground with easy access and play areas for children with physical challenges. It even has a swing designed to accommodate a wheelchair.
This park offers two playgrounds, adult and youth athletic fields, lighted tennis courts, basketball courts, a large covered picnic shelter and restrooms.
Lovingly referred to by many local kids as the "Pirate Ship Park." This park is located in downtown Morehead just blocks from the waterfront. This magical park is complete with a working ship's wheel. A covered gazebo, picnic tables, and restrooms available. The Train Depot is also located here.
This family-friendly park in Newport has something for kids and adults of all ages. Tennis courts, soccer fields, restrooms, and scheduled activities are available in addition to the playground.
My favorite part about this park is that it is located on the water. Bring your water shoes and explore! Watch out for oyster shells. This park also offers two covered bench swings, a covered picnic table, and two grills in addition to the playground. The only drawback is that restrooms are not available.
This park is located in Morehead City. In addition to the playground, this park offers soccer fields, a walking track, grilling areas, and basketball courts. Big Rock Stadium, home of the Morehead Marlins, is also located in this sports complex.
Ocean Oaks Park on Coast Guard Road in Emerald Isle is currently being revamped thanks to help from the Starke Family Foundation and the Town of Emerald Isle. Follow their progress on Facebook by clicking below!
Indoor – Art classroom, exercise classroom (aerobics, tai chi, yoga, zumba), fitness rooms (cardio & weight machines), gymnasium, and meeting rooms.
Outdoor – basketball court, football/multi-purpose field with lights, picnic shelter, fishing pier, and playground.
Natural park area accessible by kayak, paddle board, or boat. Floating dock, restrooms, and a nature walk trail available. Located directly across from the downtown Morehead City waterfront.
Beaufort Realty offers both vacation and long term rentals in addition to handling all of your real estate needs.
I put together a little book as both a learning resource and guide to family living on the Crystal Coast. Readers are invited to dream, learn and play. Come on. Take a peak. I know once you learn about the Crystal Coast, you won't be able to stay away.
I’ve been invited to do a book reading at Sea & Play in July. Copies will be available for purchase there. I hope you can make it. It should be a fun family friendly event that will include a craft. Now to start my craft research on Pinterest!
To purchase your next copy, I encourage you to first check with your favorite local gift shops, but it is also available on Amazon. When you use Amazon, please consider using AmazonSmile! The easiest way to find this book on Amazon is by clicking the link below or by searching under my name, Kristin Ferree or just click here: My Book. I appreciate your interest in my book and most of all your interest in the Crystal Coast!
I will do my best to ensure our two favorite local libraries: Webb Library and the Bogue Banks Library Have updated copies. Plus, a free downloadable version will always be available below!