crystal coast, nc

9 Distinct Regions

With more than 85 miles of enticing coastline, North Carolina's Crystal Coast is an amazing place to vacation, visit, and live! 

Atlantic Beach 


Morehead City 

Pine Knoll Shores 

Indian Beach 

Salter Path 

Emerald Isle 

Western Crystal Coast

  • Cape Carteret, Cedar Point, Stella,  Pelletier, Newport, and Swansboro

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.


Book Your Stay


Rental Companies

If I were you, I would suggest starting with

Beaufort Realty who offers both vacation and long term rentals in addition to handling all of your real estate needs.

Spectrum Rental Properties

Atlantic Beach Realty

Emerald Isle Realty

Private Rentals

AirBnB and VRBO both offer options up and down the Crystal Coast.

Wondering When to Visit?

Any Day/Month & Every Year!


The Crystal Coast Welcomes Families ALL Year Long

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
Christmas Parades 

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: 


What if it rains during our vacation?!

Have No Fear!

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: 

NC Maritime Museum
History Place
Fort Macon
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center 

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.


Missing the coast?


Buy or Download My Book

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.      

Buy or Download!