The Crystal Coast of North Carolina, often referred to as the Southern Outer Banks, is a gem for summer vacations. With its pristine beaches, charming coastal towns, and abundant outdoor activities, it's an ideal destination for families, couples, and solo travelers. If you fall in love with this beautiful region and dream of owning a piece of paradise, contact Kim Mathis and Associates, the best realtor in Atlantic Beach. Here are some of the top summer vacation spots on the Crystal Coast.


1. Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach is a quintessential beach town with stunning shores, lively boardwalks, and a family-friendly atmosphere. Spend your days sunbathing on the sandy beaches, swimming in the clear waters, or exploring the Atlantic Beach Circle, where you'll find shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. For a bit of history, visit Fort Macon State Park, a restored Civil War fort offering tours and beautiful ocean views.


2. Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle, known for its emerald-green waters and serene beaches, is perfect for those seeking relaxation and natural beauty. Enjoy activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing, or take a leisurely bike ride along the Emerald Pathway. The Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier is a popular spot for anglers and offers stunning sunset views. Emerald Isle's family-friendly vibe and clean beaches make it a top choice for summer vacations.


3. Beaufort

Beaufort, one of North Carolina's oldest towns, boasts historic charm and maritime heritage. Stroll along the waterfront and explore the boutiques, cafes, and museums. Don't miss the North Carolina Maritime Museum, where you can learn about the region's seafaring history, including the infamous pirate Blackbeard. Take a ferry to the nearby Shackleford Banks to see wild horses and enjoy unspoiled beaches.


4. Morehead City

Morehead City is a hub of activity on the Crystal Coast, offering a blend of outdoor adventures and cultural experiences. The city's waterfront is dotted with restaurants serving fresh seafood, and you can often catch live music performances. Head out on a fishing charter or embark on a diving expedition to explore the famous shipwrecks off the coast, known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic."


5. Cape Lookout National Seashore

For a more remote and natural beach experience, visit Cape Lookout National Seashore. Accessible only by boat, this protected area offers 56 miles of undeveloped beaches and the iconic Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Enjoy swimming, shelling, and birdwatching in this pristine environment. Don't forget to climb the lighthouse for breathtaking panoramic views of the coast.


6. Pine Knoll Shores

Pine Knoll Shores is home to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, a top attraction for families. The aquarium features exhibits on the marine life of the region, including sharks, sea turtles, and colorful fish. The surrounding Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area offers hiking trails where you can explore the coastal forest and enjoy scenic overlooks.


7. Harkers Island

Harkers Island is a peaceful retreat known for its fishing heritage and natural beauty. Visit the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center to learn about the island's history and culture. Harkers Island is also the gateway to the Cape Lookout National Seashore, making it a convenient spot for boat trips and wildlife viewing.


8. Swansboro

Swansboro, the "Friendly City by the Sea," offers a charming downtown area with waterfront shops, galleries, and restaurants. Enjoy kayaking or paddleboarding on the White Oak River, or take a scenic cruise to see the local wildlife. Swansboro's historic district and welcoming community make it a delightful destination for a summer getaway.


Make the Crystal Coast Your Home

If the Crystal Coast's natural beauty and coastal charm captivate you, consider making it your permanent residence. Kim Mathis and Associates, the best realtor in Atlantic Beach, can help you find the perfect home or vacation property. With their expertise and dedication, they ensure a seamless and enjoyable home-buying experience.


The Crystal Coast of North Carolina offers a diverse array of summer vacation spots, each with its own unique charm and attractions. From bustling beach towns to tranquil nature preserves, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Plan your visit, soak in the sun and surf, and if you decide to stay, Kim Mathis and Associates are ready to help you find your dream home on the beautiful Crystal Coast.