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Are Summer Months At Carteret County NC Beaches Crowded With Tourist?

Are the Carteret County NC beaches busy in the summer months? During the summer season months of June, July, and August, the Carteret beaches are very crowded with tourist who visit from all over the world to enjoy our remote and secluded coastal region.

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Key Data

  • The months of June, July, and August represent the busiest time of the year for the county, and estimates are the local area population doubles.
  • Hotels and motels are open, along with restaurants and other tourism related establishments.
  • The waterfront areas along Morehead City and Beaufort are very active and a source of area entertainment.
  • Charter fishing boats and passenger ferry boats are active taking people to Bird Shoal, Shackleford Banks, and Cape Lookout.
  • Most active period of the hurricane season.
  • All ferry boats to the barrier islands are running.

Summer Season At Coastal Carteret NC

Did you know that the 6% occupancy tax visitors pay on vacation, hotel, and motel rentals goes to shoreline protection which helps to maintain beach nourishment and healthy sand dunes?

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After a semi-active Spring, June represents the beginning of the busiest time of the year in the county. All waterfront areas are active with live music, the smell of seafood cooking fills the air, and people are walking the boardwalk taking in our coastal scenery. In the month of June, the biggest attraction will be the Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament which is the 2nd largest tournament in the world for it’s class.

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Clearly in the month of July, the biggest attraction is Independence Day when the municipalities of Morehead City, Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, and Emerald Isle coordinate their fireworks displays in unison creating a remarkable site to see.

If you’re visiting in the month of July, please take time to take a passenger ferry over to Bird Shoal to see the incredible beauty of this area, Shackleford Banks to see the wild horses, and Cape Lookout to see the lighthouse.


Of all three summer months, August is the hottest temperature wise, and still very active with vacationers and visitors despite school starting towards the end of the month, and Labor Day just around the corner. August also represents the most probable time for a hurricane or tropical storm to strike. Additionally, the waters of the ocean and Radio Island are at their warmest allowing for a very active time for fishing tournaments.

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Of all three months, this time of the year is your best chance to get extremely fresh or just caught seafood at local restaurants in Morehead City, Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, and Emerald Isle.

If you visited Carteret County NC in the summer months, what are some things you enjoyed doing and seeing in the local area, and how would you compare it to other times of the year?

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If Summer is not your favorite time to visit the county, which season is and why? Which is your least favorite time to visit?

Considering Morehead City, Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, and Emerald Isle, which is your favorite for entertainment and finding the freshest seafood entrees?

Filed: tourism, seasonal activities and attractions.

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Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

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