Bogue Banks is an island in Carteret County NC and coastal Eastern NC that is home to five beach communities and is a favorite vacation and tourism area. In this article, we are going to discuss some things to do and see when vacationing in the area with friends, kids, or family.
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The towns that make up Bogue Bank are Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, Salter Path, and Emerald Isle.
Highway 58 is the main road connecting all towns.
The Town of Atlantic Beach NC sits at the easternmost portion of the island and has a bridge over to the mainland, specifically to Morehead City.
The Town of Emerald Isle NC sits on the westernmost portion of the island and has a bridge to the mainland, specifically to Cape Carteret.
Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, and Salter Path are very small towns in the middle of the island.
The island is approximately 26 miles long with only the two bridges that gives access to the mainland.
Bogue Banks separates the Atlantic Ocean from Bogue Sound.
Things To Do And See
Starting in Atlantic Beach NC, visitors to the area love to visit Fort Macon State Park where there is free beach access and parking, public restrooms, a concession stand in the summer, outdoor showers, and lifeguard protected public beaches. This area also has a walking nature trail called the Elliott Coues Trail that is popular for hiking.
Also in Atlantic Beach is Oceanana Pier which is one of two on the island and kids love to walk out on the pier to see incredible views of the ocean, sand dunes, and marine wildlife that make up our shores.
The circle is an area in Atlantic Beach that is the center of the town and it has most of the area’s entertainment, restaurants, small beach shops, bars, and also has a lifeguard protected beach and paid parking.
Traveling west from Atlantic Beach is the town park and it has a lot to do for kids and families to include a kid’s play area, basketball courts, a splashpad, putt putt golf, and very professional skateboard park. In the summer months, there is also a concession stand.
Across from the town park is a shopping area that contains a place to play laser tag and a movie theater along with a grocery store, a few restaurants, fast food, and beach shopping.
Traveling west on Highway 58 from Atlantic Beach is Pine Knoll Shores and it’s main definite thing to do and see is the NC Aquarium where kids and families can learn about sea turtles, sharks, all kinds of marine life, a viewing area for marshland and shorebirds of the area, and more.
Other than the NC Aquarium, Pine Knoll Shores is largely a resort and residential area with very quiet beaches and sand dunes.
Traveling west leaving Pine Knoll Shores is Indian Beach which for the sake of this article we will pair with Salter Path. These two towns have a bit more to do in the way of really great seafood restaurants and a small theme park with putt putt golf, kart racing track, bumper boats, and other attractions to see.
Traveling west on Highway 58 from Indian Beach and Salter Path, is Emerald Isle and this is a very popular vacation destination and tourism area with a few must see areas. The first is Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier that is a popular beach area and is the center of the business community where there are many locally owned shops, restaurants, and opportunities for shopping.
At the west end of Emerald Isle is a water park and arcade for the kids.
My daughter’s favorite thing to do is to get lost in the endless sprawling sand dunes that are in each of these communities and it is a great place to find rare seashells and shark’s teeth, and to discover and learn about our coastal ecosystem.
The only golf course on the island is at the border of Atlantic Beach and Pine Knoll Shores and it is called the Crystal Coast Country Club and is open to the public.
So what questions do you have, or what fun things to do did you find when visiting Bogue Banks NC that we failed to mention in this article?
Use the comment form below and let us know.