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Weekend Getaway Ideas For Carteret County NC Beaches

This article is a collection of writings on this website which are related to, or closely related to, the topic of weekend getaway ideas when visiting Carteret County NC beaches near Emerald Isle, Salter Path, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Atlantic Beach, to include Morehead City, Harkers Island, and Cedar Island.

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Discussions related to this topic can take place on this page at the bottom, or linked articles within the body of this page. We strongly encourage readers asking questions about the local communities and topics within this site.

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Weekends In The Local Area

For many of these articles, Bogue Banks refers to the island communities of Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path, and Emerald Isle, while down east refers to the communities of Cedar Island, Harkers Island, Bettie, Otway, and Smyrna. And, for mainland communities, we’re referring to Morehead City, Newport, and Beaufort.

Additionally, many of the linked articles have links to detailed information about the topics in this article.

If you’re considering flying in to the Crystal Coast and Carteret County for the weekend, please note this location has no commercial airline service. To reach our area by plane, make plans to fly in to Albert J. Ellis Airport in Jacksonville, NC or Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in New Bern, NC. Furthermore, or area is accessible via Amtrak out of Wilson, NC.

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The Wild Horses Of Shackleford Island

For many, catching a ferry over to Shackleford Banks to see the many wild horses of this island is one of the main reasons people visit our area. Few things are as spectacular in our county as watching the majestic wild horses roam the beaches, play in the water, and graze along various coastal landscapes. And, while you’re on Shackleford Island, this is a good time to learn about Cape Lookout since these two land masses sit directly next to each other. Learn more about the horses here.

Cape Lookout National Seashore And Lighthouse

Another major landmark which attracts visitors to the Crystal Coast is the Cape Lookout National Seashore And Lighthouse where people can explore endless natural sand dunes, do remote camping, take part in world-class beach fishing, learning more about maritime culture, scuba dive hundreds of colonial era shipwrecks, and take part in onshore fishing that is plentiful. Cape Lookout is simply a must do for any weekend getaway. Go to cape information now.

Where Are Some Bike Paths?

When coming to our area by plane or train, be sure to bring your bikes because we have over 30 miles of remote beaches to ride to either see our majestic sunrise and sunsets landscapes, natural and unspoiled sand dunes and beaches, and other landmarks from Atlantic Beach to Emerald Isle. Ready to explore bike paths now?

Waterfront Restaurants In Downtown Morehead City

If you visit the Crystal Coast on weekends and don’t get to experience fresh NC seafood, then you haven’t experienced our area fully. For many of these waterfront restaurants along the waterways in downtown Morehead City, travelers to our communities get to experience seafood that’s only been out of the water a few hours and never frozen. The waterfront in Morehead City is also a great place for nightlife in evening hours, as is the waterfront and boardwalk of Beaufort. Let’s eat!

Things To See And Do In Beaufort NC

If an evening of sitting on a boardwalk in a southern charmed small town, feeling trade winds on your face, hearing sailboat masts clinking in the wind, experiencing live music while drinking wine and eating the best in seafood sounds like a great evening for loved one’s and family, the Beaufort waterfront and boardwalk is for you. If you’re having dinner or lunch in this area, don’t forget to look across the water and see if the wild ponies of Carrot Island are playing on the beach. Go to Beaufort now.

Entertainment In Atlantic Beach

After experiencing the Beaufort and Morehead City waterfronts, we encourage families and couples to experience coastal dining and entertainment on the circle which is located a few hundred feet from the actual ocean. Many of Carteret County’s bars, restaurants, and entertainment are located in this area of town. Learn more about the circle in Atlantic Beach.

Family Vacations In Emerald Isle

The coastal town of Emerald Isle located at the west end of Bogue Banks is a good choice if you’re planning a weekend in our county. This small town boasts many remote beaches and endless unspoiled sand dunes for you to explore if you are a nature lover. The sand dunes of Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach are excellent places to find rare seashells and shark’s teeth. Family vacation ideas in Emerald Isle.

Learn More About Harkers Island

To learn more about the history and culture in an area we call “Down East” which is the VERY remote land areas east of Beaufort and has it’s own tradition of commercial fishing and living off the land, we encourage you to explore Harkers Island and many of the landmarks which make this area unique. Harkers Island is also a popular area and closest approach to the islands of Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks. Go to this down east area now.

The Outer Banks

When planning a weekend in Carteret County NC, one needs to understand the Crystal Coast is at the southern tip of the venerable Outer Banks of NC which is a globally known portion of our coast famous for diving, fishing, history, coastal wildlife, and maritime culture. The Outer Banks is a must see destination, but to experience 500 square miles of this area, it will take many weekends so make your plans now. Let’s Go!

Cedar Island Ferry Information

From within Carteret County, ferry service to the Outer Banks communities of Ocracoke Island and Cape Hatteras is located at Cedar Island and runs year-round servicing pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile traffic to these communities. However, if traveling by ferry, we recommend learning about departure and arrival times, fees, and any delays before taking the 45 minute drive. Ferry information.


The information above is but a small sample of things to do and see when visiting Carteret County NC beaches and destinations on weekends. Many of the information in this article can be experienced over one trip while others will require several weekend visits to experience.

What are some other destinations and places you found in our county which is something people considering coming here need to know? Use the discussion form below to talk about these places.

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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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