Vacation Rental Guide
to North Carolinaâ€™s Crystal C oast
para Come stay for a week, a month or a lifetime.
adise If you’ve never been to the Crystal Coast, we can’t wait to share it with you. 85 miles of pristine sandy beaches natural maritime forests; all overlooking our unique south-facing Atlantic coastline. Wild ponies, a statuesque lighthouse and unspoiled coastline await you in our well-appointed selection of vacation rental homes and condominiums. We want your stay here to be simple and carefree, so we’re making it easier for you to reserve your family’s vacation home at your convenience. We’ve designed this handbook to guide you through searching, booking and planning the ultimate Crystal Coast getaway. Take a moment to browse these pages, then head to BookBluewater.com to start planning your unforgettable escape. Our user-friendly site features vacation home listings with complete interior photos, floor plans, a detailed description and an aerial view of each home. If you have any questions or would just like a little help from someone who lives and plays here, call our friendly team of vacation planners at (877) 423-3119. We can’t wait to meet your family and share our love of the Crystal Coast with you.
Everyone agrees – once you’ve been here, it’s hard to imagine finding paradise anywhere else.
North Carolinaâ€™s Crystal Coast
cover photo courtesy of GrahamHuntPhotography.com production
Jordan Daniels Janesa Johnson Clarissa Gregg Graham Hunt
Graham Hunt Liz Perry Jordan Daniels Photo Contest Entries
The Bluewater Vacation Rental Guide is a publication of Bluewater Associates of Emerald Isle. Bluewater Associates endeavored to ensure the accuracy of this publication; however, we cannot be responsible for any misinformation or typographical errors included.
whatâ€™s inside exploring our coastline
savor the coastal flavor
vacation rental homes & condos
blue pearl homes
top 10 activities & attractions
promotions & perks
connect with us
Swansboro is known as the “Friendly City by the Sea” and during your visit, you will see that it lives up to that name. It still maintains a historic downtown section that runs along the water’s edge, where you can take a stroll through downtown, browsing the waterfront shops and dining with a view. Don’t miss out on all the festivities at the Annual Mullet Festival held the 2nd weekend in October.
SHRIMP BOATS ALONG THE BEAUFORT WATERFRONT
emerald isle Come and visit our gem of a town known as a “Family Beach”. Emerald Isle is fun for vacationers of all ages - offering everything from beautiful beaches to water sports on the calm sound, great dines and coastal shops. There is a nice walking and biking trail that runs along the main highway that gives you an opportunity to really enjoy the beauty of the island. Catch stunning sunsets and sunrises (and perhaps a few fish!) from the Bogue Inlet Pier.
salter path Known for its history as an old fishing village, Salter Path has a unique large dune system, excellent beaches, breathtaking soundfront views and even a small maritime forest. Be sure to stop and look at Bogue Sound; on a bright sunny day, it sparkles a magnificent blue.
indian beach This town’s location allows easy access to the sights and sounds of Morehead City and Emerald Isle, including restaurants and shopping. But above all, you’ll enjoy the quiet calming expanse of soft sandy beaches and lush maritime forest.
pine knoll shores
Located at the center of Bogue Banks, Pine Knoll Shores offers an unforgettable experience to vacationers. Because of their community commitment to the environment, most of the area today remains unspoiled, pristine. The North Carolina Aquarium is home to many species of fish and sharks on display in the 306,000-gallon Living Shipwreck display. You will even see Nimbus, a loggerhead turtle that has a rare white color.
DEEP SEA CHARTERS FROM MOREHEAD CITY
morehead city Morehead City is the largest town in Carteret County with a population of nearly 8,000 permanent residents. It hosts many different festivals and tournaments such as the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament held in early June and the North Carolina Seafood Festival held on the waterfront each October. While you’re here, you can enjoy fresh seafood with local flair at the restaurants and browse eclectic shops or just take a walk along the downtown waterfront.
Atlantic Beach is conveniently located at the most eastern tip of Bogue Banks with over 7 miles of pristine beaches to enjoy. It is proud to be home to the annual King Mackerel Tournament each September along with many other fishing tournaments and festivals including the Annual Carolina Kite Festival. With a variety of restaurants, shopping and public beach accesses, Atlantic Beach is a great place to vacation. Want to experience history while you’re here? Be sure to visit the historic Fort Macon, which was used to protect the area from naval attacks and pirate invasions in the 18th and 19th centuries.
CAPE LOOKOUT NATIONAL SEASHORE & LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY FUN FOR ALL AGES
HISTORIC FORT MACON, ATLANTIC BEACH
WILD PONIES OF SHACKLEFORD BANKS
beaufort Beaufort, the 3rd oldest town in North Carolina, is known for its Bahamian and West Indian style architecture and its close ties with a notorious pirate. It offers a beautiful sandy shore as well as stunning waterfront views. You can watch the feral horses from the banks of Beaufort or board a ferry to see them in their unspoiled habitat. Take a day to walk along the streets and explore the many specialty shops or eat in one of the delicious restaurants along the downtown area. Hop atop the English Double-Decker bus for a tour around this historic fishing village to see Blackbeard’s home and the mysterious Old Burial Ground. You’ll see exactly what makes this coastal community so special and why it was voted Best Small Town in the USA in 2012.
It’s hard to keep it a secret when you’re
2013 ter sard coaaw er
Bluewater Vacation Rentals awarded“Best Vacation Rental Agency” for the 7th year
Top 21 Beaches in the US Pine Knoll Shores, 2012
“Coolest Small Town” Beaufort, 2012
4 Star Rating for Water Quality
Top 10 Uncrowded Atlantic Beaches, 2013
FROM Salty to
Nothing says “vacation” like a fabulous meal. Make the most of your time by the sea with some swimmingly fresh seafood. Along the waterfront you’ll find restaurants and bars offering a wide variety of coastal fare. Want to try your hand at our cuisine? Check out local seafood markets and roadside farmer’s markets to pick some homegrown produce and make some tasty memories. Stumped on what to do with it? Check out some of our favorite time-tested recipes, passed along through family and friends!
Fresh, Locally-Caught Seafood Markets Clyde Phillips Seafood Market | Swansboro Cap’n Willis Seafood Market | Emerald Isle Willis Seafood Market | Salter Path
Atlantic Beach Seafood Market | Atlantic Beach The Sanitary Fish Market | Morehead City Capt. Jim’s Seafood | Morehead City
Farm-picked Roadside Produce Stands Buck’s Corner Farms 603 Cedar Point Boulevard, Cedar Point (252) 393-1009 | Open April - December Southern staples run amok here including berries, cantaloupe, collards and greens, corn, honey, homemade jams and jellies, peaches, peanuts, sprite melon, squash, strawberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watermelons. Some are pick-your-own!
Guthrie Farm Highway 24, Cape Carteret (252) 393-3200 | Open May - September
Winberry Farms Highway 24, Cedar Point (252) 393-2281 | Open April - October
Apples, peaches, plums, collard greens, tomatoes and Bogue Sound watermelons are just a few of the tasty finds they offer.
Features Bogue Sound Watermelons, cantaloupes, sweet corn, strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, boiled peanuts, homemade jams, pickles and more.
(877) (877)423-3119 423-3119
coast with fresh
produce seafood & just-caught
Fried Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches
A peck or two of fresh, raw oysters Cocktail sauce Lemons for juice
6 soft shell crabs 2 c. yellow cornmeal 1 c. flour Old Bay seasoning Salt and pepper Tartar sauce, hot sauce and trimmings
A coastal favorite here in Eastern North Carolina!
Heat grill to medium-high heat, 350° to 400°. Grill washed oysters on foil for 8 to 10 minutes or until shells open ¼” to ½.” Remove from grill and pry open using an oyster knife. Squeeze lemon juice over the open oysters and serve with cocktail sauce. Just run the knife under the oyster to release! After you “shuck,” don’t chuck - Shells are recycled to build oyster “reefs” to help repopulate oysters and build new habitats !
Available fresh from May to September
Preheat fryer to 350° Soak crabs in buttermilk for 30-45 minutes . Combine dry ingredients and dredge the crabs in the mixture. Fry 4 to 5 minutes. Serve on a toasted roll with lettuce, tomato, tartar sauce and a dash of hot sauce!
Shrimp and Grits
Warm, cheesy goodness, fresh off of the trawler!
Famous Tarheel Hushpuppies
1 lb. fresh Carolina shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 c. stone-ground grits 3 T. butter 2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded Salt and pepper 6 slices bacon, cooked and grease reserved 4 t. lemon juice 2 T. chopped parsley 1 large clove garlic, minced
From The Sanitary Fish Market 1 lb. fine corn meal 1 c. buttermilk 1 egg 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar A pinch of baking soda
Stir all ingredients, adding water, to thick consistency. Drop in deep fat at 375°. Yield: 6 servings
Boil 4 cups water and add grits, cooking 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter, cheese and season to taste. Cook shrimp in bacon grease until pink. Add juice, bacon, parsley and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes. Spoon shrimp over grits and serve immediately.
Old-Fashioned Southern Tomato Pie
Try fresh, local tomatoes in this classic recipe courtesy of our marketing manager, Jordan 9 in. pie shell, baked 1/2 onion, minced 4 tomatoes, squeezed to remove excess juice and sliced to 1/4” thickness
1/4 c. each chopped basil and arugula 3/4 c. each grated mozzarella, smoked gouda and parmesan cheese 1/2. c, mayonnaise Salt and pepper
Sprinkle 1/4 c. mozzarella over the bottom of the crust. Mix remaining cheese and mayonnaise, add salt and pepper to taste. Alternate tomato slices, onion and a thin layer of the cheese mixture, ending with cheese on top. Place in 350° oven and bake until browned and bubbly, 45 to 55 minutes.
Wireless or Ethernet Internet service is provided in most of our homes and condos
PETS STAY FREE in nearly all of our 170 pet-friendly homes and condos
When choosing where to stay for a weeklong vacation, a hotel is not always the best option. Fully furnished vacation rentals offer all the comforts of home - a fully equipped kitchen, dining and living space to spend some quality time together - but on the beach. There are many additional comforts for your family to enjoy during your stay in your seaside â€œhome away from home.â€?
Linen Service is included in most homes, some with beds made on arrival
Fully equipped kitchens including standard cookware, dining ware and utensils
Resort-like amenities such as a pool, hot tub, boat slip or elevator are available
the perfect fit
With our wide selection of vacation properties, it can be daunting to find the one thatâ€™s best for your family. We aim to make your planning process simple and enjoyable. Bring the extended family, weâ€™ve got room for everyone. Homes, duplexes and condominiums all offer different styles of vacations and amenities, with our Blue Pearl Homes adding the ultimate in luxury to your beach getaway.
CONDOminium Condos are available from studio to 4 bedrooms, making them ideal for 1-2 families. Most complexes offer a range of amenities on-site such as swimming pools, elevators, tennis courts, WiFi internet service, boat slips and more. They are most often the budget-friendly way to get a better view of the ocean!
duplex Choosing a duplex is a fantastic way to get affordability, easy beach access and added privacy. Although some homes may share a pool or community outdoor space, most have semi-private decks. Duplexes range from 2 to 5 bedrooms, and offer connecting doors, adding the potential for larger families to rent both sides for added kitchen and living space. Many are pet-friendly!
single family home Providing the ultimate in privacy, single family homes range from 3 to 10 bedrooms with many pet friendly options in both standard and luxury homes. Our exclusive Blue Pearls offer seaside sophistication in 4 to 10 bedrooms. Like a home away from home, choosing a single family vacation rental gives you all of the comforts of home just steps away from the Atlantic Ocean.
“3 PALMS”, EMERALD ISLE
“SUMMERHILL COTTAGE”, EMERALD ISLE
“BEACH BLESSINGS”, EMERALD ISLE
blue pearl homes
“MEMORY MAKER”, SALTER PATH
Blue Pearl Homes are the premier gems of our vacation rental collection. Each exudes a particular charm and grandeur and is meticulously maintained, exquisitely furnished and elegantly appointed. Many of our Blue Pearl Homes offer stunning amenities such as gourmet kitchens, majestic master suites, plush theater rooms and lavish poolside retreats. Our Blue Pearl Homes are without equal and will provide your family with a lavish beach vacation full of memories you will cherish for many years to come.
“GRANTED WISH”, EMERALD ISLE “A PIERLESS VISTA”, ATLANTIC BEACH
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From the locals and “honorary” local frequent visitors, this is a list of things you MUST do while you’re here.
1. RELAX! There is such a thing as “beach time,” and you’ll know it when you get here. Things go a little slower when you’re on the beach and your priorities change a bit. Take advantage of the opportunity and turn off your phone, turn off the TV and computer, and really just relax and enjoy yourself. With the fast-paced hectic lifestyle we all lead, this can be hard to do. But you’ll be glad that you did when you look back at the memories and feel totally rejuvenated and reconnected.
Climb and Explore
With the Gulf Stream pushing warm waters to our shores, the Crystal Coast offers the longest fishing season on the Atlantic coast. Spend the day with a local crew on a charter boat and see what fish you can reel in. Some of the most popular catches along our coast are mahi, blue and yellowfin tuna, red drum, cobia, sailfish, striped bass, false albacore and wahoo. Get a glimpse of the giants of the sea during the Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament as the pros weigh their daily catch on the Morehead City Waterfront.
Hop on a boat and observe the natural beauty of the wild horses running through their natural habitat along Shackleford Banks and Carrot Island. Ferries are located in Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Harkers Island and Davis. This is a favorite for both frequent visitors and first time guests. PLUS: This is a great spot to find fabulous seashells and other treasures swept in by the tide. Take a trip and explore the Cape Lookout National Seashore and climb the 163 foot tall Cape Lookout Lighthouse – once you reach the top, the view will surely take your breath away. Walk along the undeveloped coastline and discover the beauty of our unspoiled beaches.
North Carolina’s coastal culinary experience is unlike any other. With a deep sense of tradition, local fare and coastal atmosphere your palate is taken to new heights. Dine on some of the freshest seafood you will ever taste from the famous shrimp burger and Bar-B-Q at Big Oak Drive-In to the fresh caught seafood prepared in imaginative ways at some of the top restaurants along the coast. The Crystal Coast offers the finest in Southern Coastal dining. Join us in October as we celebrate our seafood at the Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival in Morehead City.
Reel it in 4.
5. Peek into the depths The Crystal Coast has been named one of the ten top diving locations in North America. The ocean floor is alive at the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” with over 2000 shipwreck sites along the coastline including many World War I and II ships, the historic U-352 submarine and a breathtaking variety of sharks, exotic Gulf Stream fish and colorful shellfish. Not your style? You can still get up close and personal with thousands of sea creatures at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Touch a stingray, watch the otters glide through the water and stare a shark in the eye during their twice daily feedings in the 306,000-gallon Living Shipwreck exhibit.
Need more activities and inspiration? Scan here with your smartphone for our list of 100 FREE things to do on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast!
Try doing something NEW
Whether it’s trying your hand at surfing, getting up the courage to strap yourself into a parasailing harness or taking your first breath from a scuba tank, our coast is FULL of new things to try. From jet skis to banana boats, Fly Boarding to kite surfing; there are endless options for new adventures on the coast.
9. Light up the night The coast is just as lively after an unforgettable sunset! Brush off the sand and order a classic cocktail from our award winning bartenders or hit the water for a moonlit dinner cruise out of Beaufort or Morehead City. If you want to stay closer to home, try a walk on the beach under the stars! Take a flashlight with you and see if you find any ghost crabs roaming the beach after dark. The tangy salt air and roar of the ocean after dark are a whole new experience.
Step back in time 6. Take a drive to the end of the island and spend the afternoon hiking, picnicking and exploring the Civil War era history of Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach. Learn more about the shipwrecks and pirates that frequented our coast on the English Double-Decker bus touring landmarks such as in Blackbeard’s house, the graveyard and courthouse and historic homes.
Paddle 7. Launch a kayak or stand-up Paddle Board and take in the sights and sounds of the coast as you cruise through the Bogue Sound. There are many small islands just waiting to be explored, as well as miles of smooth intracoastal and river waterways to choose from. Whether you spend a half day or pack a lunch and take your family out for the whole day, there is no better way to experience the beauty and natural charm of our coast than from water level.
Start a new tradition
There’s no better way to make memories together than by starting a new tradition. Whether it’s a family photo, a favorite restaurant or an adventure you take together every year, traditions are the best part of family vacations. One of our Facebook Fans, Wendy Eastman shared her family tradition with us: “Aunt Wendy’s policy is as soon as we arrive - all children PLUS Aunty Wendy must find their way to the beach and jump in to over the head water fully dressed. This has become a tradition for our family.” So come together and find a new tradition while you’re here; all that matters is that it’s fun and meaningful to your family!
Rest and Relaxation is not just reserved for us. Bring your pet to our year-round pet friendly beaches and they can enjoy a vacation for free at our â€œPets Stay Freeâ€? properties!
simple and carefree
from start to finish
Early Bird Discount for Spring vacations booked before April
Friendly Website Online Reservations Instant Chat Make payments, sign your contract or check your balance 24/7 on GuestWeb
Pets Stay Free in over 160 homes Complimentary Advance Reservations Interest-Free Payment Plans Drive-thru Check In and Check Out
Layaway Plan Most vacation homes offer the Layaway Plan. For the budget-conscious vacationer who plans at least 7 months in advance, this is the ultimate in savvy savings.
to fit your family
PAYMENT AT BOOKING Your initial payment Travel Insurance (optional)
5 INTEREST-FREE MONTHLY PAYMENTS We will automatically schedule 5 monthly payments, having your vacation paid in full 30 days prior to your arrival
3 Pay Plan Any vacation home is eligible for this plan! Just book your reservation at least 3 months prior to your arrival!
PAYMENT AT BOOKING Your initial payment Travel Insurance (optional)
30 DAYS AFTER BOOKING Your second payment
30 DAYS BEFORE ARRIVAL Your remaining balance All taxes and fees
Y our vacat 3 or 6 eaison is divided int o y payment s!
Your vacation is waiting. What amenities are important to your family? You can search for properties based on the number of bedrooms, whether it is a home, duplex or condo and how close to the water you want to be. You can also search for homes with more detailed amenities such as dogs allowed, linen service, internet access, a private pool or hot tub, an elevator or a game room!
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200 Mangrove Drive Emerald Isle, North Carolina 28594 BookBluewater.com | (877) 423-3119