2018 Crystal Coast Vacation Guide

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north caroli na’ s

crystal coast

d i s c o v e r n o r t h c a r o l i n a ’ s p r e m i e r fa m i ly b e a c h d e s t i n a t i o n


Free time is precious and rare in today’s world. We are honored that you’ve decided to spend your vacation on our beautiful coast, soaking in the pure salt air and sunshine. We look forward to welcoming families each year from near and far, some that have vacationed with us for generations. We love that so many folks who grew up with their toes in the Carolina sand every summer are now bringing their children and grandchildren to learn the simple joys of island life. Our island is accessible by bridge at either end and for many visitors, the moment they look forward to most in their whole year is cruising over the bridge with their windows rolled down and the salty air and Carolina sunshine tumbling in. We hope that you enjoy your stay with us, and that our little “gem” will earn a place in your heart, too.

co nte nts exploring our coastline


beach bucket list


booking your vacation


pets stay free


simple ways to save


blue pearl homes


emerald cottages


four seasons on the coast emerald isle

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fishing the crystal coast


shackleford banks & cape lookout


markets, produce stands & recipes


calendar of events


photo contest


in the media


the crystal coast Over 85 miles of sand on one of the only south-facing coastlines on the eastern seaboard, made up of small communities brimming with Southern charm - that’s the Crystal Coast. Aptly named for the shining waters and unique qualities our region is blessed with, we are proud to say that we truly believe this is the “gem” of North Carolina’s coast. It’s unusual to find a beach escape that captures something for everyone in the family. History, nature, sightseeing, shopping, antique and art hunting, wine and dining and of course - sugar soft sands under stunning sunrises and sunsets...

What more could you ask for in a fun family vacation?

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N ear by Ai r po rts an d Locatio ns Coastal Carolina Regional Airport New Bern (EWN) 46 miles

Ap p r oxi mate d r ivi ng d istanc e to th e C rystal Coast i n m i les Raleigh, NC Trenton, NJ Columbia, SC Albany, NY Atlanta, GA Knoxville, TN Winston-Salem, NC Boston, MA

152 513 285 705 498 510 257 784

Richmond, VA Cincinnati, OH Charleston, WV Baltimore, MD Lexington, KY Columbus, OH Washington, DC Pittsburgh, PA

Albert J. Ellis Airport Jacksonville (OAJ) 45 miles

266 671 472 423 647 630 364 585

Kinston Regional Jetport Kinston (ISO) 71 miles

Wilmington International Airport Wilmington (ILM) 84 miles

Raleigh-Durham International Airport Raleigh (RDU) 165 miles

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t h e c rys t a l c oas t

e m e rald is le sw a n s b o r o This “Friendly City by the Sea� is a beautiful and historic community overlooking the water and is home of Hammocks Beach State Park. This whimsical downtown village is the perfect place to shop, dine, and relax on the waterfront. Host to the Arts by the Sea Festival, the Mullet Festival, and numerous fishing tournaments, Swansboro offers some of the greatest hospitality to its visitors on the North Carolina coast.

Emerald Isle boasts the most to its adventurous guests with the perfect places to kayak, kiteboard, paddleboard and much more. Venture through the miles of bike path and nature trails with your family and friends to enjoy the naturally pristine environment with a variety of waterfowl, birds, and whitetail deer. The Point in Emerald Isle is a must-see when you visit the western shores of the Crystal Coast; the views and sunsets are truly breathtaking!

i n d i a n b e ac h Located in the center of the Bogue Banks, Indian Beach is the perfect place to visit the beautiful sights and sounds throughout the island. Shopping, dining, and attractions for the entire family are easily found in just a few minutes in either direction. With public beach access to the soft sands of the Crystal Coast as well as easy access to the lush green maritime forest lining the Bogue Sound, you are sure to enjoy this quaint community.

s a lt e r pa t h Historically a fishing village, Salter Path lies on the Bogue Banks as an enclave within Indian Beach. Family beach cottages are easy to spot as you cruise through Salter Path. This coastal refuge stands apart from the rest because it is home to a large dune system, excellent beaches, breathtaking soundfront views, and even a small maritime forest. This quaint, quiet beach community offers easy access to the brilliantly blue ocean and calm waters of the sound and is perfect for recreation and relaxation for the entire family.

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meet our towns p i n e kno ll s ho r es Just west of Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores has wide beaches and soundside access perfect for swimming, shelling, clamming, or kayaking along this beautiful stretch of island. Nature trails lead you above a tidal marsh where marine creatures live and shore birds wade. The North Carolina Aquarium hosts a wide array of fish, crabs, seahorses, river otters, and sharks - you’ll even get to see Nimbus, the albino loggerhead sea turtle!

a t l a n t i c b e ac h At the eastern end of Bogue Banks is Atlantic Beach, a laid-back beach town with wide, sandy shores, a boardwalk, and a commercial district with plenty shopping and dining. Nature trails, public parks, a splash pad, a skate park, and several beach accesses are fun for the entire family. Atlantic Beach is also home to historic Fort Macon State Park, a Civil War fort which remains the most visited state park in North Carolina.

b e au fo r t The 3rd oldest town in North Carolina, Beaufort brings more to the table than meets the eye, including close ties with a notorious pirate. It offers a beautiful sandy shore as well as stunning waterfront views. Dock your boat at a downtown marina and walk from one charming boutique to the next, taking in the nautical scene with cocktails and awardwinning seafood overlooking the water at sunset. You can even watch the wild horses from the banks or board a ferry to see them in their unspoiled habitat. You can hop atop an English Double-Decker bus for a tour around this historic fishing village to see Pirate Blackbeard’s home and the mysterious Old Burial Ground. It’s no wonder so many people call Beaufort their home away from home.

mo r e h ead c i ty Downtown Morehead City has an alluring waterfront appeal lined with charter boats, legendary seafood restaurants, and delightful shops all overlooking Sugarloaf Island. Home of the annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament, Morehead City brings sport fishermen from all over the country together each June to see which boat will bring in the biggest blue marlin, white marlin, mahi and more! Morehead also hosts the annual North Carolina Seafood Festival on the first weekend in October. Vendors line the waterfront with all types of fresh, delicious seafood, arts & crafts, along with carnival rides and activities! This city is a home-run when you go out to the ball game and see the Morehead City Marlins play. With all of the things Morehead City has to offer, there’s fun for everyone!

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th e to p


beach bucket


v ac a t i o n m u s ts o n t h e c rys t a l c oas t

From the "honorary locals" who visit every year, this is a list of things you should do while you’re here.


U n p lu g

When you step onto the shore of the Crystal Coast, life slows down as the salty breeze flows and your toes sink into the sand. Take advantage of this opportunity to relax and turn off your cell phone, television, and computer and really just sink into the paradise our beaches have to offer. You’re on island time - take a break from the hectic, fast-paced lifestyle and feel totally rejuvenated and reconnected when you look back at the lifetime memories you will make.


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Jump aboard and witness the natural beauty of the wild horses in their natural habitat along Shackleford Banks and Carrot Island. You can stumble upon ferries to these islands in Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Harkers Island, and Davis. Seeing the wild ponies is a favorite for both our “honorary locals” and first time visitors. You can even grab some beach treasures like fabulous seashells and seaglass to bring a part of the Crystal Coast home with you. Craving more adventure? Climb to the top of the 163-foottall lighthouse at Cape Lookout National Seashore. When you reach the top, there are breathtaking panoramic views that you will surely remember forever. Take a stroll along the undeveloped coastline and discover the pure beauty of our pristine beaches.

4 Cast O ut

3 S a vo r t h e T a s t e North Carolina’s coastal cuisine is unlike any other. With a deep sense of tradition, local fare, and coastal atmosphere, your taste buds will be taken to new heights. The Crystal Coast has one of the longest and most diverse fishing seasons on the Atlantic coast, so our visitors enjoy fresh seafood just about anytime of the year. Blackened, fried, sautéed or seared, our specialty seafood is fresh from the Atlantic and straight to the plate. The Crystal Coast offers the finest Southern Coastal dining. Join us in October as we celebrate our seafood heritage at the Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival in Morehead City.

Good things come to those who bait! With the Gulf Stream pushing warm waters to our shores, the Crystal Coast offers fishing all year round. Climb aboard a fishing charter and spend the day with a local crew to see what you can reel in. The most popular catches along our coast are mahi, blue and yellowfin tuna, red drum, cobia, sailfish, striped bass, false albacore, and wahoo. Catch a glimpse of the giants of the sea when you visit during the Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament as some of the world’s pro fisherman weigh their daily catch on the Morehead City Waterfront.

5 P e e k i n to t h e d e p t h s The Crystal Coast has been named one of the top 10 dive destinations in the world. The ocean floor is alive at the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” with over 2,000 shipwreck sites along the coastline. Some wrecks are located just a few miles from the shore in 30-foot depths. 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 are all sights to see when you dive on the Crystal Coast. Diving isn’t your style? You can still get up close and personal with thousands of sea creatures when you visit the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. You can watch the river otters dive and glide through the water, touch a stingray, and stare a shark in the eye during their daily feedings in the Living Shipwreck exhibit.

6 ti m e travel If a history buff is in your crew, you won’t want to miss the Civil War era Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach. Fort Macon has been restored to its glory days and offers fun for the entire family. On holidays and special occasions, cannon firing demonstrations and indoor & outdoor guided tours are regular features. Hike, picnic, and explore over 250 years of history. Learn more about the shipwrecks and pirates that sailed our coast on the English Double-Decker bus in Beaufort. You can tour landmarks like Blackbeard’s house, the graveyard, courthouse, and beautiful historic homes.

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The fun doesn’t stop after the sun goes down! Brush the sand off of your feet and grab a specialty cocktail from our award-winning bartenders or head to the water for a moonlit dinner cruise out of Morehead City or Beaufort. Just ready to relax? Take a stroll on the shore under the stars with a flashlight to look for ghost crabs. The salty air and roar of the ocean after the sun sets is an entirely different experience than a day in the sun.

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Pa d d l e

Take in the sights and sounds as you cruise the Bogue Sound on a kayak or a stand-up paddle board. There are plenty of small islands just waiting to be explored and endless miles of smooth Intracoastal and river waterways to ride through. Whether you spend a day and pack a lunch for the family or just take a little while to enjoy the outdoors, there is no better way to experience the beauty and natural charm of our coast than from water level.

8 B e B rave The Crystal Coast is a wonderful place to try your hand at surfing, working up the courage to strap into a parasailing harness, or taking your first breath through a scuba tank. Our coast is full of new and adventurous things to try, and vacation is the perfect time to step outside of your comfort zone. From jet skis to banana boats and flyboarding to kiteboarding, a tidal wave of adventure for the whole family is crashing down on the Crystal Coast.

10 S t a r t a t r a d i t i o n There’s no better way to make memories on your Bluewater vacation than to start a new tradition. Whether it's an annual family photo on the beach, a favorite restaurant you dine at or an adventure you take together every year, traditions are the most meaningful part of family vacations. Now an honorary local, Wendy Eastman shared her family tradition with us: “Aunt Wendy’s policy is as soon as we arrive, all children PLUS Aunty Wendy must venture down to the beach and jump in over the top of the waves fully dressed.” Come together and create a new tradition while you’re here; all that matters is that you have fun and make lifelong memories with the people that matter most - your family!

f r e e t h i n g s to d o o n l i n e a t b o o k b lu e w a t e r . c o m


your s p o t

f i lt e r i t d o w n Our search tool offers several filters to help narrow down the perfect vacation rentals for your family. Choose an arrival month or a specific week, property size, amenities, location and budget. You can sort and compare what matches your criteria in a list, grid or on a map.

all o f th e d etai ls Each vacation rental has its own listing page complete with full description, amenities, professional hi-res photos, floorplans and authentic guest reviews. Both aerial maps and Google map locations show our other nearby homes and beach accesses. From the property page, you can add it to your favorites to compare to other homes, share it with friends and family, and book or hold the week you want instantly.

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free plus enjoy

24 ho u r holds on ope n week s

fi n d yo u r san d castle c lai m yo u r s pot i n th e caro li na san d Once you’ve chosen your favorite home, it’s time to make your reservation! If you’re ready, just click the "Book It" button next to the available week. This leads you through booking your stay, opting for travel insurance coverage and making a payment. Depending on the property and week you’ve chosen, payment plans may be eligible for your stay. If your family needs a little more time to make the final decision, simply click "Hold It" to place a complimentary 24 hour hold on the week while you organize the family plans.

sign & go Everything for your reservation is done digitally. Each reservation has a GuestWeb account online where you and your family can access and sign your rental agreement, make payments on your stay and send secure messages to our vacation rentals staff. Throughout the booking process, you will receive emails regarding your stay. Prior to arrival, you’ll receive an email with details on how to check in and pertinent information for your stay such as Wi-Fi network login details. Keyless entry equipped homes will receive their code and instructions on using the lock system prior to arrival as well. After your stay, you will also receieve an email with a link to complete your guest survey on your vacation experience.

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FREE i n over 195 bluewater properti es

p l ac e s to g o Hop a ferry and explore the barrier islands PAWS Bark Park in Morehead City Enjoy a drink or dinner on an outdoor patio (many welcome furry patrons - call ahead!)

r u l e s to k n o w Dogs must be leashed at all times f r o z e n t r e a ts

Watermelon Bites Blend 2 cups seedless watermelon and 1 cup of coconut milk and pour into ice cube trays. Freeze overnight.

Dogs are allowed on the beach all day, every day, year-round Clean up after any accidents Pets are allowed in pet-friendly homes (no visiting non-pet homes)

PB & B Pops Blend 1 banana, 32 oz. yogurt, and 2 tablespoons peanut butter and freeze overnight in paper cups with a milkbone “handle� in the center of the cup.

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30 of our properti es have enclosed yards




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ways to save th roughout th e year on your beach vacation


y g e t aw a id s ay


s i m p l e savings

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Book early, vacation early and SAVE MORE! Our guests who book their spring and fall vacations at participating properties before April 15th receive up to 10% off their stay. Spring weeks from late March to early June and fall weeks from late August through early November are eligible. Weeks renting for $800 or less are reduced by 5%, weeks over $800 are reduced by 10%.

l as t m i n u t e s a v i n g s

save up to

Bluewater and participating homeowners would like thank service members and their families by offering 15% Military Savings. Once Military Status is verified by showing a current Military ID, the regular rate is reduced up to a $750 maximum discount. This discount cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts and is not available for monthly or annual rentals.





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rl Throughout the year, long holiday weekends are a popular guest request! When availability allows, we offer a 4th night free when you book 3 nights. This is eligible on participating homes, when the promotion is live. Typical holidays offered include Spring Break, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Stay tuned to the Specials page online!



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Our 3 Pay Plan is available on all properties booked more than 10 weeks in advance. With this, you pay 25% to book, 25% in 30 days and the remainder is due 30 days before arrival. If you’re planning your vacation in advance, our Layaway Plan is ideal! Your reservation total is divided into payments of 16-20% over 7 months and payments are automatic. It’s so easy and hassle-free!

20% wh en you book less than 14 days i n advance

Check for reduced rental rates at bluewaternc.com/rental-specials

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bermuda house

blue homes

exper i enc e

seaside luxury

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em erald isle


pi erless too


atlantic beach

south ern charm




palm cottages

em erald isle

i n dian beach

kiwi kottage


atlantic beach

atlantic beach

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 lush 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. chateau of th e isle


i n dian beach

To find your family’s “pearl”, simply choose “Blue Pearl Home” as an amenity when searching on our website. You can add preferred amenities, choose a location and save your favorites. Many of our Blue Pearl Homes allow pets with no fee as part of our Pets Stay Free program, and all of the Blue Pearl Homes provide linen service with beds made upon arrival. An exclusive Blue Pearl guest concierge will be available during your stay to answer any questions your family may have. We will extend our top-notch service and guest care team to ensure that your stay with us exceeds all of your expectations.

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just enough


em erald isle

emerald cottages

b u d g e t f r i e n d ly

suncatch er


pi n e knoll shores

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sum m er salt


em erald isle


ch loe ’ s corn er


atlantic beach

Emerald Cottages are our most enchanting and classic retreats. Nearly seventy of these gems have been hand-picked by our team, highlighting the extra mile each of these homeowners have gone to make their vacation home stand out. They are furnished and decorated with modern accessories and offer a variety of amenities and conveniences to create remarkable family vacations and group retreats while not breaking your vacation savings. Premier linen service is included with your stay and many of these affordable homes allow pets with no extra fees, so your family can vacation and save in style!

y o u r v ac a t i o n m a d e s i m p l e

ove r 3 0 0 keyles s p r o p e rti es L o o k fo r “ K e y l e s s E n t r y ”a s a D i s t i n c t i v e a m e n i t y

After a long day on the road, everyone is ready to get their vacation started. Let us help make that happen just a little bit faster with our popular and hassle-free keyless entry! No need to stop at the office -- just head straight to your vacation rental with the code that was sent to you a couple of days before your vacation date and you’re in. Fun doesn’t get much simpler than this!

O N LY Th e on a p ny t com s a co our ffer to o ess keyl y! ! r ent

free gu est app Want to stay connected to the coast and your vacation the simple way? Try our FREE Guest App to find the best local eats, attractions and activities. Have a reservation? Log in with your reservation details and see rental specific vacation information before and during your vacation. Have party members with questions? Invite them from the app and share the info. s e a r c h fo r " h o s p i t a l i t y by g l a d to h a v e y o u " o n y o u r d e v i c e ' s a p p s to r e to d o w n loa d r e s e r v a t i o n d e t a i l s • p u b l i c w a t e r ac c e s s • r e s t a u r a n t s • m a p s pa r k s • f e a t u r e d a t t r ac t i o n s • e v e n t s • r e n t a l h o m e i n v e n to r y

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spr i ng

sum m er

Spring on the Crystal Coast is the perfect way to have fun in the sun on an early getaway! As the water and the salty air warms up, the local birds and dolphins return to our coast. Warmer weather and waters mean comfortable weather for fishing. If you enjoy laying out in the sun with a nice cool breeze running across you, this is the time of year for you. Pods of dolphins arrive and even a whale or two are known to skirt the coast in spring. Kayaking and stand up paddle boarding are finally reasonable activities for those of us who like a little sun on their outing. Walking along the waterfronts of Beaufort, Swansboro and Morehead City becomes a relaxing way to spend a day of sunshine. The piers open, flowers bloom, and baby deer are sighted on Coast Guard Road - spring has sprung!

Summer on the Crystal Coast means being outside - from the various water sports in Emerald Isle to conquering Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach, the things to do are limitless! Whether you’re attending Fourth of July events, summer concerts, The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament or just laying on the beach, the Crystal Coast has much to offer for your summer beach vacation. Try something new - such as a ferry over to Shackleford Banks to watch the wild ponies, shelling and hunting for sand dollars, a boat tour with the pirates, kayaking the Intracoastal or a fishing charter into the gulf stream for a big catch. Summer on the coast is sure to be the highlight of your year, no matter how long you’re here for. Be sure to book early though, because the peak season weeks are the first to fill up.

Tem peratu r e A v e r ag e H i g h : 7 0 ° F | A v e r ag e L o w : 5 5 ° F

Tem peratu r e A v e r ag e H i g h : 8 5 ° F | A v e r ag e L o w : 73 ° F

Water Tem peratu r e A v e r ag e H i g h : 7 1 ° F | A v e r ag e L o w : 6 5 ° F

Water Tem peratu r e A v e r ag e H i g h : 8 3 ° F | A v e r ag e L o w : 8 0 ° F

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fa l l

wi nter

Though summer may be over, fall is the perfect time to visit the Crystal Coast! The weather is still beautiful and perfect for a day at the beach while avoiding the busy summer crowds and enjoying the water still being warm. Fall in the Southern Outer Banks is a fisherman’s dream as some of the favorite-to-catch species are swimming wild. Those in the know make it a point to hit the sand in the fall. Secretly, it is the locals’ favorite time of year. The beaches are clearing out, festivals have begun and the milder temperatures make it a great vacay for your furry friends. Also, oyster season is back in full swing; a must-have indulgence when you are here on the coast. Grilled, steamed, fried or raw - whatever your fancy may be, fall is one of the best times to enjoy seafood on the coast.

Make like the birds and fly south to the Crystal Coast for the winter! You may not want to dive in the water, unless you like a polar plunge, but the weather is still warm enough to take a relaxing stroll on the beach. Crystal Coast sunrises and sunsets are a breathtaking sight in the winter. If you want to stay a little warmer, the Crystal Coast also has countless indoor attractions like the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores or the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort. The holiday festivities abound during this time of year. Catch a flotilla - a floating light parade where boats are decorated in themed lighting and drift by our many waterfronts. Or snuggle up to your loved ones on an indoor dinner cruise, where you can see a pony or two and the water from the comforts of your cruise seat.

Tem peratu r e A v e r ag e H i g h : 73 ° F | A v e r ag e L o w : 5 8 ° F

Tem peratu r e A v e r ag e H i g h : 5 7 ° F | A v e r ag e L o w : 4 0 ° F

Water Tem peratu r e A v e r ag e H i g h : 7 7 ° F | A v e r ag e L o w : 73 ° F

Water Tem peratu r e A v e r ag e H i g h : 6 6 ° F | A v e r ag e L o w : 6 1 ° F

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em erald isle The tranquil resort and residential community of Emerald Isle is located on the western end of the Southern Outer Banks Island called Bogue Banks. Bogue Banks is 30 miles long, with Atlantic Beach at the east end, Salter Path and Indian Beach in the center and Emerald Isle on the western end of the southfacing island. Emerald Isle’s reputation as a “Family Beach” is well deserved and continues year after year to lure families looking for a peaceful ocean getaway to remember! The original developers of Emerald Isle have been praised by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post for their foresight that has protected this island from the overgrowth that plagues most beach resort areas. Emerald Isle is one of the few beaches left on the Outer Banks that still provides an unspoiled family atmosphere for all.

As tradition has it, the road that later became Emerald Drive was originally built in a serpentine path to spare the old live oak trees that covered the island. “Emerald Isle By the Sea” grew slowly westward as roads were pushed and paved through the sand. The beach side gives plenty of sand for play while the sound side offers calm waters for swimming, fishing, kayaking and shelling. Today, Emerald Isle is thriving and growing with a permanent population just below 4,000, as well as a seasonal population of over 16,000 during peak tourism time. The Bogue Inlet Pier is newly renovated and a highlight spot for scenic shots. Walk the length and watch for dolphins or even a whale - and check out what the fishermen are catching or cast a line yourself. Emerald Isle residents and visitors today still enjoy a relaxed ocean atmosphere with enough to do to keep from being bored on rainy days, but not so much that you get the carnival feel that exists in many larger ocean resort areas. Our sandy white beaches remain unspoiled, unpopulated and our warm, gentle ocean waters remain unpolluted!

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b e au fo r t The third oldest town in North Carolina, Beaufort was established in 1709 and has been home to pirates, sailors, soldiers, and fisherman alike. Beaufort offers a beautiful, sandy shore as well as breathtaking waterfront views. Spend a day walking along the streets, sightseeing, and exploring the various specialty shops or sink your teeth into some of the best coastal dishes in the Southern Outer Banks. The historic waterfront is the perfect place to soak in the sunset on a nighttime cruise or wander into the local bars for a refreshing cocktail. If you’re a foodie, you don’t want to miss a culinary tour of Beaufort and the opportunity to taste some of its finest cuisine with a classic southern flare. If you're visiting the Crystal Coast in the early spring, the Beaufort Food & Wine Festival is a must for all culinary enthusiasts. You'll love tasting the fusions of coastal flavors while sipping on North Carolina wines. History flourishes in this coastal community where historic homes line the waterfront and surrounding streets downtown. Plan for an afternoon on the waterfront to explore! Hop atop the English Double-Decker bus for a guided tour through this historic fishing village to see the notorious Pirate Blackbeard’s quarters as well as the mysterious Old Burial Ground. Join in on the Beaufort Ghost Walk, winner of the Crystal Coast’s “#1 Attraction” and “Best Tour Guide”. This tour is a stroll after dark, accompanied by chilling stories of murderous pirates, unexplained happenings, ghost ships, and haunted houses. One of our favorite stops is the Hammock House, one of Beaufort’s many haunted houses and once the home of Blackbeard. Be sure to pay a visit to North Carolina’s Maritime Museum to learn about our endless Maritime history. If you’re an adventurous water enthusiast, you can also go kayaking, parasailing or take a paddleboarding lesson. Named the “Coolest Small Town in America” by Budget Travel and “America’s Favorite Town” by Travel & Leisure, you’ll quickly see what makes this coastal community so special. Beaufort offers a little something for everyone to enjoy and is truly a must-see on your Southern Outer Banks vacation.

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r e e l adve n t u r e Your North Carolina beach vacation might include scoring a trophy fish from a private charter or simply casting a line from one of our piers stretching into the Atlantic. Whether you’ve found a new hobby or “ocean to table” is more your style – there is always something to catch when you have rivers, the sound, inlets and the ocean at your fingertips...or should we say “reel.”

fish i ng LICENSE Everyone 16 years of age and older are required to have their own individual North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License (NC-CRFL). Some licensed piers such as the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier and Oceanana Pier require you to purchase a private pass to use their facilities and this pass may also act as your NC-CRFL. Swansboro Wal-Mart Emerald Isle The Reel Outdoors K&V Grocery

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Atlantic Beach Freeman’s Bait & Tackle Chasin’ Tails Outdoors Morehead City Dick’s Sporting Goods Wal-Mart

b oa t lau nc h es Emerald Isle Intracoastal Waterway 6800 Emerald Drive Morehead City Intracoastal Waterway 3407 Arendell Street Cedar Point (Swansboro) 144 Cedar Point Boulevard Beaufort (Taylor’s Creek) 2370 Lennoxville Road Harkers Island 1604 Harkers Island Road

s mal l lau nc h es Emerald Isle Emerald Isle Woods Park, Kelly Street, Cedar Street, 13th Street

B L AC K D R U M March, April, May, September, October, November, December

FLO U N D ER June, July, August, September, October, November, December

STR I P ED BASS January, February, March, April, October, November, December

SEA M U LLET April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

S PA N I S H M A C K E R E L May, June, July, August, September

RED DRUM March, April, May, June, September, October, November, December

B LU E F I S H March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

surf&pi er B LU E M A R L I N March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October

GROUPER May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

K I N G M AC K E R E L June, July, August, September, October, November, December

YELLOWFI N TU NA February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

MAH I-MAH I April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

S PA N I S H M A C K E R E L May, June, July, August, September, October, November

B LU E F I N T U N A January, February, November, December

S EA BASS June, July, August, September, October, November, December


d eep s ea

May, June, July, August, September, October, November

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& diamon d

pon i es th e


s h ac k l e fo r d p o n i e s Since the 16th century, this herd has roamed the barrier islands. Foraging and digging underground for fresh water, this herd of just over one hundred ponies survives with limited human interaction. Within the herd, they divide into several harems and bachelor groups. It is thought that the blonde tufted ponies are descendants of the Viking ponies that were shipwrecked here, with the rest coming from Spanish explorers. Take the ferry over to Shackleford Banks and spend the day amongst the waves finding conch shells and catching a glimpse of these beautiful, feral ponies.

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c a p e l o o ko u t l i g h t h o u s e Venture out to the Cape Lookout National Seashore to find the Cape Lookout Lighthouse; one of seven statuesque beacons that sprinkle North Carolina's coastline. Found a mere three miles off the shore of Beaufort, visitors can take a short trip or spend an entire day on these undeveloped barrier islands. Upon arriving, you’re greeted by the tall “Diamond Lady”, stretching 188 stair steps up into the sky. During the summer season, we can’t imagine visiting the shore without viewing it from the bird’s eye - by climbing the lighthouse! The island touches both the inlet and the wide-open Atlantic Ocean and is perfect for shelling, swimming and camping. Stroll the beach for treasures or float in the inlet and soak up the sun. Either way, an afternoon spent in the sand at the foot of the stunning Diamond Lady is bound to be truly unforgettable.

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fo r k

Nothing says “vacation” like a fabulous meal. Make the most of your time by the sea with swimmingly fresh seafood. Ready to try your hand at our cuisine? Check out seafood markets and roadside farm stands to pick up some homegrown produce and support the coastal farming and fishing communities. Plus, try these time-tested recipes for a true Carolina experience!

F r e s h S e a fo o d M a r k e ts

Roads i d e P ro d uc e Stan ds

Clyde Phillips Seafood Market | Swansboro Cap’n Willis Seafood Market | Emerald Isle Willis Seafood Market | Salter Path Jerry Pittman Seafood | Salter Path Atlantic Beach Seafood Market | Atlantic Beach Capt. Jim’s Seafood | Morehead City Blue Ocean Market | Morehead City

Buck’s Corner Farms 603 Cedar Point Boulevard, Cedar Point (252) 393-1009 | Open April - December

Lo cal Mar k e ts

Guthrie Farm Highway 24, Cape Carteret (252) 393-3200 | Open May - September

The Market at Cedar Point | 1046 Cedar Point Blvd

Outdoor market featuring local produce, pasture-raised, free range meats and eggs, fresh milk and cheese and local arts and crafts vendors. Food trucks from throughout the coast attend throughout the season. Check out their Facebook page for event schedules and in-season items.

Salty Air Open Market | 307 Cedar Point Blvd

saltyairmarket.com (910) 358-4163 Outdoor market featuring local artists, collectors, farmers and more, sharing their wares.

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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 and watermelons. Some are pick-your-own!

Apples, peaches, plums, collard greens, tomatoes and Bogue Sound watermelons are just a few of the tasty finds they offer.

Winberry Farms Highway 24, Cedar Point (252) 393-2281 | Open April - October Features Bogue Sound Watermelons, cantaloupes, sweet corn, strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, boiled peanuts, homemade jams, pickles and more.

C a r o l i n a S e a fo o d B o i l Best with fresh, local seafood and served al fresco Baby red potatoes 2-3 live crabs per person (or crab legs if you’re feeling skittish) Corn on the cob, shucked and halved 1/4 lb. kielbasa per person, cut into 2 inch pieces 1/3 lb. fresh shrimp per person, peeled and deveined 1 lemon, quartered 1 stick salted butter 12 oz. beer 2 tablespoons salt 3/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning You’ll also need: Crab crackers, butter, cocktail sauce Fill a large stock pot half full with water and add beer, lemon, salt and Old Bay Seasoning and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, crabs and butter. Cook 8 minutes, then add kielbasa. Cook 5 minutes, then add corn. Cook 7 minutes, then add shrimp. Cook 4 minutes, or until shrimp turns pink. Drain cooking liquid and turn the pot out onto a table covered with newspaper or onto a large serving platter.

A t l a n t i c B e ac h p i e From Our State Magazine and Chef Bill Smith Photo by James Ransom 1 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers 1/3 to 1/2 cup softened, unsalted butter 3 tablespoons sugar 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14oz. 4 egg yolks 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice, or mixed Whipped cream and sea salt for garnish Preheat oven to 350°. Crush the crackers finely, but not to dust. Add the sugar, then knead in the butter until the crumbs hold together like dough. Press into an 8-inch pie pan. Chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes or until the crust colors a little. While the crust is cooling (it doesn’t need to be cold), beat the egg yolks into the milk, then beat in the citrus juice until thoroughly combined. Pour into the shell and bake for 16 minutes until the filling has set. The pie needs to be completely cold to be sliced. Serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Tarh eel H ush p u ppi es G r i l l e d O ys t e r s A coastal favorite from September - December A peck or two of fresh, raw oysters Cocktail sauce Lemons for juice 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 oyster habitats !

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 spoonfuls in deep fat to fry at 375°. Yield: 6 servings

p ig p ic ki n cake Light, sweet and refreshing - this is a classic!

Soft Sh ell C rabs Available fresh from May to September 6 soft shell crabs 2 c. yellow cornmeal 1 c. flour Old Bay seasoning Salt and pepper Tartar sauce, hot sauce and trimmings 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!

1 box yellow cake mix 4 eggs 1/2 cup oil 15 oz. can mandarin oranges, with juice 3.4 oz. instant vanilla pudding mix 8 oz. Cool Whip 16 oz. crushed pineapple, with juice Frosting first: Whisk pudding mix and crushed pineapple. Fold in Cool Whip and chill. Then cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Whisk cake mix, eggs, oil and oranges until batter forms. Pour into greased 9”x13” pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting, and chill entire cake for an hour before serving. Hide leftovers for yourself.

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eve n ts o n t h e coast

spri ng


fa l l

wi nter





Carolina Chocolate Festival Art from the Heart Show Hope Missions Empty Bowls Winter Taste of Core Sound Mardi Gras on Middle Lane in Beaufort

MCAS Cherry Point Air Show Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Show Crystal Coast Boat Show Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Fireworks Beaufort Music Festival Atlantic Beach Music Festival Crystal Kai SUP Cup Bike the Banks

Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival Crystal Coast Grand Prix Beaufort Brewin Beer Festival Atlantic Beach Saltwater Classic Fort Macon Reenactment Emerald Isle Day-4-Kids Flounder Surf Fishing Tournament Coastal Cuisine & Craft Beer Festival Beer, Bubbles and BBQ Festival

Emerald Isle Holiday Parade Emerald Isle Tree Lighting & Flotilla Swansboro Flotilla Beaufort Wine & Food Oyster Roast Crystal Coast Oyster Festival Antique-a-Thon Speckled Trout Surf Fishing Tournament Shop, Savor and Sip Fashion Show Small Business Saturday

MARC H Emerald Isle St. Patrick’s Day Festival Shamrock Run & Roll Swansboro Rotary Oyster Roast Emerald Isle Marathon Restaurant Week

AP R I L Newport Pig Pickin Beaufort Wine & Food Festival Bites & Blues Festival Vin de Mer Wine Festival Beaufort Historic Site Easter Egg Hunt Emerald Isle & Morehead City Egg Hunts Carteret County Bark for Art

JUNE Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament Beaufort Old Homes & Gardens Tour Kayak for the Warriors Bogue Banks Kiteboarding Festival Alive at 5 Outdoor concerts

J U LY Emerald Isle Bike Ride Independence Day Celebrations Buddy Peletier Memorial Surf Contest Ducks Unlimited Billfish Tournament Story Telling Festival Movie Night in Atlantic Beach Barta Boys & Girls Billfish Tournament Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium Shark Week

AU G U S T O.W.L.S. Sandcastle Contest Beaufort Pirate Invasion Crystal Coast County Fair Rachel Carson Reserve Field Trips

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O C TO B E R N.C. Seafood Festival Swansboro Mullet Festival Calcutta Wahoo Challenge Carolina Kite Festival Emerald Isle Triathlon Gordy McAdams Tournament War 1812 Reenactment N.C. Festival By The Sea Town of Emerald Isle Trick or Treat Trunk or Treat at the Aquarium

D EC E M B E R Morehead City Christmas Festival Crystal Coast Flotilla Festival of Trees Holiday Arts Fair Emerald Isle Santa and a Movie Historic Beaufort Holiday Art Walk Beaufort Claus Pub Crawl Core Sound Decoy Festival Beaufort Candlelight Tour New Year’s Eve Pirate Drop in Beaufort Morehead City New Year’s Crab Pot Drop

J A N UA RY First Day Hike Penguin Plunge New Years Crab Pot Drop Beaufort’s Clam Chowder Cook-Off




p h o to

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7 bedroom oceanfront home with private pool and hot tub

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200 Mangrove Drive Emerald Isle, North Carolina 28594 BookBluewater.com | (877) 423-3119