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The Crystal Coast is an 85-mile stretch of beaches located along North Carolina’s Outerbanks. The collection of beaches and towns offers a unique blend of history, family fun, water sports and explorable natural areas. Explore our beaches and activities sections to find areas that appeal to you. Once you choose which areas you’ll be visiting on your stay, browse restaurants, venues and more to customize your stay. Keep track of your favorite spots by logging into My Gems to collect the gems that will make the Crystal Coast sparkle for you.

Atlantic Beach

A classic beach town with a family twist, Atlantic Beach has been a favorite coastal destination since the 1930s. Pack up the family car and take a drive to the quaint Boardwalk area to shop, dine and play in the surf. Don’t miss Fort Macon State Park.

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This third oldest town in North Carolina has been ranked as “America’s Coolest Small Town” for a reason—it offers a peek into the past, mixed with modern North Carolina. Visit relics pulled from the wreckage of one of Blackbeard the pirate’s actual ships.

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Cape Lookout

The iconic black-and-white checkered lighthouse sitting on its shore lights Cape Lookout each evening. The undeveloped islands surrounding the lighthouse make up Cape Lookout National Seashore, primed for camping, canoeing and late-night stargazing.

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Emerald Isle

Tuck yourself away in the lush, natural environment of Emerald Isle. If you’re in need of relaxation, beautiful sunsets and to be enveloped by nature, this is your paradise. Choose a quaint beach cottage or elegant sandcastle to get away from it all.

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Harkers Island

Nestled Down East, Harkers Island is one of those special places with magic in the air that makes every day a memory. Wild horses roam free on its Shackleford Banks—also a astounding location for shelling, bird watching and fishing.

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Indian Beach

Looking for some action during your beach stay? Indian Beach is The Crystal Coast’s family fun destination. Bumper boats, mini golf, surfing and more make this beach your go-to for adventure.

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Morehead City

The sea drives the day in Morehead City Whether it be the wood bat Morehead City Marlins rounding the bases to score one for the home team or fishing boats docking to deliver their catches of the day to the fresh seafood restaurants located nearby.

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Pine Knoll Shores

With the Theodore Roosevelt Natural forest area and the North Carolina Aquarium nearby, Pine Knoll Shores offers exciting exploration of both land and sea. See stingrays, sharks and even a rare white sea turtle in the aquarium, then hop out to the beach.

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Salter Path

We know why Blackbeard himself often holed up in Salter Path. Soak in some rays and get a taste of what makes Salter Path so special at one of the many highly rated eateries in the area.

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