With events and activities for every season, visitors can enjoy different aspects of the Crystal Coast throughout the year. But why wait for summer? Here are our top reasons to come see us this spring:
1. Find A Beach & A Bargain
With more than 85 miles of coastline, there are Crystal Coast beaches for one and all. Enjoy a prime spot on the sand, plenty of parking and incredible deals on some of our area’s top properties. Always wondered what it would be like to stay in that colorful beach house? How about a penthouse view? Now’s your chance! Check out all our spring specials.
2. Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Emerald Isle celebrates its name with their annual St. Patrick’s Festival in March. Grab a pint, enjoy the live music and hop on one of the many carnival rides. You may even see some leprechauns!
3. Foodie Finds
The Crystal Coast’s culinary scene is booming and spring is full of special events to sample delicious cuisine, award-winning wine and craft beer. Grab your tickets early for Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend in April, “bite through the night” at the fourth annual Bites & Blues Event in Morehead City and get a taste of Down East seafood at the Core Sound Shrimp Off. Prefer to dine on your own time? Try some of our area’s top restaurants without the summertime wait.
4. Paddle Time!
Spring brings warmer weather, warmer waters and lots to do along our coastal waterways. Try your hand at standup paddleboarding in Taylor’s Creek or White Oak River while boat traffic is minimal. Glide by wild horses in a kayak through Rachel Carson Reserve’s estuary trails or the sheltered coast of Shackleford Banks with fewer beachgoers on the sand. This is the perfect time to enjoy the nature and wildlife of the Coast and challenge yourself to try something new! Always wanted to kiteboard, but weren’t sure where to start? Bogue Sound and Core Sound are both playgrounds and perfect for beginners to the sport.
5. Family Fun
Want to vacation with your little ones before school lets out? Family attractions like the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort offer programs and activities for kids of all ages, with special events just for tots. Take your stroller along a nature trail or one of our waterfronts and you may find yourself playing peek-a-boo with a dolphin!
6. Run, Run, Run!
Mild weather and less traffic make spring the perfect time for road races at the Crystal Coast. Take in the amazing scenery while you break a sweat in one of our many athletic events like the second annual Core Sound Run, the third annual Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K and the 27th annual Lookout Rotary Spring Road Race in Morehead City. Whether you’re looking for a challenge or just a reason to get moving outside, there’s a race for you. Prefer to race on wheels? We also have cycling events, like our second annual Bike the Banks. Find all our events here.
7. Gone Fishin’
It’s always a good time to fish at the Crystal Coast and spring brings even more opportunities to the table. Try your luck with cobia in the Chasin’ Tails Cobia Challenge or the second annual CCA Cobia Tournament, help raise money at the Reelin’ for Research Tournament April 29 & 30, chase some tails with the Sheepshead Jackpot Challenge, spearfish a winner at the If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em tourney or get your redfish on with Point Click Fish. Of course, we round out our spring tournaments with the renowned Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament June 10-18. Whether you’re fishing or enjoying the excitement on land, this is an event you won’t want to miss.
8. Dive Into History
Home to North Carolina’s third-oldest town and one of its top state parks, the Crystal Coast is a paradise for history buffs. Established for use during the Civil War, Fort Macon State Park has gone through many evolutions over the past century or two, now offering public beach access, nature trails and an educational, restoration exhibit experience for visitors to explore first-hand. Plan your visit around some of the park’s exciting re-enactment events and you could learn the history from the soldiers, themselves! The saga continues in Beaufort with year-round events at Beaufort Historic Site and North Carolina Maritime Museum, the latter of which is home to artifacts from Blackbeard’s infamous Queen Anne’s Revenge.
9. Arts Abound
Spring brings several art and music events to the Crystal Coast, with the International Film Series at Carteret Community College, top-notch performances and concerts at Carteret Community Theatre and several music festivals throughout our communities. Join us in May for tons of fun at the 28th annual Beaufort Music Festival in downtown Beaufort and the third annual Atlantic Beach Music Festival at the Circle in Atlantic Beach. Both events are FREE to attend and bring great local and regional acts to the area for you to enjoy.
10. All About Boats
The Crystal Coast’s centuries-old maritime heritage continues today with activities and events for all to enjoy. Things start small, so to speak, with the Carolina Maritime Model Society Meetings in March and April and grow even bigger in May with the 42nd annual Wooden Boat Show in Beaufort. Boatbuilders, maritime enthusiasts and families come together for this longtime fan favorite weekend. Then, the fun continues in in Morehead City with the 9th annual Crystal Coast Boat Show, featuring in-water and on-shore boats, vendors and more. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new boat or just appreciate the craft of a wooden skiff, spring is a great time to take it all in.