The 7 Best Beaches in North Carolina

Duck is a charming seaside town on the Outer Banks, built in 1984 and sandwiched between the Currituck Sound and the Atlantic. Visitors of all ages may enjoy its aquatic activities. Golf, water parks, and escape rooms are crowd-pleasers.

Duck Beach

Look no farther, horse lovers. On the northern Outer Banks, south of the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge, Corolla has broad beaches where wild horses have roamed for 400 years.

Corolla Beach

Carolina Beach has it all: huge areas of white sand abutting soft seagrassed dunes, a water line moderate enough for body-surfers, and best of all a boardwalk equipped with

Carolina Beach

Wrightsville Beach's boatability is its strongest feature: off I-40 from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle, a stone's throw from gorgeous Wilmington (with an airport), and spanning the Intracoastal Waterway.

Wrightsville Beach

For a more laid-back experience, avoid college spring break and stick to the western half of Emerald Isle's short strip, where serious boating (on the sound side) and serious beach-going coexist.

Emerald Isle

Watching F-15s drill up and down the shore of 26-mile Topsail Island south of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune will make you feel it. The design of Topsail Beach, Surf City, Ocean City Beach

Topsail Island

Bald Head Island, a 20-minute boat journey from Southport, is the place to disconnect and escape. The beach is home to marine turtles and natural grasses, and most islanders use golf carts.

Bald Head Island