Hear about travel to the Crystal Coast of North Carolina as the Amateur Traveler talks to Kit Parks from the Active Travel Adventures Podcast about the area.
Kit says, “We are talking about south of the Outer Banks and north of Wilmington North Carolina. It’s this little pocket of land that’s a beautiful little gem that’s just now getting discovered. Not only is it a beautiful beach, but we also have a lot of little charming fishing villages and hamlets that are nice to explore and have a very deep history. This area was very important back from the Revolutionary War times, all the way through WWII. History buffs will go nuts in this area.”
This area used to be harder to get to but in the last decade, there are expanded roads and bypasses around all the little towns between the capital and this part of the coast.
That being said, Kit recommends stopping in the city of New Bern on the way to the Crystal Coast. New Bern was the colonial capital of North Carolina. There you can see the reconstructed governor’s palace as well as other historic buildings and history museums. The Battle of New Bern was fought in the area during the Civil War.
On the coast, she recommends stopping in Beaufort, which the pirate Blackbeard called home. The Beaufort Historic Site includes a number of historic buildings that have been clustered together including the old jail. Beaufort was once named by Travel + Leisure as “America’s Favorite Town”. It has a downtown marina and a number of boutique shops.
Morehead City is more commercial than Beaufort. This is where you will find deep-sea fishing boats if you are a fisherman. If you really like fishing you can come for the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament when thousands of dollars of prize money are on the line. Or you can do wreck diving at some of the many wrecks in the area, including a German U-boat.
From Morehead City Kit recommends we head out to the barrier island that is where you will find the main beaches of the Crystal Coast as well as the old brick Fort Macon which was built to protect the harbor entrance. You can also venture further out to Shackleford Banks or to Cape Lookout with its lighthouse with a black and white diamond pattern and its wild horses.
Come explore this back corner of North Carolina for beautiful beaches, plentiful seafood, or colorful pirates.
This episode is sponsored by the World Nomads Podcast
Governor’s Palace, New Bern
John Wright Stanly House
Battle of New Bern
New Bern’s Firemen’s Museum
New Bern Academy Museum
Beaufort, North Carolina
Beaufort Visitor Center
Old Burying Ground
North Carolina Maritime Museum
Carrot Island Ferry
Cape Lookout National Seashore
Ruddy Duck Tavern
Olympus Dive Center
Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament
North Carolina Seafood Festival
Fort Macon State Park
North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
Emerald Isle Beach
Beaufort Music Festival
Swansboro, North Carolina
Yana’s Ye Olde Drugstore Restaurant
Mullet Festival of Swansboro
Benjamin Ellis House Bed & Breakfast
The Bask in Morehead
The Inn On Turner in Beaufort
The Inlet Inn in Beaufort
Islander Hotel & Resort in Emerald Isle
Morgan’s Tavern and Grill, New Bern
The Grill at Prohibition
Banks Grill in Morehead
Bistro By The Sea in Morehead
Circa 81 Tapas and Cocktaileria in Morehead
Parrott’s on 11th in Morehead
Beaufort Grocery Company
Aqua Restaurant in Beaufort
Front Street Grill at Stillwater in Beaufort
Crystal Coast Travel Planner (PDF)
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