The North Carolina Coast

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The North Carolina Coast - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Fort Fisher State Historic Site

    Military Sight

    This is one of the South's largest and most important earthworks fortifications from the Civil War, so tough and strategically placed along...Read More

  • 2. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

    Historic District/Site

    Fort Raleigh is a restoration of the original 1584–90 earthworks that mark the beginning of English-colonial history in America. The site has...Read More

  • 3. Historic Corolla Village


    What was once an aging, isolated beach town is now a vibrant year-round community where the tiny chapel schoolhouse again educates children...Read More

  • 4. Jockey's Ridge State Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    The 427 acres of this park encompass the tallest sand dune system on the East Coast (about 80 to 100 feet). Walk along the 384-foot boardwalk...Read More

  • 5. Ocracoke Island Beaches


    The 16 miles of undeveloped shoreline here are often considered some of the best beaches in America. These beaches are among the least visited...Read More

  • 6. Birthplace of Pepsi-Cola


    In honor of the soda's 100th anniversary in 1998, the local bottling company opened the Birthplace in the same corner store where teacher-turned...Read More

  • 7. Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site


    About 10 miles north of Southport, you can explore the ruins and excavations of a colonial town and see the Civil War earthworks of Fort Anderson...Read More

  • 8. Cape Lookout Beach


    White sand beaches, blue-green waters, and a tall lighthouse mark this quiet beach at the southern tip of Cape Lookout National Seashore. A...Read More

  • 9. Carolina Beach


    With ice cream cones, flashing arcade lights, seashell souvenirs, and paddleboats on the small inland lake, Carolina Beach's old-fashioned boardwalk...Read More

  • 10. Coquina Beach


    In the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but just a few miles south of Nags Head, Coquina is considered by locals to be one of the loveliest...Read More

  • 11. Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum


    In a large building designed to emulate the spines of a ship, this fascinating museum tells the story of the hundreds of shipwrecks off the...Read More

  • 12. Lake Phelps

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    At 16,600 acres, 5 miles across, and about 4 feet deep, Lake Phelps is North Carolina's second-largest natural lake. It's also part of Pettigrew...Read More

  • 13. Nags Head Beaches


    Forty-three public Atlantic beach access points and five sound-side access points make Nags Head the perfect place to hit the shore, no matter...Read More

  • 14. National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    In a new LEED-certified facility run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, you'll find lifelike dioramas and fun interactive exhibits, including...Read More

  • 15. New Hanover County Arboretum

    Midtown | Garden

    Lose yourself along magnolia-lined natural trails that wind through rose beds and dozens of varieties of shade-loving camellias on this 7-acre...Read More

  • 16. North Carolina Maritime Museum


    An exhibit about the infamous pirate Blackbeard includes artifacts recovered from the discovery of his flagship, Queen Anne's Revenge, near...Read More

  • 17. Ocracoke Light Station

    Ocracoke Village | Nautical Site/Lighthouse

    Built in 1823, Ocracoke's 77-foot tower is the second-oldest operating lighthouse in the United States. (Sandy Hook, New Jersey, has the oldest...Read More

  • 18. Ocracoke Pony Pen

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    From a small observation platform, 6 miles southwest of the north Hatteras–Ocracoke ferry landing, you can look out at the descendants of the...Read More

  • 19. Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum

    Ocracoke Village | Museum/Gallery

    This small museum and gift shop is located in a restored American Foursquare house built more than 100 years ago, containing photographs and...Read More

  • 20. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    Heading south from Nags Head, Pea Island's miles of undeveloped coastline kick off one of the East Coast's most scenic drives. The refuge consists...Read More

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