The Cure for Anything is Salt Water!
Bogue Banks is comprised of five townships – Emerald Isle at the western end of the island, followed by Indian Beach, Salter Path, Pine Knoll Shores and Atlantic Beach at the eastern end of the island. Located just east of Bogue Banks is the Cape Lookout National Seashore and Shackleford Bankwhere you can catch a glimpse of the wild island ponies, explore and collect shells and even climb the Cape Lookout Lighthouse!
You’ll find an endless variety of water activities to do while you’re here; surfing, body boarding and skim boarding, kayaking, parasailing and scuba diving – you name it, you can do it on the Crystal Coast!
Surfing the Crystal Coast is a popular pastime for locals and vacationers. Pick a day with light winds and find a secluded spot ont eh beach to test the waters. Using a longer surfboard and practicing standing up on the beach will make learning easier if it’s your first time riding the waves. If you’re a more experienced surfer, try the waves at The Point. The currents tend to be stronger and paddling out more challenging there. Need a board or surfing lessons? Call our office or visit a local surf shop.
Body boarding is also a great alternative to surfing for kids to try. Kids will want to look for a soft board for safety. Take the board out into the breakers and when a wave comes, paddle with it under your body, using it to ride the wave without standing up.
The Intracoastal Waterways and rivers that empty into it make for excellent kayaking. You can start anywhere on the island and explore the barrier island system. Swansboro is a great spot to start if you’re new, as there are several kayak companies that will not only rent you the gear, but also do guided kayak tours. Kayaking is great for beginners at water sports and generally doesn’t involve deep waters. Double kayaks are great for parents and kids or couples to ride together!
Body boarding and skim boarding are great for beginners. For either, just grab the board and head out over the waves to try your hand at surfing back in. Skim boarding takes a bit more practice and coordination to master. Catch the shoreline near low tide, so that you have a wider expanse of flat, sandy beach to work with. Toss the board onto a shallow part of the tide and take a running leap onto catch the board in motion and “skim” over the water. Skim boards are thinner than body boards, allowing you to glide over the shallow water as it recedes with each incoming wave.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) offers an enjoyable and peaceful way to explore the waters of the Crystal Coast. This sport has become a popular coastal activity as well as a great workout. One advantage to SUPing opposed to other water sports is standing at full height – you are inclined to see many sea creatures during your travels and can easily hop off to explore. This sport is also a great way to incorporate the kids and even your dog! Our marketing manager’s French Bulldog, Martini, has embraced the unavoidable lifestyle of a water dog and has become a wonderful tour guide atop her SUP.
For the more adventurous explorer, try parasailing! Flying high across the coastline, you will see breathtaking views of the coast like never before. You can fly single or double, and kids as young as 6 can go up! It’s a once in a lifetime experience to see our island from a “birds eye” perspective, and is something your family will remember for years to come. It’s also a remarkably safe adrenaline rush on your family’s summer vacation!
Our coastline is considered one of the country’s finest collections of shipwrecks to dive and explore sharks, stingrays, dolphins, sea turtles and an endless variety of fish and plants. We are blessed with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, allowing summer time water temperatures near 80 degrees and winter temperatures near 60 degrees.
Although there are hundreds of sunken vessels to explore, our most visited underwater spot is the German submarine “U-352”. It was sunk in April of 1942 as it patrolled the eastern seaboard during World War II. There are several dive companies on the eastern end of the coast, all which offer beginner’s classes and various chartered tours.