An Itinerary for Thrill-Seekers on the Crystal Coast
Beach vacations for most of us can be summed up in one word: Relaxation. But a few thrill-seekers on the Crystal Coast look for an itinerary that’s a bit more adventurous. If that sounds like you, or someone you know, we’ve got some great suggestions for a vacation that’s a pure adrenaline rush.
1 – Hike or Bike the Crystal Coast
For thrill-seekers on the Crystal Coast looking for more than our sandy shores, there’s plenty to do. Maritime forests run wild through our coast, offering hiking and biking trails for you to discover. Fort Macon Nation Park has a wonderful trail along the beach and through the trees offering a great place to get your muscles burning while you enjoy the outdoors.
Hikers in Western Carteret County might want to try the 5.5-mile segment of the beautiful Weetock Trail near Haywood Landing Boating Access Area off Highway 58 North of Cedar Point. This is a great trail for beginners or seasoned hikers.
2 – Dive the Crystal Coast
If you prefer an underwater adventure, take an excursion with a local dive company and scuba dive one of the hundreds of wrecks along our Crystal Coast. Explore the secrets the ocean floor has been holding onto for all these years. Marine life runs wild below sea level, so plan to discover marine life up-close that you never thought you would experience in your lifetime.
There is plenty to see, too. The NC Coast is known as The Graveyard of the Atlantic. Its historic shipwrecks make it a top destination for scuba divers, from beginners to advanced.
3 – Play on the Water
If exploring the depths of the ocean isn’t up your alley, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the ocean. The breaks of the waves at the surface can be your playground! Choose from stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, kiteboards, skimboards, and bodyboards to play in the waves or at the shoreline – just choose your favorite board.
If you didn’t travel with your own board, no need to fret. There are plenty of surf shops and rental companies where you can rent one during your vacation. If you prefer not to venture out on your own – there are tours with guides that will show you our coast and give you a real local’s view of the waterways.
4 – Skydive the Crystal Coast
Looking for the ultimate thrill? How about breathtaking views of the Crystal Coast from above? Crystal Coast Skydiving will take you up to an altitude of 9,000 feet, and while you’re ascending you may have the opportunity to see large schools of fish, dolphins, sharks, and the wild horses on Shackleford Banks.
If 30 seconds of freefall sounds exhilarating then add this to your vacation itinerary while you’re staying with us on the southern Outer Banks.
Here are a few more ideas for Crystal Coast thrill-seekers:
- Bike riding through the Croatan Forest
- Take a Kayak, Paddleboard, Canoe, or Fishing tour of Hammocks Beach
- Show off your moves by booking a kiteboarding lesson
- Start your day by renting jet skis to cruise the coastal waterways
- Book a deep-sea fishing cruise with Capt. Stacy
- Try a cruise to Cape Lookout and climb the 207 steps to the top of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse
- Catch a ferry from Morehead City, Beaufort, or Harkers Island and explore to your heart’s content
Interested in a few more vacation activities while you’re on the southern Outer Banks? Check out the following blog posts:
- Southern Outer Banks North Carolina Things to Do
- 10 Emerald Isle Activities for a Fall Getaway
- Top To-Dos for Your Crystal Coast Bucket List
Are you more of a thrill-seeker or someone who’d rather relax on the beach? Which of the activities we mentioned would you try first? Let us know in the comment below!
Spotlight: October Events on the Crystal Coast
Whether you’re vacationing with us or you’re a local, There’s always something to look forward to and always fun to be had. Don’t miss any of these October events on the Crystal Coast.
MILL CREEK’S HAUNTED WOOD
Every Friday and Saturday in October – Dusk until 10:30 PM
2365 Miller Creek Road, Newport, NC 28570
Take a walk through Mill Creek’s Haunted Woods that features a blood cemetery, Noose Creek Bridge, Johnny’s Maze, The Butcher Shop Open Air Meat Market, Mill Creek Chemical Corp, smoke-filled tunnels, lots of monsters, ghouls, and candy for the kids.
5th ANNUAL ATLANTIC BEACH KING MACKEREL TOURNAMENT
Recurring daily from October 2, 2021 – October 23, 2021
Out of all the October events on the Crystal Coast, this is an annual favorite! The Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Fishing Tournament is a non-profit fundraiser supported entirely by volunteers with the mission of purchasing lifesaving equipment for the AB Fire department. All money donated is tax-deductible due to the 501(c)(3) status of the Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Fishing Tournament, Inc.
SIP AND SEA BEAUFORT WINE AND FOOD 2021
October 7, 2021 – October 10, 2021
firstname.lastname@example.org – (252) 515-0708
A wine and food weekend experience that pays homage to our rich maritime roots by pairing fine wine and spirits with the culinary talents of Carteret County.
10/7 | 5:30 – 9:30 pm: Featuring six talented chefs, craft cocktails, fine wine pairings, and an unforgettable setting. Join us for a five-course dinner and cocktail hour on Beaufort’s scenic waterfront.
10/8 | 3 – 6 pm: The fashion event of the season featuring the latest trends, signature cocktails, delicious appetizers, and an exciting shopping experience!
10/9 | 2 – 5 pm: Shucking Good Time – Experience a one-of-a-kind seafood event, featuring local oysters, shrimp, and clam farmers paired with the best Chefs in town! Spirit tastings, local artisans, and live music will set the scene while overlooking the views of a down east waterfront oasis. The event will take place at Beau Coast Development
10/10 | 11 am – 2 pm: Blues, Bubble and Brunch – Featuring the talented Michael Lee behind acclaimed M Sushi, M Kokko, and M Tempura. Chef Lee will bring his big city taste to the town of Beaufort. Don’t miss this event that will bring local seafood to a new level. The event will take place at Beaufort Hotel.
2ND ANNUAL VFW POST 9960 OPEN CAR SHOW
October 9, 2021 – 9 AM – 3 PM
Mac Daddy’s Entertainment Center – 130 Golfin Dolphin Drive, Cape Carteret, NC 28584 – Call: 252.393.6565
FREE – Registration will begin at 9 AM. Contact Dolly Witt at 919.922.9409 for details.
You could be one of these lucky winners:
- Best in Show 2021-1988
- Best in Show 1987 – Older
- Best in Bike
- Sponsor’s Choice
- Best Ford, General Motors, Mopar, Import, Engine, Interior, or Paint
- Children’s Hot Wheels Race
- 50/50 Raffle
Fun for the whole family!
INTRODUCTION TO WOODEN BOAT BUILDING COURSE
October 9, 2021 – October 10, 2021 – 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
North Carolina Maritime Museum – 315 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516 – Call: 252.504.7758
Intro to Wooden Boat Building – Students explore the art of boatbuilding in this two-day hands-on course, beginning with lofting, and moving on to the setup, steam bending, and different methods of creating the backbone of small boats. They also learn planking methods, both carvel and lapstrake, and the use of appropriate fasteners. After two days, students will have the knowledge, skill, and confidence to choose a design and style of boat to build on their own. (12 hours).
OLYMPUS DOUBLE INSHORE DIVE
October 10, 2021 – 8:00 AM – 3PM
Olympus Dive Center – 713 Shepard Street, Morehead City, NC 28557 – Call: 252.726.9432
Take a 2-tank trip with Olympus Dive Center. This is an Inshore trip with a short boat ride and a max depth of 65 feet. There are several excellent wrecks to explore. This is a great way to get your first NC ocean dive under your belt. Meet at the dock at 8 am. Tanks are not included.
Minimum Requirements for In-shore dive trip:
- A minimum of 10 logged dives.
- At least 1 logged boat ocean dive.
- At least 2 dives in the last 12 months.
- The minimum age for an In-Shore dive charter is 12 years of age.
- Minimum safety equipment-recommendation is a surface marker buoy suitable for diving in the ocean. Neon yellow is best for our area.
- In addition to the basic scuba equipment, our Off-Shore charters require that each diver dive with a computer. Please be aware of how the computer functions as well as how to set the computer for the appropriate mix. In addition, having the computer manual with you on the dive boat is always advised.
- For divers who are close to but do not meet all of the requirements to dive on the In-Shore dive, charter arrangements for a guide can be made through the shop. Please contact us for more information at email@example.com.
ALIVE AT 5 OUTDOOR CONCERT- THE EMBERS
October 14, 2021 – 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Jaycee Park- 807 Shepard Street, Morehead City, NC 28557 – Call: 252.808.0440
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and join them for music and dancing. Beer, wine, and sodas are available for purchase at the event. Jaycee Docks are available for boats to dock for free throughout the concert on most Alive at Five days. RSVP Here
BEAUFORT FILM FESTIVAL
October 21, 2021 – October 31, 2021 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
The Beaufort Picture Show is pleased to present the first annual Beaufort Film Festival! We’re looking to treat and inspire an otherwise under-served (festival-wise) and appreciative audience of movie-lovers all along the so-called Crystal Coast — it’s beautiful here at the beach, and we’ve got our boats and our books and our beers all lined up, but what we’re looking for now is “boffo box-office, bay-bee.”
We sought submissions of all stripes: student films, experimental films, shorts, feature-length, you name it. And now we’re selecting the “coolest” flicks to screen at one of our (honestly) cool movie venues — we’ve got a retro-hip Drive-In (made out of shipping containers!) at Gallant’s Channel, plus we’ve got a more intimate indoor venue (right next door to a micro-brewery!) – Mill Whistle Brewing, and there’s all manner of “great lawns” about town where we can celebrate both the art of film and the practice of maintaining social distance (if need be).
CRYSTAL COAST HIGHLAND GAMES
October 23, 2021 – 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Gallant’s Channel Event Space- 293 W. Beaufort Road Extension, Beaufort, NC 28516 – Call: 603.496.4546
Price: $12 in advance and $20 at the gate.
Don’t miss the Crystal Coast Highland Games! This will be a day of family fun for all ages, there will be demonstration Scottish dancing, Heavy Athletics, Scottish vendors, kids area, clan tents and of course the sound of bagpipes. Bring the family for a look at Scottish heritage. There is no refund rain or shine. Questions? Email: NCHighlandgames@gmail.com
Calendar of Events
Looking for more fun along the Crystal Coast? Check out our 2021 Crystal Coast Calendar of Events page!