200 Things to Do on your Crystal Coast Vacation

Crystal Coast vacation ideas

200 Things to Do on your Crystal Coast Vacation (While Staying Safe)

Whether you’re a first-time vacationer or you’ve been vacationing with us for years, you won’t run out of things to do on the Crystal Coast. And to make sure you don’t miss a minute of fun, we’ve come up with 200 things to do on your Crystal Coast vacation. Go ahead, build your best itinerary and make the most of your time off! 

1 – Take an Eco-Tour with H20 Captain

2 – Search for the beach for shark teeth

3 – Fly a kite

4 – Watch for dolphins playing in the surf

5 – Build a sandcastle

6 – Explore historic Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach

7 – Look for the biggest seashell at low tide

8 – Take a tour of scenic Beaufort 

9 – Scuba the Graveyard of the Atlantic

10 – Soak up the sun on the white sandy beaches

11 – Start a body surfing or boogie boarding competition with your friends

12 – Order curbside pickup from our local restaurants

13 – Experience the Oxygen Bar at Infuse Wellness

14 – Strawberry picking at  Garner Farms

15 – Pack a lunch and have a picnic at Fort Macon State Park

16 – Have a cup of coffee with your pup at Muttigans in Emerald Isle

17 – Visit the local book store on Emerald Isle

18 – Search for murals in downtown Morehead City

19 – Try an online yoga or workout video on the beach

20 – Feed the turtles at Emerald Plantation

21 – Walk the trails in the Emerald Forest Park off of Coast Guard Road

22 – Play a round of golf at Star Hill

23 – Go bowling or play arcade games at MacDaddys

24 – Book a fishing charter with Capt Stacy

25 – Have an in-home scavenger hunt with the kids in your vacation home

26 – Bike the Emerald Isle Bike Trail

27 – Go to a Marlins’ baseball game 

28 – Watch the fishing charters unload the daily catch on the Morehead City waterfront

29 – Take lots of photos to enter into our annual Bluewater Photo Contest

30 – Load up on some of the state’s best wine at the Wine Market in Emerald Isle

31 – Take a moonlight cruise

32 – Wade offshore of Bogue Sound to clam or cast a net

33 – Walk to the end of the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier for a wonderful view

34 – Get a fishing license 

35 – Witness the baby sea turtles hatch and make a run for the ocean in the early summer evenings

36 – Drop a crab pot off your sound front pier and check it daily for fresh crabs

37 – Surf-fish from the beach and see what you can catch 

38 – Bask in the sun at Hammocks Beach State Park

39 – Host an evening beach party 

40 – Take a step back in history on a self-walking tour of the Beaufort Historic Site

41 – Play a game of beach Ultimate Frisbee

42 – Have family ice cream sundae night with all the toppings

43 – Hunt for sea glass along the shore; blue and purple are rare finds

44 – Stroll down the docks at the Morehead City waterfront

45 – Interact with the marine life in tidal pools along the coast

46 – Search for sand dollars in the surf

47 –  Watch the military planes fly down the coast

48 – Take a walk through the shops in historic downtown Swansboro

49 – Pick up a few comic books at Book Beach Mart

50 – Whale watch at Cape Lookout and the Bogue Inlet Pier

51 – Take a selfie at The Point in Emerald Isle

52 – Check out the local catch on the Bogue Inlet Pier

53 – Go bird watching in Emerald Woods

54 – Learn about and go clamming from local experts

55 – Spark some romance with a walk on the beach at sunset

56 – Launch your kayak at the Emerald Isle boat ramp and explore the sound

57 – Start a game of beach football

58 – See what gets washed up on shore after a big storm

59 – Take a sequence of photos of the sunrises and sunsets

60 – Watch the big ships dock at the State Port in Morehead City

61 – Chase Ghost Crabs along the shore after dark; they’re pretty fast and tricky

62 – Play volleyball at the Atlantic Beach Circle or the Emerald Isle Beach Access

63 – Rent a jet ski and explore

64 – Spend the day exploring the many islands along the Crystal Coast

65 – Try your hand at paddle boarding

66 – Pick up the Crystal Coast Series by author Chrissy Lessey

67 – Draw pictures in the sand

68 – Shop til you drop at Island Clothing

69 – Go for a ride on an authentic Banana Boat

70 –  Walk under the Bogue Inlet Pier and take a family picture

71 – Count the seconds between waves breaking on the beach; you will notice a pattern

72 – Look for shapes in the clouds as they blow in the breeze

73 – Watch the windsurfers battle the ocean’s current

74 – Charter a cruise for your whole party with Waterbug Tours

75 – Play a game of Bocce Ball with those around you

76 – Dig a hole and bury someone to their waist

77 – Grab the Geneva Chase Mystery Series and get them autographed by local author, Tom Kies

78 – Bury your toes in the warm sand

79 – Take a trip to Shark Tooth Island

80 – Take a walk along the Emerald Isle Bike Path

81 – Play a game of Horseshoes on the beach

82 – Catch Sandfiddler crabs in the surf 

83 – Throw a cast net into the sound to see what you catch

84 – Walk the path through Emerald Isle and visit the shops along the way

85 – Look for starfish in the surf

86 – Go to an event featured on our event calendar

87 – Visit Blu Sail Golitz Pottery in Downtown Morehead

88 – Create your very own treasure adventure – bury treasures for your friends and family to find

89 – Skip cooking and grab some BBQ at Moore’s Barbeque

90 – Order your “Bring the party home” paint kit from Wine and Design in Morehead City

91 – Rent bikes and enjoy the outdoors like a local

92 – Or, try an electric bike rental from Pedego Electric Bikes 

93 – Enjoy the outdoors by bike on Swansboro’s 25-mile bike trail along the water and through the Croatan National Forest

94 – Take your dog on a tour of all the local dog-friendly spots 

95 – Enjoy a nature tour on Taylor’s Creek ending at Carrot Island through The Rachel Carson National Estuarine Research office

96 – Put on your bathing suit and hit the Salty Pirate Water Park

97 – Paddleboard the Bogue Sound

98 – Sample locally brewed beer from Crystal Coast Brewing in Atlantic Beach

99 – Visit the Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and explore all the exhibits indoors and out

100 – Get breakfast or lunch catered to you by The Village Market

101 – Plan some playtime at the Splash Pad in the Atlantic Beach Park

102 – Watch the Musket firing at Fort Macon

103 – Walk through the gardens at Tryon Palace

104 – Visit the birthplace of Pepsi

105 – See how many bears you can count in Downtown New Bern

106 – Go to a race at the Carteret Speedway

107 – Visit the Civil War Memorial Park in Newport

108 – Ride the double-decker bus in Beaufort

109 – Have a front porch photo shoot done by a local photographer

110 – Explore the Boathouse Creek Walking Trails in Cedar Point

111 – Play a round of frisbee golf in the Emerald Forest Park

112 – Have a self-care day with an in-home facial mask, massage, or yoga session

113 – Donate snacks and food at the Emerald Isle Food Lion for Backpack for Kids

114 – Have dinner and drinks outdoors at RuckerJohns

115 – Take a tour of Bogue Sound Distillery

116 – Pick up brunch to go at 34 Degrees North in Beaufort, NC

117 – Or have brunch outdoors at Boro in Swansboro

118 – Beaufort Grocery offers daily specials with curbside pickup – including brunch

119 – Enjoy coffee outdoors at Reeds Coffee in Morehead City

120 – Grab some fresh produce at The Market at Cedar Point

121 – Try making a local favorite, Tomato Pie, with a recipe from local blogger, The Blond Cook

122 – Create a hand-drawn beach scene with items you find in the sand

123 – Plan a day in Swansboro with our guide to the best things to do in Swansboro

124 – Grab a Liege Waffle or Hibiscus Iced Tea at Milk Road

125 – Have an at-home movie night filled with popcorn, candy, snacks, and the latest premier

126 – Comb the beach for sea glass to make a one-of-a-kind bracelet

127 – Tour the local historic sites

128 – Taking the boat out for the day? Promise Land Market in Morehead City offers boat snacks to go

129 – Ride the ferry to Ocracoke and take the kids to see the Ocracoke Banker Ponies

130 – Go on a Hungry Town Bike Tour

131 – Have a quiet dinner for two on Intercoastal at Amos Mosquitos in Atlantic Beach

132 – ake the Wild Horse and Dolphin Sunset Cruise with Crystal Coast Lady Cruises

133  – Go hang gliding with Kitty Hawk Kites 

134 – Go skydiving

135 – Grab cupcakes or a coke float at Happy Cakes in MHC

136 – Visit the Maritime Museum in Beaufort

137 – Gather unique rocks, paint them and place them around town

138 – Try your hand at Axe Throwing or a Rage Room

139 – Go-kart race at Fun World Motorsports

140 – Order fresh local produce, shrimp, and eggs through our VSA program  

141 – Play Pokemon Go all around the coast

142 – Make fresh fruit popsicles to enjoy with family and friends

143 – Pick up one of our local versions of Monopoly and other board games for hours of fun

144 – Visit Beaufort’s Old Burial Grounds dating as far back as the 1700s

145 – Take your four-legged friend on a walk on the bike path or beach

146 – Complete a puzzle or two

147 – Make a Pandora or Spotify playlist for the beach

148 – Play your favorite music and have a dance party in your vacation rental

149 – Learn a TikTok dance

150 – Watch the wild horses run on Shackleford Banks and Carrot Island

151 – Go Geo Cashing around town. It’s like a giant treasure hunt. See www.geocaching.com/play

152 – Learn to surf or stand up paddleboard

153 – Visit Tryon Palace, explore on your own or take a guided tour

154 – Create new family traditions

155 – Have a free taste of Ice Cream or a free piece of Salt Water Taffy at Sweet Spot in Emerald Isle

156 – Pick up some local postcards and mail them to friends back home

157 – Catch a ferry from Morehead City, Beaufort, or Harkers Island and explore to your heart’s content

158  – Gather the family and make homemade pizzas

159 – Plan a Taco Tuesday night with fresh local ingredients

160 – Double kayak with the one you love most

161 – Make a beach bucket list for your next vacation

162 – Wander through the Carteret County Curb Market in Morehead City

163 – Visit Blackbeard’s House in Beaufort to hear some spooky tales

164 – Enjoy the Summer Concert Series at Fort Macon

165 – Camp out at Hammocks Beach State Park

166 –  Take part in the traditional cannon firing at Fort Macon State Park

167  – Explore Down East heritage at the Core Sound Museum in Harkers Island

168 – Pick up a plain dozen of donuts and have a donut decorating competition

169 – If the rain rolls in, do the rain clouds in a jar science project with your kids

170 – Spend the day exploring the many islands along the Crystal Coast

171 – DIY candles with a large shell from the beach

172 – Watch the experts slow cook a feast at the Newport Pig Pickin’

173 – Catch the fast boat races in the Crystal Coast Grand Prix in September

174 – Watch a free outdoor movie in Atlantic Beach every Wednesday night starting at dusk in the Circle

175 – Super glue small shells to the end of bobby pins to make a cute new hair clip

176 – Go live online from your vacation home

177 – Try your hand at the Morehead City Seafood Festival Flounder Fling during the festival

178 – Play a game of beach soccer

179 – Plan a sunrise walk on the beach

180 – Skate the bike path

181 – Grab some flashlights and tell ghost stories all night long

182 – Plan a trip to Sunset Slush for classic Italian Ice

183 – Hit up a local wine shop and have a wine and cheese pairing

184 – Paint and design your own Oyster Shell ring dish

185 – Grab dessert or a fancy shake at Dinis Martinis

186 – Try some authentic Atlantic Beach Pie

187 – Build a pillow fort with your kids in a common room of your vacation rental

188 – Use #BluewaterNC on social media to share your photos and videos

189 – Blog your Crystal Coast vacation and add to it each year

190 – Play a game of cards with your family or friends

191 – Take your own culinary tour and try these local seafood and southern cuisine favorites

192 – Plan a pop-up picnic 

193 – Have morning mimosas on the beach

194 – Make and enjoy a charcuterie board

195 – Spend the day exploring Village West on Emerald Isle 

196 – Explore Rocket Fizz on Emerald Isle and grab a cold specialty soda

197 – Take your boat out to a sandbar island in the middle of Bogue Sound for a beach day all to yourself

198 – Take a sketch pad and pencil and sketch your family playing on the beach

199 – Want to move here? Start virtually house hunting with one of our agents!

200 – Have a blast and make memories that will last a lifetime!


Which one of these is your favorite idea? What did we miss? What would you add to this list?