How to Spend Your 93 Days of Summer on the Crystal Coast

Planning Our Your 93 Days of Summer on the Crystal Coast

Summer on the Crystal Coast is finally here, and it is time to celebrate – from the various water sports in Emerald Isle to conquering Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach, the things to do are limitless! The Crystal Coast has so much to offer for your summer beach vacation, and we want to ensure your days are filled, all 93 of them!

Spend the 4th of July admiring the fireworks as they burst over the open ocean waters, or sign up for one of the region’s many fishing tournaments to put your angling abilities to the test. Summer on the Crystal Coast is all about having fun with friends and family, and newcomers will quickly find that every day brings a reason to celebrate in this popular and widely acclaimed vacation destination.

Here are a few great ideas on how you can spend your 93 days of summer on the Crystal Coast


Day 1 – Play on the Water: Choose from stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, kiteboards, skimboards, and bodyboards to play in the waves or at the shoreline – just choose your favorite board.

Day 2 – Shop at Emerald Plantation: Spend a day winding through the Emerald Plantation shops.

Day 3 – Take a Ferry Ride: Catch a ferry from Morehead City, Beaufort, or Harkers Island and explore to your heart’s content

Day 4 – Soak up the Sun: Sit on a colorful chair beach and soak up the sun.

Day 5 – Go-Cart Racing: Challenge your friends and family with a friendly go-cart race.

Day 6 – Go Island Hopping: Island hopping is an excellent way to spend the day and be a little adventurous. There’s plenty to explore.

Day 7 – Follow Blackbeard’s steps in Beaufort: Take a tour of Blackbeard’s home.

Day 8Catch of the Day: Watch the day’s catch come in or just take pictures of the docked boats.

Day 9Shuck Some Oysters: Shuck a few oysters at a seaside restaurant.

Day 10 – Watch the Sunset: This is a perfect ending to every day on the beach.

Day 11 – Go Diving: The Crystal Coast has been named one of North America’s 10 top diving locations.

Day 12 – Bocce Ball: Challenge your family members to a round of beach bocce ball, with the loser buying everyone a smoothie!

Day 13 – National ‘I Forgot Day’: July 2nd is a day to make up for all the birthdays and events you forgot during the year. Except do it with a twist, forget all your worries, sit by the beach, and relax.

Day 14 – Play Golf: Play a round of golf at one of our many beautiful courses. You don’t have to be Bubba Watson to enjoy the game! You only need some nice weather and a few friends to have a great day on the green.

Day 15 – 4th Of July: Head out to watch the fireworks with a night sky light show when the sun goes down. With firework shows in Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Emerald Isle, and Swansboro – the sky will be lit up tonight!

Day 16 – Have an Island Picnic: If you brought your boat, jet ski, or kayak head out to the sound and have a picnic on one of the many beautiful islands.

Day 17 – Enjoy a Concert: Be sure to check out all the Alive at Five Concerts in downtown Morehead City.  

Day 18 – Go Charter Boat Fishing: Schedule a half-day or full-day fishing charter and hit the big blue. You will find some great fishing on our coast, and the best part is taking your catch home and dining on the freshest seafood in the area!

Day 19 – Beach Walking: Take a long walk on the beach and enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset while seeing what treasures you can find.

Day 20 – Enjoy Bowling: Go bowling at Mac Daddy’s in Cape Carteret. If your bowling style includes Black Lights, Fog, Laser Show, and Music Videos, you’re in for a treat.

Day 21 – Summer Mani Pedis: Treat yourself to a manicure and a pedicure at one of the many local salons. Bright and colorful is the way to go!

Day 22 – Pick some Blueberries: Stop by the local farmer’s market in Cedar Point, Morehead City, or Beaufort and pick up some fresh Blueberries for the whole family to enjoy.

Day 23 – Cruise with the Crytal Coast Lady: Want to have a pirate treasure hunt on an island roaming with wild horses? Hop on board the Crystal Coast Lady and enjoy one of their many cruises! Reservations are required. 

Day 24 – Grab Some Ice Cream: We have a few local ice cream shops on the island. Two of the most popular are Ben and Jerry’s and The Sweet Spot.

Day 25 – Visit the Famer’s Market: Don’t miss one of the coolest farmer’s markets around. The Market at Cedar Point has local artists and local farmers sharing their goods, plus an array of fresh goodies inside the storefront.

Day 26 – Go Shelling: Collect some seashells to take home and get crafty with.

Day 27 – Enter our Photo Contest: Enter your vacation photos in our annual photo contest.

Day 28 – Ride the Bus: Hop on the red Double Decker Bus and take the guided tour around downtown Beaufort and learn about all the history.

Day 29 – Girl’s Day Out: Leave the kids with the guys and have a girl’s day (or night) out!  Grab drinks with the girls, catch some live music, or head to a movie.

Day 30 – Fire up the Grill: Instead of cooking inside, grill out! Try grilling up some fish, burgers, lobster, or hotdogs. Enjoy!

Day 31 – Salty Pirate Water Park: Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon at the water park.

Day 32 – Annual Crab Cake Cook-Off: Not only do you get to taste amazing crab cakes you get to vote for your tasty favorite at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

Day 33 – Take a Culinary Bike Tour: The Beaufort culinary bike tour with Hungry Town Tours includes three stops for appetizers, entrees, and dessert. 

Day 34 – Try Skimboarding: Grab a skimboard and challenge yourself to glide across the water’s surface as the waves break!

Day 35 Take an Ecotour: Experience the natural beauty of the Crystal Coast with a full or half-day ecotour with Crystal Coast Ecotours.

Day 36 – Free Movies on AB Boardwalk: Once the sun sets, head to “The Circle” to catch a free flick with the family! Don’t forget your blanket or lawn chairs!

Day 37 – Try Yoga: How about a private yoga session for you or you and all your friends/family? Wellness Massage and Yoga will come to you with their mobile yoga.

Day 38 – Treat Your Mind and Body: If yoga’s not your thing, you can schedule a massage in their EI location or have them come to you. Either way, the ladies at Wellness Massage and Yoga won’t disappoint!

Day 39 – Enjoy Live Music on the Beach: Enjoy music on the beach with the EmeraldFest concert series each year.

Day 40 – Check out Brigg’s: Brigg’s General Store and Bar is a great place to pick up some local NC-made favorite snacks, have a drink, or bring a gift basket to a friend.

Day 41 – Go Clamming: Dig for clams and steam them up for dinner.

Day 42 – Try Parasailing: Get a bird’s eye view of the beach while parasailing down the Crystal Coast. Wind in your hair has a different meaning when sitting this high.

Day 43 – Boat Cruise: Enjoy an evening boat cruise from either Beaufort or Morehead City waterfronts. Watching the sunset from the water will give you memories that last a lifetime.

Day 44 – Make Local Crab Dip: Pick up some fresh crab at one of our fish markets and whip up some fresh local crab dip. If you don’t already have a recipe, you can find some great ones online! 

Day 45 – National Watermelon Day: Stop by one of our Farmer’s Markets on August 3rd and pick the biggest melon you can find to celebrate National Watermelon Day!

Day 46 – Consider Hang Gliding: Kitty Hawk Kites now offers hang gliding in Beaufort, which looks like fun. 

Day 47 – NC Aquarium: Head to Pine Knoll Shores to the aquarium and look at all the fish and aquatic marine life that are swimming throughout North Carolina.

Day 48 – Grab a Coffee: Enjoy a morning cup of coffee on the porch while listening to the waves crash. This is the best way to start the day!

Day 49 – Catch a Movie: Catch the latest flick at the Emerald Plantation or Atlantic Beach Cinema. A nice cool theater is always a great way to escape the summer heat!

Day 50 – Go Biking: Grab your bike and cruise the bike path on Emerald Isle; or, bike through the Croatan Forest

Day 51 – Flying A Kite: Send a Kite soaring. Didn’t bring one with you? No problem, stop into Kites Unlimited in Atlantic Beach and find a colorful.

Day 52 – Relax: Yup, that simple. Just relax and savor summer.

Day 53 – Annual 2-Day Beaufort Pirate Invasion: Beaufort invites you to partake in their annual 2-day Beaufort Pirate Invasion! There’ll be sword fighting, cannon blaring, pillaging, plundering, and grog swilling at the Annual Pirate Invasion. You won’t want to miss the celebration of welcoming Blackbeard back after nearly 300 years and reenact the harrowing events of 1747!

Day 54 – Hammocks Beach State Park: A crown jewel of the North Carolina coast and Hammocks Beach State Park is Bear Island—a 4-mile-long, undeveloped barrier island accessible by the park’s passenger ferry or private ferry or by paddling a canoe or kayak.

Day 55 – Ghost Crabs: At night, take the flashlight out to the beach and try to spot a ghost crab running along the water’s edge! They’re faster than you think!

Day 56 – Tie-Dyed T-Shirts: Tie-Dye and design your own T-Shirt to remember your vacation every time you wear it back home!

Day 57 – Kite Surfing: Take kite surfing lessons; we have some of the most ideal kite surfing beaches in the world!

Day 58 – See Wild Ponies: We have plenty of them to see whether you are out on Shackelford Island or Carrot Island in Beaufort. Don’t have a boat? Take a ferry! Don’t forget your camera.

Day 59 – Sandcastles and Sculptures: Celebrate National Build A Sandcastle And Sculpture Day. See what you can sculpt out and how high it can rise!

Day 60 – Wine Tasting: Add wine tasting to your list of activities during your summer vacation! Emerald Isle Wine Market has wine tastings and other events year-round.

Day 61 – Look for Dolphins: See if you can spot dolphins surfing in the waves or playing in the sound! 

Day 62 – Lemonade Day: Cool down with fresh lemonade to celebrate National Lemonade Day on August 20th.

Day 63 – Climb the Lighthouse: Climb the 207 steps to the top of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse! 

Day 64 – Have a Water War: Need some cooling off? Grab some water guns, water cannons, and water balloons and fill them up. Then, split into teams with your family and friends and let the water war begin!

Day 65 – See Fort Macon: Enjoy a day at the Fort! Walk around the pentagon-shaped fortress and explore all the history Fort Macon has to offer. They often have events during the day and evenings so be sure to plan a visit.

Day 66 – Beach Reads: Enjoy a good read cuddled up in a cozy beach rental or while you listen to waves on the beach. Whether you brought the newest bestseller or find an old paperback at your rental, enjoy a relaxing day with a good book! Check out our locally-owned, independent books store, Emerald Isle Books.

Day 67 – Hunt for Treasure: Head to New Bern and check out all the antique stores. You’re bound to find something you’ll treasure.

Day 68 – Celebrate National Dog Day: Give your dog some extra love on August 26 by hitting the beach or any of the dog-friendly spots on our coast!

Day 69 – Grab Drinks with Friends: Grab a drink at one of our hot spots. You’re sure to have a good time! 

Day 70 – Salt Water Taffy: Stop into the Sweet Spot in Emerald Isle and pick out your favorite flavor of Salt Water Taffy from the 46 different flavors they have to offer! Once you have your choices, challenge your friends to a challenge on who can eat the most pieces in 5 minutes!

Day 71 – Scuba Diving: Scuba Dive and explore the sunken U-boat and other shipwrecks.  See for yourself why the Crystal Coast is one of the top diving destinations in North America.

Day 72 – Photo Spot: Don’t forget to hop up on our BIG GREEN Bluewater Adirondack Chair and take a photo to remember the best vacation ever!

Day 73 – Stroll Swansboro: Take a stroll through downtown Swansboro and stop in for a bite to eat at one of the many waterfront restaurants.

Day 74 – Events Galore: Pick an event from our event calendar that suits your fancy, and get out and have some fun. 

Day 76 – Home Tour: This annual tour features some of Beaufort’s beautiful private homes, glorious gardens, multiple local churches and artists’ studios throughout the town, and more!

Day 77 – Kayak for Warriors: Join a Kayak for Warriors event and help support our wounded warriors. All proceeds go to Hope for Warriors.

Day 78 – Look for Rainbows: Head out to the beach after it rains to see if you can spot a rainbow. These colorful arcs over the ocean make for some great photos!

Day 79 – Cast Netting: Head out to the beach and throw a cast net out into the waves. See what kind of marine life lives in the shallow waters of the Crystal Coast. 

Day 80 – Ladder Ball: Get together with friends on the beach and have some fun with a game of Ladder Ball; for a challenge, invite others on the beach to join and start a tournament.

Day 81 – Beach Football: Get everyone together for a friendly game of beach football! The losing team gets to cook dinner for everyone!

Day 82 – Go Rafting: If surfing is not your thing, grab a raft to help ride the waves. See how many you can ride before you are knocked overboard.

Day 83 – Visit Fun World: Race friends and family around the track at Fun World Motorsports in EI.  It’s always a good time driving mini cars to win a race!

Day 84 – Wildlife Spotting: Take a stroll and see what kind of wildlife calls the Crystal Coast home.  Keep count of how many different animals you spot; deer and turtles are pretty easy to come across.

Day 85 – Oyster Roast: Go to a local fish market and pick up some oysters to steam. Have yourself a good ole fashion oyster roast.

Day 86 – Visit Tryon Palace: Spend an afternoon touring our beautiful, historic Tryon Palace in New Bern. This 18th-century home will take your breath away with its gorgeous collection of antiques, art, and extensive gardens.

Day 87 – Learn about Carteret County’s history: by visiting The History Museum in Morehead City.

Day 88 – Strawberry Picking: Check out the local farms to find a time to go strawberry picking. Fresh berries are a treat during the Summer! 

Day 89 – Boat Watching: Marvel at all the boats and ships passing off our coast. You might even see a military vessel.

Day 90 – Drive-Ins: Pick up a shrimp or oyster burger from one of our famous drive-ins! Big Oak Drive-In in Salter Path and El’s in Morehead City are known for having some of the best eats in the county. 

Day 91 – National Cheeseburger Day: Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day on September 18th by firing up the grill or grabbing a burger at one of our famous drive-ins. They make amazing burgers, too!

Day 92 – Talk Like A Pirate: ARRRRRR Mateys! International Talk Like a Pirate Day falls on September 19th. Have a full day of merriment with your fellow swashbucklers.

Day 93 – Last Day Of Summer: It’s September 21st, and it’s the final day of summer; it’s time to head out to the beach one last time before fall hits, the weather starts to cool, and the leaves begin to change and fall from the trees. Only 272 more days till it’s summer again!


Whatever you choose with your vacation time, you are bound to make your summer on the Crystal Coast one to remember.