The Bluewater Vacation Rental Blog has everything you need to know for your Crystal Coast vacation, plus so much more that you’ll want to know, too! You get it all straight from the locals at Bluewater Vacation Rentals who live and play here along the coast.

We’re covering Emerald Isle to Beaufort and everything in between to ensure you make the most out of the time you spend with us right here in coastal North Carolina. Can’t find what you’re looking for? No worries, just reach out to our Guest Relations team by phone or send us a message on social media. We’re always happy to help!

January's events on the crystal coast

January Calendar of Events

January's events on the crystal coastJanuary 2022 Events

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 January 2022 events on the Crystal Coast.

Karaoke Sunday Nights at Cru

Every Sunday in January – Time: 9 PM – Midnight

Cru Wine Bar & Wine Store | 120 Turner Street, Beaufort

Bring your vocal talents to Cru Wine Bar every Sunday night this month and sing your heart out!

All  You Can Play Arcade

Every Thursday in January – Time: 5:00 PM – 9 PM

Mac Daddy’s Entertainment Center | 130 Golfin Dolphin Drive, Cape Carteret

Enjoy game time every Thursday night from 5 PM -9 PM. $20 a person.

30 Second Rocks Music Trivia at Bogue Sound Distillery

January 5, 2022 -Reoccurring every Wednesday – Time: 6:30 PM – 11 PM

Bogue Sound Distillery | 108 Bogue Commercial Drive | Newport

Stop by for a chance to win one of three gift certificates in addition to the cash jackpot! 

Retriever Round-Up

January 8, 2022 – Time: Noon – 2 PM

Muttigans | 8101 Emerald Dr | Emerald Isle

Calling all Retrievers! Join us for our Retriever Round-Up! Whether you have a Golden, Labrador, Flat-Coated, Curly Coated, Chesapeake Bay, or even Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever this is your day! Meet other Retrievers and the owners who love them. Enter to win a gift basket!

Karaoke Sunday Nights at Cru

January 9, 2022- Occurring every Sunday night until the end of January – Time: 9 PM – Midnight 

Cru Wine Bar & The Wine Store | 120 Turner Street | Beaufort

Join us on Sundays and sing your heart out!

Front Street at The Growler

January 14, 2022 – Time: 7:30 PM – 11 PM

The Growler Bar | 200 Mallard Drive | Emerald Isle

Join Front Street (formerly Signature Blend) for their first time performing as their new band!

70s Dance Party with 8-Track Minds at Jack’s Waterfront Bar

January 15, 2022 – Time: 8 PM – 11 PM

Jack’s Waterfront Bar | 513 Evans Street | Morehead City

8-Track Minds makes its debut at Jack’s Waterfront Bar in Morehead City to make you shake your booty, your body, your groove thing, and whatever else needs shaking! C’mon get happy with all your singalong and dancing favorites from the era of polyester suits, muscle cars, deep pile carpets, and rich Corinthian leather! Dig the classic gems from KC & the Sunshine Band, Abba, Bee Gees, Jackson 5, Commodores, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Carpenters, Olivia Newton-John, and many more. This is a high-energy, visually exciting show that will make you move.

Lookout at Taps & Tackle

January 15, 2022 – Time: 9:30 PM – 11 PM

Taps and Tackle| 704 Evans Street | Morehead City

Join Lookout for their first time performing at Taps & Tackle.

Chihuahua Meet-Up

January 16, 2022 – Time: Noon – 2 PM

Muttigans| 8101 Emerald Drive | Emerald Isle

Join us to celebrate these devoted, lively, alert and courageous, creatures! Meet other chihuahuas and the owners who love them.

Come with or without your dog and enter to win a gift basket.

Will & Tony Show at Taps & Tackle

January 20, 2022 – Time: 8:30 PM – 11 PM

Taps & Tackle | 704 Evans Street | Morehead City

This is our first time at Taps & Tackle so come help us celebrate!

Songs By The Sound

January 22, 2022 – Time: 12:30 PM – 6 PM

Price: $30 Advance/ $35 Day Of

Crystal Coast Civic Center | 3505 Arendell Street | Morehead City

There is certainly no shortage of Americana or Bluegrass music fans in the Carteret County area. Presenting two North Carolina bands in the beautiful facility at Crystal Coast Civic Center will be a unique offering for visitors and tourists.

An Americana & Bluegrass Show on The Bogue Sound Indoor Winter Concert

  • 12:30 pm Doors Open
  • 1:30 pm Diamond Creek
  • 3 pm Chatham Rabbits
  • 4-6 pm Open Bluegrass Jam for Ticket holders

You can find “Songs By The Sound” on Facebook, email, or call 919-612-0006 for more information.

American Music Festival Series

January 29, 2022 – Time: 7:30 PM – 9 PM

First Presbyterian | 1604 Arendell Street, Morehead City

The Verona Quart is one of the most distinguished ensembles on the chamber music scene today.

Program: Beethoven’s Op. 131 and Schubert’s Quartettsatz

Tickets to individual concerts are $32 each. Tickets for students and active-duty military are $16 each and are available at the door.

Tickets may be reserved by calling (252) 342-5034, and are available at the door on the evening of the concert.

10th Annual Winter Festival

January 29, 2022 – Time: 10 AM – 5 PM

Mac Daddy’s Entertainment Center | 130 Golfin Dolphin Drive | Cape Carteret

Join Mac Daddy’s for their 10th Annual Winter Festival! There will be vendors with home decor, clothes, arts and crafts, jewelry and more. Buy one game of bowling per person and get 2nd game free!

German Shepherd Meet-Up

January 29, 2022 – Time: 12 PM – 2 PM

Muttigans | 8101 Emerald Drive | Emerald Isle

Calling all German Shepherd Lovers!! Join us for our German Shepherd Meet Up! This courageous and loyal dog is one of the top most popular breeds and a treasured family pet. Stop in and get a chance to meet other German Shepherds and the owners who love them. Come with or without your dog and enter to win a gift basket.

Looking for more fun along the Crystal Coast? Check out our 2021 Crystal Coast Calendar of Events page!

Photo of Fort Macon: a North Carolina Historical sites

A History Lover’s Guide to North Carolina Historical Sites

Photo of Fort Macon: a North Carolina Historical sites

A History Lover’s Guide to North Carolina Historical Sites

The Crystal Coast may be known for beach getaways and epic fishing adventures, but the coast also boasts a fascinating history. From a restored Civil War fort to the infamous legends of Blackbeard, the pirate, there is a wealth of unique history waiting to be discovered. Visit these North Carolina historical sites during your Crystal Coast vacation and travel back in time.

Fort Macon State Park

Are you fascinated by Civil War History? Then a visit to Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach is a must. Fort Macon’s history goes back to the 1700s when hostile nations and pirates threatened the inlet. Fast forward one hundred years to the construction of Fort Macon during the Civil War. Afterward, control of the fort was tumultuous, and both Confederate and Union soldiers were stationed here throughout the war. Today, you can learn all about this fascinating, and varied history of Fort Macon with these activities: 

  • Embark on a self-guided tour with a printed guide from the visitor center. Or join the daily guided tours at 11 am.
  • Visit the museum and learn about the artifacts that display Fort Macon’s history. 
  • Check the scheduled programs and events and plan your visit around reenactments or demonstrations.

North Carolina Historical Sites in Beaufort NC

Historic Beaufort

Beaufort is the third oldest town in the state and is home to over a dozen North Carolina historical sites. Beaufort started as a fishing village and port for pirates and shipping vessels. These merchants built houses and public buildings that continue to remind us of the town’s layered past. Here are a few ways to explore and learn all about historic Beaufort.

  • Join a guided tour through Beaufort’s landmark buildings, including Victorian homes and the historic jail and courthouse. 
  • Stop at the Old Burial Grounds, a 300-year-old cemetery established in the early 1700s. 
  • Visit the Hammock House, which is the oldest home in Beaufort. The house is also rumored to have been a headquarters for Blackbeard, back in the day.
  • With over 300 years of history, Beaufort is home to many legends and ghost stories. Join the Beaufort Ghost Walk and listen to stories of ghost ships, haunted houses, and Civil War spirits. 

Historic Museums

History buffs can see artifacts and learn all about North Carolina history at the museums on the Crystal Coast. The History Museum of Carteret County features an extensive collection of textiles, period clothing, furniture, military memorabilia, artwork, and thousands of books. This museum provides an interesting introduction to our varied history in addition to fascinating artifacts.

The Maritime Museum displays the history and coastal lifestyle with artifacts and exhibits. Learn about our maritime culture with the exhibits on lighthouses, lifesaving stations, the seafood industry, motorboats, shipwrecks, and also underwater archaeology. For example, the Harvey Smith Watercraft Center offers an opportunity to learn about the art and skill of traditional boat building.

Photo of Alec Moore House: A North Carolina Historical Sites

Historic Homes with Bluewater Vacation Rentals

Visit these incredible North Carolina historical sites on the Crystal Coast and choose Bluewater Vacation Rentals to host your getaway. We currently have two historic homes you can stay in Beaufort and Swansboro. The Sabiston House is on historic Front Street in Beaufort and next to the Maritime Museum. Furthermore, the Alex Moore House is situated in the Swansboro Historic District and offers over 100 years of history on the Crystal Coast. Finally, if our historic homes are already booked, then browse over 600 vacation rentals to find the perfect accommodations for your getaway.

banner image of clouds and sky for the 6 Crystal Coast Vacation Itinerary Options post

6 Crystal Coast Vacation Itinerary Options

banner image of clouds and sky for the 6 Crystal Coast Vacation Itinerary Options post

6 Crystal Coast Vacation Itinerary Options

Planning a vacation can be a bit of a daunting task. We thought we’d take some of the guesswork out of what to do and give you 6 different Crystal Coast vacation itinerary options to choose from. There’s certainly no shortage of things to do. You just need to decide how to get in all in. Mix and match or use one of our suggested itineraries. Whatever you choose, have fun! 

  1.  Keep Them Occupied: A schedule to wear out the most enthusiastic kids

    • Day 1 – Catch a Marlins Baseball game in Morehead 
    • Day 2 – Go Geo Cashing around town. It’s like a giant treasure hunt. See When you’re done, grab some pizza at Pizza Inn! 
    • Day 3 – Have the little ones compete to see who can find the biggest seashell or shark’s tooth on the beach.
    • Day 4 – Take the kids to one of our many parks and let them burn off some energy! See: Jean Preston Memorial Park Playground and Emerald Woods 
    • Day 5 – Ride a Banana Boat with the whole gang at Island Water Sports
    • Day 6 – Take the kids to MacDaddy’s for bowling, skeeball, pinball, and a video game room full of fun!
    • Day 7 – Ride the ferry to Ocracoke and take the kids to see the Ocracoke Banker Ponies
  2.  A Little Romance: A list of activities that are sure to put a spark in your vacation
    • Day 1 – Go on a Hungry Town Bike Tour / Go on a Sunset Sail with Water Bug Tours.
    • Day 2 – Have dinner delivered to your rental. Many local restaurants deliver.  
    • Day 3 – Enjoy wine tasting at Emerald Isle Wine Market. They have wine tastings and other events year-round.
    • Day 4 – Let Carolina Picnic set up a romantic picnic for you on the beach or your preferred location.
    • Day 5 – Have a quiet dinner for two on Intercoastal at Amos Mosquitos in Atlantic Beach
    • Day 6 – Book a couples massage at Wellness Massage and Yoga. With their mobile service, They can even come to you!
    • Day 7 – Take the Wild Horse and Dolphin Sunset Cruise with Crystal Coast Lady Cruises
  3.  Adventure Enthusiasts: Accept the challenge of these adrenaline-filled activities
    • Day 1 – Rent bikes and go on a bike ride in the Croatan Forest
    • Day 2 – Try your hand at hang gliding with Kitty Hawk Kites 
    • Day 3 – Go on a paddleboarding adventure with Paddle NC!
    • Day 4 – Try scuba diving NC off the coast of Beaufort where our world-famous shipwreck graveyard leaves lots to explore 
    • Day 5 – Go kayaking on Hammocks Beach and Bear Island
    • Day 6 Go skydiving
    • Day 7 – Go deep sea fishing with Capt. Stacy
  4.  Rainy Days: In the chance of inclement weather here are a few ideas to keep you occupied
  5.  Adults Only: A list just for the grown-ups 
  6.  History Buffs: This Crystal Coast itinerary is for History lovers 

These 6 simple itinerary ideas are just a start! We hope they’ll help you find something that everyone will enjoy. Let us know if you decide to try some of these suggestions out. We’d love to hear from you! 

Bluewater's Calendar of Events Banner for December

December Calendar of Events

Bluewater's Calendar of Events Banner for December

December 2021 Events

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 December 2022 events on the Crystal Coast.

9th Annual Gingerbread Festival

December 3rd – 5th, 2021

Time: 7 AM-5 PM

Crystal Coast Civic Center: 3505 Arendell Street | Morehead

The 9th Annual Gingerbread Festival includes something for everyone. Those who attend will be in awe of the winter wonderland and holiday-themed crab pot Christmas trees as well as the sweet aroma of gingerbread creations. All gingerbread creations are created by local designers, artists, businesses, individuals, schools, and community groups. Additional attractions will include a visit from Santa, crafts, games, and holiday entertainment. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Morehead City Christmas Tree Lighting

December 3, 2021

Time: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Morehead City Parks & Recreation: 601 Arendell Street | Morehead

Join Morehead City in the lighting of the Christmas tree in the center of Downtown Morehead. Calico Creek Bluegrass Band will be playing and there will be food and fun!

Breakfast with Santa

December 4, 2021

Time: 8:30 AM -11 AM

Floyd’s 1921: 400 Bridges Street | Morehead

Enjoy Breakfast with Santa! Seating is limited so please call 252.727.1921 to make your reservation!

Chowder & Cheer

December 4, 2021

Time: Noon-5:20 PM

Downtown Morehead: 1001 Arendell Street

Stroll through Downtown Morehead and enjoy samples of Chowder and Cheer from local participating establishments. Chowder and Cheer is part of Morehead City’s Annual Christmas in Downtown Celebration. This is a ticketed event.

Crystal Coast Christmas Floatilla

December 4, 2021

Time: 5:30 PM – 8 PM

Morehead City Waterfont & Beaufort Waterfront

The Crystal Coast Christmas Floatilla will feature yachts, boats, oars, kayaks and commercial vessels decorated for the season. 


Literary Luncheon: Christmas in Peachtree Bluffs with Kristy Woodson Harvey

December 8, 2021

Time: 12 PM-2 PM

Price: $45

Coral Bay Club: 1901 W Fort Macon Rd | Atlantic Beach

Join author Kristy Woodson Harvey and the Beaufort Historical Association for a delicious meal at the Coral Bay Club while Harvey speaks about her new book “Christmas in Peachtree Bluffs.”

Tickets are on sale at

Masks are required. 

Christmas in Peachtree Bluffs Double-Decker Bus Tour

December 10-11, 2021

Time: 1:20 PM-2:30 PM

Price: $15

Beaufort Historic Site: 130 Turner Street | Beaufort

Hop on Beaufort Historic Sites English Double-Decker bus for a special bus tour of Historic Beaufort led by author Kristy Woodson Harvey. Harvey will point out all prominent locations in Beaufort that are portrayed in her Peachtree Bluffs Series.

Tickets are on sale at

Masks are required.

Christmas Candlelight Tour

December 11, 2021

Time: 5 PM- 8 PM

Price: $20

Beaufort Historic Site: 130 Turner Street | Beaufort

Historic Beaufort homeowners, churches, and inns will open their doors so that the public can delight in their festive decor!

Tickets are on sale at

Masks are required.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 @ Beaufort Drive-In

December 11, 2021

Time: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM

Price: Free

Gallant’s Channel Event Space: 293 W Beaufort Road | Beaufort

For more information visit the Beaufort Picture Show website.

Morehead City Christmas Parade

December 11, 2021

Time: 11 AM-Noon

Price: Free

Downtown Morehead City

Join in on the fun! The parade will start at 11 AM along Arendell Street in the 1700 block and ends at 8th and Arendell. There will be decorated floats, community groups, bands, entertainment, and of course Santa himself! For additional information visit

Introduction to Wooden Boat Building

December 11-12, 2021

Time: 9:30 AM-4:30 PM

Price: Varies

North Carolina Maritime Museum: 315 Front Street | Beaufort

Students will explore the art of boatbuilding in this two-day course. The class will begin with lofting and moving on to set up steam bending, and different methods of creating the back bone of small boats. After two days of the course, students will have the knowledge, skill, and confidence to choose a design and style of boat to build on their own.

To reserve your spot click here!

Wine Down Wednesday

December 22, 2021 ( Reoccuring every Wednesday in the month of December)

Time: 5 PM- 9PM

Price: Free, Dance Lessons $15

Carolina Home and Garden: 4778 HWY 24 | Newport

Come grab a half-priced bottle of wine and dance the night away with dance lessons and live music. 

Downtown Countdown

December 31, 2021

Time: 5 PM- 8 PM

Price: Free

Downtown Morehead City: 1001 Arendell Street

Join in on the fun beginning at 5 PM for activities of all ages. Enjoy watching the Fire Department drop the kids’ crab pot drop and kid’s activities from 5 PM – 6:30 PM. Also, local downtown businesses and restaurants will provide activities and bands throughout the evening, so please check individual websites for schedules.


Looking for more fun along the Crystal Coast? Check out our 2021 Crystal Coast Calendar of Events page!

Photo of a person fishing at the beach: one of our favorite things to do in Atlantic Beach NC

Don’t Miss These 5 Things to Do in Atlantic Beach, NC

Don’t Miss These 5 Things to Do in Atlantic Beach, NC

There’s a reason why so many people return to the Crystal Coast to vacation year after year. Maybe it’s the endless stretch of beaches or the diversity of activities available in the area. We think it’s the fact that every town on the coast is brimming with its own unique charm, landscape, history, and attractions. Today, we’re sharing a few great things to do in Atlantic Beach, NC. 

banner image for things to do in Atlantic beach

Put these 5 Things to do in Atlantic Beach, NC on your List

If you want to experience some of the best beaches, fishing, and parks in North Carolina, then Atlantic Beach is the place for you. There are many things to do in Atlantic Beach, NC, but you cannot miss these five things!

1- Sandy Beaches

It should go without saying that Atlantic Beach is home to beautiful beaches (it’s in the name, after all). Whether you want to relax with the sand between your toes or spend a day on the water, there are three available beach accesses in town. Spend your days at the beach swimming, shelling, surfing, or stand-up paddleboarding. Stop at Island Water Sports if you need a rental to explore the water. 

2- World-Class Fishing

Atlantic Beach has been named one of the top ten “Best Fishing Towns in America” by the World Fishing Network. So if you are an angler, Atlantic Beach is the coastal town for you! Spend a day casting your line into the water at the Oceanana Fishing Pier or fish with an expert on one of the fishing charter boats at the Atlantic Beach Causeway.

3- Fort Macon State Park

Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach is one of the most visited state parks in North Carolina. History buffs will love touring the Civil War fort and the fascinating exhibits in the museum. But, this state park has something for everyone, with hiking trails, fishing, picnicking, and swimming all available here. Don’t miss out on the attractions at Fort Macon when vacationing to the Crystal Coast.

4- Seafood Restaurants

With all the things to do in Atlantic Beach, it won’t be long before you work up an appetite. If you are fishing at the Oceanana Pier, you might as well head inside the Pier House Restaurant for a delicious seafood lunch with a view. Popular spots for dinner in Atlantic Beach include the local’s favorite Amos Mosquito’s, where you can get a variety of fresh fish and decadent desserts – and make sure Bahia House and Island Grille are on your list as well.

5- Parks and Trails

The Crystal Coast is a popular destination for families, so there are many family-friendly activities in Atlantic Beach. Spend an afternoon at the AB Town Park playing a round of miniature golf, taking the kids to the skateboard park, or cooling down at the splash pad in the summer months. If you’re looking for a relaxing place to take a short walk, visit the Hoop Pole Creek Preserve. This nature preserve offers an easy hike everyone can enjoy while taking in beautiful waterfront views.  

Photo of living room overlooking the beach at one of our Atlantic Beach vacation rentals

Atlantic Beach Vacation Rentals

If these things to do in Atlantic Beach, NC, piqued your interest, then start planning your Atlantic Beach getaway with us today. Our Atlantic Beach vacation rentals are centrally located and just a short drive away from all of the previously mentioned attractions. Join us in Atlantic Beach and make memories that will last a lifetime during your Crystal Coast vacation. 

What is your favorite thing to do in Atlantic Beach? Let us know in the comments below!

banner image for the vacation rental home 2 step

Take a Peek Inside 2 Step on Emerald Isle

banner image for the vacation rental home 2 step

Take a Peek Inside 2 Step on Emerald Isle

We’re giving you the scoop with a peek inside this lovely vacation home. Take a closer look at 2 Step on Emerald Isle and decide if this is the perfect rental for you and your family on the Crystal Coast.

2 Step Details

2 Step is a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, ranch-style home with beautiful views of the ocean and just a couple of steps from private beach access to the sand and sea!

With 2 Steps, gathering your belongings and groceries doesn’t require climbing a full flight of steps! Plus, there is no need to leave your fluffy four-legged friends at home because this gem is pet-friendly. The added convenience of a large, level yard makes this the perfect vacation spot for all of your outdoor games with the family, and for your pets to run around freely.

Master bedroom #1 has a king bed, its own private ensuite bathroom, and a TV. Bedroom #2 has a queen bed, a private bathroom, and a TV. Bedroom #3 has a queen bed, a twin bunk, and a TV. A full bathroom is conveniently located in the hallway. There are ceiling fans in each bedroom that can be controlled via the light switch along with the bedroom lights. The fully-equipped kitchen has stainless steel appliances and the home is equipped with a washer and dryer!

Scroll through to take a look inside

Guest Testimonials

Wonderful, comfortable home that is close to the beach. My family loved that the house was updated. We enjoyed the board games as a family and the big dining table to play on and eat together every night. We rented bikes and had fun biking and the island and on the beach. We would definitely stay at this beach house again! – Stephanie H. | March 2021
2 Step has been the perfect home for our family of 4, plus our dog! A short walk to the beach and a short drive to the grocery stores and restaurants. The home is well stocked and is very clean. We would definitely rent again! – Mary L. | July 2019

Take a closer look at all 2 Step has to offer you and book online below! Questions? Prefer to have one of our Vacation Planners help you book? Call us at (866) 231-5892  between the hours of 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM, daily.

Dog friendly establishments on the Crystal Coast

Dog-Friendly Places on The Crystal Coast

Dog friendly establishments on the Crystal Coast

Dog-Friendly Places on The Crystal Coast

If you’re a dog lover, you know it isn’t always easy to find pet-friendly places while you’re traveling. Today, we’re sharing dog-friendly places on the Crystal Coast so you and your dog can have a worry-free vacation with us.

restaurants that are pet-friendly on the crystal coast

Dog-Friendly Establishments

The Growler 

This local bar has plenty of beer and good times! With lots of different beers on tap and others in constant rotation, this place is perfect for everyone. Oh yeah, your pup is welcome too! Bring your pup inside to enjoy the bar or outside for games and fun!

Carolina Home and Garden

This nursery is filled with gorgeous plants and landscaping and inside they have a boutique and store! Friday and Saturday nights are filled with wine, beer, music, and your pup! Dogs are very welcome to come and enjoy as well.

Muttigans Coffee

This pet store/coffee shop is an island favorite! Their dog-themed lattes and the dog-loving atmosphere are perfect for a morning coffee with your best friend. They have two locations; one in Swansboro and one in Emerald Isle.

The Trading Post

This southern food restaurant is also dog-friendly outdoors! Located right on Emerald Isle this place is perfect for a night out with your dog! They have an outdoor area with corn-hole and games to enjoy as well!

Mythic Brewing

This beer garden bungalow is a perfect place to bring your pup! Enjoy some beers with your furry pal! Its located in Cedar Point and is a highly recommended stop with your dog.

34 North

Enjoy drinks, live music, food trucks, and a game of Cornhole in their outdoor patio 

Bring your dog to the crystal coast

Take Your Pup To the Beach

  • Dogs are always welcome on the beach
  • Dogs must be on a leash on all public beaches
  • Make sure to clean up after your dog

Dog-Friendly Activities

  • Take a ferry ride and explore the Barrier Islands, Cape Lookout, and Shackleford Banks
  • Take a “w-a-l-k” on the bike path in Emerald Isle

Pet-Friendly Parks and Trails

  • Emerald Isle Park Trail
  • Fort Macon State Park
  • Hammocks Beach State Park
  • PAWS Bark Park

Dog treats you can make while on vacation

Cool Treats for your Dog

Peanut Butter and Berry Puppy Pops

Blend yogurt, bananas, peanut butter, and berries in a food processor. Pour the liquid mixture into a mold. Freeze for 2-3 hours and enjoy!

Watermelon Carrot Pupsicles 

Cut up some watermelon and carrots and make sure there are no seeds. Puree starting with the carrots and then add the watermelon chunks. Pour into a mold, freeze until solid, and devour! 

Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals on the Crystal Coast

Don’t forget, we have over 185 pet-friendly vacation rentals where dogs stay free. Find the perfect place for you and your best friend! 


banner image of a surfer standing at the shoreline

An Itinerary for Thrill-Seekers on the Crystal Coast

banner image of a surfer standing at the shoreline

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.

Welcome sign, map and Weetock Trail sign with forest trees in the background

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.

a surfer at sunset catching waves with a pink, blue and purple sky in the background

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.

tandem skydivers on the ground celebrating their skydive

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:

Interested in a few more vacation activities while you’re on the southern Outer Banks? Check out the following blog posts:

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!