The taps at a bar part of the Crystal Coast nightlife scene.

The Crystal Coast: Where Hospitality Is Always On Tap!

The Crystal Coast: Where Hospitality Is Always On Tap!

You’ve spent all day lounging in the sun and exploring the coastline. You come in as the sun starts to set and wash off the salt and sand and think to yourself, “What now?”  Fear not, we’ve got plenty to keep you entertained after the sun sets here on the Crystal Coast.  So throw on some flip flops and hit the road for a new nightlife.

We’ve compiled a list of outings for adults to enjoy.  Whether you’re into wine, craft beer or cocktails, you’ll be sure to find the perfect nightlife spot while vacationing on the Crystal Coast.




Cape Lookout Lighthouse

Cape Lookout Lighthouse

The Cape Lookout Lighthouse, also known as the “Diamond Lady” is located on the Cape Lookout National Seashore and is one of 8 towering ladies that sprinkle the coast of North Carolina, all with an important role – to guide you home. There aren’t many places where you can enjoy the beach, get a little bit of exercise and learn some coastal history all at once. With 188 steps to reach the top – you will not find a better view on the Crystal Coast than the one you will experience from the top of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse! If you are not vacationing with your boat, you can take a ferry over to the Diamond Lady. We personally love to be chauffeured to this amazing seashell haven by the local ferry, it is a wonderful ride that gets you there quickly! Don’t forget to be on the lookout for the Shackleford ponies on your boat ride over.

If you happen to fit the Cape Lookout Lighthouse in your vacation plans, here are a few things to know:

  • Bring a large bag to collect seashells and other sandy treasures you find
  • Make sure to bring a bag for trash, no trash is left on the island, so what you bring on must come off
  • Wear comfortable shoes, the climb up the tower is a short one, but you want to be well equipped
  • If you’d like to bring a pair of binoculars, you can literally see for miles from the top
  • Bring a lunch to enjoy on the eastern side of the island, the beach is spectacular

Climbing the Cape Lookout Lighthouse

drinks on the crystal coast

Drinks at the Beach Itinerary

drinks on the crystal coast

Ready for some fun with drinks at the beach? There are several great locations for you and your fellow adult friends to enjoy an adult beverage or grab a non-alcoholic beverage or coffee. We’re sharing a few suggestions, and feel free to add a few of your own. We’d love to hear from you.

Drinks at the Beach

Day 1 – Coffee! Grab a delicious Liege Waffle and coffee at veteran-owned Milk Road Coffee. Try one of their recommended flavors like the Quad Espresso with a splash of Oat Milk,  Cayenne Mocha Latte, Peppermint Mocha Latte, or a Gingerbread Mocha Latte.

Day 2 – Sip your coffee and admire the local artwork at Stir it up Coffee Shop. Try the Drops of Jupiter coffee drink with coconut milk, and let us know what you think! 

Day 3 – Grab a craft beer at The Growler Bar. They offer a fine selection of craft beers on draft, wine, a Growler fill, and so much more. It’s a local favorite and hot spot, and we think you won’t be disappointed. (Bonus, visit their sister site at Village West, Beachside Bar, and grab a frozen drink)

Day 4 – Grab drinks at 34 North in Cedar Point and enjoy live music, food trucks, and a game of Cornhole. Later, head down to the Morehead City waterfront and dance the night away at Jack’s!

Day 5 – How about drinks with a view at Jacks’s Waterfront Bar? Best spot to watch the charter boats come in! Plus plenty of events on their calendar.

Day 6 – Get creative and have some drinks.  Take a painting class with friends at Wine and Design in Morehead City.

Day 7 – Swing by the family-owned, independent craft brewery Crystal Coast Brewing Company for an authentic North Carolina experience and a wide variety of NC Beers! 

Now it’s your Turn

What are your itinerary suggestions for places to go or things to do with drinks at the beach? Where have you enjoyed drinks? We’d love to hear your tips and thoughts – they might help a new local or a vacationing guest!

When creating an itinerary for a rainy day at the beach, add visiting the nearby aquarium.

Rainy Day at the Beach Itinerary


What to do when it rains at the beach? There is still lots to do! In the chance of not so sunny skies, here are some ways to keep it fun

Day 1 Spend the day at the aquarium visiting Nimbus the Albino Sea Turtle, the playful otters and all the sea life in the 306,000 gallon Living Shipwreck.

Day 2 Flex your competitive muscles at MacDaddy’s where you can prove who the champion of the family really is.

Day 3 Explore Beaufort – find unique places that line the water like Beaufort Linen Company & Beaufort Pet Provisions!

Day 4 Have photos printed at your closest corner store to get a head start on your vacation scrapbook!

Day 5 Head to the nearest seafood market and load up on goods for a seafood boil. Don’t forget the newspaper and Old Bay!


Spending time on the beach is a get addition to your itinerary for kids.

Itinerary for Kids

High ResIMG_3390


Keep the kids occupied – A schedule to wear out the most enthusiastic kids (of any age) on the Crystal Coast

Day 1 Catch an all-star Marlins Baseball game in Morehead City at Big Rock Park and let the kids meet Finn the Marlin Mascot!


Day 2 Go Geocaching around town – it’s like a giant treasure hunt! Find the map at Then grab some pizza at Pizza Inn in Emerald Isle.


Day 3 Have the little ones pick out awesome new beach gear or adopt a hermit crab at Wings. Don’t forget your shark’s tooth necklace coupon!


Day 4 Paint and glaze a pottery souvenir at Pottery 2 Paint By the Sea in Emerald Isle. Then create a delicious masterpiece at Which Wich!


Day 5 Ride a Banana Boat at impressive speeds with the whole gang with Water Sports Rentals.

Summer Snacks At The Pool

Easy Summer Snacks Poolside

Summer Snacks At The Pool

Summer Snacks Poolside

Check out these quick snacks to enjoy poolside that will keep you fueled all summer long. While spending time by the water, these light recipes are refreshing, easy to make, and filling enough to hold you over until your next meal.  Enjoy these sweet and savory blends that are perfect for a day spent poolside with minimal prep time and hassle! They are sure to be a big hit at your next poolside hangout, for kids and adults alike! 

Melon Mixture


  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla bean paste 
  • 1 cup of cantaloupe
  • 1 cup of honeydew 
  • 1 cup of watermelon 


Combine cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the honey and vanilla bean paste. Drizzle with the honey mixture.

Trail Mix Slices


  • 2.5 cups sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup of honey 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract 
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of chopped mixed nuts
  • 1 cup of mini M&Ms


Place almonds in a food processor; process until finely ground. While processing, gradually add honey and extract. Remove to a large bowl; stir in cherries, mixed nuts, and candies. Divide mixture in half; shape each into an 8-in. long roll. Wrap tightly in plastic; freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Unwrap and cut rolls into 1/2-in. slices. Store between pieces of waxed paper in airtight containers.

Ranch Crunch Mix


  • 1 bag of mini pretzels
  • 1 bag of Bugles
  • 1 can of Salted cashews
  • 1 bag of goldfish
  • 1 pouch of ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup of canola oil


In large bowls combine the pretzels, Bugles, cashews, and crackers. Sprinkle with ranch dressing mix. Drizzle with canola oil and toss until the mixture is well coated.


Several of our vacation rentals have luxurious pools so you can try these snacks out and let us know how it went! Looking for additional snack ideas? Check out 11 Perfect Treats for All-Day Poolside Grazing

Now It’s Your Turn

We want to hear from you! Did you try any of these yummy poolside snacks? If so, what was your favorite recipe? Leave a comment below.
Staging all parts of your home, like the living room for sale is key.

Staging Your Home for Sale

When placing your home on the market, presentation is key!  First impressions are of extreme importance when selling your home.  When staging your home for sale there are a number of simple and inexpensive things you can do to sell you home quickly.

Clean and De-clutter

First things first!  No one wants to see or smell a dirty home.  Clean blinds, ceiling fans, baseboards and under furniture.  Pack away knickknacks and de-clutter counter tops.  Steam carpets to remove dirt and pet odors and organize closets to utilize available space.


When prospective buyers are looking at your home, they want to envision their family, not yours.  Remove all personal photographs, keepsakes and mementos. Paint your home neutral colors so that buyers can imagine their furniture and belongings in your home.

Curb Appeal

Don’t neglect the outside of your home.  Trim bushes, power wash siding and sidewalks and wash windows.  Add a fresh coat of paint on your front door and purchase a new doormat.

Use Space Effectively

Rearrange furniture to maximize space and enhance your home’s features.

Let There Be Light!

No one likes a dark, dreary home.  Open blinds to allow the sunlight to pour in.

Entice Buyers’ Sense of Smell

Bake cookies, bread or simmer spices prior to a showing.

Set the Temperature

You want prospective buyers to be comfortable and stay awhile in your home, right?  Now is not the time to worry about a utility bill.  Turn up the heat if it’s cold enough to wear a sweater in your home.  Likewise, turn down the temperature if it is uncomfortably hot.

Follow Bluewater Real Estate on Pinterest

for more tips on selling or buying your home!


Turtle nests on Emerald Isle

Turtle Nesting on Emerald Isle

Turtle nests on Emerald Isle

Turtle Nesting on Emerald Isle

As a young girl, I participated in the Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program and walked a portion of our beach in Atlantic Beach, NC. I would walk the beach for a few miles looking for tracks. I was never lucky enough to find any, but another girl my age had found a track and a nest with her mom. I attended the hatching two months later. The small group I was with decided to give the baby turtles a head start by digging out the hole, and soon the baby Loggerhead Sea Turtles began to hatch! There were around 65-70 regular hatchlings, and about 5 were albino sea turtles. It was a life-changing moment to see. Good luck, baby turtles! Since then, I have made sure people are well educated on turtles and their habits, and you can too! 

Hundreds of turtles return home to nest each year along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. In the summer months of May to October, dozens of nests are found along the beautiful beaches of Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Emerald Isle, Cape Lookout, and Indian Beach. Our locals and our beach towns take pride in our wildlife and, most importantly, our sea turtles! Recently, we have taken more action to protect our native turtles and their nests. 

About Our Turtles Nesting on Emerald Isle 

We are home to a few common species of sea turtles, including loggerheads, green, and leather-backs, all of which are endangered. Each turtle will lay around 100 eggs each season! After a 60-day incubation, the hatchlings will fiercely dig their way out of the sand and maneuver past obstacles while heading for the ocean. Sadly, with development on the beaches, our sea turtles face difficulties.

sea turtles nesting emerald isle

What Can You Do to Help Sea Turtles on the Crystal Coast?

There are a few things that you can do to help our turtles: 

  1. Filling in holes in the sand – This way, turtles won’t get stuck coming in and out of the water.
  2. Clean up litter! – Turtles will often mistake trash bags for food or get stuck.
  3. Keep beach gear off the beach at night! – Nighttime is usually the best time for turtles to lay their nests and for hatchlings to head home!
  4. Stay back from nests – Stay at least 30 feet away from nests! This will help keep them undamaged and unharmed!
  5. Report any tracks or nests! – Reporting any signs of sea turtles will tremendously help the turtles and keep them safe.
  6. Turn off outside lights – Turning off outside lights at night will help turtles see better. Often, turtles and hatchlings will mistake house lights or road lights for the moon and not make it back to the water.

Local Programs

Locals and beach towns have created programs to protect sea turtles. With these programs, volunteers will walk all 21 miles of our white sandy beaches searching for turtle tracks and nests! If a nest is found, experts will create a barrier to mark for a watch. When the eggs are ready to hatch, volunteers will come out and make sure the turtles make it to the water safely. If the eggs do not hatch, experts will dig them up and assess the nest.

Protect the Turtles

Sea turtles are a precious piece of our beach! As people who love the ocean, we should do everything we can to help protect these beautiful creatures. Remember to clean up after yourself and be respectful and mindful of the beaches and the animals that have made it their home!

 Visit our local Sea Turtle Patrol Program to follow our local sea turtle progress and find local events. 

Bri Elliott

Did you enjoy this post? Would you like to be a guest contributor? Let us know! 

Scuba Diving on the Crystal Coast

Crystal Coast Scuba Diving

The Crystal Coast has been named one of the top dive destinations in the world. What makes the Crystal Coast such a landmark in the diving community and described by dive enthusiast as “wreck diver’s dream” are the thousands of ship wrecks off our coast. Some wrecks are located just a few miles from our coast in just 30 foot depths. The North Carolina coast have been named “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” for being the final resting place for over 2000 vessels.

Diving The Indra

The Indra, a Landing Craft Repair Ship, is a very popular inshore dive location sitting in only 60 feet of water and only 10 miles off Emerald Isle. This wreck dive is perfect for beginners and is explored by both locals and visiting divers year-round due to the fact that this is a warm water wreck dive spot thanks to the Gulf Stream. The 328 foot Indra was sunk for an artificial reef in the summer of 1992.  Divers are able to see a variety of fish and other aquatic life, as well as an occasional Sand Tiger Shark. Enjoy video from this popular wreck dive site!