Emerald Isle Open for Visitors

Emerald Isle North Carolina Open for Visitors May 9th, 2020

Emerald Isle Open for Visitors

Emerald Isle North Carolina Open for Visitors May 9th, 2020

“The Town of Emerald Isle will lift its mandatory restriction on short term rentals on May 8, 2020 at 11:59 PM” – Matt Zapp

Emerald Isle Press Release – COVID-19 Updates – Thursday, May 7, 2020

Press Release | Thursday, May 7, 2020 | Town of Emerald Isle: COVID-19 Updates

The Town of Emerald Isle remains under a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus while maintaining essential services, the Town has implemented several operational changes to ensure social and physical distance and limit exposure. Provided below is an update on Town operations, services, and events.

Short Term Rental Restrictions

The Town of Emerald Isle will lift its mandatory restriction on short-term rentals on May 8, 2020, at 11:59 PM.  The restriction had prohibited the renting of a hotel room, motel room, rental housing unit, condominium, RV campsite, primitive campsite, or similar accommodation.  Rental properties may accept occupants effective May 9, 2020.


Due to national supply chain issues, travelers to Emerald Isle are encouraged to bring necessary supplies with them. These items include, but are not limited to: paper products, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and basic grocery items.

Food Service

Per Executive Order 138, restaurants across North Carolina must remain closed for dine-in meals. Only take-out, drive-through, and delivery services are allowed.

Public Beach Parking Areas

The following approach will be taken in Emerald Isle regarding public parking facilities:

  • May 9, 2020- Third Street parking lot will open to the public.
  • May 9, 2020- Station Street parking lot will open to the public.
  • May 9, 2020- Eastern Ocean Regional Access (EORA) parking lot will be open to the public.  The EORA restrooms and outside showers will remain closed.

Closed- The Western Ocean Regional Access (WORA) remains closed due to construction.  The facility will re-open upon completion.

Water Access

The waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Sound (within Emerald Isle) are open for outdoor recreational use.  Permitted activities include swimming, surfing, kiting, kayaking, fishing, and boating.  Residents can walk, jog, and sit on the beach strand.  All beachgoers must adhere to the current social distancing guidelines.

Municipal Facility Closings

The Emerald Isle Administration Building (7509 Emerald Drive) and the Police Department (7500 Emerald Drive) have limited public access.  The Emerald Isle Community Center and all Parks & Recreation maintained facilities, remain closed to the public until further notice. Although these facilities are closed, the work of the Town continues uninterrupted through the COVID-19 response.

Emerald Isle residents and guests can access the Town’s full array of online resources at The Town of Emerald Isle. If needed, individuals may drop off necessary paperwork and building permit applications at a drop box located in the Town Admin building foyer. While Town Hall is closed, Town staff will check the dropbox throughout the day. The Town will mail acknowledgments and receipts upon request.

Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to call 252-354-3424.  Staff will reply promptly during normal business hours.

Town of Emerald Isle Contact Information

Planning, Inspections, and Permits

Josh Edmondson, Town Planner



Accounts Payable/ Receivable/ Taxes

Laura Rotchford, Finance Director



Non-Emergency Police Department Services

Tony Reese, Chief of Police



Parks and Recreation Services

Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreations Director



Public Works: Solid waste/ Yard Debris/ Roads

Artie Dunn, Public Works Director



Phase 1 Opening in North Carolina

Citizens are asked to comply with the Exec. Order 138 and the associated limitations issued by Gov. Cooper. Maintain social distancing (of 6-feet or greater separation) and limit gatherings to groups of 10 or less.  Wearing a protective face covering, when in public, is also recommended. For further clarification, please reference: NC.Gov COVID-19 Staying Ahead of the Curve


For press inquiries, contact:

Matt Zapp, Town Manager



Thursday, May 7, 2020 4:50:00 PM Categories: News

Let’s Send Some Cheer to the Staff and Residents at Crystal Bluffs

Creating Bright Smiles at Crystal Bluffs

Help Us Send Some Cheerful Letters to the Staff & Residents at Crystal Bluffs

For the last month, the residents at our local rehabilitation center, Crystal Bluffs, have been without visitors. They have not been able to visit with their families, spouses, children, grandchildren and friends. One of those families affected by the new protocols to protect these residents is Allison Bernauer, one of our Realtors in our Atlantic Beach office. Allison and her mother Anita have been focusing on mailed letters and FaceTime to stay connected.
We hope that you will help make these beloved people within our community feel a part of our community. We hope that you will make them feel loved. We hope that you will take a moment of your day to say hello, write them some uplifting words, share a piece of art from your children or send them a funny joke.

About Crystal Bluffs

Crystal Bluffs provides annual residential nursing care and short and annual residential rehabilitation services.  Respite care for those who normally live at home is also offered as a service; this gives caregivers a period of rest.

Built in 2008, Crystal Bluffs’ 92 beds and Rehabilitation Suite are located minutes from the hospital and the medical office park.  They offer a warm, inviting, home-like and comfortable environment, with a commitment to meeting the wants, needs and wishes of all who walk through our doors.

Discover our experienced and caring staff, our activities, and our high standard for customer service in a place where we want you to feel welcome from your very first visit.

Card for Crystal Bluffs Residents and Employees

Mail your letters to:

Crystal Bluffs
ATTN: Residents and Staff at Crystal Bluffs
4010 Bridges Street
Morehead City, NC 28557


38 Letters

A letter for each day the residents at Crystal Bluffs have not had visitors from loved ones.


Allison Bernauer- Broker/Realtor with Copeland & Bernauer team at Bluewater Real Estate in Atlantic Beach, NC

    Message from Allison Bernauer

    My mother Anita and I are extremely close. In September she had a massive stroke. Our world has been turned upside down since then. She has been a resident at Crystal Bluffs in Morehead City since October and I couldn’t ask for better care for her. Everyone there is very helpful and all the residents receive personal attention and extra loving care. I have gotten to know the staff and many of the residents over the last 6 months.

    I visited my mother almost every day and many of her friends visited weekly. We felt that if we could have someone there she loved every day it would make her days a little brighter. Once Covid-19 came into the picture Crystal Bluffs was very pro-active and, as normal, thought about what was best for the residents there. They stopped visitors weeks before other places of business. I will forever be grateful for their attention to this crisis and for putting their residents and staff first. Although I was crushed and my mother was so sad, we have made it work by FaceTiming.

    Many of her friends and family have been sending cards and letters to help make her days without visitors better. She mentions these often, always with a smile on her face. My mother is lucky to have so many family and friends to care for her and send her cards but there are many people who could use some of that same love and kindness shown to them.

    Please join me and Bluewater by sending cards, kids drawings and letters of encouragement to the residents at Crystal Bluffs. I also want to personally ask you to send some to the amazing staff there thanking them for caring for our loved ones during this crisis. Together we can make someone’s day by showing love and gratitude to those that need to know that we, as a community, have not forgotten them.

    Thoughtfulness, Peace and Love is what the world needs right now…… Let’s start with our neighbors.



    Allison’s suggestions to help our local residents & staff at Crystal Bluffs

    • Write an encouraging letter

    • Send them coloring pages, cross word puzzle or word searches

    • Drop off your child’s artwork

    • Tie balloons to the outside of their windows

    • Provide a meal to the staff memebers

    Mail your letters, art & activities to:

    Crystal Bluffs
    ATTN: Residents and Staff at Crystal Bluffs
    4010 Bridges Street
    Morehead City, NC 28557

    printable indoor scavenger

    Indoor Scavenger Hunt

    printable indoor scavenger

    Printable Indoor Scavenger Hunt

    Find some things around your home that will remind you of the beach

    Need to get your kids hoppin’? How about an indoor scavenger hunt?

    Through the COVID-19 Quarantine, Bluewater is here to help find creative ways to keep the entire family entertained. Be sure to check our blog regularly for news, tips, and helpful suggestions to make the most of your stay. We want you to have the best time, despite the current conditions. 

    We know it’s hard to keep your kiddos moving with these new circumstances we are all in, so we are here to help! This scavenger hunt can be a great activity to add to your child’s day! Scavenger hunts are an incredibly fun and easy way to get the whole family involved!

    Indoor Scavenger Hunt

    • An item that reminds you of the beach
    • A movie that has a “B” in the title
    • One Puzzle piece
    • Five things that are blue
    • Six different legos
    • Something that smells good
    • Something that feels cozy
    • A beach toy or beach towel
    • Something that’s made with water
    • Something that needs sun to survive
    • A book with the letter “W” in the title
    • Items with numbers on it – Not a watch
    • An item that is older than you
    • Find something that makes you happy
    • An item that makes a beautiful sound
    • A book with more than 100 pages
    • An item you are grateful for

    • Click Photo and Download Scavenger Hunt Checklist

    • Print Copies for the Whole Family

    • Find All 17 Items on the Checklist

    • Share Your Scavenger Hunt Photos with Us!

    From our home to yours!

    We hope you and your family enjoy this scavenger hunt!

    work from home tips

    10 Helpful Tips for Working From Home

    Today we’re sharing some helpful tips for working from home to help get you through these unprecedented times. These are some of our favorites and we thought you’d appreciate them, too. 

    10 Helpful Tips for Working at Home

    • Have a Separate Work Space

      Separate your work and day-to-day life by having separate spaces. Set up your office in a location that you can step away from outside of your work hours. This will allow you to avoid having your work life and every day life run together.

    • Set Ground Rules

      Discuss your expectations for noise-level and distractions during your work hours with your family and friends who may be around.

    • Establish & Maintain A Morning Routine

      When working in an office, everyone has a routine to wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, drive to work, etc. When you work from home, that routine changes. Establishing and maintaining a morning routine for yourself to signify the start of a workday is an important factor. If this means making coffee, going for a run, or making breakfast, be sure to create a morning routine even while working from home.

    • A Space to Focus

      Be sure to set up your home work space in a location you can best focus and “zone in.” Think about noises and distractions that could occur in your selected location.

      Don’t sit in bed or on the couch all day – have a flat desk space with a chair to encourage good posture and productivity.

    • Make a To-Do List

      Make a daily and/or weekly to-do list for yourself. This will help you stay on track with your tasks at hand.

    • Take a Full Lunch Break

      When it is time to take a break or your lunch break – take it! Step away from your workspace, walk outside or eat lunch. Take the entire time designated by your organization for these breaks. Do not break for 10 minutes when you have a full 30 minutes. Everyone’s brain needs and deserves a break!

    • Communicate With Your Team

      Communicate with your team and colleagues even more than you normally would.  You are still a team and need to work together and communicate to meet your goals collectively!

    • Be Self-Reliant

      Trust yourself and be confident in your work so you can reach your goals. Working from home is a huge change for many – Don’t forget your work ethic, knowledge, and skills in your career will get you through. Stay true to yourself, stay organized, and crush those goals!

    • Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions

      If you are struggling or have questions – reach out to your supervisor or colleagues! Call, chat, or video conference a co-worker or manager to ask for help or to talk out your problem!

    • Be Organized

      Have a routine and stay organized. Take lots of notes during meetings and calls. Use your time wisely to reach your goals and complete your tasks for the day and the week.

    working from home set-up

    working from home desk

    Did we miss anything? What would you add to this list? Are you currently working from home? We’d love to know! 

    coloring-sheets, kids-coloring-pages, kids-coloring-contest

    Coloring Contest

    Bluewater Kids Coloring Contest

    Looking for some fun activities to keep the kids busy and entertained? We run a coloring contest year-round with a winner selected each month!

    Download and print the coloring pages below for your kiddos to color. Once they’ve completed their masterpieces, you can submit them to us by emailing them to marketing@bluewaternc.com or if prefer, you can send them to us in a private message on our Facebook page. Once you do, they’ll be entered into our coloring contest! 

    All entries will be given a special spotlight feature on our Facebook page.

    Monthly Contest Drawing Prizes:

    • Baby Sea Turtle Stuffed Animal
    • Bluewater Kids Sunglasses
    • 1 Year Subscription to National Geographic Kids

    Don’t forget to complete the bottom portion of the coloring sheet with your information before you send it off to us by email or Facebook private message.

    Wish your kiddos good luck from all of us! 

    Have fun. Stay healthy. Color away.

    Coloring Contest Coloring Sheets

    misplaced mutts

    Making a Difference – Misplaced Mutts

    Making a Difference: Misplaced Mutts

    We recently had the opportunity to chat with a volunteer at Misplaced Mutts, Stephanie, about the impacts the pandemic is having on local animal shelters and foster care for pets. Stephanie explains in the Q&A how to best help Misplaced Mutts or your local animal non-profits during this time.

    We stand together in this!

    Q: What is Misplaced Mutts?

    A: Misplaced Mutts is a local animal rescue in Carteret County focusing primarily on dogs. Misplaced Mutts is a foster-based program. All of our animals live in foster homes and are treated like our own animals until they find their forever homes. This organization also helps in working with shelters and utilizing all rescue resources to help get dogs and cats out of the shelter and into rescue/foster homes, even if our own organization is unable to take in that animal.

    Q: How many years has Misplaced Mutts been serving our community’s doggie population?

    A: The founders of Misplaced Mutts, Carrie and Bea, have been saving dogs and finding them forever homes for many years; however, Misplaced Mutts officially became a 501C(c)3 organization in January of 2017. Since becoming a non-profit in 2017, Misplaced Mutts has adopted out over 700 animals.

    Q: Stephanie, how did you get involved with the organization?

    A: My journey to rescue is a pretty long story, but the short version is I had to move away for a few years from my home in NC to care for my mother. At that time, my heart dog passed away. I was completely destroyed and devastated. I was in no position to adopt another dog and I honestly didn’t think my heart had any room left for another one. I had met this girl through a local yard sale site and we became Facebook friends. I commented on how I loved her beautiful brown pit-mix dog and she responded with “Do you want to adopt her?”. I was so confused! I didn’t even know fostering was a thing at that point! I worked with a pit-bull rescue in Pittsburgh, PA, but all animals were in a facility or kept at the owner’s home, so it was a concept I just wasn’t familiar with! I messaged her and we talked more about it. I figured since I knew I would never be able to replace my dog, I could at least mend my heart some by saving some dogs in his name. Plus, my other dog was severely missing his companion. I sent a Facebook message to Misplaced Mutts and gave my sob story about wanting to save some dogs and completed a foster application immediately. A day or two later, Carrie and Bea were sitting in my living room meeting my current dog and talking to me about what types of dogs I would be able to help with. My answer was ANY, as long as they get along with Monte. I think I still hold true to that statement; I have had all different kinds of breeds, sizes, and ages come through my home.

    Q: What is your favorite experience with Misplaced Mutts?

    A: This is a tough question! Since beginning to volunteer with Misplaced Mutts over 2 years ago, I have found my people! Not only do I get to save dogs, but I am surrounded by people that want to save them too. I have built amazing relationships with the people that have adopted my foster dogs. The entire last two years have been my favorite experience. Every dog, every adopter, and every “Mutt” volunteer have bettered me and improved my life.

    FACEBOOK: Misplaced Mutts

    Q: How many dogs are currently needing foster and forever homes in our community?

    A: Misplaced Mutts receives multiple messages each day from people needing to re-home their animals & phone calls and emails from shelters pleading for help. Unfortunately, we can only take in as many as we can find volunteers to foster. We’d love to be able to empty the shelters and continue to do so. The number of dogs that need help and fosters to take them in to give them a chance is never-ending. The shelters are almost kept at capacity trying to find places for all the dogs to go. When people adopt from us they are saving TWO dogs – the one that they’ve adopted plus the one that we can now pull from the shelter since we have space.

    Q: How can our community best help Misplaced Mutts right now?

    A: The easiest way to help us from your own home is to follow us on Facebook – Like, SHARE, and comment on our posts. Sharing our posts helps our animals in need to reach more people than we can on our own. We need help from our community to help the growth of our reach. Donations towards our never-ending vet bills is also a huge help. If you follow Misplaced Mutts on Facebook, you might notice that we take in a lot of difficult medical cases. Our fosters have the skill and experience to be able to do so, but the vet bills can really add up. Any amount of donations help us to be able to take in these difficult cases that most rescues will not.

    Q: What is the organization most in need of at this time?

    A: We are always in need of donations!

    • Puppy Food (Fromm Gold, 4health Puppy)
    • Adult Food (4health, American Journey, Diamond, etc).
    • Puppy Pee Pads
    • Toys for Adult Dogs and Puppies
    • Bones
    • Collars and Leashes
    • We also always need volunteers! We cannot continue to grow without more fosters and volunteers to help handle dogs at adoption events.

    Q: How do you start the process of adopting or fostering?

    A: A quick and easy online application on our website!

    WEBSITE: Misplaced Mutts

    Q: Since the outbreak of COVID-19, what has been most difficult for Misplaced Mutts?

    A: Like everyone – the unknown. As a non-profit dog rescue, we rely solely on donations to stay afloat. We have to continue to provide food for all of our animals, vet visits, heartworm medication, flea and tick medication, etc. The spending going out is severely outweighing the money coming in, which is scary for us, but we try not to think about it and continue to focus on getting our dogs adopted.

    Q: If you could sum up Misplaced Mutts and your involvement with the organization in 3 words, what would they be?

    A: Family, Cynophilist, Advocates

    Misplaced Mutts

    Misplaced Mutts Mission

    Misplaced Mutts is a 501(c)3 non-profit, volunteer-based organization, dedicated to rescuing dogs in shelters and less than ideal home situations throughout North Carolina. We are based out of Carteret County, North Carolina, and operate through a network of foster homes. We rescue dogs who are suffering on the streets and in shelters. ​We created Misplaced Mutts to help animals who suffer and die every year because of negligence and abuse.

    Meet Stephanie with Misplaced Mutts

    “Stephanie is our champion at Misplaced Mutts whose mission is to find forever homes for dogs who have been abandoned. To date, she has found homes for 74 dogs! She has such an amazing soul. Her home is always open to the homeless dogs in our community. We wish there were more people like Stephanie in our little community.”

    Stephanie with Misplaced Mutts Carteret County Animal Rescue

    Meet Myron!

    Myron is about 5 years old. He was pulled from the Havelock Animal Control when he was dropped off to be euthanized. He was skin and bones and had no fur. He had no energy to do anything but lay and eat. He is now happy, the most loving boy, loyal, leash-trained, house-trained, and he has almost a full coat of fur. He’s a true rescue story. He is searching for his forever home that can look past the scars of his past. He loves everyone and is great with kids.

    Meet These Available Pups with Misplaced Mutts!



    "Great Hugs"
    Breed: Heeler Mix

    Myron & Waldo

    Myron & Waldo





    "Mr. Silly"
    Breed: American Pit Mix



    Ways to Help Misplaced Mutts!

    vacation check in

    New Check-In Procedures

    check-in procedures for vacation rentals

    We now have new check-in procedures for the safety and protection of our guests, homeowners, and staff. We hope you are ready for your Bluewater Vacation on the Crystal Coast!

    We are taking extra precautions by assuring that each property is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized by using top-of-the-line cleaning supplies and following strict protocols to ensure all rental units are safe and clean. We are ensuring our staff is staying well-informed and updated with any changes, taking guidance from the CDC toward our next steps, and asking our guests, owners, and third-party vendors to limit foot-traffic in both our Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach offices.

    No New Check-In Procedures Keyless Check-Ins:

    If you are checking into a keyless property, your check-in procedures have NOT changed. Please go directly to your vacation rental and use your keyless code to access your vacation rental property beginning at 3:00 PM on your check-in date.

    Important Changes for Keyed Check-In Procedures:

    If you are checking into a Keyed property, you will still arrive at our offices during normal check-in time starting at 3:00 PM. Please do not enter our office to pick up your keys. Instead, your key packet will be located in the lockbox to the right or left of the front door. Use the lock code for your designated check-in office to unlock the box and find your property’s key packet. Please close the lockbox afterward. 

    Emerald Isle Check-Ins:

    The lockbox is located to the RIGHT of the front door. 

    Atlantic Beach Check-Ins:

    The lockbox is located to the LEFT of the front door. 

    Don’t forget to bring toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning products, and bed linens (if your rental property does not already provide linens). 

    For After-Hours Arrival Emergencies: Please call (252) 354-2323 and follow the prompts to reach our on-call team. 

    Important Changes for Keyed Check-Out Procedures:

    Please do not come into the lobby to drop off your keys. There is a slot at the front door on the right for you to drop your key packet off upon Check-Out. 

    If there is anything we can help you with in preparation for your trip, please do not hesitate to contact us. Stay healthy, safe travels, and we will see you at the beach!

    Bluewater Vacation Rentals

    (877) 684-9921 (Phone)

    (252) 354-2323 (Phone After-Hours)

    (252) 354-2324 (Fax)

    email | rentals@bluewaternc.com

    website | www.BluewaterNC.com

    Crystal Coast vacation ideas

    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? 

    tips spring gardening, spring gardening, spring gardens, spring flowers

    Spring Gardening Tips

    With all that is going on in our world right now, we sincerely hope that you are healthy and practicing the recommended social distancing strategies.  With so many staying at home right now and the beautiful weather of Spring in the air, we thought this would be a good time to share some helpful gardening tips. Cathy Sheaffer, our Emerald Isle Broker in Charge took some time to share the secrets she’s used to helping her plants live their best lives!

    Spring Gardening Tips

    Many of my friends and family are amazing gardeners and have shared tips with me over the years.  My husband got his love of gardening from his mother, who is 94 and still producing the most beautiful flower gardens ever!

    spring gardening

    I started composting last year by putting most food scraps, peels, newspaper, cardboard, non-colored paper, dried leaves, etc into a big container outside and toss it around occasionally. It takes time to break down to usable dirt but really helps the quality of the soil. Did you know that you can add dryer lint and hair to your compost?  Read this for more tips on composting:

    If you don’t compost, I’ve been told that Black Kow is one of the best to buy.  It is organic composted cow manure and helps hold moisture and nutrients around the roots.

    I try to plant seeds inside to get a head start and add some outside later as well.

    spring garden flowers, gardening in spring

    Some of my favorite flowers that do well here along the Crystal Coast are zinnias, sunflowers, impatiens, (annuals), Shasta daisies, lantana, verbena, hydrangea, knock out roses, Mexican sage (salvia), Mexican petunia, muhly grass, Vitex (Chaste tree) and spiraea bush. My most favorite, but a little tough to grow here, is statice, which is used as a filler in flower arrangements.  It also dries and keeps its color extremely well. Some statice flowers are perennials and come back heartier each year (unless you have a hurricane- which is what unfortunately killed mine after 4 years). I just ordered more seeds to start a new batch this season and look forward to seeing which colors I end up with. The purple seems to be the hardiest, although I had a couple of white, pink, and yellow that showed up the first year.

    It is recommended to put mulch on top of your soil to hold the moisture in and prevent weeds from sprouting up.  The soil here is sandy, so in the summer you will most likely need to water your plants daily to keep the flowers at their best.  Fertilize your plants with Miracle Grow or Triple 20 once a month and get the container that you can put on your hose to make it easier, but be careful if you use 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 because it can burn your plants if you use too much!

    spring garden tips

    Of course, you’ll be able to enjoy the sights and smells of your flowers, but one of the best things about having a healthy garden is noticing how quickly the butterflies, bees (some can come from up to 5 miles away), dragonflies, hummingbirds, and more come to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Hopefully, you won’t have problems with grasshoppers- as they can chew through leaves, stems, and petals. One summer my grandson and I grabbed 90 grasshoppers of all sizes from two of my flower beds in two days! Our chickens were so excited when we emptied each jar-full into their area. Only a few escaped and probably made their way back to my flowers.

    sunflowers and spring

    With that being said, patience is probably the most important thing to remember when finding your green thumb. Be open to explore a few different options before figuring out exactly what plants work best in your area. If something is not working in a specific area of your yard, remember that it can usually be replanted somewhere else. With so many local landscaping experts and Garden Centers in our area, it’s easy to maintain a beautiful garden throughout the Spring and Summer months!


    I love growing flowers that you can pick and really enjoy making arrangements for my home or better yet, for giving away to someone to brighten their day!

    Here are some simple and quick arrangements that I’ve put together over the years.

    Thank you for reading! – Cathy Sheaffer

    Bluewater Cathy Sheaffer