Beads and Beaufort

Mardi Gras in Beaufort, NC

Since 1699, Mardi Gras has been celebrated in cities worldwide, including our own Beaufort, NC who proudly hosts the shortest parade in North Carolina February, 21 2017.

Middle Lane will come alive with quirky parade “krews” dressed in various costumes and will toss colorful beads and jewelry to the crowds, leading up to the crowning of the Mardi Gras King and queen.  Parade starts promptly at 3pm, where the sidewalks fill with crowds hoping to grab some new treasure. If you are a few minutes late, better get there early next year- really the parade is that quick!

After the procession, the party continues with live jazz/blues/swing music by Barstow & The Revamps and Blue Moon Jazz!  Kiddos also can get in on the fun, with games, face painting and mask making tents set up.

Once you enjoy the celebrations and work up an appetite, local restaurants will be serving traditional Creole style food and drink that is not to be missed. 

Dates:  Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hours:  2 p.m. – 6 p.m.  The parade starts at 3 p.m. sharp.

Price:  Free

Parking:  Downtown Beaufort

Address:  114 Middle Lane, Beaufort, NC, 28516

banner image for the home decor color combo post with a neutral living room behind the text

Home Decor Color Combos

banner image for the home decor color combo post with a neutral living room behind the text

Color Combos that will Rock your Room

Color combos change with the seasons; some are classic and will always be in style while others are bolder and tend to come and go with the current trends. 2016 has been a bright year so here are the combos that will be the star of any room!

Shades of Gray

beautifully decorated living space with gray walls and a gray couch and other accents

Gray is the new beige. Gray can be used in anything from your wall color to your kitchen cabinets, floors, to backsplash! This neutral tone can be combined with just about any other color and still be appealing. If you are in the living room try using curtains or pillows to bring in accent colors. Yellow and gray have been a popular theme for 2016. Blues, pinks/corals, and greens will add a nice contrast as well.

gray kitchen cabinets with subway tile backsplash and a gray appliances

If you are looking to add some color in the kitchen with those gray cabinets try adding a backsplash that will spice things up. Keep things classy with white subway tiles, go vintage with the black and white scheme, get funky with a chevron pattern, or color the room with blue/green glass tiles across the back.

Add Stripes

a striped accent wall in a child's room with a giant teddy bear on the bed

Stripes can add excitement or serenity to a room. Depending upon the color palette you choose and whether or not you decide to do an accent wall or the entire room may depend on how bold of a statement you make. If you just want to add a pattern and draw the eye in one direction then choose an accent wall. This is much less overpowering; try using a silver or light gold for an elegant feel for your color combos. To make it even more refined use thick stripes in the middle and a thinner edge at the top and bottom of the wall. If you are heading in an exciting direction and want a bold feel, add stripes all around! This may be a fun technique for a child’s room or even an office space.

Bold Primaries


While considering color combos, think about primary colors. Primary colors can be great to use, when used wisely, and paired with other colors and tones which compliment them. White often tones down the boldness of these colors and allows them to enhance and not overpower a room. Try a white table with colorful chairs to make a statement or paint a room in a toned-down primary and use white furnishings to help draw the eye elsewhere.

A soft colored blue wall with a yellow chair for the perfect color combo with accennt plants

About the Author

Real estate agent laina collins

Laina Collins grew up on our beautiful Crystal Coastal and has enjoyed the beaches, boating, and atmosphere of coastal living for much of her life. For 6 years she lived in Charlotte, NC where she worked as a Pediatric Cardiology RN; however, she and her husband decided Charlotte was not for them anymore and they moved back to the coast.


Laina always had a knack for helping others whether it was on mission trips or during her career as a nurse. Now, she’s excited to be helping others from a different perspective as one of Bluewater’s top real estate agents. Laina hopes she can be of assistance to you in finding your paradise on the Crystal Coast. Contact Laina Collins, today!


Banner image of a person holding a skateboard with the blog post title overlaying it

Atlantic Beach Skatepark Is Now Open

Banner image of a person holding a skateboard with the blog post title overlaying it

The Atlantic Beach Skatepark Is Now Open

After a year in the works, it is with great pride we share that the Atlantic Beach Skatepark is now open to the public. The construction company was hired in late December 2015 with plans to begin construction in February 2016. As slated, construction began.

Town of Atlantic Beach Skate Park Construction

©️ Town of Atlantic Beach

A Facebook page was set up early in the process to inform the public of the progress to the park. In the beginning stages, the developers even asked for public opinion on ideas for ramps in the park. Allowing the community to get involved with the project giving locals a say in what we wanted to see happen on our Beach.

Being a local, I heard so many times “I wish there was something for kids to do around here.” It’s a trade-off, we get to live on the beach year-round, while those of you in bigger cities have plenty to keep your kids occupied. Skateboarding has always been somewhat of a rebellious sport, with kids being run-off from shopping centers and pretty much everywhere with pavement for as long as I can remember.

But not anymore, the Town of Atlantic Beach and its Mayor, Trace Cooper, have fought to bring this incredible skatepark to the beach and give Atlantic Beach (and surrounding areas) kids somewhere public where they can ride their skateboards without being harassed. I’ve spent the last two afternoons at the park and I’m so excited to see this project completed. I just wish that it had happened 20 years ago!

The park is free to the public so you can stop by for a visit.

Skateboarders Enjoying the Atlantic Beach Skatepark

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A post shared by Big Sister Skates (@bigsisterskates)

BMX Bike Lovers

Skate Park Rules, AB skate park rules

The skate park will also be used as a place where BMX bike riders can practice and enjoy the ramps. There are certain hours set in place for BMX bikes so be sure to check those times if you are going to skate. Also, wear your gear. It’s for your safety and it’s a law.5 W Fort Macon Road and is free to the public. The skate park hours are daily, 8 AM to 10 PM (dawn to dusk). Riders under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Pursuant to NC General Statute, all skaters and riders must wear helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads.

Additional Information About the Park


©️ Town of Atlantic Beach

The Town Skate Park is located at the Town Park, 915 W Fort Macon Road, and is free to the public. The skate park hours are daily, 8 AM to 10 PM (dawn to dusk). Riders under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Pursuant to NC General Statute, all skaters and riders must wear helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads.

Parks and Recreation – 
PO Box 10
Atlantic Beach, NC 28512
Phone: 252-726-4456
Fax: 252-727-7043

If you enjoyed this blog post and would like to learn about more activities in our area, read all our blog posts tagged with “activities.”


2013 Real Estate Sales Winners and Awards


2013 Real Estate Sales Winners and Awards

2013 Top Producer – Kitch Ayre

2013 Most Closed Units – Bucky & Teresa Smith

Team Spirit Award – Emerald Isle Malcolm Boartfield

Team Spirit Award – Atlantic Beach Jaime Barefoot

2013 Multimillion Dollar Producers

Our hardworking real estate sales team had 23 agents whose total sales volume for 2013 reached multimillions. The agents who reached this prestigious level of sales were all awarded at our 2013 Annual Sales Award Dinner.

Marcia Jordan

Judi Williams

Jaime Barefoot

Kathy Perry

Sarah Stone Lewis

Kenn Knapp

Janet Hollingshead

Crystal Coast Calendar of Events Header Image

Calendar of Events on the Crystal Coast

Crystal Coast Calendar of Events Header Image

Our Calendar of Events on the Crystal Coast

We’re sharing a Crystal Coast calendar of events so you can plan for fun, sun, and everything in between, all while you enjoy our coast!

North Carolina’s Crystal Coast has family-friendly events and plenty of things to do in the Spring and Summer leading into the Fall and early Winter. Using our Crystal Coast calendar of events, you can keep up to date with local activities, events, and happenings for one and all – from Swansboro, NC., Emerald Isle, NC., Atlantic Beach, NC, and Beaufort, NC, which was voted “Coolest Small Town.”

Here you’ll find a list of festivals, concerts, tours, events, museums, and attractions, including the Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores (if any are scheduled) – all centered around what our coast is known for – beautiful beaches, eco-tours, history, fishing, food, and family fun.

Which Crystal Coast Events Will You Choose? 

The Crystal Coast of North Carolina is enchanting and rich in coastal culture. Looking for a low-key getaway or an action-packed adventure during your visit? Check out our monthly Crystal Coast calendar of events for a list of events to make the most of your vacation while you’re here.

Crystal Coast Annual Events and Festivals



Art From the Heart
Morehead City
(252) 726-9156

Candlelight Homes Tour
Beaufort Historic Site
(252) 728-5225

Carolina Chocolate Festival
Crystal Coast Civic Center
Morehead City
(252) 393-2011

Chowder & Cheer
Downtown Morehead City
(252) 8080-0440

Coastal Home & Garden Show
Crystal Coast Civic Center
Morehead City
(252) 247-3883

Core Sound Decoy Festival
Harkers Island
(252) 838-8818

Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum
Harkers Island
(252) 728-1500

Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla
Morehead City & Beaufort Waterfronts
(252) 728-1638

Crystal Coast Bridal Fair
Crystal Coast Civic Center
Morehead City
(252) 240-3256


Atlantic Beach Beach Music Festival
The Circle in Atlantic Beach
(252) 726-2121

Beaufort Music Festival
Gallants Channel

Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend
(252) 515-0708

Bites & Blues
Downtown Morehead City
(252) 726-6273

Crystal Coast Boat Show
Morehead City Waterfront
(252) 808-0440

Crystal Coast Half Booty Triathlon
(346) 327-6139

Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K
Emerald Isle
(252) 354-3424

Emerald Isle St. Patrick’s Day Festival
Emerald Plantation Shopping Center
Emerald Isle
(252) 354-3424

Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest
Newport Community Park
(252) 223-3112

Shuck, Rattle & Roll
Carteret Community College
Morehead City
(252) 222-6262

Wooden Boat Show
NC Maritime Museum
(252) 504-7740


Beaufort Old Homes & Gardens Tour
Beaufort Historic Site
(252) 728-5225

Beaufort Pirate Invasion
Gallants Channel
(252) 241-9049

Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament
Morehead City Waterfront
(252) 247-3575

Big Rock Kids Billfish Tournament
Downtown Morehead City
(919) 801-8346

Fourth of July Fireworks Celebrations
Atlantic Beach, Morehead City & Beaufort

Beaufort Historic Road Race
(252) 902-9712

Kayak for the Warriors Kayak & SUP Race
Pine Knoll Shores
(252) 247-4353

NC Ducks Unlimited Band the Billfish Tournament
Morehead City
(910) 358-5080


Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Tournament

Carolina Kite Festival
Atlantic Beach
(252) 247-7011

Community Thanksgiving Feast
Beaufort Historic Site
(252) 728-5225

Crystal Coast Grand Prix
Downtown Morehead City
(252) 515-8131

Crystal Coast Highland Games
(603) 496-4546

Emerald Isle Fall Fishing Tournament
Emerald Isle 

Mullet Festival
Swansboro Waterfront
(910) 326-2600
Swansboro Festivals

North Carolina Seafood Festival
Morehead City Waterfront
(252) 726-6273


Did we miss any of your favorite events? Let us know! Be sure to search our Crystal Coast vacation rentals for the properties closest to your event, and enjoy!

crystal coast pizza

Pizza on the Crystal Coast

crystal coast pizza

Enjoy some Pizza on the Crystal Coast

Who doesn’t love pizza? No matter what style of pizza you enjoy the most, the Southern Outer-banks has it covered. There are many different places to grab a pizza on the Crystal Coast. 

Many locals have their go-to places and you will quickly learn the most popular ones. We think you should try them all and make your own decision. For your convenience, we’ve put together a list of the most popular places along our southern Outer Banks.

New York-style, traditional, and even gluten-free options can be found around the Crystal Coast. Many of these have other options to go along with your pizza or for those who want something different. You can find salads, wings, burgers, subs, and much more. Be sure to check out the list below and find the best pizza restaurant for you. You can never go wrong with a large hot pizza. Take out or Eat In, it is your choice! We would love to hear your favorite!

Pick your Pizza Place

Restaurant Options

Looking for something completely different? Don’t miss this list of some of our most popular Crystal Coast restaurants.

Swansboro on the Crystal Coast

Experience The Crystal Coast

Experience the Crystal Coast

If you’re interested in learning more about the Crystal Coast the best way to do that is to come and explore. Experience the Crystal Coast for yourself by learning a little more about each of our popular towns. Once you do, you can then choose which area you’d like to stay at and select the vacation rental or explore homes in that beautiful town!




The home of Hammocks Beach State Park, the “Friendly City by the Sea” offers a historic downtown district overlooking the water. The quaint village atmosphere and the historic downtown area offers shopping in an area alive with restaurants, boutiques, gift shops, and waterside parks. Host to the Arts by the Sea Festival, the Mullet Festival, and multiple fishing tournaments – Swansboro offers some of the best hospitality on the North Carolina coast.

emerald isleEmerald Isle

The outdoorsy adventurous guests to Emerald Isle are in heaven with activities like surfing, kayaking, kiteboarding, and paddleboarding. Families can enjoy miles of walking, jogging and bike paths, and several nature trails that allow you to enjoy the naturally pristine environment with a variety of birds, waterfowl, and families of whitetail deer.  The Point in Emerald Isle is not to be missed when visiting the western shores of Bogue Banks; the sunsets are breathtaking!

salter pathSalter Path

Known for its history as an old fishing village, Salter Path is different because it is home to a large dune system, excellent beaches, breathtaking sound front views, and even a small maritime forest.  Family beach cottages are easy to spot as you cruise through Salter Path.  Be sure to stop and look at Bogue Sound; as it sparkles a magnificent blue on a bright sunny day.

indian beachIndian Beach

Indian Beach is conveniently located in the middle of Bogue Banks.  Its location allows easy access to the sights and sounds of Morehead City and Emerald Isle, as well as restaurants &  shopping.  But above all, you’ll enjoy the quiet calming expanse of soft sands and lush maritime forest. Its location allows easy access to the sights and sounds of Morehead City and Emerald Isle, as well as restaurants &  shopping.  But above all, you’ll enjoy the quiet calming expanse of soft sands and lush maritime forest.

pine knoll shoresPine Knoll Shores

The wide beaches and sound side access make it easy to swim, go shelling, clamming, or kayaking along this beautiful stretch of the island.  The North Carolina Aquarium is located in Pine Knoll Shores and offers a variety of marine species including fish, crabs, sea horses, lionfish, and sharks. The sea turtle nursery features an albino turtle named Nimbus! Nature trails offer a walk above a tidal marsh where marine creatures live and shorebirds wade looking for food. All in all, it’s a tranquil way to spend the afternoon.

atlantic beachAtlantic Beach 

Atlantic Beach has a retro “beach-town” feel of days past and has been North Carolina’s “go-to” beach since the 1930s. Located at the eastern end of Bogue Banks, Atlantic Beach features a laid-back friendly feel with wide sandy beaches, a boardwalk, and a commercial district with plenty of dining and shopping options. Nature trails, public parks, and beach accesses will draw you in. Atlantic Beach is also home to Fort Macon State Park, a historic Civil War fort, which is the most visited state park in North Carolina.

morehead city

Morehead City

Downtown Morehead City has an alluring waterfront appeal lined with charter boats, legendary seafood restaurants, charming shops all overlooking Sugarloaf Island.  The Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament is held annually in June with crowds, Beaufort, NC gathering daily at the weigh station to see which boat will bring in the biggest blue! Also home of the North Carolina Seafood Festival, held every year the first weekend in October. Vendors line the waterfront with all types of seafood & arts and crafts, along with kid’s rides and activities! Families can also enjoy watching the Morehead City Marlins play baseball at Big Rock Stadium. With multiple shopping centers throughout Morehead City, there’s something for everyone!


Beaufort, the 3rd oldest town in North Carolina, is known for its Bahamian and West Indian style architecture and its close ties with a notorious pirate. It offers a beautiful sandy shore as well as stunning waterfront views and many specialty shops and delicious restaurants downtown. You can watch the feral horses from the banks of Beaufort or board a ferry to see them in their unspoiled habitat. Hop atop the English Double-Decker bus for a tour around this historic fishing village to see Blackbeard’s home and the mysterious Old Burial Ground. You’ll see exactly what makes this coastal community so special and why it was voted Best Small Town in the USA in 2012.