A young girl rests on the railing of the Morehead City Ferry while anticipating her next adventure.

What to Know About the Morehead City Ferry Service

A young girl rests on the railing of the Morehead City Ferry while anticipating her next adventure.

What to Know About the Morehead City Ferry Service

With its stunning oceanside vistas and iconic waterways, Morehead City is a picturesque town flooding with beauty. Among the various ways to explore the historic and vibrant Crystal Coast community, traveling by water is something every visitor should consider. Part of what makes a memorable vacation is “living like a local,” and hitching a ride on the Morehead City Ferry Service is your ticket to an immersive experience rife with gorgeous scenery and unwavering charm. Whether you’re planning to search for treasure on Sand Dollar Island or take a cruise to watch dolphins amid the sunset, you’re in for an unforgettable endeavor aboard the Morehead City Ferry!

Places to Visit near the Morehead City Ferry Service

Depending on when you’re leaving the mainland, you may wish to check out a few places near the ferry. Jaycee Park offers panoramic views of the Bogue Sound, several swing benches, and a pair of picnic tables if you’d like to enjoy a quick snack overlooking the waterfront. Grumpy’s is just up the street and makes a mean skillet if you’d like to grab something for breakfast. If you’re craving seafood after spending some time on the water, check out Red Fish Grill has an eclectic menu of unique features, classic dinner entrees, and handheld fare. And if you need a snorkel and goggles, Olympus Diving has you covered. Ensure you allow ample time for boarding as the ferry’s departures are stringent and dictated by the tide.

Sand Dollar Island Ferry and Tour

Sand Dollar Island reveals itself during the low tide, making it an intriguing outing for curious travelers. On your way, enjoy a fully narrated ride showcasing the Morehead City State Port, Sugarloaf Island, Fort Macon, and the Shackleford Banks. Once you arrive, you’ll find several tidal pools holding sand dollars. Scour the ankle-high pools, throw on a pair of goggles, and dive into the deeper basins to locate one of nature’s souvenirs. The Sand Dollar Island Tour is approximately three hours.

Sunset Dolphin Watch Cruise

Set sail on a spacious catamaran to take in Crystal Coast sunset while snagging a glance at emerging bottlenose dolphins. In addition to several points of interest included on the Sand Dollar Island Tour—minus the Shackleford Banks—you’ll also see Radio Island and the revered Beaufort Waterfront. Drift throughout several gorgeous Crystal Coast bays and inlets on a carefree voyage. The Sunset Dolphin Watch is approximately one and a half hours.

Find Your Crystal Coast Vacation Spot with Bluewater

Complementing the two main attractions offered by the Morehead City Ferry Service, the Special Sand Dollar Island and Dolphin Watch Tour adds an extra 30 minutes to the trip and combines the best of both tours for those who want to see it all! Thankfully, Bluewater has several vacation rentals in Morehead City and other nearby towns with easy access to a myriad of Crystal Coast attractions so that you won’t miss a thing!

Which Morehead City Ferry tour will you enjoy the most? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo of boats on water with text overlay: Things to Do in Swansboro NC

A Guide to the Best Things to Do in Swansboro, NC

Photo of boats on water with text overlay: Things to Do in Swansboro NC

A Guide to the Best Things to Do in Swansboro, NC

The North Carolina coast is a unique place full of charming port towns, fascinating history, and gorgeous beaches. Located five miles from Emerald Isle, you’ll find the coastal town of Swansboro, also known as “The Friendly City by the Sea.” This picturesque seaside town lives up to the nickname with its friendly, laidback atmosphere and water activities like kayaking, boating, and fishing. Whether you want to paddle the waterways or explore the historic downtown, there are endless things to do in Swansboro, NC!

Water Activities in Swansboro

Since Swansboro is bordered by the Intracoastal Waterway and the White Oak River, it’s no surprise that water activities are one of the most popular things to do here. Explore the water with kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, tours, and fishing adventures. 

Hammocks Beach State Park

Hammocks Beach State Park is easily accessible from Swansboro via ferry or paddling the canoe trails. Bear Island features some of the most unspoiled beaches and maritime forests on the Atlantic coast. Rent a kayak from PaddleNC and explore the water on your own or join one of their Hammocks Beach tours instead.

Fishing and Cruises

Anglers will love fishing on the North Carolina coast. Swansboro charters offer inshore, nearshore, and deep water fishing opportunities. Nancy Lee Fishing Charter and Pogies are the most popular options. For a different way to get on the water, join Lady Swan Boat Tours for a scenic sunset cruise or a historical tour of the Intracoastal waterway.

Photo of historic downtown Swansboro

Historic Downtown Swansboro

The port town of Swansboro has a significant maritime history that once thrived on shipbuilding. Over 200 years later, the downtown area is full of sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Explore the charming architecture, boutiques, and restaurants in downtown Swansboro. 

Self-Guided History Tour

The Swansboro Historic District features 30 sites you can see on a self-guided walking tour. Most of the district was developed between the late 1800s and early 1900s with architectural styles like Greek Revival, Bungalow, and American Craftsman. Use the guide from the Swansboro Historical Association to plan your walking route.


Historic downtown Swansboro is home to dozens of boutiques you can explore during your getaway. Bring home a piece of Swansboro with home decor, gifts, or antiques from Salt Marsh Cottage or Poor Man’s Hole. After a day downtown, stop at Candy Edventure and bring back a sweet treat to your vacation rental.

Swansboro Festivals

The quiet charm of Swansboro comes alive with annual festivals you can plan your vacation around. Celebrate talented local artists’ crafts and products during the Arts by the Sea event in June. October brings the oldest festival on the Crystal Coast to Swansboro with the Mullet Festival featuring seafood and live music.

Visit the Friendly City by the Sea

If Swansboro sounds like your kind of vacation destination, choose one of our vacation rentals at Bluewater. We have hundreds of rentals to choose from, including the 1906 Alex Moore House in the heart of Swansboro’s Historic District. Discover all of the things to do in Swansboro, NC, and experience “The Friendly City by the Sea” for yourself!

What are some of your favorite things to do in Swansboro? Let us know in the comments below!

A point-of-view shot of a kayak heading into the Crystal Coast's tranquil waters with the words "Experience Nature: Kayaking the Crystal Coast" in cursive.

Experience Nature: Kayaking the Crystal Coast

A point-of-view shot of a kayak heading into the Crystal Coast's tranquil waters with the words "Experience Nature: Kayaking the Crystal Coast" in cursive.

Experience Nature: Kayaking the Crystal Coast

If you’ve never traveled to the Crystal Coast, you may be wondering what the name is all about. The name refers to our glistening crystal clear waters and inviting white sandy beaches on 85 miles of beautiful coastline. Surrounded by the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, it makes sense that one of our favorite ways to explore the region is by water. 

Kayak the Crystal Coast and paddle through salt marshes and barrier islands as you spot local wildlife. Discover our crystal clear waters for yourself at one of these kayaking destinations on the North Carolina Coast:

Intracoastal Waterways

The Intracoastal Waterways extend 300 miles in North Carolina through scenic sounds, rivers, creeks, and marshes. Paddling the Intracoastal Waterways is an easy way to explore all of the coastal communities from Swansboro to Atlantic Beach. The water is shallow and calm, so anyone can enjoy kayaking, even if you’ve never done it before!

Where to access the Intracoastal Waterways: Emerald Isle Woods Park, Hoop Pole Creek Nature Trail in Atlantic Beach, Jaycee Park in Morehead City.

Hammocks Beach State Park

Paddle the waterways to Hammocks Beach State Park from the dock off Hammock Beach Road in Swansboro. There are a variety of water trails to choose from that make up some of the best kayaking on the Crystal Coast. You will paddle through scenic salt marshes abundant with wildlife as you head towards Bear Island. Once you reach the island, you can spend time hiking or fishing before heading back to your Bluewater Vacation Rental.

Join Paddle NC for a guided tour of Hammocks Beach State Park and Bear Island!


Rachel Carson Reserve

The Rachel Carson Reserve is a collection of islands and marshes and a fantastic kayaking route for wildlife lovers. Launch your kayak from the Beaufort waterfront and paddle across Taylor’s Creek. On the way, keep an eye out for dolphins, diamondback terrapins, and sea turtles. Horse Island is one of four islands in the reserve known for its population of wild horses. Please read the reserve rules before you start your paddling adventure from Beaufort!

Join Beaufort Paddle for a guided tour of Rachel Carson Reserve and learn about the unique history and geology of the islands.

Cape Lookout National Seashore

Cape Lookout National Seashore has 16 paddling trails that are accessible in Carteret County. Pick up your paddle trail map at Down East Kayaks in Beaufort. The trails take you through saltwater marshes, channels, and swamps. The calm waters offer a relaxing setting to watch birds as you paddle along the barrier island chain. The best access point is from the Visitors Center on Harkers Island, but the route can be challenging, so check the tide charts.

A horse gently grazes near near the beach.

Discover Kayaking on the Crystal Coast Today!

Spend your vacation kayaking the Crystal Coast. Whether you want to stay in lively Emerald Isle or historic Beaufort, Bluewater Vacation Rentals has a premier collection of vacation homes on the Crystal Coast. 

Speak to one of our certified vacation planners, and we will help you find the perfect vacation rental based on your criteria. Just follow this link and fill out your information at the bottom of the page.

What is your favorite water sport on the Crystal Coast? Let us know in the comments below!

Lighthouse photo of the Crystal coast

A Guide to Crystal Coast Activities and Attractions

Lighthouse photo of the Crystal coast

A Guide to Crystal Coast Activities and Attractions

Whether you’re looking to buy real estate or invest in a vacation rental on the Crystal Coast, you might be wondering what attractions and activities are available in the area. There are endless Crystal Coast activities; that’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top attractions and restaurants to get you started.

Popular Things to Do on the Crystal Coast

North Carolina Aquarium

The North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores features the largest saltwater aquarium in the state. The aquarium has replicated a sunken submarine to create a unique environment. The 300,000-gallon tank is home to various fish, sharks, and turtles. Several tours and activities are available that allow you to get behind the scenes and learn more about incredible marine life and conservation efforts.

Fort Macon State Park

This state park has something for everyone on the Crystal Coast. The site includes a 19th century Civil War fort that you can explore on your own along with guided tours. Fort Macon State Park also has several beautiful hiking trails, fishing spots, and fun on the water for the avid paddlers. 

Graveyard of the Atlantic

The North Carolina Coast has often been dubbed “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” since thousands of ships have sunk in this area over hundreds of years. These historic wrecks are a top destination for scuba divers and adventurers on the Crystal Coast. Embark on an unforgettable diving charter with Discovery Diving or Olympus Dive Center

Cape Lookout National Seashore

Three miles off-shore is Cape Lookout National Seashore that is accessible by a short boat ride from Atlantic Beach. This is the best place to experience some of the top outdoor activities in one place. Learn about the importance of Cape Lookout Lighthouse or walk through historic villages. You can also find some of the best fishing on the Atlantic Coast from the beach at Cape Lookout National Seashore.

Our Favorite Crystal Coast Restaurants

34 Degrees North

For fresh seafood, local produce, and incredible waterfront views, check out this historic Beaufort restaurant. The menu includes local mahi-mahi, pan-seared grouper, shrimp, and grits, along with an expansive selection of wine. Perfect for a romantic dinner on the coast!

Ruddy Duck Tavern

This Morehead City restaurant features locally caught seafood made with high-quality ingredients at an affordable price. Ruddy Duck Tavern is an excellent choice for lunch as you gaze out at stunning ocean views.

Front Street Grill

Visit Front Street Grill for a delicious dinner on the Crystal Coast and take in a panoramic sunset while you eat. The menu includes a variety of coastal food with a southern soul that will soon have you coming back for more.

Amos Mosquitos

Amos Mosquitos is a local favorite and offers a unique coastal dining experience in Atlantic Beach. Choose from a variety of excellent seafood dishes or try out Amos’s famous meatloaf topped with bacon and a brown sugar glaze. 

Table 9

If you are looking for the perfect restaurant for a romantic dinner on the coast, look no further than Table 9. Couples will love the relaxing atmosphere as you dine on fresh oysters, lobster ravioli, or crab-stuffed Mahi. And if you aren’t craving seafood, you can find lamb chops, ribeye, and filet mignon on the menu as well.

Red Fish Grill

Admire the Morehead City waterfront in a casual and friendly atmosphere at Red Fish Grill. One of the most popular items at the restaurant is the crab-stuffed Mahi, but you can’t go wrong with any of the redfish features or dinner entrees.

Photo of the beach and a gazebo on the Crystal Coast

Learn More About Crystal Coast Activities

These Crystal Coast activities, attractions, and restaurants only scratch the surface of things to do in the area. Each town on the coast offers something different and a wealth of attractions waiting to be explored. If you want to learn everything our slice of paradise has to offer, then visit our Vacation Rental Blog to keep up to date with the best things to do on the coast.

What attractions and restaurants would you have included in your Crystal Coast bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!

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
  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! 

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 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! 

Banner Image 2021 October Events on the Crystal Coast

Spotlight: October Events on the Crystal Coast

Banner Image 2021 October Events on the Crystal Coast

Spotlight: October Events on the Crystal Coast

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 October events on the Crystal Coast.


Every Friday and Saturday in October – Dusk until 10:30 PM

Eerie looking bird in a leafless tree at night during a full moon during spooky October Events on the Crystal Coast

2365 Miller Creek Road, Newport, NC 28570

Take a walk through Mill Creek’s Haunted Woods that features a blood cemetery, Noose Creek Bridge, Johnny’s Maze, The Butcher Shop Open Air Meat Market, Mill Creek Chemical Corp, smoke-filled tunnels, lots of monsters, ghouls, and candy for the kids.


Recurring daily from October 2, 2021 – October 23,  2021

Man surrounded by deep sea fishing poles on a boat

Out of all the October events on the Crystal Coast, this is an annual favorite! The Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Fishing Tournament is a non-profit fundraiser supported entirely by volunteers with the mission of purchasing lifesaving equipment for the AB Fire department.  All money donated is tax-deductible due to the 501(c)(3) status of the Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Fishing Tournament, Inc.


champagne flutes on a table with appetizers

October 7, 2021 – October 10, 2021 – (252) 515-0708

A wine and food weekend experience that pays homage to our rich maritime roots by pairing fine wine and spirits with the culinary talents of Carteret County.

10/7 | 5:30 – 9:30 pm: Featuring six talented chefs, craft cocktails, fine wine pairings, and an unforgettable setting. Join us for a five-course dinner and cocktail hour on Beaufort’s scenic waterfront.

10/8 | 3 – 6 pm: The fashion event of the season featuring the latest trends, signature cocktails, delicious appetizers, and an exciting shopping experience!

10/9 | 2 – 5 pm: Shucking Good Time – Experience a one-of-a-kind seafood event, featuring local oysters, shrimp, and clam farmers paired with the best Chefs in town! Spirit tastings, local artisans, and live music will set the scene while overlooking the views of a down east waterfront oasis. The event will take place at Beau Coast Development

10/10 | 11 am – 2 pm: Blues, Bubble and Brunch – Featuring the talented Michael Lee behind acclaimed M Sushi, M Kokko, and M Tempura. Chef Lee will bring his big city taste to the town of Beaufort. Don’t miss this event that will bring local seafood to a new level. The event will take place at Beaufort Hotel.


October 9, 2021 – 9 AM – 3 PM

Beautiful classic cars lined up

Mac Daddy’s Entertainment Center – 130 Golfin Dolphin Drive, Cape Carteret, NC 28584 – Call: 252.393.6565

FREE – Registration will begin at 9 AM. Contact Dolly Witt at 919.922.9409 for details.

You could be one of these lucky winners: 

  • Best in Show 2021-1988
  • Best in Show 1987 – Older
  • Best in Bike
  • Sponsor’s Choice
  • Best Ford, General Motors, Mopar, Import, Engine, Interior, or Paint
  • Children’s Hot Wheels Race
  • 50/50 Raffle

Fun for the whole family! 


October 9, 2021 – October 10, 2021 – 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Boat Building Course In October Events on the Crystal Coast

North Carolina Maritime Museum – 315 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516 – Call: 252.504.7758

Intro to Wooden Boat Building – Students explore the art of boatbuilding in this two-day hands-on course, beginning with lofting, and moving on to the setup, steam bending, and different methods of creating the backbone of small boats. They also learn planking methods, both carvel and lapstrake, and the use of appropriate fasteners. After two days, students will have the knowledge, skill, and confidence to choose a design and style of boat to build on their own. (12 hours).


October 10, 2021 – 8:00 AM – 3PM

2 scuba divers in the water with the light above them

Olympus Dive Center – 713 Shepard Street, Morehead City, NC 28557 – Call: 252.726.9432

Price: $145

Take a 2-tank trip with Olympus Dive Center. This is an Inshore trip with a short boat ride and a max depth of 65 feet. There are several excellent wrecks to explore. This is a great way to get your first NC ocean dive under your belt. Meet at the dock at 8 am. Tanks are not included.

Minimum Requirements for In-shore dive trip:

  • A minimum of 10 logged dives.
  • At least 1 logged boat ocean dive.
  • At least 2 dives in the last 12 months.
  • The minimum age for an In-Shore dive charter is 12 years of age.
  • Minimum safety equipment-recommendation is a surface marker buoy suitable for diving in the ocean. Neon yellow is best for our area.
  • In addition to the basic scuba equipment, our Off-Shore charters require that each diver dive with a computer. Please be aware of how the computer functions as well as how to set the computer for the appropriate mix. In addition, having the computer manual with you on the dive boat is always advised.
  • For divers who are close to but do not meet all of the requirements to dive on the In-Shore dive, charter arrangements for a guide can be made through the shop.  Please contact us for more information at


October 14, 2021 – 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

The Embers musical group standing together

Jaycee Park- 807 Shepard Street, Morehead City, NC 28557 – Call: 252.808.0440

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and join them for music and dancing. Beer, wine, and sodas are available for purchase at the event. Jaycee Docks are available for boats to dock for free throughout the concert on most Alive at Five days. RSVP Here


October 21, 2021 – October 31, 2021 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

A festival crowd of people in the street

The Beaufort Picture Show is pleased to present the first annual Beaufort Film Festival! We’re looking to treat and inspire an otherwise under-served (festival-wise) and appreciative audience of movie-lovers all along the so-called Crystal Coast — it’s beautiful here at the beach, and we’ve got our boats and our books and our beers all lined up, but what we’re looking for now is “boffo box-office, bay-bee.” 

We sought submissions of all stripes: student films, experimental films, shorts, feature-length, you name it. And now we’re selecting the “coolest” flicks to screen at one of our (honestly) cool movie venues — we’ve got a retro-hip Drive-In (made out of shipping containers!) at Gallant’s Channel, plus we’ve got a more intimate indoor venue (right next door to a micro-brewery!) – Mill Whistle Brewing, and there’s all manner of “great lawns” about town where we can celebrate both the art of film and the practice of maintaining social distance (if need be).


October 23, 2021 – 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

men in kilts walking on grass

Gallant’s Channel Event Space- 293 W. Beaufort Road Extension, Beaufort, NC 28516 – Call: 603.496.4546

Price: $12 in advance and $20 at the gate.

Don’t miss the Crystal Coast Highland Games! This will be a day of family fun for all ages, there will be demonstration Scottish dancing, Heavy Athletics, Scottish vendors, kids area, clan tents and of course the sound of bagpipes. Bring the family for a look at Scottish heritage. There is no refund rain or shine. Questions? Email: 

Calendar of Events

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

Plan a North Carolina Winter Vacation for the Holidays

Plan a North Carolina Winter Vacation for the Holidays

The start of the holiday season means many places across the country are preparing for colder weather and snowy days. A holiday on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast is the perfect place to get away from the cold in exchange for sunny days at the beach. Leave ice-covered windshields behind and enjoy the mild temperatures of a North Carolina winter this holiday season.

The Weather is Warm; the Beaches are Beautiful

What’s the best thing about a North Carolina winter? Temperatures on the Crystal Coast rarely reach freezing. These mild temperatures allow you to experience the best activities in the area year-round. Here are just a few ways you can enjoy the warm weather together during the holidays:

Celebrate with Holiday Events on the Coast

There are several North Carolina winter events sure to please when vacationing for the holidays. The beginning of December brings the annual Gingerbread Festival, a Christmas Candlelight Tour and so much more. Each town offers various events throughout the season, such as breakfast with Santa and spectacular holiday parades.

If you are interested in learning more about holiday events, then please read our December Calendar of Events for more information.

Photo of one of our Crystal Coast vacation rentals

The Best Choice: Crystal Coast Vacation Rentals

Since the holidays are all about spending time with loved ones, you’ll want a spacious rental to host your getaway. At Bluewater Vacation Rentals, we have over 900 properties on the Crystal Coast, so you’re guaranteed to find the perfect place for your North Carolina winter getaway. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide which town to stay in. Would you like to be on the mainland in Swansboro or Beaufort? Or, would you like to stay in one of our island towns like Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, or Atlantic Beach? Browse all of the distinctive areas on the coast to discover which beach community is right for you! 

The next questions you should ask yourself are how many bedrooms you’re looking for and what kind of amenities you’ll need. Choose to stay in a luxury oceanfront home with direct access to the beach or a charming cottage. Whatever property you choose, you’ll have plenty of space to gather in the living room and bake festive treats in the kitchen together. With so many vacation rentals to choose from, you’re certain to find one that’s perfect for the holidays at Bluewater!

What is your favorite thing about celebrating the holidays on the Crystal Coast? Let us know your favorite festivities in the comments below!