add thrse to your crystal coast bucket list

Top To-Dos for Your Crystal Coast Bucket List

Ready to create your Crystal Coast Bucket List? You’re in for a treat! From the locals, and our frequent visitors who we’ll dub “honorary locals”, here is a list of things you MUST do while you’re here on The Crystal Coast! 

add thrse to your crystal coast bucket list

Add These to Your Crystal Coast Bucket List


There is such thing as “beach time”, and you’ll know it when you get here. Things go a little slower when you’re at the beach and your priorities change a bit. Take advantage of the opportunity and turn off your phone, turn off the TV and computer, and really just relax and enjoy yourself. With the fast-paced hectic lifestyle we all lead, this can be hard to do. But you’ll be glad that you did when you look back at the memories and feel totally rejuvenated and reconnected.

add relazing to your crystal coast bucket list


North Carolina’s coastal culinary experience is unlike any other. With a deep sense of tradition, local fare, and coastal atmosphere, your palate is taken to new heights. Dine on some of the freshest seafood you will ever taste from the famous shrimp burger and barbecue at Big Oak Drive-In to the fresh-caught seafood prepared in imaginative ways at some of the top restaurants along the coast.  The crystal Coast offers the finest in Southern Coastal dining.  Join us in October as we celebrate our seafood at the Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival in Morehead City.


The Crystal Coast has been named one of the 10 top diving locations in North America. The ocean floor is alive at the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” with over 2,000 shipwreck sites along the coastline including many World War I and II ships, the historic U-352 submarine, and a breathtaking variety of sharks, exotic Gulf Stream fish, and colorful shellfish. Not your style? You can still get up close and personal with thousands of sea creatures at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Touch a stingray, watch the otters glide through the water, and stare a shark in the eye during their twice-daily feedings in the 306,000 gallon Living Shipwreck.

diving on the crystal coast


Whether it’s trying your hand at surfing, getting up the courage to strap yourself into a parasailing harness, or taking your first breath from a scuba tank, our coast is FULL of new things to try. From jet skis to banana boats, Fly Boarding to kite surfing; there are endless options for new adventures on the coast.


With the Gulf Stream pushing warm waters to our shores, the Crystal Coast offers the longest fishing season on the Atlantic coast.  Spend the day with a local crew on a charter boat and see what fish you can reel in. Some of the most popular catches along our coast are Mahi, Blue, and Yellowfin Tuna, Red Drum, Cobia, Sailfish, Striped Bass, False Albacore, and Wahoo. Get a glimpse of the giants of the sea during the Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament as the pros weigh their daily catch on the Morehead City Waterfront.


Launch a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and take in the sights and sounds of the coast as you cruise through Bogue Sound. There are many small islands just waiting to be explored and miles of smooth Intracoastal and river waterways to choose from. Whether you spend a half-day or pack a lunch and take your family out for the whole day, there is no better way to experience the beauty and charm of our coast than from water level.



Hop on a boat and observe the natural beauty of the wild horses along Shackleford Banks and Carrot Island. Ferries are located in Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Harkers Island, and Davis. This is a favorite for both frequent visitors and first-time guests.  PLUS:  This is a great spot to find fabulous seashells and other treasures swept in by the tide.  Take a trip and explore the Cape Lookout National Seashore and climb the 163-foot tall Cape Lookout Lighthouse — once you reach the top, the view will surely take your breath away!


The coast is just as lively after an unforgettable sunset! Brush off the sand and order a classic cocktail from our award-winning bartenders or hit the water for a moonlit dinner cruise out of Beaufort or Morehead City. If you want to stay closer to home, try a walk on the beach under the stars! Take a flashlight with you and see if you find any Ghost Crabs roaming the beach. The tangy, salt air and roar of the ocean after dark are a whole new experience.


There’s no better way to make memories together than by starting a new tradition. Whether it’s a family photo, a favorite restaurant, or an adventure you take together every year, traditions are the best part of family vacations. One of our Facebook fans, Wendy Eastman, shared her family tradition: “Aunt Wendy’s policy is as soon as we arrive — all children PLUS Aunty Wendy must find their way to the beach and jump in fully-dressed. This has become a tradition for our family.” So come together and find a new tradition while you’re here, one that’s fun and meaningful to your family!


What would you add to this Crystal Coast bucket list? Let us know in the comments below! 

fishing on the coast of nc, crystal coast fishing

Fishing on the Crystal Coast

fishing on the coast of nc, crystal coast fishing

Fishing on the Crystal Coast is a popular pastime for both locals and visitors. From the White Oak River, creeks, and inlets to the surf – there is ample opportunity and fun to be had. No matter what time of the year it is, there are always fish to be caught, so bring your fishing rods because you just might land a big one!

Cast a Line Off a Pier or in the Surf

fishing off the pier on the crystal coast

The most popular time of the year for fishing is during the Fall months. The water temperature is starting to cool down and the days are pleasant.  You can fish in the surf, off a pier, or on one of the popular charters. 

You don’t have to be a skilled angler to find remarkable fishing along our coastline. Our sound, surf, and piers offer every fisherman or woman an opportunity to reel in a prize fish!

To get an incredible view of our coastline while waiting for the fish to bite – these rare wooden fishing piers are the place to be. The Bogue Inlet Pier in the heart of Emerald Isle as well as the Oceana Pier in Atlantic Beach offer unique fishing experiences. To fish from our 1000 foot piers you don’t even need a fishing license or even a fishing pole! These one-stop fishing spots have rods available for rent and bait waiting for your big catch.

Going Out to Sea

fishing charters, dea sea fishing

For the Crystal Coast, charter fishing is not just a leisure sport – it’s a lifestyle. With the bevy of tournaments held here, our sparkling waters are a playground to many sport fishers around the world.

With the Gulf Stream currents less than 40 miles from many parts of our coast, underwater beauties such as Yellowfin tuna, Mahi Mahi, Giant Blue Fin Tuna, King Mackerel, Marlin, Sailfish, and Wahoo are popular trophies. Smaller fish that are caught in deeper waters include Red Snapper, Grouper, Triggerfish, and Sea Bass.  There are many charter services on the eastern end of the county that will offer half-day, full-day, and specialty fishing adventures.

“Head boats” offer larger excursions that can take up to 50 anglers out to sea while smaller vessels accommodate private parties both offering unique fishing experiences. Specialty charters can include Sportsfishing, Shark Fishing, and even Mahi-Mahi. Spending the day miles away from shore, just waiting for that “big one” to take a bite… is an escape you won’t soon forget!  Try a charter fishing expedition while you’re here for an exhilarating unmatched experience.

September, October, and November

trout fishing in nc

Surf fishermen can expect to catch Red Drum, Flounder, Pompano, Sea Mullet, and Bluefish. Live bait is best for catching Red Drum and Flounder. Shrimp and Sand Fleas are fantastic for Pompano and Mullet.

Larger fish such as Spanish and King Mackerel can be caught from the pier during September, and as we move through October, Bluefish, Black Drum and the famous Spots are present and plentiful.

November brings Speckled Trout and Puppy Drum to both the surf and pier. Bottom fishing offers a variety of fish throughout the Fall season including Black Drum, Bluefish, Pufferfish, Pompano, and Sea Mullet. Shrimp bait for bottom fishing seems to be the most popular bait.

December, January, and February

beach fishing, fishing on the beach

Fishing begins to slow down as the water becomes cooler. But when the Winter is mild and the days are sunny, there’s still fish out there willing to take the bait. Fishing off the surf can bring in Sea Mullet and Pufferfish, again, using Shrimp as bait. Whereas, Red Drum can be found near the beachfront and inlets with Gulp bait or lures.

Speckled Trout are mainly found in creeks and it’s been said they love Gulp Jerk Shads and Zoom Flakes.

March through August

fishing on the white oak river

Once the temperatures begin to warm up you’ll find Sea Mullet and Pufferfish moving back in. If you’re up for a little adventure, Skates and Rays can be caught by using double hooked shrimp in the surf. 

Of course, Summer is a great time of year for fishing, and as the days get hotter there is always something different to be caught. During the early part of summer, surf and pier fishers can expect to land smaller Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, and maybe a Flounder or two. Red Drums have been easily in the marshes during the early Summer and in the White Oak River near oyster beds using live bait. Mid-Summer offers Sea Mullet and small Flounder as well as the possibility of catching Tarpon with live bait from the pier.

Moving through late-Summer and into early Fall you’ll see more of the Spanish Mackerel, as well as Bluefish, larger Flounder, and Speckled Trout. You can use jigs for small Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish, although Bluefish will bite at Shrimp bait as well!

Summer is also a great time of the year for bottom-fishing. There is a nice variety of fish throughout the season including Sea Mullet, Croakers, Pompano, Black Sea Bass, Gray Trout, and Gag Grouper.

Try  Fishing on the Crystal Coast

Fishing is a wonderful way of passing the time and enjoying the outdoors. Fish are plentiful along our beautiful Crystal Coast and no matter what time of the year you’re here, you’ll find there is always someone fishing.

As you’re planning your vacation, be sure to add your rods to the list of items to pack along with your fishing license. If you don’t already have one, that’s okay, too. Local tackle shops provide fishing licenses as well.

We really do have it all!

Public Boat Launches

public boat launch in NC

  • Emerald Isle Intracoastal Waterway  6800 Emerald Drive

  • Morehead City Intracoastal Waterway (behind Crystal Coast Visitors Center) 3407 Arendell Street
  • Cedar Point (Swansboro) Intracoastal Waterway 144 Cedar Point Boulevard
  • Beaufort (Taylor’s Creek) 2370 Lennoxville Road

Where to Get an NC Fishing License

Individuals 16 years of age or older using any type of bait or gear to catch finfish while fishing in North Caro­lina’s public waters must possess a valid North Carolina fishing license. This license requirement does not apply to private ponds. Individual residents who receive Food Stamps, Medicaid, or Work First Family Assistance may obtain a written waiver (Annual Subsistence License Waiver) from this fishing license requirement through the county Department of Social Services. A $2 transaction fee may be added to your total order (NCGS 113-270.1B).

Some licensed piers such as the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier and Oceanana Pier require you to purchase a pass to use their facilities and because of this, their pass may cover your NC-CRFL.

Where to Get Your NC Fishing License

  • Purchase a license in person at one of the offices of the Division of Marine Fisheries. Fishing licenses are also available at many local bait and tackle shops as well as sporting goods stores.
  • Purchase a license online on the NC Wildlife website. Once you’re on the site, just click on the green “Purchase Licenses and Permits” button.
  • Call to purchase a license at (888) 248-6834 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Will you give fishing a try while you’re on the Crystal Coast? Let us know in the comments! 

A Look At: Chateau of the Isle

This one-of-a-kind contemporary estate Chateau of the Isle is nestled in a secluded oceanfront bluff in the beautiful Sea Isle Plantation subdivision located in Indian Beach, North Carolina. Surrounded by an inviting series of terraces with unobstructed views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this truly magnificent home encompasses approximately 11,616 square feet of living space and offers 8 bedrooms and 8 and 3 1/2 baths. Privacy, peace, and quiet run abound here, as this vacation home spans 3 oceanfront lots of land.

Ground Level: Entering at ground level You have elevator access from the ground to level two in the main residence, covered parking, 2 over-sized enclosed showers offering both hot and cold. On the street side of the home, you’ll find covered and uncovered carport areas and 2 additional entrances. Enjoy a relaxing movie in the 15 seating theater room with a 150″ projector Screen.

Unique to Chateau of the Isle, this oceanfront beach home boasts three separate living areas, the Main Residence, the Second Residence, and the Third Residence. All three are connected by breezeways and terraces, but not by interior space. To access the Second and Third Residences of Chateau of the Isle, you must exit the Main Residence or use one of the exterior stairs or terraces.

Chateau of the Isle’s Main Residence begins with a spacious foyer with garage access and a grand spiral staircase and generous open living room with a 55″ TV, 75″ TV with Blu-Ray, multiple sitting areas, a game table, and a full wet bar with a sink, ice maker and fridge. Gather your entire family around the dining table or head out to the terrace to eat in the salt air. Flowing from the living space, you’ll find a Full Gourmet Kitchen, abundant with counter space, storage space, and featuring a professional Thermador cooktop with 6 gas burners and an electric griddle. Completing the gourmet kitchen is an island with a prep sink, a large Sub-Zero fridge, and a pair of freezer drawers. Attached to the kitchen is a breakfast nook with a breath-taking unobstructed ocean view, which has a wine cooler, drink fridge, and two more pairs of freezer drawers, to give your family plenty of space for wine, beer, soft drinks, and frozen food. There is an extra sink and dishwasher in the breakfast nook (to compliment the one nearby in the kitchen), along with an ice maker. Topping off the area are two 32″ TVs, one facing the breakfast nook and one facing the main kitchen. You’ll love to whip up a meal in the double convection ovens or use the microwave/convection combo, keeping your meal warm in the warming drawer if you can’t immediately gather your guests to eat. Beside the kitchen is a half-bath and laundry room. Adjacent to the gourmet kitchen, you can retire to a north-facing front outdoor terrace, from where you can enjoy the summer sunset over the trees, surrounded by lush greenery.

Passing by the elevator, which accesses all levels (from the garage to the top floor) enter into the king oceanfront suite Master Bedroom #1. It is a perfect retreat with a king-sized bed, grand walk-in closet, and private mini-fridge. Soothe your worries away in the large tiled ocean-view shower or from the jetted Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean. With the press of a button, from the bed, you can enjoy a flat-screen TV that emerges mid-room as well as a picturesque view of the ocean from your terrace. Just two steps from your terrace, you can enter into the large outdoor jetted spa for a relaxing soak outside.

Heading up the grand spiral staircase, take in the lushness of Bogue Banks from the floor to ceiling windows. At the top of the stairway, you are led to Level Two of the Main Residence and the second bedroom. There you’ll find tucked behind the pocket doors, Master Bedroom #2, a cozy oceanfront king bedroom with a 55″ TV. The large, private, covered terrace directly off the second bedroom is perfect for an airy retreat. There is a pass way to the bath that also opens up to the hallway, for a shared bath with upstairs living areas. Outside Master Bedroom #2, you will find a large bonus area with a kitchenette. This adaptable space provides options for multiple uses including seclusion for games, reading, and puzzles, conferences and meetings, floor space for children to play, and plenty of storage space for event rental needs, such as tables and chairs. The elevator from the garage terminates here, allowing access to this beautiful level for guests with limited mobility.

The Second Residence is connected to the main residence by a breezeway and oceanfront terrace as well as from the lower covered parking level. Within this residence, you will find 3 king masters and a sitting area. The king oceanfront Master Suite #3 is on Level One and overlooks the pool and ocean. This suite has a king bed, 2 closets, and a sitting area. The sitting area and the bedroom each have a 50″ television. There is a full private bathroom with a tub/shower, double vanities. This floor has its own laundry area and kitchenette tucked behind Bedroom #3. Level Two is completed with two King Masters and a cozy sitting area with a sofa. The Oceanfront Master Bedroom #4 has a king bed, private terrace with raised seating overlooking the infinity pool and ocean, 50″ Television, private bath with shower stall and double sink. Overlooking the lush views of Bogue Banks sits Master Suite Bedroom #5, boasting a king bed, private bath with shower stall and double sink, 50″ Television, and an additional seating area with 2 cozy chairs and ottomans perfect for an afternoon date with your favorite book while peeking at the ocean.

The Third Residence on the eastern end of the property has its own living area with a 75″ Television connected to a Blu-Ray player above and a 50″ Television below it, a pool table, a full kitchen, a laundry room, and a half bath on Level One. This Cabana area is perfect for games and gatherings. Settle in to view some sports and shows on TV or exit to the cabana seating area under the covered terrace and enjoy views of the ocean and pool.

Level Two has a king oceanfront Master Bedroom #6, with a king-sized bed, walk-in closet, full private bath with shower stall, 43″ Television, and lots of large windows to enhance the view of your oceanfront beach retreat! Bedroom #7 is the Bunk room and features 2 twin triple bunk beds with trundles, a full bathroom with shower stall, walk-in closet, 55″ Television, and ocean views. Rounding out this level is a king suite Bedroom #8, featuring a king bed and a private bath with shower stall, 50″ Television, and walk-in closet. Windows lace the back of this master suite allowing you to take in flourishing, dense greenery of the Crystal Coast that border this secluded estate as well as a view of the ocean from the east-facing window.

Amenities included at Chateau of the Isle: Two living rooms, expansive loft, full kitchen, Gourmet Kitchen, five kitchenettes, Coffee Makers, three ovens, warming oven, two refrigerators, three icemakers, three microwaves, three dishwashers three laundry rooms with washer and dryers, High Speed Wireless Internet, 16 large flatscreen Smart TVs total with two being in both living rooms and at least one in every bedroom, Pool Table, Card/Game/Poker Table, Wet Bar, Elevator, 15 seating Theater with a 150″ Projector Screen, Ping Pong Table, Basketball Goal with Glass Backboard, Whirlpool Tub, Radiant Gas Grill, Ceiling Fans, expansive covered terrace along the entire oceanside of the estate, outdoor seating and lounge furnishings, covered showers with hot water, sand removal shower on walkway to the ocean, Private Infinity Pool (May be heated May-September for an additional $650 per week, custom quotes available for cooler weeks), Hot Tub, ocean walk with 10’x22′ deck at the dune line, perfect for small, ocean front weddings or lounging in the sun.

Don’t Miss A Visit to Moonrakers in Beaufort NC

This fall, our marketing team worked on putting together a video shoot highlighting all the best places on The Crystal Coast. We ended our shoot at Moonrakers in Beaufort!

Moonrakers is a gorgeous restaurant right on the water with rooftop dining and bar lounge in the Beaufort Historic District. They have excellent drinks, cuisine, and views – you can’t go wrong dining here!

Moonrakers in Beaufort

A quick visit to their website reveals that “Moonrakers,” named after the rectangle sail flown at the uppermost height of a three-mast 17th-century ship, is a state-of-the-art, upper-casual, full-service restaurant with rooftop dining and bar lounge area located in the Beaufort Historic District.

Moonrakers in Beaufort offers friendly, neighborly service, along with excellent food. Moonrakers Coastal Cuisine features a captivating dining room and bar overlooking the waterfront on the ground floor including 14-foot open ceilings, a display kitchen, a custom mural, acoustical sails, a dedicated wine wall, and a wood-fired brick oven. The comfortable décor is centered around an inviting, light, and airy coastal themed atmosphere featuring original artwork by our local artists as well as entertainment by some of the best local musicians around. The restaurant’s ground floor includes a covered, open-air dining space overlooking the coastal waterway that you won’t want to miss.

We have it on good authority that Moonrakers has a creative beverage program. From serving handcrafted cocktails to frozen favorites, spirits are always high on Taylors Creek. For hops lovers, they offer a great selection of local craft beers as well as domestic and international favorites. However, we bet their house favorite, Boomkicker Kölsch, at Crystal Coast Brewing Company will be one of your favorite’s, too.

Did You Know?

Moonrakers was awarded “The Award of Excellence” in Wine Spectator’s 2020 and 2019 Dining Guides. This highly-coveted award recognizes restaurants whose wine lists offer at least 90 selections, are appropriate to their cuisine, and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. From light, blush-colored rosé to big California Cabs, you can’t go wrong choosing the perfect wine for your special occasion.

Check Out Moonrakers

326 Front Street
Beaufort, NC 28516

PH: (252) 838-0083
Facebook:  moonrakersbeaufort

Instagram: moonrakersbeaufort

Do you have a favorite Crystal Coast restaurant? Let us know! 

Coastal Fall Inspiration

Coastal Fall Inspiration

FALL IS HERE – so it’s time start planning your Fall decor for your home, office, etc!

Do you live on the Crystal Coast or want to bring the coastal vibe to your own home? Perfect, we have created a fun, coastal Fall Pinterest board with lots of inspiration for this upcoming season!

You will find beautiful table scapes, hand painted coastal pumpkins and lots of DIY projects to bring the beach into your home for the Fall!

Click the image below to browse our Fall Pinterest Board for inspiration. You may even find inspiration from some of out other boards for other seasons, DIYs, etc!

We would love to see your coastal fall decor, please share your beautiful photos with us!

Want to vacation on the Crystal Coast during the Fall?

This is the perfect time: great Rates, temperatures in the 70s, crowds clear out, and perfect for fishing and shelling!

Visit our website to find the perfect vacation property for you and your family!

Happy Fall Y’all!

Crystal Coast Home and Garden Show

31st Annual Coastal Home & Garden Show

March 2nd & 3rd- Crystal Coast Civic Center

With a sense of Spring finally hitting the air in Carteret County, now is a great time to start thinking about an improvement to your property. There’s no better place to gather ideas and information than the Crystal Coast Home & Garden Show. The event features dozens of local vendors- including pool builders, landscaping professionals, interior designers, and much more. You’ll be able to speak directly with representatives from these companies, and ask any questions that can directly relate to your situation. The cost of admission ($5 per person, kids 12 and under free) is well worth it for such a wide variety of helpful resources. You can sign up to win prizes throughout the day, and even schedule a further consultation with a company you’re looking to work with. Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity to improve your property value, and get more out of your Crystal Coast Home!

Live Music Returns to The AB Circle

Live Music Returns to The AB Circle

3rd Annual Beach Music Festival and 1st Annual Crystal Coast Music Festival

The Atlantic Beach Circle was known for its live music for decades. The Pavilion in between 1957-1995, Chevyz in the 70’s-80’s, Jolly Knave, Lisa’s, and Big Surf to name a few.  All these establishments brought the jam!  So many musical acts have performed at these spots that we call ‘The Circle’.  Some were coastal favorites others national and international musicians that graced this small coastal town with reggae, shag, rock to heavy metal.  As I explored the Facebook page that immortalize these places; by sharing photos of the glory days on the circle; I realized the huge impact it had on past generations.  The sunny days spent on the sand; dancing and socializing were the norm.  For many years the Circle was silent during a period of redevelopment.  All things come to an end then begin again! The Circle has begun to welcome back the crowds of new beach goers. This year we welcome back the 3rd Annual AB Beach Music Festival and the 1st (and hopefully not last) Annual Crystal Coast Music Festival to the sands of our coast!

The AB Beach Music festival brought the music back to AB in 2014, drawing huge crowds for its 1st annual event! Returning for its 3rd year, May 21st from 11am-6pm on the boardwalk at the Circle, 105 Atlantic Blvd. Admission is free to the public but pets and glass containers are prohibited. People returned to the circle to reminisce of days gone by. Due to the tremendous success of this event, The AB Beach Music festival will return this year with such acts as crowd favorites Holiday Band and Band of Oz.


Emcee John Moore  |  Holiday Band  |  Band of Oz  |  Fantastic Shakers  |  Mighty Saints of Soul

This year the Circle will host the Crystal Coast Music Festival, offering popular 90’s pop rock band Third-Eye Blind along with up and coming Robert Delong an LA based performer. Judah & The Lion an American folk band from Nashville and opening act Amasa Hines which infuses a diverse range of Soul, Afro-Beat, Psychedelic, Blues and Indie Rock. If you’re interested in listening to bands, search them on YouTube and give a listen. (I was pleasantly surprised by Amasa Hines! I could totally see myself at this event.) Sales have began through Ticketmaster or by phone at 800-745-3000 with gates opening at 3pm. Advance admission ticket price is$18 with upgrade VIP tickets available for $75 (This includes preferred entry, viewing area, exclusive cash bar and restrooms) Day-of General Admission goes to $23. If you want more information go to their website to see more.

Seashell Guide on the North Carolina coast

Shelling on the Crystal Coast

The beach at sunrise takes on a different personality, with quiet peaceful sounds, beachcombers searching for the perfect shells, the warming sun shining on small traces of sea glass and shells rolling in the surf just waiting to be found. If you time the tide right – you can find beautiful shells and sea treasures. Spending the morning walking through the cool wet sand and listening to the faint bird chirps through the roar of the ocean to some seems like a fantasy. For the lucky vacationers to the Crystal Coast or our permanent residents that call our beaches home – this is part of their morning routine. The towns along Bogue Banks, knows for their shells, all offer pristine beaches and lush coastline for those early birds looking to hit the beach before the island wakens. Beach-goers that will be joining you in the early morning hours are usually those hunting for shells!

What are the best spots to hunt for shells? Collectors say that Hammocks Beach State Park and Cape Lookout National Seashore are two of the top shelling beaches in our area! If hitting the beach at low tide is not your style, you can visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC where they have over 1,000 seashells on display.

Scotch Bonnet
This is an important find – it’s our state shell! Look for the trademark pattern and a curled outer edge.

Mole Crabs (or Sand Fleas)
Dig into the sand just at the water line and you’re sure to find some of these guys. You can scoop up a handful of sand with one in it and watch them move quickly to hide. They move and burrow backwards into the sand! They make great bait for pompano and sheepshead.

Coquina Clams
These tiny shells can sometimes be found still paired! Try stirring up the sand in a tidepool and watching quietly. Many times you’ll find a live one and see it burrow itself back down into the sand. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, and can be very tiny. They are also known as “Angel’s Wings.”

Sand Dollars
Venturing out to barrier islands and the Cape Lookout Seashore will reward more sand dollar finds! You may find some still “alive” with a velvety brownish-green exterior. Put those ones back, only collect ones that are sun-bleached white.

These fan-shaped beauties come in a variety of patterns in bright oranges, pinks and browns. You can sometimes find a pair, but it’s more rare!

Whelk Shells and Egg Cases
You’ll find three varieties here: the Lightening Whelk, the Knobbed Whelk and the Channel Whelk. Their egg cases are long, spriral chains of pods, and are a neat find!

Sea Glass
These rare pieces of glass are naturally weathered by the churning ocean and sand, giving the glass a “frosted” look with smooth edges. Blue and purple pieces are some of the rarest finds!

These shells are easy to find since they dwell in the shallow waters. They are easily recognizable since they have a polished look, they also come in various patterns and sizes.

Seashell Finds from the Crystal Coast