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January Calendar of Events


January 2022 Events

Looking for some fun to do along the Crystal Coast? Don’t miss any of these January 2022 events!


Karaoke Sunday Nights at Cru

Every Sunday in January – Time: 9 PM – Midnight

Cru Wine Bar & Wine Store | 120 Turner Street, Beaufort

Bring your vocal talents to Cru Wine Bar every Sunday night this month and sing your heart out!

All  You Can Play Arcade

Every Thursday in January – Time: 5:00 PM – 9 PM

Mac Daddy’s Entertainment Center | 130 Golfin Dolphin Drive, Cape Carteret

Enjoy game time every Thursday night from 5 PM -9 PM. $20 a person.

30 Second Rocks Music Trivia at Bogue Sound Distillery

January 5, 2022 -Reoccurring every Wednesday – Time: 6:30 PM – 11 PM

Bogue Sound Distillery | 108 Bogue Commercial Drive | Newport

Stop by for a chance to win one of three gift certificates in addition to the cash jackpot! 

Retriever Round-Up

January 8, 2022 – Time: Noon – 2 PM

Muttigans | 8101 Emerald Dr | Emerald Isle

Calling all Retrievers! Join us for our Retriever Round-Up! Whether you have a Golden, Labrador, Flat-Coated, Curly Coated, Chesapeake Bay, or even Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever this is your day! Meet other Retrievers and the owners who love them. Enter to win a gift basket!

Karaoke Sunday Nights at Cru

January 9, 2022- Occurring every Sunday night until the end of January – Time: 9 PM – Midnight 

Cru Wine Bar & The Wine Store | 120 Turner Street | Beaufort

Join us on Sundays and sing your heart out!

Front Street at The Growler

January 14, 2022 – Time: 7:30 PM – 11 PM

The Growler Bar | 200 Mallard Drive | Emerald Isle

Join Front Street (formerly Signature Blend) for their first time performing as their new band!

70s Dance Party with 8-Track Minds at Jack’s Waterfront Bar

January 15, 2022 – Time: 8 PM – 11 PM

Jack’s Waterfront Bar | 513 Evans Street | Morehead City

8-Track Minds makes its debut at Jack’s Waterfront Bar in Morehead City to make you shake your booty, your body, your groove thing, and whatever else needs shaking! C’mon get happy with all your singalong and dancing favorites from the era of polyester suits, muscle cars, deep pile carpets, and rich Corinthian leather! Dig the classic gems from KC & the Sunshine Band, Abba, Bee Gees, Jackson 5, Commodores, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Carpenters, Olivia Newton-John, and many more. This is a high-energy, visually exciting show that will make you move.

Lookout at Taps & Tackle

January 15, 2022 – Time: 9:30 PM – 11 PM

Taps and Tackle| 704 Evans Street | Morehead City

Join Lookout for their first time performing at Taps & Tackle.

Chihuahua Meet-Up

January 16, 2022 – Time: Noon – 2 PM

Muttigans| 8101 Emerald Drive | Emerald Isle

Join us to celebrate these devoted, lively, alert and courageous, creatures! Meet other chihuahuas and the owners who love them.

Come with or without your dog and enter to win a gift basket.

Will & Tony Show at Taps & Tackle

January 20, 2022 – Time: 8:30 PM – 11 PM

Taps & Tackle | 704 Evans Street | Morehead City

This is our first time at Taps & Tackle so come help us celebrate!

Songs By The Sound

January 22, 2022 – Time: 12:30 PM – 6 PM

Price: $30 Advance/ $35 Day Of

Crystal Coast Civic Center | 3505 Arendell Street | Morehead City

There is certainly no shortage of Americana or Bluegrass music fans in the Carteret County area. Presenting two North Carolina bands in the beautiful facility at Crystal Coast Civic Center will be a unique offering for visitors and tourists.

An Americana & Bluegrass Show on The Bogue Sound Indoor Winter Concert

  • 12:30 pm Doors Open
  • 1:30 pm Diamond Creek
  • 3 pm Chatham Rabbits
  • 4-6 pm Open Bluegrass Jam for Ticket holders

You can find “Songs By The Sound” on Facebook, email, or call 919-612-0006 for more information.

American Music Festival Series

January 29, 2022 – Time: 7:30 PM – 9 PM

First Presbyterian | 1604 Arendell Street, Morehead City

The Verona Quart is one of the most distinguished ensembles on the chamber music scene today.

Program: Beethoven’s Op. 131 and Schubert’s Quartettsatz

Tickets to individual concerts are $32 each. Tickets for students and active-duty military are $16 each and are available at the door.

Tickets may be reserved by calling (252) 342-5034, and are available at the door on the evening of the concert.

10th Annual Winter Festival

January 29, 2022 – Time: 10 AM – 5 PM

Mac Daddy’s Entertainment Center | 130 Golfin Dolphin Drive | Cape Carteret

Join Mac Daddy’s for their 10th Annual Winter Festival! There will be vendors with home decor, clothes, arts and crafts, jewelry and more. Buy one game of bowling per person and get 2nd game free!

German Shepherd Meet-Up

January 29, 2022 – Time: 12 PM – 2 PM

Muttigans | 8101 Emerald Drive | Emerald Isle

Calling all German Shepherd Lovers!! Join us for our German Shepherd Meet Up! This courageous and loyal dog is one of the top most popular breeds and a treasured family pet. Stop in and get a chance to meet other German Shepherds and the owners who love them. Come with or without your dog and enter to win a gift basket.

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


Bluewater's Calendar of Events Banner for December

December Calendar of Events

Bluewater's Calendar of Events Banner for December

December 2021 Events

Looking for some fun to do along the Crystal Coast? Don’t miss any of these December 2021 events! 

9th Annual Gingerbread Festival

December 3rd – 5th, 2021

Time: 7 AM-5 PM

Crystal Coast Civic Center: 3505 Arendell Street | Morehead

The 9th Annual Gingerbread Festival includes something for everyone. Those who attend will be in awe of the winter wonderland and holiday-themed crab pot Christmas trees as well as the sweet aroma of gingerbread creations. All gingerbread creations are created by local designers, artists, businesses, individuals, schools, and community groups. Additional attractions will include a visit from Santa, crafts, games, and holiday entertainment. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Morehead City Christmas Tree Lighting

December 3, 2021

Time: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Morehead City Parks & Recreation: 601 Arendell Street | Morehead

Join Morehead City in the lighting of the Christmas tree in the center of Downtown Morehead. Calico Creek Bluegrass Band will be playing and there will be food and fun!

Breakfast with Santa

December 4, 2021

Time: 8:30 AM -11 AM

Floyd’s 1921: 400 Bridges Street | Morehead

Enjoy Breakfast with Santa! Seating is limited so please call 252.727.1921 to make your reservation!

Chowder & Cheer

December 4, 2021

Time: Noon-5:20 PM

Downtown Morehead: 1001 Arendell Street

Stroll through Downtown Morehead and enjoy samples of Chowder and Cheer from local participating establishments. Chowder and Cheer is part of Morehead City’s Annual Christmas in Downtown Celebration. This is a ticketed event.

Crystal Coast Christmas Floatilla

December 4, 2021

Time: 5:30 PM – 8 PM

Morehead City Waterfont & Beaufort Waterfront

The Crystal Coast Christmas Floatilla will feature yachts, boats, oars, kayaks and commercial vessels decorated for the season. 


Literary Luncheon: Christmas in Peachtree Bluffs with Kristy Woodson Harvey

December 8, 2021

Time: 12 PM-2 PM

Price: $45

Coral Bay Club: 1901 W Fort Macon Rd | Atlantic Beach

Join author Kristy Woodson Harvey and the Beaufort Historical Association for a delicious meal at the Coral Bay Club while Harvey speaks about her new book “Christmas in Peachtree Bluffs.”

Tickets are on sale at

Masks are required. 

Christmas in Peachtree Bluffs Double-Decker Bus Tour

December 10-11, 2021

Time: 1:20 PM-2:30 PM

Price: $15

Beaufort Historic Site: 130 Turner Street | Beaufort

Hop on Beaufort Historic Sites English Double-Decker bus for a special bus tour of Historic Beaufort led by author Kristy Woodson Harvey. Harvey will point out all prominent locations in Beaufort that are portrayed in her Peachtree Bluffs Series.

Tickets are on sale at

Masks are required.

Christmas Candlelight Tour

December 11, 2021

Time: 5 PM- 8 PM

Price: $20

Beaufort Historic Site: 130 Turner Street | Beaufort

Historic Beaufort homeowners, churches, and inns will open their doors so that the public can delight in their festive decor!

Tickets are on sale at

Masks are required.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 @ Beaufort Drive-In

December 11, 2021

Time: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM

Price: Free

Gallant’s Channel Event Space: 293 W Beaufort Road | Beaufort

For more information visit the Beaufort Picture Show website.

Morehead City Christmas Parade

December 11, 2021

Time: 11 AM-Noon

Price: Free

Downtown Morehead City

Join in on the fun! The parade will start at 11 AM along Arendell Street in the 1700 block and ends at 8th and Arendell. There will be decorated floats, community groups, bands, entertainment, and of course Santa himself! For additional information visit

Introduction to Wooden Boat Building

December 11-12, 2021

Time: 9:30 AM-4:30 PM

Price: Varies

North Carolina Maritime Museum: 315 Front Street | Beaufort

Students will explore the art of boatbuilding in this two-day course. The class will begin with lofting and moving on to set up steam bending, and different methods of creating the back bone of small boats. After two days of the course, students will have the knowledge, skill, and confidence to choose a design and style of boat to build on their own.

To reserve your spot click here!

Wine Down Wednesday

December 22, 2021 ( Reoccuring every Wednesday in the month of December)

Time: 5 PM- 9PM

Price: Free, Dance Lessons $15

Carolina Home and Garden: 4778 HWY 24 | Newport

Come grab a half-priced bottle of wine and dance the night away with dance lessons and live music. 

Downtown Countdown

December 31, 2021

Time: 5 PM- 8 PM

Price: Free

Downtown Morehead City: 1001 Arendell Street

Join in on the fun beginning at 5 PM for activities of all ages. Enjoy watching the Fire Department drop the kids’ crab pot drop and kid’s activities from 5 PM – 6:30 PM. Also, local downtown businesses and restaurants will provide activities and bands throughout the evening, so please check individual websites for schedules.


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

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! 

local concert series, emerald isle outdoor music fest

Live Local Entertainment: EmeraldFest Concert Series

local concert series, emerald isle outdoor music fest

Live Local Entertainment: EmeraldFest Concert Series

We’re finally getting back to our “new” normal and enjoying outdoor activities in our communities. Tonight kicks off Emerald Isle’s 2021 EmeraldFest Concert Series which takes place at 6:30 pm at the Western Ocean Regional Beach Access.

This fun Summer concert series is always enjoyable so pick your favorite dates, bring your favorite date, your lawn chairs, or blanket, and get ready to enjoy some great music outdoors!

These free outdoor concerts will be held each Thursday evening throughout the Summer on Emerald Isle. Come on out and enjoy some great music with locals and visitors alike! No alcohol, please.

EmeraldFest Concert Series

EmeraldFest Concert Series – 2021 Lineup

Thursdays 6:30-8 pm at the Western Ocean Regional Access

  • June 24 – Pamlico Joe and Clean Water Flow (The Sound of Coastal Carolina)
  • July 1 – 4EverAll (Americana/Rock/Folk/Pop)
  • July 8 – The Mad Fiddler (Heartbeat of Music)
  • July 15 – Pure T Mommicked (Rock Alternative)
  • July 22 – Wicked Shimmies (Variety)
  • July 29 – Big Drink (Pop/Rock/Variety)
  • August 5 – Justin Castellano (Eclectic)
  • August 12 – Scearce and Ketner (Seagrass)
  • August 19 – Naked Knees (What a Party Sounds Like)

About Emerald Isle

Named the best beach in North Carolina by USA Today, Emerald Isle is a little slice of heaven for guests with an adventurous spirit. With choices like surfing, kayaking, kiteboarding, or paddleboarding there’s plenty to do. Families can take delight in miles of walking, jogging, and bike paths plus nature trails which are yours to enjoy in this pristine natural environment. You can spot white-tailed deer, a variety of birds, and waterfowl throughout the island.  Visit “The Point” to watch the absolutely breathtaking sunsets!

Live Local Entertainment Updates

For all the latest updates on live local entertainment on Emerald Isle and the EmeraldFest 2021 Concert Series, visit 2021 EmeraldFest Concert Series. Most importantly, have fun! 

blog post banner for 93 days of summer on the crystal coast

How to Spend Your 93 Days of Summer on the Crystal Coast

blog post banner for 93 days of summer on the crystal coast

Planning Our Your 93 Days of Summer on the Crystal Coast 

Summer on the Crystal Coast is finally here and it is time to celebrate – from the various water sports in Emerald Isle, to conquering Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach the things to do are limitless! The Crystal Coast has so much to offer for your summer beach vacation and we want to make sure your days are filled, all 93 of them!

Spend the 4th of July admiring the fireworks as they burst over the open ocean waters, or sign up for one of the region’s many fishing tournaments to put your angling abilities to the test. Summer on the Crystal Coast is all about having fun with friends and family, and newcomers will quickly find that every day brings a reason to celebrate in this popular and widely acclaimed vacation destination.

Whether the wild horses, shelling, boat tours, kayaking, fishing charters, or exploring the ocean floor are the highlights of your vacation, you are bound to have a Summer on the Crystal Coast to remember.

Here are a few great ideas on how you can spend your 93 days of summer on the Crystal Coast


Day 1 – Play on the Water: Choose from stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, kiteboards, skimboards, and bodyboards to play in the waves or at the shoreline – just choose your favorite board.

Day 2 – Shop at Emerald Plantation: Spend a day winding through the Emerald Plantation shops.

Day 3 – Take a Ferry Ride: Catch a ferry from Morehead City, Beaufort, or Harkers Island and explore to your heart’s content

Day 4 – Soak up the Sun: Sit in a colorful chair beach and soak up the sun.

Day 5 – Go-Cart Racing: Challenge your friends and family with a friendly go-cart race.

Day 6 – Go Island Hopping: Island hopping is an excellent way to spend the day and be a little adventurous. There’s plenty to explore.

Day 7 – Follow Blackbeard’s steps in Beaufort: Take a tour of Blackbeard’s home.

Day 8Catch of the Day: Watch the catch of the day come in or just take pictures of all of the docked boats.

Day 9Shuck Some Oysters: Shuck a few oysters at a seaside restaurant.

Day 10 – Watch the Sunset: This is a perfect ending to every day on the beach.

Day 11 – Go Diving: The Crystal Coast has been named one of the 10 top diving locations in North America.

Day 12 – Bocce Ball: Challenge your family members to a round of beach bocce ball with the loser buying everyone a smoothie!

Day 13 – National ‘I Forgot Day’: July 2nd is a day to make up for all the birthdays and events you forgot during the year. Except do it with a twist, forget all of your worries, go sit by the beach and relax.

Day 14 – Play Golf: Play a round of golf at one of our many beautiful courses. You don’t have to be Bubba Watson to enjoy the game! All you need is some nice weather and a few friends to have a great day on the green.

Day 15 – 4th Of July: When the sun goes down head out to watch the fireworks with a night sky light show. With firework shows in Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Emerald Isle, and Swansboro – the sky will be lit up tonight!

Day 16 – Have an Island Picnic: If you brought your boat, jet ski or kayak head out to the sound and have a picnic on one of the many beautiful islands.

Day 17 – Enjoy a Concert: Be sure to check out all the Alive at Five Concerts in downtown Morehead City.  

Day 18 – Go Charter Boat Fishing: Schedule a half-day or full-day fishing charter and hit the big blue. You will find some great fishing on our coast and the best part is taking your catch home and dining on the freshest seafood in the area!

Day 19 – Beach Walking: Take a long walk on the beach and enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset while seeing what treasures you can find.

Day 20 – Enjoy Bowling: Go bowling at Mac Daddy’s in Cape Carteret. If your style of bowling includes Black Lights, Fog, Laser Show, and Music Videos you’re in for a treat.

Day 21 – Summer Mani Pedis: Treat yourself to a manicure and a pedicure at one of the many local salons. Bright and colorful is the way to go!

Day 22 – Pick some Blueberries: Stop by the local farmer’s market in Cedar Point, Morehead City, or Beaufort and pick up some fresh Blueberries for the whole family to enjoy.

Day 23 – Cruise with the Crytal Coast Lady: Want to have a pirate treasure hunt on an island roaming with wild horses? Hop on board the Crystal Coast Lady and enjoy one of their many cruises! Reservations are required. 

Day 24 – Grab Some Ice Cream: We have a few local ice cream shops on the island. Two of the most popular are Ben and Jerry’s and The Sweet Spot.

Day 25 – Visit the Famer’s Market: Don’t miss one of the coolest farmer’s markets around. The Market at Cedar Point has local artists and local farmers sharing their goods, plus an array of fresh goodies inside the storefront.

Day 26 – Go Shelling: Collect a bunch of seashells to take home and get crafty with.

Day 27 – Enter our Photo Contest: Enter your vacation photos in our annual photo contest.

Day 28 – Ride the Bus: Hop on the red Double Decker Bus and take the guided tour around downtown Beaufort and learn about all the history.

Day 29 – Girl’s Day Out: Leave the kids with the guys and have a girl’s day (or night) out!  Grab drinks with the girls, catch some live music, or head to a movie. 

Day 30 – Fire up the Grill: Instead of cooking inside, grill out! Try grilling up some fish, burgers, lobster, or hotdogs. Enjoy!

Day 31 – Salty Pirate Water Park: Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon at the water park.

Day 32 – Annual Crab Cake Cook-Off: Not only do you get to taste amazing crab cakes you get to vote for your tasty favorite at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

Day 33 – Take a Culinary Bike Tour: The Beaufort culinary bike tour with Hungry Town Tours includes three stops for appetizers, entrees, and dessert. 

Day 34 – Try Skimboarding: Grab a skimboard and challenge yourself to glide across the water’s surface as the waves break!

Day 35 Take an Ecotour: Experience the natural beauty of the Crystal Coast with a full or half-day ecotour with Crystal Coast Ecotours.

Day 36 – Free Movies on AB Boardwalk: Once the sun sets head to “The Circle” to catch a free flick with the family! Don’t forget your blanket or lawn chairs!

Day 37 – Try Yoga: How about a private yoga session for you or you and all your friends/family? Wellness Massage and Yoga will come to you with their mobile yoga. 

Day 38 – Treat Your Mind and Body: If yoga’s not your thing, you can schedule a massage in their EI location or have them come to you. Either way, the ladies at Wellness Massage and Yoga won’t disappoint!

Day 39 – Enjoy Live Music on the Beach: Enjoy music on the beach with the EmeraldFest concert series each year.

Day 40 – Check out Brigg’s: Brigg’s General Store and Bar is a great place to pick up some local NC-made favorite snacks, have a drink or bring home a gift basket to a friend.

Day 41 – Go Clamming: Go digging for clams and steam them up for dinner.

Day 42 – Try Parasailing: Get a bird’s eye view of the beach while parasailing down the Crystal Coast. Wind in your hair has a whole different meaning when you’re sitting this high.

Day 43 – Boat Cruise: Enjoy an evening boat cruise from either Beaufort or Morehead City waterfronts. Watching the sunset from the water will give you memories that last a lifetime.

Day 44 – Make Local Crab Dip: Pick up some fresh crab at one of our fish markets and whip up some fresh local crab dip. If you don’t already have a recipe, you can find some great ones online! 

Day 45 – National Watermelon Day: Stop by one of our Farmer’s Markets on August 3rd and pick the biggest melon you can find to celebrate National Watermelon Day!

Day 46 – Consider Hang Gliding: Kitty Hawk Kites now offers hang gliding in Beaufort and it looks like fun. 

Day 47 – NC Aquarium: Head to Pine Knoll Shores to the aquarium, look at all the fish and aquatic marine life that are swimming throughout North Carolina.

Day 48 – Grab a Coffee: Enjoy a morning cup of coffee on the porch while listening to the waves crash. This is the best way to start the day!

Day 49 – Catch a Movie: Catch the latest flick at the Emerald Plantation or Atlantic Beach Cinema. A nice cool theater is always a great way to escape the summer heat!

Day 50 – Go Biking: Grab your bike and cruise the bike path on Emerald Isle; or, bike through the Croatan Forest

Day 51 – Flying A Kite: Send a Kite soaring. Didn’t bring one with you? No problem, stop into Kites Unlimited in Atlantic Beach and find a colorful.

Day 52 – Relax: Yup, that simple. Just relax and savor summer.

Day 53 – Annual Pirate Invasion: Beaufort invites you to partake in the annual sword fighting, cannon blaring, pillaging, plundering and of course, grog swilling at the Annual Pirate Invasion in August. You will not want to miss the celebration of welcoming Blackbeard back after nearly 300 years and reenact the harrowing events of 1747!

Day 54 – Hammocks Beach State Park: A crown jewel of the North Carolina coast and Hammocks Beach State Park is Bear Island—a 4-mile-long, undeveloped barrier island accessible by the park’s passenger ferry or private ferry, or by paddling a canoe or kayak.

Day 55 – Ghost Crabs: At night take the flashlight out to the beach and try to spot a ghost crab running along the water’s edge! They’re faster than you think!

Day 56 – Tie-Dyed T-Shirts: Tie-Dye and design your own T-Shirt to remember your vacation every time you wear it back home!

Day 57 – Kite Surfing: Take kite surfing lessons, we have some of the most ideal kite surfing beaches in the world!

Day 58 – See Wild Ponies: We have plenty of them to see whether you are out on Shackelford Island or on Carrot Island in Beaufort. Don’t have a boat? Take a ferry! Don’t forget your camera.

Day 59 – Sandcastles and Sculptures: Celebrate National Build A Sandcastle And Sculpture Day. See what you can sculpt out and how high it can rise!

Day 60 – Wine Tasting: Add wine tasting to your list of activities during your summer vacation! Emerald Isle Wine Market has wine tastings and other events year-round.

Day 61 – Look for Dolphins: See if you can spot dolphins surfing in the waves or playing in the sound! 

Day 62 – Lemonade Day: Cool down with fresh lemonade to celebrate National Lemonade Day on August 20th.

Day 63 – Climb the Lighthouse: Climb the 207 steps to the top of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse! 

Day 64 – Have a Water War: Need some cooling off? Grab some water guns, water cannons, and water balloons and fill them up. Then, split into teams with your family and friends and let the water war begin! 

Day 65 – See Fort Macon: Enjoy a day at the Fort! Walk around the pentagon-shaped fortress and explore all the history Fort Macon has to offer. They often have events during the day and evenings so be sure to plan a visit.

Day 66 – Beach Reads: Enjoy a good read cuddled up in a cozy beach rental or while you listen to waves on the beach. Whether you brought the newest bestseller or find an old paperback at your rental, enjoy a relaxing day with a good book! Check out our locally-owned, independent books store, Emerald Isle Books.

Day 67 – Hunt for Treasure: Head to New Bern and check out all the antique stores. You’re bound to find something you’ll treasure.

Day 68 – Celebrate National Dog Day: Give your dog some extra love on August 26 by hitting the beach or any of the dog-friendly spots on our coast!

Day 69 – Grab Drinks with Friends: Grab a drink at one of our hot spots. You’re sure to have a good time! 

Day 70 – Salt Water Taffy: Stop into the Sweet Spot in Emerald Isle and pick out your favorite flavor of Salt Water Taffy from the 46 different flavors they have to offer! Once you have your choices challenge your friends to a challenge on who can eat the most pieces in 5 minutes!

Day 71 – Scuba Diving: Scuba Dive and explore the sunken U-boat and other shipwrecks.  See for yourself why the Crystal Coast is one of the top diving destinations in North America.

Day 72 – Photo Spot: Don’t forget to hop up on our BIG GREEN Bluewater Adirondack Chair and take a photo to remember the best vacation ever!

Day 73 – Stroll Swansboro: Take a stroll through downtown Swansboro and stop in for a bite to eat at one of the many waterfront restaurants.

Day 74 – Events Galore: Pick an event from our event calendar that suits your fancy and get out and have some fun. 

Day 76 – Home Tour: This annual tour features some of Beaufort’s beautiful private homes, glorious gardens, multiple local churches and artists’ studios throughout the town, and more!

Day 77 – Kayak for Warriors: Join a Kayak for Warriors event and help support our wounded warriors. All proceeds go to Hope for Warriors.

Day 78 – Look for Rainbows: Head out to the beach after it rains to see if you can spot a rainbow. These colorful arcs over the ocean make for some great photos!

Day 79 – Cast Netting: Head out to the beach and throw a cast net out into the waves. See what kind of marine life lives in the shallow waters of the Crystal Coast. 

Day 80 – Ladder Ball: Get together with friends on the beach and have some fun with a game of Ladder Ball, for a challenge, invite others on the beach to join and start a tournament.

Day 81 – Beach Football: Get everyone together for a friendly game of beach football! The losing team gets to cook dinner for everyone!

Day 82 – Go Rafting: If surfing is not your thing, grab a raft to help ride the waves. See how many you can ride before you are knocked overboard.

Day 83 – Visit Fun World: Race friends and family around the track at Fun World Motorsports in EI.  It’s always a good time driving mini cars to win a race!

Day 84 – Wildlife Spotting: Take a stroll and see what kind of wildlife calls the Crystal Coast home.  Keep count of how many different animals you spot, deer and turtles are pretty easy to come across.

Day 85 – Oyster Roast: Go to a local fish market and pick up some oysters to steam. Have yourself a good ole fashion oyster roast.

Day 86 – Visit Tryon Palace: Spend an afternoon touring our beautiful, historic Tryon Palace in New Bern. This 18th century home will take your breath away with its gorgeous collection of antiques, art, and extensive gardens.

Day 87 – Learn: Learn all about the history of Carteret County by visiting The History Museum in Morehead City.

Day 88 – Strawberry Picking: Check out the local farms to find a time to go strawberry picking. Fresh berries are a treat during the Summer! 

Day 89 – Boat Watching: Marvel at all the different boats and ships that pass off of our coast. You might even see a military vessel.

Day 90 – Drive-Ins: Pick up a shrimp or oyster burger from one of our famous drive-ins! Big Oak Drive-In in Salter Path and El’s in Morehead City are known for having some of the best eats in the county. 

Day 91 – National Cheeseburger Day: Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day on September 18th by firing up the grill or grabbing a burger at one of our famous drive-ins. They make amazing burgers, too!

Day 92 – Talk Like A Pirate: ARRRRRR Mateys! International Talk Like a Pirate Day falls on September 19th. Have a full day of merriment with your fellow swashbucklers.

Day 93 – Last Day Of Summer: It’s September 21st and it’s the final day of summer, its time to head out to the beach one last time before fall hits and the weather starts to cool and the leaves begin to change and fall from the trees. Only 272 more days till its summer 2014!

free things to do on the crystal coast

100 Free Things To Do on the Crystal Coast

dolphin swimming in the waters of the crystal coast

100 Free Things To Do on the Crystal Coast

Spend your vacation on the Crystal Coast and explore the entire area without spending a dime! Bluewater Vacation Rental’s list of free things to do on the Crystal Coast will keep everyone in the family entertained without breaking the budget. You will find the one and only Free Things to Do List right here – so glad some ideas for your Crystal Coast vacation!

From Emerald Isle to Beaufort, North Carolina there are tons of attractions, activities, and events that your family can enjoy and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Ready to start having fun? Then get your vacation started with these 100 Free things to do on the Crystal Coast

  1. Watch the wild horses run on Shackleford Banks and Carrot Island
  2. Search for the largest shark tooth
  3. Fly a kite on the cool ocean breeze
  4. Watch the dolphins play 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. Visit scenic downtown Beaufort and window shop
  9. Watch the 4th of July fireworks in any one of our Crystal Coast towns
  10. Soak up the sun on our white sandy beaches
  11. Start your own body surfing competition and put your skills to the test
  12. Have a free taste of Ice Cream or a free piece of Salt Water Taffy at Sweet Spot in Emerald Isle
  13. Watch the boats weigh their catch at the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament
  14. Walk through the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort
  15. Pack a lunch and have a picnic at Fort Macon State Park
  16. Wander through the Carteret County Curb Market in Morehead City
  17. Watch the 4th of July parade and feast at the Community Picnic in Beaufort
  18. Enjoy the Summer Concert Series at Fort Macon
  19. Watch the OWLS Sand Sculpting contest at Pine Knoll Shores
  20. Take a trip and explore the Cape Lookout National Seashore and see the Lighthouse
  21. Catch the FREE climb day at the Cape Lookout Lighthouse
  22. In the mood for ghost stories? Visit Blackbeard’s House in Beaufort to hear some spooky tales
  23. Watch the surfers at the Buddy Pelletier Longboard Competition in July
  24. Create your own sand dollar picture frame to remember your wonderful vacation
  25. Learn about Down East culture and traditions at Community Night with Rodney Kemp at the Core Sound Water Fowl museum
  26. Take part in the traditional cannon firing at Fort Macon State Park
  27. Burn some extra vacation calories riding your bike on the Emerald Isle Bike Trail
  28. Watch the fishing charters unload the daily catch on the Morehead City waterfront
  29. Attend the Free Friday flick in Emerald Isle
  30. Watch the local boat builders create masterpieces at the Water Craft Center in Beaufort
  31. Explore Down East heritage at the Core Sound Museum in Harkers Island
  32. Dance the night away at the Beach Jive After Five in Emerald Isle
  33. Walk to the end of the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier for a wonderful view (and snap some selfies)
  34. Experience the Emerald Isle Christmas Parade for some holiday cheer
  35. Volunteer with the EI Sea Turtle Patrol to help with baby sea turtles 
  36. Enjoy the sights and Gaelic sounds of the Annual St. Patrick’s Festival in Emerald Isle
  37. Surf Fish off the beach and see what you can catch (make sure you have your fishing license)
  38. Camp out at Hammocks Beach State Park
  39. Play corn hole and dance the evening away at the Sheraton Pier every Thursday during the Summer
  40. Take a step back in history on a tour of the Beaufort Historic Site
  41. Play a game of Ultimate Beach Frisbee
  42. Bring a beach chair and enjoy the Morehead Summer Concert series
  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 fighter planes fly up and down the coast
  48. Take a walk through the shops in historic downtown Swansboro
  49. Feed the turtles behind Rucker Johns Restaurant 
  50. Go whale watching at Cape Lookout
  51. Walk out on the Point in Emerald Isle
  52. Check out the local catch on the Bogue Inlet Pier
  53. Go bird watching in Emerald Woods
  54. Visit the 3rd Thursday Free music concert in at the Beaufort city waterfront
  55. Take a romantic 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. Check out what gets washed up on shore after a big storm
  59. Snap photos of the sunrises and sunsets to enter into our photo contest
  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. Chase seagulls as they float on the ocean breeze
  64. Spend the day exploring the many islands along the Crystal Coast
  65. Launch your boat for a day of fun on the water at the Emerald Isle Boat Ramp
  66. Unwind from an exciting day to a good book outside on the porch with a cold drink
  67. Write messages in the sand and let the waves wash them away
  68. Sit and daydream about never leaving the Crystal Coast
  69. Take pictures of the ocean so you will never forget its beauty. How many shades of blue and green can you find?
  70. Scavenger hunt for different colored shells
  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. Throw the baseball with family at Western Park in Cedar Point
  75. Play a game of Bocce Ball 
  76. Dig a hole and bury someone to their waist
  77. Walk under the Bogue Inlet Pier and take a family picture
  78. Bury your toes in the warm sand
  79. Take a trip to Shark Tooth Island
  80. Take a walk with the Emerald Isle walking club
  81. Play a game of Horseshoes on the beach
  82. Catch Sandfiddler crabs in the surf, before they can burry back into the sand
  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. Kids 3 and under get into the Morehead City Marlins’ baseball game for free
  87. Wake up early and catch the sunrise
  88. Create your very own scavenger hunt
  89. Make your own unique seashell jewelry
  90. Kids under 2 yrs old get in free at the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores
  91. Enjoy the Carolina Kite Festival in October on Atlantic Beach and watch kites from all over the world
  92. Visit the birthplace of Pepsi in downtown New Bern
  93. Bike on Swansboro’s 25-mile bike trail along the water and through the Croatan National Forest.
  94. Learn the coastal region’s history with a visit to the History Place in downtown Morehead City
  95. Enjoy a nature tour or a boat cruise on Taylor’s Creek ending at the Carrot Island boardwalk during spring and summer
  96. Try your hand at the Morehead City Seafood Festival Flounder Fling during the festival
  97. Stroll the streets downtown to live music and find the perfect seat for the Seafood Festival Fireworks Show
  98. Visit the Beaufort waterfront in August for the annual Pirate Invasion for an authentic experience
  99. Watch a free outdoor movie in Atlantic Beach every Wednesday night starting at dusk in the Circle
  100. Plan your next vacation

collage of several free things to do on vacation at the crystal coast

Bonus Ideas

  • See local craftsmanship at the Swansboro Mullet Festival
  • Watch the experts slow cook a feast at the Newport Pig Pickin’
  • Don’t blink! You might miss the fast boat racing in the Crystal Coast Grand Prix in September
  • Check out our Calendar of Events for even more free things to do on the Crystal Coast

Fall Events on the Crystal Coast

As the sweltering heat of summer changes over to breezy days and crisp nights, all living things who dwell on the Crystal Coast will notice and emerge from their hiding. Including fish, you may not see during the summer and other wildlife. Gorgeous pink, purple and orange sunsets paint the sky making it easy to have lazy late afternoons. These are just some of the few reasons many call Fall their favorite season on the Crystal Coast. 

Although we have been in the midst of a pandemic, life seems to still go on in the Crystal Coast.

Many events have been scheduled for the fall such as Fishing and Golf Tournaments, Highland Games, Fall Festivals and much more. You will also find that towards the end of the summer the wild horses that roam some of the islands of the Crystal Coast will have foals. This is the perfect time to take the ferry over to Shackleford Banks to see the horses or find shells on the shore of Cape Lookout. The crowds are gone and the beach is yours for the taking. Even your dog will be able to enjoy the beach! Enjoy a morning stroll on the beach or even relax with a book in the afternoon. After your time on the beach be sure to grab dinner with the sunset at one of the many waterfront restaurant locations such as Southern Salt Seafood, Sanitary, 34 North, and many more. 

Here are just a list of a few events happening this fall!

25th Annual Transportation Impact and Carteret Community College Golf Tournament- October 23,2020| 1:00pm-6:30pm

1st Annual Carteret Cancer Crew Fishing Tournament- October 24, 2020 |8:00am-6:00pm

For all additional information please visit our website

Car Cruise-In and Fall Vendor Fair-October 24, 2020| 8:00 am – 2:00pm

If you are a fan of old cars, shopping, and food this is the event for you!

Halloween Candy Cruise- October 30, 2020 | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Cars will be stationed around the Atlantic Beach Circle to provide a safe environment for trick or treating! For more information visit,

Maker’s Mark Bourbon Dinner at  34º North Restaurant- October 30, 2020 | 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

34° North Restaurant at the Beaufort Hotel will host a four-course Maker’s Mark Bourbon Dinner on Friday, October 30 from 6 – 8:30 pm. Sarah Poole, Maker’s Mark Diplomat, will be on hand to lead us through this special tasting dinner. Dinner will include a welcome cocktail, tastings from the Maker’s Mark Bourbon family – including our Beaufort Hotel’s Maker’s Mark Private Select and Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series Limited Release Bourbon. Please call the restaurant regarding reservations and pricing. Overnight accommodations are also available at the Beaufort Hotel.

First Annual Fall Festival at Camp Albemarle-October 31, 2020 | 4pm – 8pm

Local businesses will be sponsoring this event that will be held outside at Camp Albemarle with plenty of space to social distance. Along with the vendors there will be trick-or-treating, s’mores, food trucks as well as games and other activities.

Slime Time Challenge – Raising Money for Local Organizations

Take a Kid Fishing Recap

Take a Kid Fishing 2019

Every summer, hundreds of volunteers gather up along The Crystal Coast for Take a Kid Fishing Day. This year, a handful of our Real Estate Agents teamed up alongside other Real Estate Professionals within the County to partake in the day of fun in the sun.

Sharon Salmon, who has been an active supporter of the program said, “The agents came together and worked as a team.  Captain Stacy was wonderful to try to assure that fish would be caught.  They pulled up anchor many times to move to another spot. Lots of different species were caught and the children were so excited.  Just to see the smiles and happiness this event produced can hardly be described.  It was truly heart warming! I’m proud to help with such a great cause!”

“This was my first year helping out and what a success! Kids were all so well mannered and so excited to catch anything- whether it was small pin fish, small sharks and even crabs that latched onto the baits! Captain Stacy did an awesome job!” – Kathy Furtner

To learn more about this great organization, and how to get involved for next year- Please click the button below to be directed to the Take a Kid Fishing Website.