When you walk onto a beach on a slightly cool October evening, you are entering a far different world than you might find on the beach in the middle of July.
While folks go to the beach in the summer to relax, people on the beach in October take relaxation to another level. In the summer you always find people jumping waves. It is not unusual to see people playing games on the beach in summer.
To really savor an October beach evening, ride east from the town of Emerald Isle on Emerald Drive or Highway 58. It runs up the middle of Bogue Banks and will get you to Third Street Beach. The beach is not far from the town limits of Emerald Isle. It is smallest beach access with regular parking inside the town of Emerald Isle. The parking lot only handles a handful of cars compared to the well over one hundred at Eastern Regional Access.
We really enjoy the drive and the utilitarian facilities at Third Street. As you drive east you can almost feel the island slipping back into the peacefulness that most of us treasure. You might have a little trouble finding Third Street Beach since there is no Third Street. I usually try to turn right at 5th Street and then make a left on Ocean Drive. There is no danger of missing the parking lot. It is the only one around and if you see a “No Exit” sign, you have driven by it.
Adjacent to the lot there is a nice accessible platform with a picnic table overlooking the beach. I have only ever seen one group actually eating on the table in all the years that I have been visiting the beach but it is great place to enjoy being at the beach when you might not feel like walking on the beach. What you will usually see from the platform on an October evening is two to four groups of fishermen with their rod holders planted in the sand along the beach. One of the great things about Third Street Breach is the surf is actually very close to the parking lot.
The first thing that I notice as I leave my crocs on the platform is that the sand on the beach is cool on my feet. This time of year, there is no dancing on hot sand.
As I make my way to the water I am struck by how peaceful it is on the beach. It is rare to hear any music and most fisherman are concentrating more on fishing than talking. It is not unusual to see couples on the beach. Sometimes both are fishing, but more often than not the lady will be reading a book while the man will be watching his rod tip for a bite.
Mostly surf fishermen traveling by foot power are respectful of the space of others so while they might be fishing on the same beach, they will typically give each other a little casting room.
Like most times of the year, the water you find at the beach and even the beach itself is often a surprise. Sometimes you’ll find a hard packed beach and other times it will be fluffy or something in between the two.
Our most recent trip happened near low tide and the waves were about as peaceful as the beach itself. We walked west towards the Bogue Banks water tower a short distance and just stood and enjoyed the serenity which often surrounds us on a quiet beach. While the water was cooler than it was last week, it still did not have the shock you might feel in November.
Any beach is a place to lose yourself and the cares of the world. Third Street Beach is also a great place to feel close to God and to remember how blessed you are just to be alive and standing in such a wonderful place. Third Street is definitely one of those beaches where you have no doubt that you are in one of God’s special spots.
By the time we turned and headed back to the beach access, a couple of groups of fishermen were also headed back to the parking lot as the last rays of the sun started fleeing.
With some help from a cloud bank, our trip was well-timed. The sun had gone down just enough that our trip west down Bogue Banks was not one into a blinding sunset as it often is when you drive west down the beach. The beaches of Emerald Isle actually face south which is another reason they are so special.
I left enough cares on the beach that sleep will come easily this evening. It usually does after a walk on the beach.
It is easy to find a beach that you can love this time of year in our piece of paradise. If you need a time and a place to get away from the stress in your life, fall is the ideal time and our special area is the perfect spot.
You will find more about fall and its pleasures at our Southern Outer Banks site or visit my my homepage for more links. Our most recent newsletter was sent out on October 8. You can read it online at this link. We will be sending out our next newsletter just before Thanksgiving.
If you need some quick and free travel advice, try our free quick guide to Emerald Isle.
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