When most people hear “The Crystal Coast,” they immediately think of beaches and there are plenty here in Carteret County from the White Oak River near Swansboro to Atlantic Beach. Those of us who live here are acutely aware that the Crystal Coast is about much more than beaches. First and foremost the area is famous for its access to water and we will be the first to tell you that we have lots of different kinds of water from the marshes along the White Oak River and Bogue Sound to the wide river waters and the pounding surf.
Many of us like to think of the Crystal Coast as a place that North Carolinians often call their home beach. It is also a beach that is known to many but not so many that we are swamped with people in the summertime. We are also a year round beach especially in the Emerald Isle area where very few business close for the winter. Our busy season lasts from the middle of June until about the middle of August with the peak of the season being the couple of weeks around the Fourth of July. However, even in the busy season, our beach are relatively uncrowded. We are just enough off the beaten path that we can still enjoy our own beaches at the peak of the season.
Because we have a strong summer season, we are blessed to have great services and a wonderful selections of restaurants and shops that are well beyond what you would expect in a county with a year round population of 65,000. Even with all the new services and restaurants, you can still find some traditional fish houses and fresh seafood right off the boat. Our beaches are easy to access and you do not have to worry about being surrounded by highrise condos.
It is unlikely that this area will ever be over developed because we are protected by the Croatan National Forest’s 159,000 acres, the fifty-six miles of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, and small towns they have chosen to remain small. If you have never visited the Crystal Coast and wonder what the family beaches of the fifties were like, come for a visit and enjoy a modern family beach with friendly people, unrivaled access to the water both by foot and vehicle, and a feeling of closeness to nature that is hard to find in the crowds and traffic at other beaches.