Does The Crystal Coast Deserve Its Name?

Several years ago the area’s tourism bureau decided on using the name “Crystal Coast” to promote the beaches of Carteret County.

It is a great name and aptly describes the area of the North Carolina coast from Beaufort to Swansboro. This map shows some of my favorite spots along that stretch of coast.

I like to think that someone actually walked a few beaches and noticed the crystal clear water that we often see here before coming up with the name.

Tourism bureaus are paid marketing arms of local businesses and governments so there is always an element of hype when you get into the glossy world of marketing any area.

However, the name, Crystal Coast, fits very well as you can see from the picture of our waters. I have walked many of our beaches and there are days when the waters are stunningly beautiful.

Of course there are some days when the waters are not as nice, but the crystal clear waters would not create near the impact if they were that spectacular all the time.

The Crystal Coast is a great area for a vacation. But just like any marketing campaign which promises absolute perfection, things might be not be exactly what you expect. Advertising for the Crystal Coast might not be as off base as some that promise 60 miles of unspoiled beach, but you have to separate the grains of truth from the marketing fluff.

Myrtle Beach does a great job of marketing their beaches and is a fun place to visit, but “unspoiled beach” is not the first thing I think of when I hear the destination. If you love golf, shopping, shows, and beach with highrises right on the beach, Myrtle Beach is exactly your kind of beach. Of course anyone who has visited will tell you that there is also a fair amount of traffic that adds to the fun.

If you love uncrowded beaches, the Crystal Coast might be one of the choices that fits your needs in North Carolina. Figuring out the beach that is right for you takes a little digging beyond the marketing campaigns.

You can spend a lot of years going to the beach like some of us. Then you will find your own favorite beach but it will only be after a lot of experimentation and by the time you find it, it might be on its way to disappearing. You might figure it out by reading articles on the web since all the information there is completely accurate or you could spend $3.99 and read our five-star rated travel book, A Week at the Beach - The Emerald Isle Travel Guide. It will not tell you about all the beaches but it does tell you exactly what to expect on the Crystal Coast. We also have another guide in the works for the area between Nags Head and Ocracoke Island.

Of course if you buy one of my books and send me an email, I’ll be glad to send a return email to help you figure out if you belong in Corolla, Duck, Nags Head, Buxton, Ocracoke, or along the Crystal Coast.

Some folks would argue that with all the information that is on the web why would you want to spend even $3.99 for a guide to a beach. I will give you five reasons.

  1. Our digital guide includes printable maps & directions that are better than a map which would cost you more that the cost of the book. Our maps are even better than a GPS because we have tested all the routes and update our advice regularly.
  2. If you have a family of four and go out to dinner and eat in just one less than stellar restaurant, you will waste close to 20 times the cost of the book on one not very good meal. We provide a list of reliable restaurants and are not afraid to pull one from our list. We also maintain a web list for book purchasers that is updated as we find new restaurants.
  3. You can easily waste an hour of time on the Internet trying to find things to do besides lying on the beach. How much is your time worth? We have pages and pages of suggestions. There are plenty of pictures to help you make a quick decision.
  4. If you have a question about your trip before your visit, would it not be worth $3.99 to be able to get some local insider information with a follow-up by email?
  5. If you run out of things to do or find that it does rain here on the Crystal Coast what is another afternoon of happy family members worth?

This is our third year writing our Travel Guide for Emerald Isle. This year’s version is 180 pages with over 80 pictures, 10 maps, and 10 recipes. It also has 150 link to more information. You get links to local information that is updated all summer long. On top of all that if you buy the guide and do not like it, Amazon will refund you your $3.99. It is pretty well risk free for readers.

This is a new kind of travel guide which offers some unique ways to become hooked up with a local community of people who love the beach. Like I am fond of saying our guide is “the beach lovers guide to loving the beach.”

Give it a try and send me a note letting me know what you think of it. The Kindle version will be updated in late fall of 2015 and the color print book in the spring of 2016. We often have a few of the color print versions and can arrange for pickup of a copy at $20 which is often less than the Amazon Prime cost.

You can find information about actually living on the Crystal Coast at my Saltwater on my feet blog or my Coastal Paradise site.

I have also established a Crystal Coast Life Community on Google+ and just made the invitation public in late October 2015.