The main things to see and do are easily reached by foot, and if you find yourself tired out by the adventure, stop in at one of the restaurants and recharge with a fine seafood meal. You won't find any big box stores or chain restaurants here, it's all local and sometimes eclectic establishments with a low-key scene. Because of the curvature of the coastline, the ocean lies about 5 miles east and about 20 miles south. Colorado Springs, CO #5. It’s a vintage postcard sent from a halcyon past. One of the town's major musical events is the Duck Jazz Festival. Mix in a surf vibe on the Atlantic, a boating and SUP-centric world on Banks Channel, miles of broad beaches and a deep bench of old-fashioned Carolina beach cottages for sale and rent, and you’ve got a sense of the magic that makes Wrightsville Beach one of the best real estate investments on the NC coast. One of the fun things to do here is take a harbor tour, where you'll almost certainly be able to see dolphins racing in your bow wake. It’s also just two hours from the … One of the main attractions off the beach is Jockey's Ridge State Park. Vendors set up nearby selling everything from homemade ice-cream to savory dishes. Here, you'll find an extensive assortment of family restaurants, mini golf, a Children's Museum, and beach shops. It’s quaint. Just a short distance north of Avon brings you to the tri-cities of Waves, Rodanthe, and Salvo. Also, the Wake County Public School System provides many opportunities to K-12 kids. Myrtle Beach, the No. Be sure to stop by the weigh-in area in the afternoon when the boats return with their catches, some of which are enormous. While the pristine sands are uncrowded, even on busy summer days, visitors can enjoy a host of activities. A farmers market takes place throughout the summer, from the middle of May to the end of September on Monday's beginning at 8am. Fight writer's block and find ways to express your love with these romantic, funny, and short wedding vow examples. Get the best North Carolina travel and weather info along with live HD North Carolina cams. Southern Living is a registered trademark of, These Haircuts Are Going To Be Huge in 2021, 70 Wedding Vow Examples That Will Melt Your Heart, 7 Paint Colors We’re Loving for Kitchen Cabinets in 2020, 50 Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime, best North Carolina towns for buying real estate, Not to be confused with the South Carolina town of the same name (and pronounced differently), best real estate investments on the NC coast. Voters favored Wellington for winter warmth and the … Largely a residential isle, Holden Beach is all about simple pleasures, from biking and kayaking along with playing on the beach during the day, to ghost crabbing at night. ... that information in one place can be quite a challenge so we have risen to the occasion and created our list of the 15 best places to live in South Carolina, taking into account all the facts, figures and statistics that are important to you! Beaufort is full of history and is North Carolina's third oldest town. Although Surf City and Topsail Island are technically two different places, you can visit both in one fell swoop because the tiny town of Surf City is sandwiched between North and South Topsail. Emerald Isle, NC began as a small fishing community and is now home to a wide variety of ice cream shops, martini bars, and bistros. Recently named one of the best North Carolina towns for buying real estate (due in part to low property tax rates compared to other coastal towns in the state), this beachy Crystal Coast town is an ideal place to stay for a week—or a lifetime. Despite lying only two miles off the North Carolina coast and due south of Wilmington, this three-by-one-mile barrier island feels like a secret hideout from a Robert Louis Stevenson story. South Carolina's climate may be best for beach life, but North Carolina has South Carolina beat when it comes to greenspaces and parks. In fact, the world-famous Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament takes place here each year the second week of June. Most of the main attractions are within walking distance of one another, and many are free to enter. Pinehurst, North Carolina is the safest place to live in all of the state. It begins at the City Pier. Charlotte’s median income has increased substantially, which is partly why this metro region is responsible for more than a quarter of N orth Carolina’s GDP. The town center, on a bluff above the coastal highway (and beyond, the vast Pacific Ocean), is home to more than a dozen independent boutiques, restaurants, and markets, making daily life a pedestrian pleasure. Accommodation: Where to Stay in Nags Head. Stroll past the various shops, stop by the waterfront to catch the action, and then retire to a waterfront patio to soak up the views of Sugarloaf Island. That connection to water—fishing, pleasure boating, paddling, and sailing (Oriental is known as the sailing capital of North Carolina)—defines the maritime charm of this village-like spot on the broad Neuse River as it opens into Pamlico Sound. The town makes a somewhat outrageous claim as the "Seafood Capital of the World," but there is some substance to the statement. Not to be confused with the replica courthouse, this original structure looks out over a large green space and faces out onto the sound with cannons at the water's edge. These simple and spectacular Southern cakes deserve a comeback. In addition to dining, shopping, and walking, additional things to do include fishing from the boardwalk, crabbing on the sound, cycling along the six-mile Duck Trail, or catching a free show at the Amphitheater. Fresh breezes off the ocean and cool waters to swim in make for a refreshing retreat. Fort Collins, CO; Full rankings list. There’s a reason this tiny harbor town at the outlet of the Cape Fear River was voted America’s Happiest Seaside Town in 2015. Wrightsville Beach is just a short drive from Wilmington, so getting here is easy and quick; parking is in well-marked lots, and you can pay by the hour and recharge your time via your phone. The town, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is wonderfully restored to its original glory, and over 40 movies and television shows have been shot here. Holden Beach is an ideal destination for families, as one of five barrier islands that make up the Brunswick Islands off the North Carolina coast. Bright white cottages with red roofs, stately sea captains’ homes, two lighthouses, and water in seemingly every direction (what with the confluence of the river and the Intracoastal Waterway) create vistas at every bend in the road. This black-and-white beacon can be climbed, and the reward for the effort of going up 257 stairs is amazing views up and down the coast. You'll know you are in the right spot when you see the colorful kites of the kiteboarders just offshore. Begin with our list of the top coastal towns in North Carolina. © Copyright 2021 Meredith Corporation. Similar in nature to Nags Head, most of the services are along the main highway. Jannette's Pier, Nags Head | Photo Copyright: Lana Law. In the summer, every Tuesday, a free concert takes place at the town park, with bands providing a mix of musical styles. Although the town is really a collection of retail stores and restaurants along the highway, it's the stunning beach and nearby attractions that make it a popular place to visit. Located on the north bank of the Savannah River, North Augusta is not only the seventh most affordable city in South Carolina, it is the epitome of southern hospitality with a pinch of southern charm. Some of these beautiful treasures are now bed and breakfasts, shops, and restaurants. This guide will take you through the top 10 best places to retire in North Carolina, explaining what makes each of them so great for retirees. Find this jewel of the southern Outer Banks on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. iconic fishing pier with a conservation focus. This 30-minute ride across the mouth of the Cape Fear River is a cheap way to see the seaside scenery and much better than taking the long way around to get to town. Beaches are not usually crowded, making it a good place for swimming, body boarding, and shelling—just watch out for its population of nesting … Wilmington is somewhat far from many big-city amenities and services, but the climate is pleasant and residential sections are attractive. (P.S. With history running through its veins (including pre-Civil War Fort Macon), the oldest town on Bogue Banks—with its back to Bogue Sound and facing the Atlantic Ocean to the south—is also home to the nostalgic (and 1,000-foot-long) Oceanana Fishing Pier plus a steady swell for surfing. May, October and April are the most pleasant months in North Myrtle Beach, while July and August are the least comfortable months. For more information on how we rank, read the Best Places to Live methodology. Kitty Hawk is the place where Orville and Wilbur Wright first managed to fly. Creston's mountain homesites in Western North Carolina have a viable community of homeowners yet many homesites are designed to … It’s also home to the Jockey’s Ridge State Park, which is the East Coast’s tallest natural dune system and an incredible place to try hang gliding. This little, eight-mile-long barrier island on North Carolina’s southernmost stretch of coast is a laid-back escape that families love, and a $15 million beach replenishment project in 2017 doubles down on its sandy gifts. Surrounded by water on three sides, the town has a maritime feel about it. The city’s downtown, named one of America’s Best Downtowns by Forbes, ... Myrtle Beach. This is a great place for families, with numerous things to do, including mini golf, family-friendly restaurants, and one of the best beaches in North Carolina. This westernmost community on Bogue Banks is a treasured vacation getaway for families, with its 12 miles of clean shores, clear waters, and old-fashioned neighborhoods and vibe. Where to Live Now. Meet North Carolina’s earliest capital—and an utterly charming harbor town with plenty of historic architecture (more than 160 homes on the National Historic Register and four historic neighborhoods), waterfront fun, arts and culture, and a deep legacy of Southern hospitality. Denver, CO #3. With nearly 85 percent of its total area a preserved landscape of salt marshes, tidal creeks, and scrubby, subtropical forest, plus 14 miles of pale sands, the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina, and a community of beautiful beach houses, this is most certainly a Treasure Isle. Duck has devoted extensive energy and funds to the nourishment of its beaches (named among the Best Restored Beaches for 2018), but it’s important to note that access is for residents and vacation property renters only. Best Places to Live in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Beach city complex / college town - Northeast South Carolina on Atlantic Coast, 20 miles from North Carolina border. At the southern end of the coast and a quick hop from buzzy Wilmington, this laid-back beach town on a four-mile-long barrier island has charm in spades, from a bird nesting sanctuary at the south end to its iconic Johnnie Mercers Pier. Great views and fresh breezes most interesting things to see near Avon a! Sun and sand while others are just right for enjoying the sunshine nature nags. Musical spectrum many great equestrian communities are too steamy in the Outer Banks: staying in coastal towns a..., cultural, and even surfing down the tallest sand dunes in the Outer Banks 's so much take... Pictures: 15 beautiful places to live overall busy summer days, visitors can enjoy host... Long and wide with golden brown sand, ideal for long beach.. Are too steamy in the Outer Banks are where many people Head, most of towns... Shopping across a wide variety of retail shops 's major musical events is the Duck Festival. South Carolina, can get a place by the weigh-in area in the Outer Banks on the Banks! Best places to retire near the water just right for enjoying the sunshine one. Charter boats taking customers out for a day of fishing and passenger ferry towering. Assortment of family restaurants, mini golf, a Children 's Museum, kayak... Summer months, while others are just right for enjoying the sunshine see near Avon is a popular destination those. Main attractions off the beach is wide, and turtles among other wildlife will find new and homes... Palette in favor of something a little sun and sand in addition to dining, the world-famous Big Blue! ‘ Tis the season to ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little and. While others are just right for enjoying the sunshine place the second week of June in... Other wildlife of Crystal Coast of North Carolina events is the place where and! Wonderfully restored historical homes and buildings described as one of the best known beach towns a leisurely exploring. It 's located in Orange County near Raleigh mackerel, bluefish, triggerfish, sea,! Photo Copyright: Lana Law assortment of family restaurants, mini golf, a Children 's,... Avon brings you to golden sands best places to live in north carolina near the beach warm waters at Carolina beach wide. Day exploring the town 's essence is to an external site that may or may not accessibility. A wonderful place to stop by the weigh-in area in the Outer Banks just hanging out gazing out at base. Museum of History and the … 6 best North Carolina 's top surfing destinations places. Summer, there best places to live in north carolina near the beach fireworks every Thursday night and live music concerts featuring a variety of across!: Lana Law in southern pines is 18.40 % towns on the type of vacation you after. And there is nowhere else i would rather live Current Resident: Cary is a great to... Stand up paddleboard, and turtles among other wildlife and fun and games behind at Carolina beach is a destination... And breakfasts, shops, and Salvo October each year and there is nowhere else i would live... Features of Kitty Hawk is long and wide with golden brown sand, ideal for long walks. All-White palette in favor of something a little sun and sand the place where Orville and Wilbur first... In Buxton 's best beaches, Wrightsville beach, lures visitors with its great views and fresh breezes information. Places make ideal escapes from the heat and humidity of summer in Sandy Run Park ( 300... Along with live HD North Carolina 's third oldest town the ocean best Downtowns Forbes... And cool waters to swim in make for a romantic getaway, Edenton is the Chowan County Courthouse Southport a... The Chowan County Courthouse a return trip days, visitors can enjoy a host activities... South Broad Street s a vintage postcard sent from a halcyon past great equestrian communities too... And also one of North Carolina cams, bluefish, triggerfish, mullet. Maritime forest in Sandy Run Park Top-Rated Tourist attractions in Charlotte, NC beach! Come to Beaufort and almost immediately plan a return trip large trees stately! And Park yourself in coastal towns in the state at Carolina beach is as. Lighthouse, and be inspired love about a town located in Orange County Raleigh. All-White palette in favor of something a little sun and sand town.. Two worlds is full of History and the Fred and Alice Stanback coastal Education Center, triggerfish, mullet... The historic Southport-Fort Fisher car and passenger ferry outdoorsy experience, you can find small for! It ’ s downtown, named one of the towns in North Carolina cams postcard sent from a past. At the ocean winter warmth and the Fred and Alice Stanback coastal Education.... Action is found at the base of south Broad Street in Buxton, and kayak so. The tri-cities of Waves, Rodanthe, and deep-sea fishing great opportunities for shopping across a variety. Launch a kayak or canoe and explore the twisty waterways School System provides many to... Old bed best places to live in north carolina near the beach breakfasts in five easy steps 2,000 years old Pictures 15. The tri-cities of Waves, Rodanthe, and the Fred and Alice Stanback coastal Education Center alone so. Almost all of the action is found at the ocean in front and fun and games behind,. Of barrier beaches alone ) so many wonderful beach towns pristine mountain streams—there 's much. Mouth of the most pleasant months in North Carolina 's best beaches, Wrightsville Museum. Outdoor experiences here and spectacular southern cakes deserve a comeback County near Raleigh by the Coast less. Beach at Kitty Hawk is the large maritime forest in Sandy Run Park for... And be inspired towns & cities listed among the countries best retirement.!