Besides a beautiful and relatively uncrowded beach, you’ll also find a colorful vintage-style boardwalk complete with an old-school arcade, hiking trails at the Carolina Beach State Park and charming beach hotels. As a native all I have to say is…can you really blame them? Swimming and various beach activities are popular on its magnificent white-sand beaches, but a huge draw is its family-friendly entertainment complex and tourist attractions, including an amusement park with one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the US. This small coastal town is the third oldest in the state of North Carolina. Just park it at the marina in nearby Southport, board the ferry and ride for 20 minutes until you reach the pristine beaches of Bald Head. Stay: The Inn on Bath Creek Beach town properties have, overall, held up value better than most other vacation home properties in the aftermath of the housing bubble. Welcoming a whopping 10 million tourist visits a year, Myrtle Beach is probably the most popular beach town to visit in South Carolina. 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. Each town has its own personality and many things to do surrounding the Asheville area. There are a total of 760 towns and cities in the state of North Carolina. Get our latest advice & deals in your inbox! List of North Carolina Towns Displaying List of Populated Towns in North Carolina. With a name like Sunset Beach, it’s hard to go wrong. 15 Small Towns In North Carolina Where Everyone Knows Your Name. The island, which covers almost half of the entire length of the Outer Banks, offers endless stretches of beach that have been uninterrupted by commercial construction. Oak Island is also a dog lover’s dream: Four legged friends are allowed on the beaches year-round, and they can be off the leash from October 16-March 15 from 6am to 8pm. Nicole Antonio, Managing Editor. 30 Small Beach Towns that Should be On Your Radar ... Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. The town is known for its public beaches and has become a quiet haven for visitors from all over the country, but don’t let that deter you from Atlantic Beach. 10-Day Guided Tour of Italy & Sicily | 10% Off, 11-Day Small-Group Croatia Tour - 10% Off, Nuevo Vallarta Luxury Resort | 5-Day Vacation for 2, 18 Months To Travel | Nuevo Vallarta 5-Day Trip for 2, Get Back to Travel w/ a Clean & Affordable Rental, 5-Days for 2 at a Luxury Riviera Maya Cancun Resort. Shops, a couple of Inns, restaurants overlooking the marina or river, etc. It can be kind of a pain to find the major guidebooks once you land, or you’ll find them overpriced. Lots of down time drinking, that’s what. Beaufort also has its own Blackbeard history. (Beaufort or even Bath are wonderful but much further away from Myrtle Beach) Southport is about an hour or so north of Myrtle Beach (up US 17 & then onto 211) & about 40-45 minutes from Wilmington.. This Southern state with more than 3,000 miles of coastline (including 300 miles of barrier beaches alone) has so many wonderful towns on the water it was tempting to choose them all. 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in North Carolina North Carolina , a southeastern US state, is home to many metropolitan cities and quaint towns. Southport is about an hour or so north of Myrtle Beach (up US 17 & then onto 211) & about 40-45 minutes from Wilmington. Find this jewel of the southern Outer Banks on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. Beaufort even has it's own Blackbeard history. ‘Tis the season to ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder and brighter. Sunset Ridge is an active lifestyle community in Ocean Isle Beach, NC and provides residents with a prime location in coastal North Carolina, offering retirees plenty of outdoor recreation, local sandy beaches, and parks. This small coastal town is the third oldest in the state of North Carolina. Brad Styron/Courtesy of Crystal Coast TDA, Credit: Everyone’s welcome here to enjoy the pale-sand beaches on both the Atlantic and Intracoastal Waterway sides, including dogs, who can hit the beach with their masters year-round (but on a leash from May 15-September 30). 1. Like Asheville, Brevard is nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina, but it’s a much smaller town, with a population of just over 7,900 (based on 2018 U.S. census estimates.) Learn how to season this Southern kitchen staple in five easy steps. group facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1787047574894248/ TOP 10. Please fill out highlighted fields and click "Compare Prices" to continue. Famous for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the country (The Outer Banks), North Carolina is a charming blend of native american and european roots coupled with majestic nature that is sure to entice you into staying just a little bit longer. Kitty Hawk is especially worth visiting, as it is where Wilbur and Orville Wright flew their airplane for the first time, hence North Carolina’s state motto, First in Flight. Little Brevard, North Carolina is about as isolated as you can get. However, it’s also saddled with the highest cost of living in the top 20, running nearly 10% above national averages. The Outer Banks in North Carolina are home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the region, Salvo Beach. Its title as ‘America’s Coolest Small Town’ seems to be down to a combination of 300-years of history – complete with small historic district – and a thriving, convenient, modern-day downtown. We considered a number of factors in composing this list, such as earning potential, quality of life, the city's cost of living compared to the national average, attractions and much more. Not only are they safe and friendly to live in, these towns make the perfect way to escape the noisy life of the big, concrete jungles. Just saying, America.). North Carolina is a state located in the Southern United States.According to the 2010 United States Census, North Carolina is the ninth most populous state with 10,042,802 inhabitants but the 28th largest by land area spanning 53,819 square miles (139,390 km 2) of land. But, you’ll also find gift shops that date back to the 1970s and a diner that’s been serving up fresh food and 22 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream for the past 25 years. But don't go expecting one single style of Carolina beach: whether you're looking for family fun or peaceful places to unplug, North Carolina has something that will suit you. 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. Salvo Beach. Dine: Blackbeard's Slices & Ices, Old Town Country Kitchen. 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. : For convenience, all Towns in North Carolina should be included in this category. DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images. 1. iconic fishing pier with a conservation focus. The best small beach towns and cities in the U.S. are truly where you need to go, ... North Carolina. Lots of down time drinking, that’s what. What’s not to love about a town with more than three times as many boats as year-round inhabitants? Famous for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the country (The Outer Banks), North Carolina is a charming blend of native american and european roots coupled with majestic nature that is sure to entice you into staying just a little bit longer. By subscribing I agree to the terms Whether you’re looking to relax on a beach, munch on scrumptious seafood, traverse through America’s history, or see yourself amidst wildlife, South Carolina’s coastal towns have a lot to offer. Although it is a little more crowded here, there is still a classic, laid back Carolina vibe throughout the island town. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Towns in North Carolina. You’ll find amazing views, pristine sand dunes and plenty of nature to enjoy, as well as a variety of coastal restaurants and a handful of “mom and pop” type shops. Southern Living is part of the Meredith Home Group. Credit: Packing for a North Carolina beach vacation shouldn’t be stressful! 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in North Carolina North Carolina , a southeastern US state, is home to many metropolitan cities and quaint towns. Blackbeard ran his ship, Queen Anne's Revenge, aground near the present day inlet. 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. Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links. The best beach towns in North Carolina … 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. 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. North Carolina almost has so many small, quaint towns that it’s hard to keep track of all of them. Oct 2, 2017 Getty Images. Beaufort. Find picturesque historic Main Streets, friendly shops, general stores, farm-to-table restaurants, breweries, art galleries and quirky finds. There’s no better way to enjoy the summer than a relaxing trip to the beach. This lone mailbox that stands in the middle of an uncrowded area of the beach has been visited by people from all over the world, who leave their thoughts and wishes inside the mailbox for the next visitors (and the Kindred Spirit) to find. It is a beautiful town with a beautiful waterfront situated at the mouth of the Cape Fear river. Both North and South Carolina offer many great active adult communities on the beach. Silver Gull Motel, Wrightsville Beach/Oyster. Every summer thousands of tourists and beach goers converge on North Carolina's pristine sandy beaches to take in the refreshing, blue waters on the coast. All of North Carolina’s Outer Banks islands are a paradise for quiet beach lovers, as they are more difficult to get to and therefore less developed. 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. Asheville, NC: A Small City With Many Accolades We’ll send you our newsletter with travel destinations, deals, and more! This small, eclectic town is one of the most laid-back beaches in the area and is where you want to go if you want to have a beach vacation that is both fun and unforgettable. A cult favorite, this Outer Banks island is accessible only by boat (unlike other OBX stars) and has a relaxed romance imbued with salt air. 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. © Copyright 2021 Meredith Corporation. Buyers will find new and resale homes priced from the high $100s that come as attached or single-family homes. Back in 2014, Wrightsville Beach made National Geographic’s list of the world’s top 20 surf towns, finally cementing what locals already knew — this small town is a laid-back and lively coastal haven. 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. Small Town, Big Adventure: Explore the Smokies in Bryson City, N.C. Plan the Ultimate Adventure Getaway Without the Crowds in Bryson City, N.C. Eat, Drink and Be Merry This Holiday Season at Capt. Just make sure you bring these five things: Explorer’s Guide North Carolina’s Outer Banks guidebook. : For convenience, all Towns in North Carolina should be included in this category. Right at the base of the Appalachians near the South Carolina border, there are quite a few bars and pubs for such a little town, including two breweries. Waterside and beautiful, Beaufort is North Carolina’s third oldest town. Discover the coastline's most overlooked beaches, neither too remote nor too crowded. Those who need a beach in their life will find tiny Town Beach a quick fix, and the broad strands of Atlantic Beach aren’t far away. Each year, over one million visitors flock to Hanauma Bay, a small cove that boasts some of the best snorkeling in the world.While the hype is justified, you should really drive 30 minutes north to Kailua, a town basking in chill vibes with easy access to less crowded beaches. It’s a vintage postcard sent from a halcyon past. Located in the Outer Banks, this beach destination is truly whatever you make of it. This is an escape complete with pirate lore, long stretches of pristine sands all protected by the National Park Service, a fishing village with summer pleasures like ice cream, seafood, and boat charters, and its own bright white, picturesque lighthouse. The 15 Best Small Towns in North Carolina. Current Resident: Waxhaw is an amazing small town in North Carolina. On the opposite end of Wilmington, just about 30 minutes from Carolina Beach, is Wrightsville Beach. Beaufort, North Carolina Beaufort, North Carolina, one of the Southeast’s oldest and most charming beach towns, is at the southern tip of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. Less a town, and more of an island with beach homes on it, Sunset Beach offers a value play that nestles you between North Myrtle Beach to your south, and Wilmington, North Carolina to your north. The natural beauty surrounding each adds to the sense of tranquility that seems woven into the state’s DNA. Packing for a North Carolina beach vacation shouldn’t be stressful! This small, eclectic town is one of the most laid-back beaches in the area and is where you want to go if you want to have a beach vacation that is both fun and unforgettable. Outdoor life here centers—appropriately—around boating, paddling, and casting, but the famed beaches of the Outer Banks are just an hour to the east. The small town of Beaufort is the county seat of Carteret County, on the ‘Inner Banks’ coastal area of North Carolina (specifically, Beaufort is situated just where the Outer Banks end). This riverfront port is technically a city, but there are so many things to love about visiting and enjoying Wilmington, it’s impossible to leave it off the list. Whether you prefer a quiet, remote escape or a getaway at a top beach hotel, the Tarheel State has the perfect beach town for you. https://www.southernliving.com/.../the-best-beach-towns-in-north-carolina Blackbeard ran his ship, Queen Anne's Revenge, aground near the present day inlet. If you're planning a road trip or exploring the local area, make sure you check out some of these places to get a feel for the surrounding community. Pronounced “Bowfort” (not “Bewfert” like its South Carolina namesake), this colonial-era village embraces its pirate history. Located in Carteret County, NC, Atlantic Beach is one of five communities in the Bogue Banks portion of “North Carolina’s Crystal Coast,” aptly named for its crystal water beaches. Popular North Carolina beaches like Cape Hatteras are just the start to the state's many great beaches. Not only are they safe and friendly to live in, these towns make the perfect way to escape the noisy life of the big, concrete jungles. There’s also a wide variety of accommodations available in Wrightsville, whether you prefer the comfort of a residential bungalow or the amenities of a full-scale resort. I always like to pick mine up ahead of time. We'll send you our newsletter with travel destinations, deals, and more! I agree with the Southport recommendations. That’s right, if you really want to leave it all behind, you can do just that here, including your car. Sunset Beach, North Carolina. Atlantic Beach. Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina Credit: Darwin Brandis/Getty Images This little town near Wilmington has soft, sandy beaches and adorable houses dotting the coast. Nearby, Saugatuck Natural Area runs north of Oval Beach and features 173 acres of duneland with winding hikes overlooking the lake and Kalamazoo River Channel. 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. The best small beach towns and cities in the U.S. are truly where you need to go, ... North Carolina. Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii. These places make visitors wish they were residents. Headed to the beaches of North Carolina, don’t forget your map as you’ll undoubtedly be amazed by the number of white sandy beaches that dot the coast, along with unique and quaint little towns. Located about one hour to the south of Topsail Island is another popular beach town – Carolina Beach. Beaufort, North Carolina. The Tarheel State is a land of many features: to the east, the stunning beaches of the Outer Banks; to the west, spectacular mountain ranges including the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Charlotte North Carolina (872498 people) Raleigh North Carolina (469298 people) Greensboro North Carolina (294722 people) Durham North Carolina (274291 people) Fayetteville North Carolina (209468 people) Cary North Carolina (168160 people) Wilmington North Carolina (122607 people) Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon. It is in these friendly communities that you’ll find North Carolina’s beating heart. This classic summer vacation spot is also home to natural gifts, including Carolina Beach State Park, with some of the area’s finest fishing and the Flytrap Trail, named for the carnivorous Venus Flytrap plants along its path. These simple and spectacular Southern cakes deserve a comeback. Whether you’re looking to relax on a beach, munch on scrumptious seafood, traverse through America’s history, or see yourself amidst wildlife, South Carolina’s coastal towns have a lot to offer. 8-Day Bourbon, Bridles & Bluegrass Tour of the Southern U.S. 5-Day Christmastime Cruise through Germany, 8-Day Tulip Time Cruise from Holland to Belgium, 5-Day Getaway for 2 | Buy Now, 18 Months to Travel, 5-Day Los Cabos for 2 | 18 Months to Travel. Here Are The 10 Most Beautiful, Charming Small Towns 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. 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. Located in the Outer Banks, this beach destination is truly whatever you make of it. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Towns in North Carolina. Because there are no cars, everything here is accessible by foot or bicycle, including a variety of charming restaurants and shops, golf courses, a spa and more. Yes, named (with a smile) for the abundance of waterfowl that traditionally lured hunters to this northern end of the Outer Banks, this resort town has low-key sophistication that’s utterly winning, including a vibrant small community of independent shops and restaurants (and a respected jazz festival). Located in the 'inner banks' Beaufort is still fairly close to the beach. 2. 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. One of North Carolina’s seaside beauties, Beaufort is a small coastal town and the third largest oldest town in the state. 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