The quirky little town of Bath is the perfect site for history lovers, as it is North Carolina’s oldest town by five years (it was founded in 1705, five years before New Bern). Nearby, the Rachel Carson Reserve has wild horses, birdlife, and turtles among other wildlife. Attractions for mom and dad are in the form of outlet malls, beach shops, Gallery Row, and the Historic District, with its unpainted traditional cedar shake beach cottages. The canopied streets are the best for leisurely walks, be it by yourself or with your friends, while you look around and pop in to one of the stores for art, books, decorations, antiques, and the like. One of the highlights is the Chowan County Courthouse. More a city than a town, this coastal port is located along the banks of the Cape Fear River. Camping in the Outer Banks: Staying in coastal towns is a great way to enjoy summer in North Carolina. It's located in the municipal grounds near the town hall. In fact, National Geographic even named it the seventh-best waterfront adventure town. Located on the banks of the French Broad River, many pop in while rafting or backpacking. Be sure to stop by the weigh-in area in the afternoon when the boats return with their catches, some of which are enormous. North Carolina is in the Southeastern region of the United States and there are quite a few beautiful and charming small towns scattered throughout the state. 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. Love North Carolina? Nags Head is the largest town in the Outer Banks and also one of the best known beach towns. Most of the action is found at the base of South Broad Street. Jannette's Pier, Nags Head | Photo Copyright: Lana Law. Fresh breezes off the ocean and cool waters to swim in make for a refreshing retreat. You'll know you are in the right spot when you see the colorful kites of the kiteboarders just offshore. North Carolina in Pictures: 15 Beautiful Places to Photograph, 14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Charlotte, NC. The beach at Kitty Hawk is long and wide with golden brown sand, ideal for long beach walks. Homes dating from the 17th century are on beautiful tree-lined streets that entice you to stroll along and think about what life used to be like here over 200 years ago. 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. One of the most unique features of Kitty Hawk is the large maritime forest in Sandy Run Park. Silver Gull Motel, Wrightsville Beach/Oyster. Map of Radon Zones in North Carolina based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data More North Carolina directories: Cities in North Carolina with more than 6000 residents ; Cities, towns, and villages in North Carolina between 1000 and 6000 residents ; More data: Zip Codes, Counties, Businesses, Houses, Weather Forecasts The first Colonial capital of North Carolina, this 300-year-old town is replete with wonderfully restored historical homes and buildings. North Carolina’s coast has always held some of the best vacation spots for boaters. North Carolina, a southeastern US state, is home to many metropolitan cities and quaint towns.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. Bluffton has grown considerably over the years from the original one square mile next to the river, but the small town charm remains intact when you have a view like this one! Known as: One of the smallest inhabited islands on the South Carolina coast A mere 20-minute ride from Charleston, Sullivan’s Island is a largely unspoiled beach town for those who want to get away from the city. Some of the attractions around town are the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History and the Fred and Alice Stanback Coastal Education Center. Most of the main attractions are within walking distance of one another, and many are free to enter. It's a perfect pit stop if you're riding the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad or even a pitstop between your fishing and rafting adventures. One of the larger towns along the North Carolina Coast, this vibrant outdoorsy place reels you in and makes you want to stay a while. Seems like I have my summer planned out, between popping in a quaint mountain town while hiking and taking a day to relax and shop at the beach. And those Inner Banks is where the lovely town of Beaufort is located. All that great fishing translates into great seafood at the many fine restaurants spread throughout the town. Duck is unique from many of the towns in the Outer Banks. History is everywhere here, from the Old Brunswick County Jail Museum to the Maritime Museum, right through to the Fort Johnson-Southport Museum and Visitors Center. Rated as one of North Carolina's best small towns by Frommer's, Edenton sits on the Albemarle Sound and Edenton Bay, about 70 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia. Emory was born and raised in North Carolina. Located on the beautiful Cape Fear River, you can enjoy waterfront dining, strolls through a charming downtown, and a unique coastal experience. North Carolina is full of beautiful, waterfront places. The trees you see growing in the water are bald cypress trees, ranging in age from 500 to 2,000 years old. 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. want to pay a visit to Yana's for the fried fritters...or enjoy a cool afternoon brew with a waterfront view. We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. Vendors set up nearby selling everything from homemade ice-cream to savory dishes. Wrightsville Beach. In the summer, there are fireworks every Thursday night and live music concerts featuring a variety of musicians across the musical spectrum. The beach here is wide, and the sand is soft. 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. If you love the small-town vibe, pack a suitcase to discover the … One of the main attractions off the beach is Jockey's Ridge State Park. Carolina Beach is known as one of North Carolina's top surfing destinations. Wilmington was voted Best Riverfront Town by USA Today 10Best. Take some time to discover why for yourself. This tiny town has a rich history, but today it’s primarily known as an outdoors paradise and, as its name implies, for its natural hot springs. People who live in the state or traveling through will find themselves amazed at … Nags Head is well located for easy day trips. You'll def. See: Palmer-Marsh House , Bonner House , Pamlico River , Goose Creek State Park , Bath Creek Dine: Blackbeard's Slices & Ices , Old Town Country Kitchen Activities just outside of town include golfing, dolphin cruises, and deep-sea fishing. North Carolina: A Truly Vibrant State North Carolina is an interesting state because it features so many different things. Swansboro is just a bridge drive over from popular Crystal Coast destinations ike Emerald Isle. You can find more of her work on emoryrakestraw.com. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data. Located at the confluence of the French Broad River and Spring Creek in Madison County, Hot Springs is an official Appalachian Trail community. While many people might not consider Asheville a small city with a population of 83,393 and the designation of if being one of the largest cities in North Carolina, it actually made the top ranking as one of the top 25 smallest cities in America according to American Style Magazine. Here, you'll find people fishing, strolling hand in hand, or just hanging out gazing out at the ocean. Surrounded by water on three sides, the town has a maritime feel about it. Just a short drive from Wilmington brings you to golden sands and warm waters at Carolina Beach. 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. Of course, we know of the more popular small towns that are just brimming with that cool factor, like Bath or Brevard, but there are plenty of these little gems throughout the state that sometimes go unnoticed. In addition to dining, the town offers great opportunities for shopping across a wide variety of retail shops. She enjoys writing, photography, filmmaking, travel, wine and cheese. Located on the Neuse River, New Bern is a popular destination for beach goers and those looking for a weekend filled with history. 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. You can paddleboard along the Nantahala River, trout fish, check out galleries, and even have a day of tubing. Begin with our list of the top coastal towns in North Carolina. Beaufort is full of history and is North Carolina's third oldest town. Also, there are a number of smaller towns nestled in the mountains that are proving to be extremely appealing to retirees. A great way to get to Southport from Wilmington is to take the historic Southport-Fort Fisher car and passenger ferry. Camping is nearby at Carolina Beach State Park. Thank you! I agree with the Southport recommendations. 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. Located in the 'inner banks,' Beaufort is still fairly close to the beach. Just south of town you'll find the impressive Wright Brothers National Memorial. 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 banks of the Tuckasegee River, many people arrive to this quaint mountain town by train or boat. Little River, SC - The Intracoastal Waterway and the Waccamaw River 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. 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. Located along the innerbanks, Swansboro has an extremely charming main street filled with shops and restaurants. A map of North Carolina cities will show that on one side of the state, you have miles of beaches, including the famed Outer Banks, where many hotels are events take place. The oldest community in North Carolina, it was actually an important city during the colonial era and vestiges of this proud past can be found throughout town. An ideal way to begin your tours is to view a 15-minute video at the tourist information office at the top end of South Broad Street. 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. 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Wilmington, N.C. 11 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in North Carolina, 3 Top Places for Deep Sea Fishing in North Carolina, 13 Top-Rated Small Towns in North Carolina, 7 Top-Rated Romantic Getaways in North Carolina, 11 Top-Rated Waterfalls in North Carolina, 12 Top-Rated Beach Resorts in North Carolina, 10 Top-Rated Rivers for Trout Fishing in North Carolina, 13 Top-Rated Mountain Towns in North Carolina, 9 Top-Rated Campgrounds in the Outer Banks, NC, 5 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in North Carolina 2021, 16 Top Cheap Ski Holidays in North America, 2021, 12 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Durham, NC, 12 Top-Rated Things to Do in Florence, OR, 12 Top-Rated Things to Do in Leavenworth, WA, 19 Best Places to Visit in the United States, 11 Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the World. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. The Outer Banks are where many people head, but there are numerous options. North Carolina is chock-full of great beach towns, but one of the most popular is Wrightsville Beach. Surfing started on these shores back in 1909 and has remained a popular pastime ever since, thanks to year-round good weather and beach breaks. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Tar Heel State. Regardless of your method of transportation, it's a beautiful little place, fun for a day away. You can check the inventory and house features online and make bookings there as well. 10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in North Carolina. A wonderful walk along the Duck Boardwalk starts at the kayak launch parking area and heads south along the shoreline ultimately ending at Aqua Restaurant, where you can have a leisurely lunch on their wonderful outdoor patio. Beaufort, North Carolina. Most of the accommodation is in elevated beach houses that can be rented through one of the local real estate companies. The beach is a popular destination for those who like to surf, stand up paddleboard, and kayak, so bring your gear. This free event takes place the second week of October each year. The town makes a somewhat outrageous claim as the "Seafood Capital of the World," but there is some substance to the statement. You’ll find a small town with big charm in Bath, North Carolina. Asheville, NC: A Small City With Many Accolades. 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