While the Crystal Coast feels like a peaceful and remote oasis, some of the best day trips in North Carolina are just a short drive away! Day trips from Emerald Isle offer the perfect opportunity for you and your family to spend time together at various restaurants, galleries, wineries, museums, parks, and more. With an endless number of activities and attractions, these quick excursions will help you create memories that will last a lifetime!
For more information on day trips in North Carolina and other local destination ideas, download our complimentary Things to Do List! It is packed with everything you need to know to plan your ideal coastal getaway.
6 Incredible Day Trips from Emerald Isle, NC
Established in 1709, the former seaside village of Beaufort is the third-oldest town in North Carolina. Here, you can enjoy everything from the rich history of the tree-lined downtown streets to the educational exhibits on display at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. No matter where you go, Beaufort, NC, has excellent attractions for the whole family.
Widely known as the “Friendly City by the Sea,” Swansboro, NC, is only five miles from Emerald Isle. The town’s welcoming atmosphere and picturesque qualities never fail to charm its visitors.
3. Cape Lookout National Seashore
With three unspoiled barrier islands, one operational lighthouse, and countless wild horses, this is one of the best Crystal Coast day trips. The Cape Lookout National Seashore spans 56 miles and includes the North Core Banks, South Core Banks, and Shackleford Banks, making it ideal for fishing, shelling, and boating.
4. Pine Knoll Shores
Home to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, this quiet town is perfect for a day trip with the family. A short drive from Emerald Isle will reveal Pine Knoll Shores’ quiet beaches and great family fun!
5. Morehead City
Thirty minutes east of Emerald Isle is one of our favorite Crystal Coast communities, Morehead City, NC. Around this lovely seaside city, you will find tasty restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops, and many exciting attractions.
6. Atlantic Beach
East of the Bogue banks and surrounded by the Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll find Atlantic Beach! The area offers many outdoor activities, and it is home to Fort Macon State Park. This site is a significant part of United States history given its role as a Civil War fort and more.
Come Home to Welcoming Vacation Rental
No matter which of these day trips suits you best, be sure to book your stay at any of our incredible properties! Situated on the peaceful shores of Emerald Isle, our vacation homes are near the best area attractions and activities. Each home features comfortable amenities, so you can relax on the sundeck in the morning or take a dip in the pool in the evening. No matter how you choose to spend your vacation, a Spinnaker’s Reach home is always the best place to stay. And remember, you don’t have to travel at all to enjoy our many amenities, like community pool access, oceanfront views, and even golf carts for quick trips around the island.
If you’re ready to explore the Crystal Coast, explore our island homes and book your stay now! We can’t wait to see what adventures you’ll find here.