Emerald Isle vs Outer Banks: How to Choose the Best One for Your Family

If you’re planning your first visit to Emerald Isle, you might be a little confused on how the Crystal Coast and the Outer Banks are split up and what makes them so different. While these areas are both coastal regions in North Carolina and very close in proximity, there are some key differences which may help you decide where to book your vacation. Find out everything you need to know when it comes to Emerald Isle vs. the Outer Banks.

Access our free Vacation Guide

Emerald Isle vs. Outer Banks 101

First, let’s answer one of our most-asked questions: is Emerald Isle part of the Outer Banks? Typically, when people say “The Outer Banks,” they tend to think of it as one destination. However, this region (often called OBX) is actually a 130-mile stretch of islands off the coast of North Carolina. The Crystal Coast, which is sometimes referred to as “Southern Outer Banks,” is a bit of coastline located directly below the OBX islands and is over 80 miles long. One of the islands along the Crystal Coast is called Bogue Banks, which is 21-miles long. At the very southernmost tip of this island is our wonderful town, Emerald Isle. If this is sounding confusing, don’t worry. We promise you won’t be tested on any of this information.

What Makes Emerald Isle Unique

So now that we’ve laid out the geography, it’s time to choose between Emerald Isle and OBX. If you’re planning a summer vacation with your family, the choice is simple. Emerald Isle is the ideal destination. Thanks to the direction of our island, our waters feature a placid wave direction. This means that Emerald Isle is a more kid-friendly destination, with gentle, warm water. The ocean tends to be more shallow in Emerald Isle, as well. Plus, when you rent a home from Spinnaker’s Reach, you have access to the shoreline along Coast Guard Road, a private area that is open to our guests. This stretch of coastline is less crowded than other popular destinations.

Emerald Isle is also less commercialized than OBX, which is quickly becoming a hotspot for tourists. Our quiet town is still one of the best-kept secrets in North Carolina, with locally owned businesses and a more family-oriented feel. You won’t have to battle through traffic to try to find a parking spot or battle through the crowds for a clear space on the beach.

Stay with Spinnaker’s Reach

When it comes to the question of Emerald Isle vs. Outer Banks, the answer is simple. Emerald Isle has warmer, calmer waters, family-friendly attractions, and a gorgeous selection of vacation homes courtesy of Spinnaker’s Reach! Are you ready to explore our wide inventory of properties? Choose from our pet-friendly or oceanfront homes, as well as our properties with private pools. Each of our rentals features top-notch amenities that will enhance your stay and make you feel at home.

Take a look at our full catalog and book your home today! We look forward to having you.