We know what you’re thinking. “Can you really have a fun beach vacation in the winter?” On Emerald Isle, you can! With our mild winters, quiet community, and year-round fun, there’s plenty to do at one of the best North Carolina beaches in winter. From state parks to aquariums to historical sites, there’s still plenty of things to do in North Carolina in the winter! Best of all, you won’t have to travel very far from your beautiful rental home.
Are you looking for annual festivals to attend during your trip to one of the best North Carolina beaches in winter? Download our free Vacation Guide! We’ve listed our favorite events in the area, all sorted by month. From the Emerald Isle Christmas Parade to the annual N.C. Seafood Festival, there’s a lot to celebrate! Plus, our Vacation Guide offers suggestions for shops, restaurants, and spas in the area. Get local recommendations from the people who know the area best! Download our free Vacation Guide today.
Visit One of the Best North Carolina Beaches in Winter
Emerald Isle in Winter
Emerald Isle is the perfect escape during the cold winter months! We rarely see temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Typically, the weather stays around the mid-60s, with plenty of sunshine to warm you up. While winter may be the off-season on Emerald Isle, there are still a myriad of things to do that are available year-round.
Visit the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
Although the water may be too cold to swim in during the winter months, you can still have an aquatic adventure during your Emerald Isle vacation! Visit the nearby North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores for a day of fun and learning. This is a great activity for everyone, no matter the age. Check out the exhibit on loggerhead sea turtles, a species that is an annual visitor to the shores of Emerald Isle. (You can read about the Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program on the town’s website if you’re interested in learning more!) There’s also a play area for the “little minnows” which features toys, books, and costumes for the kids to try on. Make sure to check out the calendar before your visit so you don’t miss out on any special events!
Explore Fort Macon State Park
Located on the eastern tip of Bogue Banks, Fort Macon State Park is an ideal field trip for families interested in history. Guided tours of the fort are available four times a day and last around 45 minutes. You can also take a look at the Fort’s museum room. There are plenty of exhibits on display that will give you a quick history lesson on the Fort as well as a look into the lives of the officers and soldiers that once lived here. Fort Macon State Park is educational, fun, and a great place to spend a day!
Take a Trip Back in Time at Beaufort Historic Site
History comes to life at the Beaufort Historic Site! Visit North Carolina’s third-oldest town, located on the southern tip of the Outer Banks. While here, you can tour the restored homes that are perfect recreations of 18th and 19th century coastal Carolina. The site stretches out over two acres and is open six days a week during the winter months.
The Historic Buildings Tour is the only tour available during the winter and runs from Monday to Saturday, four times a day. The tour takes you through a handful of historic buildings, from the rustic cottages to more elaborate houses. You’ll even get a look at old apothecary shops and the jail. This is a wonderful hands-on experience that is sure to please everyone in the family!
Stay with Spinnaker’s Reach
During your visit to one of the best North Carolina beaches in winter, make sure you stay in one of the best homes on the island! Spinnaker’s Reach offers a wide selection of rentals, including oceanfront properties and beautiful duplexes. Take a look at our selection of holiday vacation rentals, all available during the off-season.
Not sure which home is right for you? Consider renting Sea Watch II, a gorgeous and accessible 10-bed, seven-bathroom oceanfront home. The word that best describes this home is “opulent.” From vaulted ceilings to circular stairways, no detail has been overlooked! The main entry level includes a gourmet kitchen with two dishwashers, two ovens, and a wine fridge, plus a living room and dining room. It’s a fantastic place to host a get-together with the extended family. There’s even an oceanfront pool, a private walkway to the beach, and plenty of space for all your guests!
Check the rest of our rentals and book your stay today! We look forward to having you.