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 are 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 winter vacation in North Carolina? Access our Complimentary Things to Do List! We’ve listed our favorite events in the area, all sorted by month, from the Emerald Isle Christmas Parade to the annual NC Seafood Festival, there’s a lot to celebrate! Plus, our guide offers suggestions for shops, restaurants, and spas in the area. Get local recommendations from the people who know the area best!
Visit One of the Best North Carolina Beaches in Winter
Emerald Isle in Winter
Our tranquil beach town 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 during your daily walks on the beach. While winter may be the off-season on Emerald Isle, this North Carolina beach still has a myriad of things to do this time of year.
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. A trip to the aquarium is an excellent activity for everyone, no matter the age. Check out the exhibit on loggerhead sea turtles. This species that is an annual visitor to the shores of Emerald Isle. 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 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also take a look at the Fort’s museum room. The exhibits on display will give you quick history lessons on the Fort as well as a glimpse 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 barrier islands. The historical district stretches out over two acres and is open six days a week during the winter months.
The Historic Buildings Tour is available during the winter and runs from Monday to Saturday, twice 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!
Visit Cape Lookout National Seashore
A short ferry ride from the mainland will take you to some of the most beautiful remote beaches on the East coast. The Cape Lookout National Seashore is a hidden gem adored by all those who visit! On this sandy oasis, you’ll find that the coast is a magical place, no matter the season. Be sure to take a guided tour of Portsmouth Village and uncover the former seaport’s stories.
Stay with Spinnaker’s Reach
During your visit to one of the Crystal Coast 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 for your winter getaway in NC.
Not sure which home is right for you? Consider renting A Time to Remember, a gorgeous, 4-bed, 4-bathroom home with ocean views. The word that best describes this home is “welcoming.” From spacious dining to comfy couches, this house is ideal for a winter retreat! The main entry level includes a den space that can be left open or closed off for added convenience. The entire house is a fantastic place to host a get-together with the extended family. There’s even an oceanside deck, a boardwalk to the beach, and plenty of space for all your guests!
Check our winter availability and book your stay today! We look forward to having you.