Vacation season is almost upon us here on the Crystal Coast and first-time visitors to Emerald Isle always want to know what they can do especially with the economy more focused on saving money. With that said, here are 10 wallet-saving things to do on the Crystal Coast.

  1. Take a kid fishing on the Bogue Inlet Fishing PierEmerald Forest Golf in Emerald Isle
  2. Take the short water taxi ride to Shackelford Banks to see the Shackelford Banks ponies and go shell collecting. You’ll need to drive to Beaufort (45 minutes) from Emerald Isle. Operated by the Outer Banks Ferry Service located on the Beaufort waterfront at 326 Front Street, Beaufort, NC,  I recommend you call 252-728-4129 for schedules and more information.
  3. Play putt-putt at the Emerald Forest Putt-Putt course
  4. Rent bikes from Hwy 58 Bikes rentals in Emerald Isle. It’s so convenient, the shop is located right on the Emerald Isle bike path.Hwy 58 Bicycles in Emerald Isle
  5. Shell collecting on the beaches of  Emerald Isle (simple pleasures are priceless)
  6. Go bowling at Mac Daddy’s in Cape Carteret. This is the perfect rainy day family activity!
  7. Hit the waterslide in Emerald Isle. One of the oldest amusement parks on the Crystal Coast, the Water Boggan is located at the corner of Reed Drive and Islander Drive (less than a half a mile from the Emerald Isle Bridge).
  8. Visit Fort Macon on the east end of the island of Bogue Banks near Atlantic Beach. This North Carolina state park and civil war fort offers the public access to the surf, sun and sand of the Crystal Coast—as well as a historic landmark.
  9. Fly your kite on the beaches of Emerald Isle
  10. Catch a movie at the Emerald Isle movie threater. For those rainy days, why not catch a movie at the Emerald Plantation Cinemas located at the Food Lion shopping in Emerald Isle. Phone (252) 354-7263 for list of movies and show times.

On the Pricier Side

  • Kayak to Bear Island ($55 per person) to Hammocks Beach State Park. A short drive over the Emerald Isle Bridge to the waterfront hamlet of Swansboro, here you can leasurely kayak to Bear Island.
  • Rent jet skis at Water Sports Jetski Rentals (address: 1960 Salter Path Road Salter Path, NC 28575 Phone: (252) 247-7303) Bogue Sound is the perfect location to rent a jet ski or waverunner. Here your family can navigate the many islands that dot our Intracoastal Waterway while keeping a safe distance from larger boats.
  • Visit the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Here you can have a close encounter with a stingray and even get eye to eye with a shark. Perfect for those rainy days at the beach, this is one of the most popular attractions on the Crystal Coast.  Located five (5) miles west of Atlantic Beach, take NC 58. Turn onto Pine Knoll Boulevard at the stoplight at Milepost 7. Turn left onto Roosevelt Drive. For N.C. Aquarium hours, it’s best to call 252-247-4003 or toll-free 866-294-3477 for a complete list of events and hours of operation.

What’s Your Favorite Activity on the Crystal Coast?

If you are a veteran Crystal Coast vacationer, please leave a comment and let everyone know what fun activity your family loves here on the Crystal Coast.

Your Crystal Coast Blogger – Bobby Carroll

Follow EmeraldIsleNC on Twitter