Fun in the Sun on the Crystal Coast

Here on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina there is never a dull moment, that is unless you want to sit on our beautiful beaches and watch the porpoise frolic in the waves. Kids of all ages will enjoy kayaking in the sound, a round of putt-putt or maybe an exhilarating ride in a go-cart. Here on the Crystal Coast, there is so much one can do. Below are the amusements and attractions you will want to include on your next vacation to the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Tips When Playing on the Crystal Coast

Be sure to bring along these personal items if you and your kids play on the Crystal Coast during the heat of the day:

  • Hat
  • Sun protection
  • Water bottle for hydration
  • Sunglasses

If you are going out in the evening for family fun, don’t forget these items:

  • Insect repellent
  • Light jacket or sweatshirt when the sun goes down

Things To Do in Atlantic Beach

Dragonfly ParasailThe Ponies of Shackleford Banks
At the Anchorage Marina (milepost 1.5, Hwy 58)
Phone: 252-422-5500
Hours of Operation: Call ahead
Flying high above the Crystal Coast, this parasail adventure is great for all ages. The Dragonfly parasailing boat tour offers spectacular sky-high views along the Crystal Coast including sites of Fort Macon State Park, distant Cape Lookout Lighthouse, the wild horses on Shackleford Banks and the wonders of the sea beneath. No experience is required. Gentle take-offs and landings occur on the boat, or you can choose to take a dip in the Atlantic. Don’t forget to bring along your cameras. Advanced reservations are recommended.

Things To Do in Beaufort

Good Fortune Sail EcoCruise
Beaufort watefront
Phone: 252-247-3860
Cell: 252-241-6866
Hours of operation: Call ahead
For rates and schedule, go to the Good Fortune Crystal Coast Sailing Trips website.
If you enjoy boating, we recommend you try your hand at sailing with the Good Fortune. Setting sail from the docks of the Beaufort watefront, be ready for an intimate adventure with only 6 people onboard. The evening sunset sail is fantastic I’m told. Captain Ron White will take you out into the open waters of the Atlantic and to the Cape Lookout lighthouse. And on the return trip, you will enjoy the moonlight on the Atlantic. A memorable sight is the entire Beaufort waterfront aglow.

Things To Do in Cape Carteret

Golfin’ Dolphin
134 Golfin Dolphin Dr.
Cape Carteret, NC 28584
Phone: (252) 393-8131
Hours of Operation: Call ahead
The Golfin’ Dolphin Family Recreation Center is located in Cape Carteret at the intersection of NC 24/58. In addition to miniature golf, Golfin’ Dolphin offers driving range, batting cages, go karts, bumper boats and water wars.

Mac Daddy’s Bowling Center
Mac Daddy’s Bowling and Arcade
130 Golfin’ Dolphin Drive
Cape Carteret, NC 28584
Hours of Operation: Call ahead
This new family bowling center located in Cape Carteret is a new family entertainment center. Great for kids of all ages, MacDaddy’s is located adjacent to the Golfin’ Dolphin and offers the area’s largest arcade and bowling center with 24 lanes.

Things To Do in Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle Bike Path

When traveling to the Crystal Coast community of Emerald Isle be sure to bring your bike. Or, if you prefer, you can rent a bike from the guys at Hwy 58 Bikes. This family run bicycle shop is conveniently located right along “The Path” across from the Emerald Plantation Shopping Center in Emerald Isle.

Emerald Isle is noted for being a designated as “Bicycle-Friendly Communities” and this designation was proclaimed by The League of American Bicyclists in 2009. Emerald Isle is proud to have been awarded an Honorable Mention.  The Town of Emerald Isle has invested heavily in its bike path and continued additions are in the planning stages. For updates to future improvements, be sure to check the Town of Emerald Isle website.

Barrier Island Kayaks
160 Cedar Point Blvd.
Swansboro, NC 28584
Phone: 252.393.6457
Hours of Operation: Call ahead
One of the coolest activities on the Crystal Coast is kayaking and stand up paddle boarding (SUP). Emerald Isle and the Crystal Coast is one of the top kayaking destinations on the Southern Outer Banks. Popular kayaking destinations include the estuaries and salt marches in and around Bear Island, Shark’s Tooth Island, Huggins Island and the White Oak River. All are just minutes away from EI. With Barrier Island Kayaks you can rent kayaks or take one of their guided tours. The staff offers top quality equipment and local knowledge to make your Crystal Coast kayaking experience a memorable one. **Updated 7/24/12** From my personal experience, Barrier Island Kayaks can be a bit challenging to communicate with but once you connect with Lamar he is very helpful. I recommend you call often but it’s only because they are on a tour or out helping customers.

Emerald Forest Putt-PuttEmerald Forest Putt-Putt
8720 Reed Drive
Emerald Isle, NC 28594
Phone: 354-5034
Hours of Operation: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
18 Hole Putt Putt Golf Course located next to the Pacific Superstore

Playland Amusement Park
204 Islander Dr.
Emerald Isle, NC 28594
Phone: 252-354-6616
Hours of Operation: Call ahead
Playland offers amusement type rides and activities for the entire family.

Water Boggan Of Emerald Isle
8915 Reed Dr.
Emerald Isle, NC 28594
Phone: 252-354-2609
Hours of Operation: Call ahead
Water Boggan offers tons of water slide variety and fun for all ages with wading pools, slides and tubes. Many agree Water Boggan offers a good value for a day long activity. Parents can keep a watchful eye on your kids in the observation area at the bottom of the slides. Water Boggan is near other activities for the kids including putt-putt, go kart racing, batting cage and merry-go-round next door at the Playland (see above).

Things To Do in Pine Knoll Shores

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
1 Roosevelt Boulevard
Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512
Phone: 866-294-3477
Hours of Operation: 9 AM to 5 PM daily
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
Open 9 AM to 9 PM on Thursdays in July for Family Night
Admission fees: $8 — adults, $7 — ages 62 and over, $6 — children ages 6-17, Children 5 and under – Free.
Can’t miss Crystal Coast attraction! Everyone agrees, the NC Aquarium is a wonderful experience and the kids will love it! There is a variety of sea life available for an ”up close” and personal experience. You can even pet a few. Don’t miss the sharks!

Things To Do in Salter Path

Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf & Raceway
976 Salter Path Road
Salter Path, NC 28575
Phone: 252-247-3024
Hours of Operation: Call head
This Salter Path amusement offers the entire family great fun with miniature golf and go-carts.

Water Sports Rentals
Jet-ski, Hobie cat and kayak rentals are available.
1960 Salter Path Road
Salter Path, NC 28575
Phone: 252-247-7303
Hours of Operation: Call ahead
Reservations are strongly suggested at this location.

Water Sports Outfitters
130 Headen Road
Salter Path, NC 28575
Water Sport Outfitters is offers banana boat rides, kayak rentals, kayak Eco tours, surfboards and sailboat rentals. This is also a retail outlet for the latest in kayaks and surfboards accessories, outdoor sporting equipment, wet suits, and gifts. Reservations are strongly suggested at this location.

H2O Water Sports Rentals – Indian Beach NC, Atlantic Beach NC, Emerald Isle NC
1960 Salter Path Road
Indian Beach NC 28594
Phone: (252) 247-7303

Check Review Sites for Crystal Coast Businesses

When considering a fun thing to do along the Crystal Coast, it is wise to use sites like Yelp, or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter for recent reviews of any business listed above.