In Country: Top 10 Reasons to Visit the Crystal Coast in Late Summer

Looking for the perfect getaway? The Crystal Coast in North Carolina is a popular area for tourists and second-home owners, particularly in the summer. The region offers 85 miles of coastline, including 56 miles of protected beaches.

Here are 10 reasons to visit the Crystal Coast for a late summer adventure. 

  1. The Beautiful Beaches – The Southern Outer Banks is often referred to as The Crystal Coast, because they share the same geographic footprint. The word “crystal” is a nod to the crystal-clear waters. The area’s beaches are truly one-of-a-kind and with 85 miles of them, it’s easy to find a particular one you’ll love.  
  2. Great Restaurants for Families and Couples – The Crystal Coast’s restaurants range from the kid-friendly, like Amos Mosquito’s (tableside s’mores anyone?) to the more couples-friendly options such as Blue Moon Bistro, serving French fare. 
  3. Cozy Places to Stay – Cozy bed and breakfasts abound, such as Ann Street Inn and the historic Inn on Turner dotting the Crystal Coast, just waiting for you for a long weekend stay.

    Enjoy the cozy Ann Street Inn. Courtesy Ann Street Inn.

  4. The Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks – The southern-most barrier island in Cape Lookout National Seashore houses over 100 wild horses. You can head out via boat or passenger ferry to watch the wild horses on the island. Guests are asked to maintain a distance to watch the horses.

    A must-see: Check out the wild horses at Shackleford Banks. Courtesy NPS.

  5. Beautiful Beaufort – Founded in 1723, historic Beaufort is the fourth oldest town in North Carolina and was named America’s Coolest Small Town. Multiple sites in the town are located on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Beaufort Historic District. The tight-knit community is a great place to relax and unwind for a late-summer vacation.

    Enjoy the boardwalk in historic Beaufort.

  6. Great Sailing – The Crystal Coast has great sailing options for beginners and advanced sailors alike. There are guided tours like the Crystal Coast Sailing Excursions and even a special holiday flotilla in December.

    The Crystal Coast has lots of sailing opportunities. Photo courtesy of

  7. Amazing Seafood – Freshly caught seafood along the Crystal Coast makes for incredible dishes like rich lobster rolls, shrimp salad, salmon seasoned to perfection, and more.

    The Crystal Coast’s Amos Mosquito’s is a great place to dine with family. Photo courtesy of

  8. The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores – One tourist attraction worth stopping by is the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The spot houses marine life ranging from sharks to adorable otters. 
  9. Great Live Music – The Crystal Coast has dozens of options for live music, from locals playing at breweries to summer concert series at area parks.
  10. The Art Galleries – Coastal communities inspire local artists, and the Crystal Coast is full of lively art galleries and artist spaces. There’s the funky Gypsybee Studios and Gallery, the electic Path Art Gallery, and more. 

    Check out the Path Art Gallery on the Crystal Coast. Courtesy The Path Art Gallery.




  • Kate Oczypok

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *