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Discover Some of the Best Beaches in North Carolina

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Discover Some of the Best Beaches in North Carolina

With Memorial Day Weekend behind us, summer has unofficially started - which for many of us means it's time to seek out the best beaches in North Carolina! If a trip to the beach is in your future - and we certainly hope it's in everyone's future - then a visit to one of our coastal North Carolina Bed and Breakfasts should be at the top of your list!

While there are big-name beach vacations on the east coast, like Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, and the Golden Isles to the south and places like The Jersey Shore in the north, there's something special about the beaches in North Carolina. In the north, near the outer banks are some of the best beaches in North Carolina, while down south, you'll find quiet and more unassuming beachside locations worth visiting - and even some places that may not yet be on your radar as great beach destinations. 

Regardless of where you choose to plan your chair in the sand, make sure you put the exceptional Select Registry brand of hospitality front and center in your getaway. As a group, Select Registry boasts 50 years of excellence in hospitality. Our member properties have undergone the most comprehensive inspection in the industry and strive for excellence in everything they do. You'll feel the Select Registry difference from the very first moments of your stay. 

Who's ready to hit the beach? Browse our unique collection of luxury Inns and boutique hotels in North Carolina today, and book your trip to the best beaches in North Carolina today!

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks, near the best beaches in North Carolina

The Best Beaches in North Carolina

Up and down the coast of North Carolina, you'll find wide open and beautiful sandy beaches and the dreamy, laid-back summer vibe you've been looking for. The best beaches in North Carolina are a far cry from the busy (but fun!) boardwalks of the Jersey Shore, offering visitors an entirely new way to experience the Atlantic Coast. 

There are about 300 miles of sandy beaches and dunes on the Atlantic coast of North Carolina, much of it concentrated on what's known as the Outer Banks (or OBX). In between time at the beach, there are plenty of quaint and charming towns to explore, with a variety of things to do and new things to explore. 

There's no shortage of great beaches on the east coast, but we think there's something unique and special about the beaches in North Carolina. From the Outer Banks in the north to the Wilmington area in the south, it's easy to find a quiet, restful place to spend a few days at the beach. If this sounds like something you're interested in this summer, keep reading to learn more about some of the best beaches in North Carolina!

Corolla Beach

Corolla Beach is a secluded gem of a beach nestled at the top of North Carolina's Outer Banks. The vast beaches are perfect for summer vacations, but the area is also known for its wild mustang population that can often be seen splashing in the waves. 

Though it feels like a secluded and old-fashioned beach getaway, there are plenty of amenities to enjoy, including funky shops and great restaurants. 

Cape Hatteras

Some of the best beaches in North Carolina are found on Cape Hatteras. These 70 miles of untouched beach are part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the first national seashore in the country. It's a wonderful place to enjoy a vacation immersed in nature, including days at the beach, birdwatching, fishing, kayaking, and more. 

These protected sands are a popular place to see nesting sea turtles, and you don't want to miss the chance to take in the view from the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The hallmark black and white candy striping make for a dramatic photo, but it's also the tallest brick lighthouse in the country and the tallest lighthouse overall in the state. You'll love the view from the top of this 208' masterpiece. 

Cape Lookout National Seashore

The Cape Lookout National Seashore is at the southern end of the Outer Banks, east of Emerald Isle. The 56-miles of beach here are preserved, offering miles of undeveloped and pristine beaches to explore.

It's the perfect spot to fish, hike, and birdwatch. It's also home to the preserved historic and now-deserted village of Portsmouth. The lighthouse on the cape is one of the most distinctive in the Outer Banks and well-worth the photo op! Climb the 207 steps to the top and enjoy the breathtaking view. Of course, don't miss the chance to see more of the Banker Ponies that run wild on this part of the Outer Banks. 

In the Northern Outer Banks, other exceptional beaches to consider are Kitty Hawk Beach, Nags Head, and Ocracoke Island

Discover Some of the Best Beaches in North Carolina

Emerald Isle

As you work your way south towards the charming town of Beaufort, you'll find another one of the most popular beaches in North Carolina at Emerald Isle. Families have been traveling to this breathtaking beach destination for generations. At Emerald Isle, you'll find 12 pristine miles of beach to sunbathe, swim, read, and relax. There's also a popular fishing pier that juts far out into the water. 

Emerald Isle is just one of the many beaches in North Carolina on what's known as the Crystal Coast. Other great beaches include Atlantic Beach, Indian Beach, and Pine Knoll Shores

Topsail Beach

If you want to move between properties to explore more of the best beaches in North Carolina, you'll find the popular Topsail Beach about midway between Emerald Island and Carolina Beach. This 26-mile stretch of coastline is divided into three sections: Topsail Beach, North Topsail Beach, and Surf City. All offer fantastic beaches, scenery, and amenities. 

Unlike some areas in the Outer Banks, Topsail Beach is easily accessible by car and is only 40 minutes north of Wilmington. This area is best known for the loggerhead sea turtles coming ashore to nest and lay eggs from mid-May through August.

Carolina Beach

Wilmington is a wonderful town to visit, and it's just minutes from one of the best beaches in North Carolina: Carolina Beach. If you love beaches and boardwalks, this is an excellent choice. It's been a much-loved summer getaway destination since the 1800s. Today, the pedestrian-only walkway includes numerous shops, restaurants, and entertainment. 

If you want to escape the crowds, head to Carolina Beach State Park, which offers some hiking and beautiful white, sandy beaches. The Carolina Beach area transforms into a vibrant spot with oceanfront bars and live music in the evening. 

Bald Head Island

A little farther to the south of Carolina Beach and Wilmington, you'll find Bald Head Island. The island is only accessible by a 20-minute ferry ride, which leaves it feeling pristine and untouched and perfect for a relaxing getaway at the beach. 

It's home to a fantastic golf course, the Bald Head Island Club, but it's also a premier spot for bird and wildlife viewing, hiking, kayaking, and so much more. 

Other great beaches to consider in the Wilmington area include Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, and Sunset Beach.

black couple enjoying a coastal getaway at the best beaches in North Carolina

Best Places to Stay in North Carolina

As you can see, there are plenty of fabulous beaches in North Carolina to choose from. It's hard to go wrong and may even be something you want to turn into a road trip as you explore the diversity of beaches in North Carolina from north to south!

However you plan to explore these magnificent beaches in North Carolina, it's imperative you choose excellent lodging. Choosing great accommodations sets the tone for your vacation. With Select Registry, you'll find accommodations in some of the most sought-after destinations in the country (including these beaches in North Carolina). But you'll also find a level of excellence in hospitality that is hard to find in traditional hotels. 

As a bonus, when choosing to Stay Select, you can become a rewards member and earn rewards for every stay at a Select Registry property. You'll earn credit for each night you stay at a Select Registry property, and once you've stayed 12 nights in a 2-year period, you'll qualify for a $100 reward. It's a great way to earn a little extra while enjoying stays at the best places to stay in North Carolina!

Explore these fantastic coastal getaways with us, and let's hit up the best beaches in North Carolina this summer! 

Coastal Getaways in North Carolina

Tranquil House Inn

Reminiscent of seaboard inns of the 19th century, The Tranquil House Inn offers 25 charming guest rooms that live in complete harmony with the seascape. Bathed in subtle hues, comfortable textures, and carefully selected furnishings, each room is designed to accommodate families or those searching for solitude. From the front door, you’re mere steps from shopping, sightseeing, history, and adventure and just a short cruise away from the beaches of the Outer Banks.

The Verandas Bed and Breakfast

Towering above a quiet tree-lined street in the historic district stands this grand antebellum mansion. Built in 1854, the award-winning North Carolinian inn is a blend of history, luxury, charm, and hospitality. Guest space abounds with wonderful colors, original art, French and English antiques. Our Wilmington, North Carolina bed and breakfast features four verandas, garden terrace, and cupola offer hideaways. Professionally decorated guest rooms have sitting areas, telephone, cable TV, PC jacks. Hand-ironed linens dress comfortable beds. Baths have soaking tubs, showers, marble floors, luxury amenities and robes. French pressed coffee with a gourmet breakfast and evening social wine hour. 

Pecan Tree Inn

Visit the Pecan Tree Inn during your Beaufort vacation and experience the essence of the coastal lifestyle. Charming, romantic, and elegant bed and breakfast, Pecan Tree Inn guests have a choice of 7 unique suites and rooms. Here, in the Southern Outer Banks of the North Carolina Coast, Beaufort combines the arts and culture of a big city with the beauty and hospitality of a small coastal town. There are plenty of things to do in downtown Beaufort, with some of the best unique and boutique shopping, ferry excursions, and restaurants, which are all within walking distance to the Pecan Tree Inn. So if it is the beach you are looking for, it's just a short ferry ride away.

Best Places to Stay in Beaufort

Front House
Queen Anne Spa Room
Patio Garden
Wine and Cheese Board
tesla charging
couple on porch
water fountain
Blue Room with seasonal flowers and wine
cottage room
Beaufort Suite with a Fruit, cheese and wine board
wine and bread
pecan tree exterior
pecan tree road view
Early morning Harbor stroll
Sunset from the Harbor

Pecan Tree Inn

Beaufort, NC

Best Places to Stay in Manteo

Best Places to Stay in Wilmington

main image
ham eggs
CW Worth House Interior Bedroom Image
jay pub
dining room
french toast
dining room
room 1
CW Worth House Bedroom
CW Worth House Interior bedroom image

C.W. Worth House Bed & Breakfast

Wilmington, NC

The Verandas Dining Room
The Verandas Exterior
The Verandas Guest Room 3
The Verandas Veranda
The Verandas Guest Room 2
The Verandas Interior
The Verandas Guest Room

The Verandas Bed & Breakfast

Wilmington, NC

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