The North Carolina beaches are some of the best beaches. In fact, we would even go as far as to say the most similar to what we’d find back !
It’s no wonder we have a special bond with the Carolina Coast and have fond memories of all our North Carolina beach vacations!
The best thing about the beaches in North Carolina is they are not overdeveloped, have pristine conditions, loads of space, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, the stunning Intra-coastal waterway offering water activities, and vibrant surf ! we wanted to share with you what we consider the must-see experiences on the coast of North Carolina.
We road-tripped the North Carolina coast from Carolina Beach to the Brunswick Islands to see the best North Carolina beaches we could find. Here’s what we discovered!
This guide details more than just places to on the beach and swim. We share the experiences that tell the unique story of the beaches, as well as why our now will offer the moments you remember the most.
The Best Things to Do on North Carolina Beaches
If you’re ready to pack your sunglasses and flip-flops and hit the coast, then be sure to visit these incredible beaches in NC. As well as listing the best beaches, we’ve also got some tips for things to do on North Carolina beaches too!
Learn to Surf Wrightsville Beach
Wrightsville Beach is one of the best North Carolina beach towns and you’re just 10-minutes away from charming Wilmington. is one of the best North Carolina beach towns and you’re just 10-minutes away from charming Wilmington.
It is where surfing started in North Carolina. It also receives accolades as one of the world’s best surfing towns. And we also have experience in global surfing towns to say this is a legit title.
So far, it’s number one on our top beaches in North Carolina list for its all-round beach experience.
Put on your wetsuit, grab a board, and the waves. And don’t worry if those waves look far too small to ride.
Climb the Oak Island Lighthouse, Caswell Beach
Quite an unexpected thrilling adventure is to climb the 131 steps up to the Oak Island Lighthouse viewing platform. What makes it is it is the only known lighthouse that uses a ladder configuration the entire way, rather than the typical spiral staircases.
While not as beautiful on the outside as some of the other North Carolina lighthouses, it’s the most adventurous and exciting lighthouse to visit on the North Carolina coast.
The views up here are magnificent and a definite Brunswick Islands highlight. Cross the road to the beach boardwalk for the best views of the Oak Island Lighthouse.
The Island Lighthouse and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse are two more favorites in North Carolina
Leave a note in the Kindred Spirit Mailbox
For over 40 years, people have been coming to this secret mailbox tucked into the sand dunes on Bird Island, the most southern beach in North Carolina before reaching South Carolina.
The Kindred Spirit Mailbox was first planted on the barrier island by Frank Nesmith.
People walk 1.4 miles along the beach from Sunset Beach Pier to record their wishes, thoughts and dreams through letters in the mailbox.
Savannah and I wrote our own before leaving our hotel. She wrote her dreams for the future and I shared our manifesto for travel – which really applies to living a full life.
The mailbox is filled with notebooks and pens so you can write your stories when you arrive. Or you can just spend time reading them. There is a seat waiting for you.
Enjoy Sunset Beach and Bird Island
What makes this North Carolina experience even more special is that you get to spend time at what I think is one of the best beaches in North Carolina for families: Sunset Beach, which extends into Bird Island.
With its lack of development, and sand dunes standing guard of white sand and pristine water, you’ll see why this was named this was named one of the world’s best beaches.
With the name, Bird Island, you can only imagine the bird life surrounding you!
The protected Bird Island Reserve is the southern of Sunset Beach with pristine sandy white beaches, high natural dunes, and more than 1,200 acres of salt marsh and tidal creeks. A nature trail leads from the beach and loops around the Bird Island Reserve.