Beach Towns to visit in North Carolina

Local Collaborative and Marin have been such a huge blessing in recreating and re-branding my new blog site! I simply could not have done it without her. Go check out what she had to say and visit her site. 😁 Marin, thank you so much for jumping starting my re- brand! It has been so fun to work together after the years. You do amazing work, and I can’t wait until my finishing touches are complete 🙂 Thank you, thank you! 💜

http://www.blogsoulpurpose.com

Danette Unruh, Founder of Soul Purpose

Local Collaborative is such a great business to work with. Marin assisted me with my website redesign and gave me some marketing tools and tips to further advance my business. Within a week of my hiring her, my website was complete! She was efficient, knowledgeable, and incredibly helpful. On top of that, she was so patient and answered every single question I had. She took the time to explain to me each step in the process, in addition to giving me a walk through of the new platform so that I would be able to make any small changes on my own. I now feel that I can begin the next step in my career as a photographer, with a website that reflects my style and who I am. Thank you so much Marin!

Kayla Braaten, Owner of Kayla Braaten Photography

As someone in the process of setting up small online business, Marin’s expertise was invaluable! With a consultation and a formalized presentation she helped me take things to the next level. I will definitely be back as I continue to build!

http://www.pursueempowerment.com

Shannon Rogge, Shannon Nicole Coaching

Local Collaborative was great to work with! I actually contacted Marin and needed things within a short time frame! She was completely willing to help me and not only finished my project early but ordered it for me and had it sent to my house!

Marin is professional and talented and I would absolutely use her again!

M.S.designs on Facebook

Michelle Shimp, Owner of M.S.designs

Marin is sweet, kind, and has a huge heart. She loves what she does. She loves helping others. Whether it’s helping for business purposes or even just a quick ear to lend to someone, she’s always there. Her blogs are incredible. She speaks the truth, and says what we all need to hear some days. Truly a remarkable person!

Ashley Layton

I am a new small business owner and had no idea where to start when it came to social media and website design. I am an avid Facebook user but wasn’t quite sure how to direct my FB business page to a central hub/website.

After compiling a killer business proposal, Marin met with me one-on-one to discuss my business and get an understanding of what I was wanting. She was professional, respectful of my time and patient/understanding when it came to my lack of technology skills! In a short amount of time, she set up my website, domain name and business email address and updated and linked all my social media accounts to my website.

I now have just one place to run my business and it has made my life so much easier! She communicated with me often and had me up and running quickly. I cannot recommend her and her services enough! You will not regret hiring Local Collaborative for your business needs.

Lyneda Rogers, Owner of The Egglady's Daughter

Local Collaborative is so easy to work with! I was given a wealth of knowledge and so many great ideas. While I consider myself a creative person it was nice to have someone help me focus on what I want my brand to be.

Dabble Instagram

Writes inspiring blog posts and is an all around good person. Would always love working with her.

Brianna Hamilton

We had Marin look at our business image. I was very impressed with her analysis. It was in depth and revealed some very important areas where we needed to improve or change. She brought up strategies I hadn’t even thought of and will implement. Donze & Associates would heartily recommend her to any other company.

Jay Paulson, Donze & Associates

Local Collaborative has helped my business in so many ways! Marin Davis is very organized, assertive, creative, and innovative with her ideas for graphics, social media, and much, much more! If you own a business and would like to spend time doing what you LOVE to do, hiring Marin will be a great way to boost your success without spinning your wheels! Thank you Marin for sharing your gifts and talents, and for providing such a great quality of service!

http://www.TTTKC.Info

Angie Thomson, Owner/Trainer at Thomson Team Training

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As we come up on our one year of living in North Carolina, one of the best things we’ve found about our new home is the beaches. Sure, it takes a few hours to get to most any beach, mountain or major city (We were so spoiled by living in Washington.)

The passport section of this blog has all of our cool trips including hikes, summitting mountains, Hawaii and more!

 

Back to the beaches.

North Carolina has a reputation for it’s long list of vacation destination, picture worthy beaches. With a roadtrip along the hundreds waterfront miles, pieced together by barrier islands, you can arrive in Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers took flight, see wild horses roaming or drive your 4WD right onto the sand to camp.

Relaxing or exciting, dog friendly or family friendly, we’ve decided to visit the beaches as often as possible. We still have quite a list but can already tell the difference in vibe and character of each coastal town. and I wanted to not only document these vacations for our memories but also share with families looking for something to do and NC visitors just stopping by.

Let me know if you have any questions while planning and please drop recommendations for us to visit! We’re all for the exploring the East Coast.

These are written based in the order we visited the beaches and not ranked in any particular order. 

 

Caswell Beach on Oak Island

Our first experience of the amazingly soft sand, massive piers and warm Atlantic Ocean was here. I go more in depth in the blog but this was a great first beach for us because of the close, free parking and alcohol allowed on the beach.

I would gladly go back here to explore the nearby areas a bit further.

Caswell Beach


Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach is just east of Wilmington. We had good luck because we went out on a Wednesday in June but did encounter some strong winds, rain sprinkles and a bit of a tide pulling us over when swimming.

The parking lot next to the entrance did charge a fairly low/reasonable rate to pre-pay and park by the hour. There are rules against alcohol on this beach so even though we saw others enjoying their adult beverages while laying out there were also several of us staying hydrated with ‘non-see through water bottles’. Get it.

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There were plenty of families and couples on the beach as well as local college students. The residential side of town hosts rows of traditional coastal homes and was even the host to one of my husband’s uncle’s beach homes (too bad he still didn’t have that!)

We saw the storm rolling in and decided to grab some quick seafood and local beers at King Neptune’s and, even though I had boxed leftovers and couldn’t fit any more food we still had to take advantage of The Original Ice Cream Stand a few steps down the block. (Looking back we could have done without and been more than okay. Not a ton of options and a tourist pricing, not that good.)

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I share all of the BTS and live-time photos on Instagram. I would love to talk to you there!


Freeman Beach Park in Carolina Beach

Ok. This was my favorite so far because it was our first overnight beach camping trip in North Carolina because there was a large group of about 15-20 of us. Plus we could bring our dog along on leash. (In the off season it turns into an off-leash rule.)

The sand was surprisingly clear for allowing 4WD vehicles and the water was amazing. Our friend had a blow-up-paddle board which another girl and I took out and, let’s just say, I really need to practice! But suffice to say we had a super fun day playing around.

I would definitely say this is the ‘party beach’ for the sole reason that everyone who drives on has a setup right next to their car, music is playing, drinks are pouring and the crowd is super friendly and fun. There were families and kids but a majority of the crowd were young adults.

I said crowd a few times, huh? Well. Yes. Here are my only vices and why we probably won’t go back. KEEP IN MIND THIS WAS JUNE 2019 SO THINGS MIGHT BE DIFFERENT FOR YOUR VISIT. Check out this site for more info.

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Reservations were to be made in advance which we expected and the group was able to get our spots next to or very close together. Just a few spots difference at most. Their rate was $30/night. Plus you’ll fill up at least once on your way in or out. The ‘park’ opened at noon so we left in time for the two hour drive ahead of us. As you pull up to the park entrance (these are all in the town of Carolina Beach so there was a long line of cars waiting for the one attendant manned entrance gate. Then we saw the park is closed sign.

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We pulled up our reservation prepared to either gain the pre-approved access or turn around with a refund but because we already had a paid camping spot they let us through…..with the additional purchase of a $40 day access pass. This goes up to $60 over holiday weeks/weekends. One of our friends was almost turned away even though they had bought the pass (and organized the event!) but luckily they allowed him on. You will need both to gain access and/or camp which we didn’t see anything about until our arrival. We got on and off the beach no problem which surprised me since the sand was so thick and deep, definitely not worn or packed down from tracks. There were several vehicles being towed out during our entire visit.

There are people who are visiting who parked in several of our reserved spots so we had to wait for them to leave and then we were able to set up camp at the base of the dunes. The day was great and the beach was packed.

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If you can imagine the typical Jeep owner (no offense…but c’mon!) times that by a million and three rows wide of cars on the beach that’s what it was like. For as many people that were up and down the coastline, you didn’t feel too crowded in or crammed which was nice. At night we each started up bonfires and ate our meals before a storm rolled in.

The next morning waking up early to a gorgeous sunrise we were able to walk up and down the fairly quiet beach and watch it slowly fill up with others running, biking, fishing or playing with their dogs. This was my favorite part of the entire weekend because it allowed us to see a sunrise, sunset and full day on the beach which was incredible.

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Besides tire tracks it was hard to believe the shore had been as packed as it was the day before. On our way out we noticed our battery died for whatever reason so luckily we had a jump and were able to head out.

 

The beach provides concrete ash ‘trash cans’ as well as a few portable toilets and large trash bins for guests.

Overall I know this is a fan favorite and obviously very popular beach. On our way out the line was already stacked up to double digits waiting for the beach to open up. Because it’s so unique, I would recommend everyone going at least once, it will just require a lot of money, time, patience and a beast of a car!

Wilmington, NC

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Looking for a super fun near-beach town getaway? Only 30 minutes from beaches like Fort Fisher or Kure Beach, Wilmington is a craft beer and award-winning food location. I did a full

 

Outer Banks, NC (OBX)

We’ve wanted to visit the #OBX for quite some time and it finally worked out over Memorial Day weekend 2020! This was a 4-4.5 hour drive from the Fort Bragg area so it was road trip time with some friends. We stayed in this Nags Head Airbnb which was perfect for a quick weekend away (great price plus available during pandemic reopening craziness!) You might luck out with a sunny, hot day or you might just visit near a rainy, windy tropical storm season weather. Either way there is plenty for you to do on these barrier islands!

Their beautiful, open beaches are highly sought after for family vacations, state parks and historical sites are standing proud for the history buffs and there are shipwreck diving sites or waves to surf for those seeking a bit of adventure. Plenty of mini-golf, aquariums, bars, restaurants and family-friendly activities as well.

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On our trip started with a visit to the Wright Brother’s National Memorial 15 minutes north in Kill Devils Hill.

This is the site of the first successful airplane flights on December 17, 1903. Though the small museum was closed we were able to walk around outdoor and view the monuments.

It was helpful to see the rock pillars placed along a walkable path so you could imagine where the brothers launched, took flight and landed. The monument on top of the hill was beautiful and offers great views of the water and nearby town.

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We took advantage of the hot day to hang out at the beach. It was clean, slightly breezy and the water was cold! We had plenty of space on the holiday weekend and enjoyed the soft sand. We even saw dolphins jumping and swimming out in the water!

There were several surfers, distant boats and plenty of boogie-boarders on the sand dunes near the shore. It looked like near the piers the beaches were more crowded.

The Airbnb is close enough to walk but with a 3yo in our group and lots of gear we chose to drive. There are several free parking spots but I do recommend walking if possible just to avoid the hassle.

 

About 30 minutes south of Nags Head is Rodanthe. Rodanthe is home to the Inn at Rodanthe which was featured in a Nicholas Sparks film. The inn is also unique because it was originally in the water but later moved inland. It’s currently sitting directly behind a sandbank but still a picturesque site.

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30 minutes south of Rodanthe (an hour south of Nags Head) is the largest brick lighthouse in the U.S.-Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. This area of the Atlantic was known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic due to how many shipwrecks there were. This lead to lighthouses being painted in different colors and patterns unique to the area so ships would know where they were at. I also assumed all lighthouse keepers lived in the lighthouse but they actually had separate living quarters (white homes pictured) which are now museums.

This, too, was moved about 150 feet from it’s original location inland. It was a bit of a walk but you can park in a nearby lot and enjoy your feet in the sand. The marker is a simple wooden post with a sign denoting the original location. You can get a cool photo of old and new here with the help of some other guests. This beach was full of old piers, surfers and seashells as you walked the banks.

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If you’re in Duck, North Carolina, stop by Duck Donuts! It was founded there! Looking for some food in Nags Head? We had amazing pizza and bread sticks from Nags Head Pizza Company. If it’s a nice day eat out on the pier at the Pier House Restaurantat the Nags Head Fishing Pier.

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Their conch fritters were fantastic, 40 craft brew selections and an array of seafood classics and burgers for everyone in your family. Blue Moon Beach Grill is another popular option. We got Sunday night dinner from Tortuga’s Lie which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Their menu was unique and flavorful, I’m not sure you could go wrong! We got the chili wings (not spicy), softshell crab special and the Pork Antonio.

 

Some things still on our list in the OBX: Roanoke Island was the site of England’s first settlement in the New World and is known for the eerie disappearance of those settlers. Near Corolla there are wild horses you can view or ferry out and tour the area. Ocracoke Island is known for pirates, like Black Beard, resided. He was tracked down and beheaded by the Royal Navy off Springer’s Point.


Have another place we should check out? Drop it in the comments below and I’ll plan the getaway.

Looking for someone to write, edit or launch your business? I’m offering FREE Discovery Sessions in this freed up calendar.

Cheers!

Marin

Local Collaborative and Marin have been such a huge blessing in recreating and re-branding my new blog site! I simply could not have done it without her. Go check out what she had to say and visit her site. 😁 Marin, thank you so much for jumping starting my re- brand! It has been so fun to work together after the years. You do amazing work, and I can’t wait until my finishing touches are complete 🙂 Thank you, thank you! 💜

http://www.blogsoulpurpose.com

Danette Unruh, Founder of Soul Purpose

Local Collaborative is such a great business to work with. Marin assisted me with my website redesign and gave me some marketing tools and tips to further advance my business. Within a week of my hiring her, my website was complete! She was efficient, knowledgeable, and incredibly helpful. On top of that, she was so patient and answered every single question I had. She took the time to explain to me each step in the process, in addition to giving me a walk through of the new platform so that I would be able to make any small changes on my own. I now feel that I can begin the next step in my career as a photographer, with a website that reflects my style and who I am. Thank you so much Marin!

Kayla Braaten, Owner of Kayla Braaten Photography

As someone in the process of setting up small online business, Marin’s expertise was invaluable! With a consultation and a formalized presentation she helped me take things to the next level. I will definitely be back as I continue to build!

http://www.pursueempowerment.com

Shannon Rogge, Shannon Nicole Coaching

Local Collaborative was great to work with! I actually contacted Marin and needed things within a short time frame! She was completely willing to help me and not only finished my project early but ordered it for me and had it sent to my house!

Marin is professional and talented and I would absolutely use her again!

M.S.designs on Facebook

Michelle Shimp, Owner of M.S.designs

Marin is sweet, kind, and has a huge heart. She loves what she does. She loves helping others. Whether it’s helping for business purposes or even just a quick ear to lend to someone, she’s always there. Her blogs are incredible. She speaks the truth, and says what we all need to hear some days. Truly a remarkable person!

Ashley Layton

I am a new small business owner and had no idea where to start when it came to social media and website design. I am an avid Facebook user but wasn’t quite sure how to direct my FB business page to a central hub/website.

After compiling a killer business proposal, Marin met with me one-on-one to discuss my business and get an understanding of what I was wanting. She was professional, respectful of my time and patient/understanding when it came to my lack of technology skills! In a short amount of time, she set up my website, domain name and business email address and updated and linked all my social media accounts to my website.

I now have just one place to run my business and it has made my life so much easier! She communicated with me often and had me up and running quickly. I cannot recommend her and her services enough! You will not regret hiring Local Collaborative for your business needs.

Lyneda Rogers, Owner of The Egglady's Daughter

Local Collaborative is so easy to work with! I was given a wealth of knowledge and so many great ideas. While I consider myself a creative person it was nice to have someone help me focus on what I want my brand to be.

Dabble Instagram

Writes inspiring blog posts and is an all around good person. Would always love working with her.

Brianna Hamilton

We had Marin look at our business image. I was very impressed with her analysis. It was in depth and revealed some very important areas where we needed to improve or change. She brought up strategies I hadn’t even thought of and will implement. Donze & Associates would heartily recommend her to any other company.

Jay Paulson, Donze & Associates

Local Collaborative has helped my business in so many ways! Marin Davis is very organized, assertive, creative, and innovative with her ideas for graphics, social media, and much, much more! If you own a business and would like to spend time doing what you LOVE to do, hiring Marin will be a great way to boost your success without spinning your wheels! Thank you Marin for sharing your gifts and talents, and for providing such a great quality of service!

http://www.TTTKC.Info

Angie Thomson, Owner/Trainer at Thomson Team Training

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