North Carolina's Atlantic coast beaches
are some of the best on the East Coast. Swimming, scuba diving and surfing are all ideal activities, as long as you remember that even in the middle of summer the water can get rather chilly. Also be aware that North Carolina is a prime spot for hurricane activity, so always check the weather before heading there.
Wrightsville beach is located near Wilmington and stretches for five glorious miles of coast. Lifeguards are plentiful, so you can swim here with an extra bit of security. The downside is that Wrightsville is quite popular, and if you don't arrive early you can expect to spend some serious time searching for a parking spot.
Bald Head Island Beach
Located just to the south of Wrightsville Beach is fourteen miles of beach essentially split into three different sections on Bald Head Island. The east side still retains much of its unspoiled beauty and sugary white sand and is ideal for beachgoers looking to avoid crowds. The south beach area is far more commercial and offers more activities, but it comes with the tradeoff of being more crowded than the east beach. The west beach gives visitors the options of the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River, meaning the water can get a bit brackish.
Located midway between Wrightsville Beach and Bald Head Island is Kure Beach. Kure Beach is easily accessed, but be prepared to empty quarters into a parking meter. Besides swimming, Kure Beach offers plenty of great fishing opportunities as well as the North Carolina Aquarium.
Ocracoke Beach is located on the Outer Banks and can only be accessed by boat or private plane. Sixteen miles of undeveloped beach makes Ocracoke Beach a terrific choices for those looking for a little seclusion while swimming, sailing and fishing. Parking lots are paved and feature a wooden walkway that leads down to the water.
Located on Hatteras Island, Frisco beach is the ideal Outer Banks beach for those looking to make their beach visit a little more extreme. Frisco beach offers up great waves for surfing, kiteboarding and sailboarding. Frisco beach is also popular with campers, RV owners and fisherman, however, so even if putting your health in danger on the water isn't your cup of tea, you can still enjoy Hatteras Island, and that includes taking in the majestic lighthouse.
Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.