Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, is a beautiful coastal town located on the Crystal Coast. Known for its stunning beaches and warm Southern hospitality, Atlantic Beach is a popular destination for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. But beyond the well-known attractions, this charming city is full of hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path treasures that are waiting to be discovered. In this blog post, we'll explore Atlantic Beach's best-kept secrets. From secluded beaches to hidden hiking trails, we'll introduce you to the off-the-beaten-path attractions that make this coastal town a unique and special destination.
While Atlantic Beach's main beach is undoubtedly beautiful, it can get crowded during peak season. But if you're looking for a more secluded beach experience, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Pine Knoll Shores Beach: This quiet beach is located just a short drive from Atlantic Beach and offers a more peaceful alternative to the busier main beach.
- Hammocks Beach State Park: This undeveloped beach is only accessible by ferry, which means that it's much less crowded than other beaches in the area. Visitors can enjoy swimming, shelling, and even camping on the beach.
- Emerald Isle Beach: While Emerald Isle is a popular vacation spot, there are still plenty of quiet stretches of beach to explore. Head to the western end of the island for a more secluded experience.
Hidden Hiking Trails
If you're looking to stretch your legs and explore the natural beauty of Atlantic Beach, there are plenty of hidden hiking trails to discover. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area: Located on the eastern end of the island, this natural area offers a network of trails through the maritime forest and along the beach.
- Hoop Pole Creek Nature Trail: This short, easy trail winds through the salt marsh and offers beautiful views of the sound. Keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife!
- Fort Macon State Park: While not exactly a hidden gem, Fort Macon State Park offers a variety of hiking trails through the woods and along the beach. Be sure to explore the historic fort while you're there!
In addition to secluded beaches and hidden hiking trails, Atlantic Beach is home to a variety of off-the-beaten-path attractions that are worth checking out. Here are a few of our favorites:
- The History Place: This small museum offers a fascinating look at the history of the Crystal Coast, from Native American settlements to the modern day. Exhibits include artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays.
- Crystal Coast Lady Cruises: Take a break from the beach and explore the coast from a different perspective. Crystal Coast Lady Cruises offers a variety of boat tours, including sunset cruises, dolphin-watching tours, and even a pirate adventure!
- Carteret County Farmers Market: Located in nearby Morehead City, this farmers market is a great place to stock up on fresh, local produce and handmade crafts. Be sure to stop by on Saturday mornings!
Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned Atlantic Beach traveler, there's always something new to discover in this charming coastal town. By venturing off the beaten path and exploring the city's hidden gems, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for everything that makes Atlantic Beach such a special destination. From secluded beaches to hidden hiking trails, there's something for everyone in Atlantic Beach, NC.