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Old 04-13-2012, 09:26 PM
 
4 posts, read 5,820 times
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Really need help trying to decide on a beach to go to for the week of the 4th of July. We have never been to North Carolina but have been wanting to go for years. I'm looking for a beach that's going to be great for families, not crowded, relaxing but also with things to do as I have two girls ages 12 and 9, and good places to eat. I have heard the outer banks is wonderful but thats all anyone seems to tell me, no exact beaches, things to do, nothing just that it's great. And I have checked out emerald isle, topsail, and carolina beach. I have checked into renting houses or condos on the beach, I just don't want to be so far away from town that i have to drive 15 or 20 mins. to eat or do things. Being able to ride golf carts, scooters, or bicycling to get around would be great. I guess i'm just looking for something that will be fun for the whole family and relaxing at the same time. Any advice will be greatly appreciated as i have been looking at places for weeks.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Midwest
99 posts, read 228,086 times
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I'll cover the most popular beach areas in NC...

Carolina Beach: It's a pretty small area with not a lot to do besides the pool, beach, and a boardwalk, but it's definitely growing. There are a few good restaurants in the area, but for most anything else you will have to drive to Wilmington. However, there is a place where you can rent bikes near the beach. Wrightsville Beach will have a lot more to do and is a lot closer to Wilmington, but it will be more expensive and difficult to find a place to stay this close to July 4.

OBX: You probably aren't hearing about specific beaches because the entire area is basically one long beach. The best areas for dining and activities for children are going to be Nags Head or Kill Devil Hills. You might also want to consider the northern part near Corolla. The more southern parts are very secluded and will definitely limit your restaurant selection and any activities for children. For here, I'd suggest staying somewhere in Rodanthe, Waves, or Salvo as the beaches will be less crowded. You can spend the day at the beach and in the evening make a drive to Nags Head for dinner and activities.

Atlantic Beach area: I really like this area (probably because it's only an hour from where I live). There aren't a lot of restaurants in Atlantic Beach, but Morehead City, Beaufort, and Emerald Isle have plenty. There used to be a lot of putt-putt golf places, but most of them closed years ago.

It seems like most people come to NC beaches for the seclusion and for more outdoor activities. As a child, I always seemed to enjoy Myrtle Beach for the activities, but hated the traffic and mass amounts of people.

Lastly, I also want to inform you that you might have some trouble in finding a condo or beach house. July 4 is one of the most popular weeks for vacation and places usually book up a year in advance. I'd suggest checking craigslist or a local realtor/rental website. I'm sure there will be some places, but your selection might be limited. I wanted to plan a week long July 4 beach vacation last year and waited until May. I couldn't find anything that fit the bill, so I ended up in Myrtle Beach. :-/
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,323 posts, read 18,668,197 times
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ANY beach in NC (or anywhere) is going to be crowded on July 4th weekend. I would say somewhere like Emerald Isle might be among the worst, but perhaps just because I'm familiar with how congested that can get, with one 2-lane road feeding everything.

Topsail Beach tends to have the reputation as the most "unspoiled" NC beach (though considering the growth here in the past decade, that is a very relative term).
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:56 PM
 
Location: St. James, NC
169 posts, read 502,214 times
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Bald Head Island is the perfect venue for golf carts and bicycling (no cars).
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:59 PM
 
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It's been a few years sence I lived there. But when I was last there the beaches were not crowded on the OBX, even the week of the 4th.

As for what to do, there are lots of mini-golf courses. Festival Park in Manteo, has a museum, the Elizabeth II ship, and you can hunt for fosilized sharks teeth around the flag pole. The Lost Colony Play and Elizabethen Gardens, and the NC Aquarium just north of Manteo, on Roanoke Island. Jennette's pier in South Nags Head. Jocky's Ridge State Park in Nags Head. Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. And of course lots of shops to visit.

That's all I can remember right now.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:23 AM
 
1,801 posts, read 3,396,025 times
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Holden Beach seems very family oriented and away from major traffic & noise.
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