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Old 02-06-2008, 11:37 AM
 
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I'm getting itchy to do a road trip and I thought that the coast looked like a great place to take a trip. I'm not set in stone on anything; I just really want to drive and see what I find. I'm thinking that I will probably stay for about 3 days.

I would like to know what the best time to visit would be. I am thinking March or April. Would those be good times temperature wise and lack of tourists?

What are some must see things? I love food and wine and getting a bit of history in. Any fun festivals? When searching for information, what towns should I be looking for? Any recommendations on places to stay? All advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:30 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
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April might be low in tourists but it could be rather cold still in April. Last year there was frost freeze warnings around Easter. The ocean water will be to cold to swim in and the ocean breeze will have a bite
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
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SunnyKayak's correct re it might still be a little cool--but it's all relative. Compared to the Midwest and Northeast, Spring comes a month earler here in coastal NC--I know because I've a friend near Ann Arbor, Michigan, and she's jealous of our early warmer weather...sometimes she still has snow on the ground and we're basking in flowers and birds.

What I love about Late March/early April here are the many azaleas in bloom in pink, fuchsia and white, the little daffodils popping up everywhere, the robins singing their hearts out--and the crowning joy of pretty Spring on the coast--no mosquitoes!!

You might enjoy the empty beaches and un-crowded conditions--but no swimming in the ocean yet...my favorite little escapes on the coast are Beaufort NC and the little island of Ocracoke NC...a trip can be made to combine the two towns as Ocracoke is accessible via ferry from Downeast of Beaufort.

Hope you come to see see us--it's a sweet time here in the Spring.
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
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Oh, forgot to mention, Beaufort and Ocracoke are known for their charming inns and B & B's--no chains here, all places are individually owned....if you bring your pooch, there's the Red Dog Inn B & B in B'fort town that takes dogs. Another fun place in Beaufort is a B & B that was the former county poorhouse...now turned into individual charming rooms all done up in coastal charm...

Ocracoke's got many quaint cottages for rent, and you'd likely get an off-season discount in late March/early April as long as it's not Easter-time.

And good food? Honey, prepare to put on some weight, the eating's fine here--fresh, fresh sea food and fixings and all the hush puppies you can shake a stick at. And don't forget the Key Lime pie and the pecan pie and the banana pudding and wash it down with quarts of Sweet Tea.
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Cary and Wilmington, NC
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Hi IndyCarrie. What part of the coast are you interested in visiting? I would suggest May as a great time to visit. The weather is usually gorgeous around this time!
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:54 AM
 
Location: The 12th State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oyster07 View Post
Hi IndyCarrie. What part of the coast are you interested in visiting? I would suggest May as a great time to visit. The weather is usually gorgeous around this time!
I would choose late May the last two weeks early may the ocean breeze and water temperature is still on the chilly side in early May.

Go right before schools let out and summer rates kick in.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:37 AM
 
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Thanks guys!! I just got back from Las Vegas, but I am totally greedy and need to get out of Indiana again for a while.

I don't have any particular part of the coast in mind, nor do I have to go at any certain time. Just planning some time away for me, myself and I. It's kind of a blessing and a curse to be able to be open ended about where you go and what you do because, hey, you can do what you want, but at the same time, it's hard to narrow it down.

I was thinking about March because I am in school and I would be able to get away more easily during that time. With that said, May would probably work out great because I will be between Spring and Summer classes for a couple of weeks.

I wasn't so concerned about actually getting into the ocean, more just sightseeing and enjoying some lovely views. I figured it still might be a bit cool in March, but like LittleDolphin said, nothing like Indiana. Just some wishful thinking...sick of the winter blahs and I figured that NC would be BEAUTIFUL during spring. Any must sees while there?
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
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While it will depend on which part of the coast you decide to visit... in our neck of the woods, here's Little Dolphin's Extra-Special Beaufort Relaxation and Recreation Week-End Tour:

-hop a little ferry out to Cape Lookout National Seashore to see and walk the endless beach of this pristine, unspoiled coast and partake of the history of the "Graveyard of the Atlantic"--which looks so innocent but the shifting sands of the shoals have caught, claimed, and sunk many trapped boats and ships. Know how the Cape Lookout Light was so welcome to returning sea captains to warn them from the dangerous shoals--it's striking black and white diamonds and flashing lights still guards them today.

-bring or rent a bike and pedal--or walk or climb aboard the red double-decker London tour bus and cruise the flat, leafy streets of Old Beaufort town and feel as though you've been transported to a gentler, kinder time. Note the sweet cottages, Victorians, Colonial Grande Dame homes--some from the early 1700's--all lovingly preserved and sporting welcoming porches and rocking chairs. Maybe you'll rent a room in one of the B& B's in this area?

--pay a visit to the NC Maritime Museum and discover the rich fishing, boat-building and nautical lore of this place of water and wind--and see the growing collection of artifacts from the wreck The Queen Anne's Revenge--Blackbeard's flag ship used for pirating these waters (eat your heart out, Johnny Depp).

--take a self-guided tour or a docent-led tour of the Old Burying Ground...the most amazing stories are found here: the toy-strewn grave of the little girl buried in a rum keg, another grave with a most heart-breaking tale of thwarted love (with a happy--"kind-of" ending)...and well, many, many fascinating tales here, each one more astounding then the next--and the enormous, sprawling live oaks draped in moss and the blazing azaleas make it a lovely place, too.

--visit the Beaufort Historic site, stop in at The Olde Gift Shop for local books, crafts and a wealth of information to be had there. Tour the quaint homes of the Site and be amazed by the maze...go to gaze in the Mattie King Gallery--it has much to offer.

--shop to your heart's content along Front Street, visit the creative, hand-made artisan shops, the many unique clothing stores (The Bag Lady has the most whimsical and sleek collection of one-of-a-kind hand-bags I've ever seen) and the intimate galleries filled with works created by amazing local talent, and oh yes, in the evenings do listen to the live, free music often found at the Cru Wine Bar, the Back Street Pub and the Dock House--all friendly and welcoming---you'll not be stranger for long...

--drive a ways and stop in at the NC Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores. If you go when they first open on Sat. or Sunday morning, you'll have the fish all to yourself and you'll discover the whole story of the local waters, sea life and what makes our area special. The last time I was there, the fish swam right up to me and made eye-contact--or so it seemed...very cool. Pet a Ray is fun, too.

--then your budget permitting, I'd schedule a nice massage from one of our body-workers and spend some quiet time along the waterfront, all nice and relaxed and let the lap of the waves soothe you and put your winter-weary face to the sun and think about Rachel Carson who did some her research here...a part of Carrot Island, just across from the Beaufort waterfront is named in her honor--the Rachel Carson Preserve...and as befitting this worthy woman who so loved nature, and "mothered" the modern environmental movement with her book, Silent Spring, a herd of wild horse lives on the Preserve in freedom--they're Beaufort's own beloved "seahorses."

Anyhow, that's my personal recommended tour of Beaufort--not too overwrought or tiring..kind of gentle and filled with the fascinating lore that makes this village so special (can you tell I love this town?)
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Cary and Wilmington, NC
217 posts, read 1,040,047 times
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Oh, the Azelea Festival is in Wilmington usually the 1st weekend in April. There are many fun events during that time. Also, if you like food and wine, I would suggest Chelsea's Wine Bar downtown, corner of Front and Market, great wine and delicious tapas.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
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we went up from Atlantic Beach during Easter week, and traveled to Ocracoke, and all the way up to Corolla.

While we typically go every year at Easter, last year was chillier than previous ones!!!! Had to buy sweatshirts! lol

Not as many tourists though, which is nice.
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