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Old 09-27-2017, 12:57 PM
 
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Ocracoke island has what you're describing! We love it there. Kind of hard to get to but totally worth it.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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You might like Ocracoke, Holden Beach, Bald Head Island, Wrightsville (not so much "cute", but lots of things to do), Emerald Isle/Pine Knoll Shores/Atlantic Beach/Beaufort, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Duck, Corolla.

Where have you been that you didn't find what you were looking for?
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Carolina Shores NC
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I'm kinda partial to Calabash now
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:41 PM
 
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I have to agree with Ocracoke. Its a long drive (plus a ferry ride), but it's worth it. Very quiet and quaint. Not too crowded. Just slow and peaceful.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Southport, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michealbond View Post
Which beach did you go to? NC is home to a lot of beaches.

I'd try the Oak Island / Caswell Beach / Southport area. Southport has the cute town that you're looking for, and Oak Island / Caswell Beach has the nice beach you're looking for. Roughly 15 minutes apart.
We just bought a home in Southport in July and we'll be retiring there in about 18-20 months.
We are both from New England and as soon as we drove through, we knew it was the place for us! It reminds us of a small coastal town in Mass. Great downtown with lots of interesting shops.


Take the ferry out to Bald Head Island (no cars, drive around in a golf cart).


Gorgeous beaches only minutes away as above poster mentioned (Oak Island, Caswell Beach). Caswell Beach is my favorite, secluded, quiet with dunes.


Eat at Fishy Fishy or Provision.


Southport was named the happiest seaside town in 2015. Here's the link:


Southport Voted "America's Happiest Seaside Town" by Coastal Living - Southport NC - TownofSouthportNC.com
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Durm
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Adding one that might bring some disagreement, but if you look past it being a little rougher around the edges - Carolina Beach could fit the bill as well. I think they've redone the boardwalk, and there's a charming little park around a lake that is host to numerous events including a weekly farmer's market. Lots of restaurants, and it runs right into the much cleaner (ha) Kure Beach, then Ft. Fisher, where you can get a ferry to Southport. Whenever I visit that area, if I'm there for more than one day I try to go to all of them.

Kure Beach has also redone their waterfront park and it's lovely. Just a few restaurants there. You have to go through Carolina Beach to get to it (unless you take the back road - Dow Road - faster and less traffic).

I used to despise Carolina Beach and have completely changed my mind about it after spending more time there. Great surf community.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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South Port, Beaufort, Some of the Outer banks, New Bern, although many of these are "coastal" and while located on the water, not really on the beach itself.
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:46 AM
 
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Unless you can walk to the beach it's not a beach town. When you say only minutes to the beach by car, how many minutes 30, 60 or 80????

Ron W.
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:16 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
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Due to rampant development, there are no cute beach towns, Excepting the outer banks, most beach towns are condos, surf shops and other stuff.

As far as towns close to the beach, I wold vote for Beaufort, then Southport. Oh, on big weekends you can take the "over" with total confidence on a 15 minute trip to beach.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:20 AM
 
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The best NC towns with beach access...

Wrightsville Beach (offseason)
Topsail Beach
Emerald Isle
Ocean Isle Beach
Duck
Corrolla
Kure Beach


I would list Nags Head and Carolina Beach a bit down the list...they are very commercial and good towns, but rarely quiet.
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