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Old 08-23-2008, 09:47 AM
 
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Are there good public beaches within 2-3 hours of Raleigh? I'd like to go to the beach for a day trip and am not sure what beaches are the best. I'd like one that's not too crowded.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:01 AM
 
Location: The 12th State
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Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach & Topsail but Topsail is very narrow and can be give or take. Stay away from hotel public access. The larger the hotel the larger the crowd on the beach.
atlantic beach, nc - Google Maps
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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topsail is great if your looking for an uncrowded beach but there inst much there other than just beach(no restaurants/amusements/shopping)
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seajoy88 View Post
Are there good public beaches within 2-3 hours of Raleigh? I'd like to go to the beach for a day trip and am not sure what beaches are the best. I'd like one that's not too crowded.
Day Trips from Raleigh to the Beach. Which ones do you visit?

FWIW, I like Wrightsville Beach.

Here are a few pictures from our trip to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach in April 2006. I highly recommend making the trip!

Wrightsville Beach





B&B We stayed at in Downtown Wilmington (It was up for sale back then .... only asking 1 Million!)



Nearby House in Downtown



Part of The River Walk Along the Cape Fear River in Downtown Wilmington



Restaurants Along River Walk





Horses with Bunny Ears (It was Easter Time)

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Old 08-23-2008, 10:20 AM
 
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Just moved here from Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach--it IS pretty but can get crowded and parking can be an issue--at least through Labor Day. It would be a great day trip in Sept. or Oct.--even Nov. can be wonderful. There are some public lots--you might try the L-shaped lot at the north end (Shell Island). Lots of people like Topsail--it's quieter, more family-friendly.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post

B&B We stayed at in Downtown Wilmington (It was up for sale back then .... only asking 1 Million!)

That is the same place we stayed (mainly because they took dogs). Worked out really well for us - close walk to everything downtown. Although the "Breakfast" part of the B&B experience was a little fru-fru to me (too many sweets, not enough real food).
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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My pick is Topsail/Surf City. We live in Clayton and its EXACTLY 2 hours(we've timed it many times)..and thats stopping 1x for gas or fast food. Very uncrowded, clean(the water is SO BLUE-GREEN and warm), and its a nice, easy drive. Rt. 40 South. Surf City also has a nice, big peir for fishing. We leave at 9 a.m. and are on the beach by 11. We stay until 5 and are home by 7:30(stopping to eat on the way home). Never any traffic either way.

No boardwalks or amusements, but there is mini-golf on the way into Surf City, and MANY places to eat and buy beach-stuff(buckets, boogies boards, etc.) right in town.

ENJOY! We go about 1x every 2 weeks from May-October. Its so unlike the Jersey shore, where we are from originally. Always crowded, traffic, beach-tags(none here),..and you don't spend 20 minutes looking for a place to park. There are no lifeguards though..which we like because you can swim anywhere...but if you have younger children that may be an issue. I think Wrightsville Beach does have lifeguards...and its about the same distance.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
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Wrightsville for a day trip and park at the Sunspree Hotel. If your going for the weekend, the Corolla/ Duck area of the Outer Banks.
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Old 08-23-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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And just to make clear, unlike other states, ALL of the beaches in North Carolina are public beaches! There are no pay beaches, no private beaches, you can go on any of them! Some may be hard to get to, by boat, etc. but you have every right to go on any of them.
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Old 08-23-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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I love Kure Beach, nothing to do but beach it up. It borders Fort Fisher which has an awesome aquarium. You can also ride the ferry to Southport or explore Wilmington. The Golden Sands is inexpensive enough if you decide to stay overnight. The new, non-smoking tower is pretty nice.
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