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Old 01-28-2009, 02:41 PM
 
134 posts, read 440,022 times
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Three families with 3 young children between them are looking for a picturesque Carolina coast vaction home rental. We are not familiar with the area and are looking for the quintessential North Carolina coastal experience on a nice beach with lots of dunes and ocean front. Not super busy or touristy. Can you all give some suggestions of beaches/areas to look into and vaction homes to check out. Thank you all for your help.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,471,445 times
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Smile Beach suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil_ly View Post
Three families with 3 young children between them are looking for a picturesque Carolina coast vaction home rental. We are not familiar with the area and are looking for the quintessential North Carolina coastal experience on a nice beach with lots of dunes and ocean front. Not super busy or touristy. Can you all give some suggestions of beaches/areas to look into and vaction homes to check out. Thank you all for your help.
Surprisingly there are still a lot of variables. Some folks love the Northern Outer Banks, but getting out there can involve a lot of traffic. I used to love Corolla and Duck, but there are just too many people up there now for me.

If you go south from Nags Head toward Hatteras, there still some nice towns down that way, but I am not an expert in that area.

If you want a nice family beach vacation I can recommend the Crystal Coast and specifically Emerald Isle. You might also find something you like in the other towns on the Crystal Coast. There probably aren't as many huge vacation homes on the Crystal Coast as on the Northern Outer Banks, but there are plenty of very nice homes close to the beach and certainly a good selection of the large homes.

This is a Google map of Emerald Isle.

Some of the nicest beaches are on the western end of the island, but there are lots of great stretches of beach from Atlantic Beach to Emerald Isle.

These pictures were taken on the western end of Emerald Isle not far from The Point and Bogue lnlet. The aerial photos of The Point are a little old. The wide beaches have expanded greatly towards the Inlet and the access to the Point has been repaired. As you move east from Emerald Isle towards Indian Beach and Salter Path the whole island narrows and the beaches aren't as wide, but in most cases there are fewer houses to the east. These pictures were taken more towards the east probably close to the Eastern Regional Access. As you approach Pine Knoll Shores (PKS) the island again widens.

You have to decide how much you are willing to spend and how close you want to be to restaurants and shops.

Many of the rental companies have aerial views of their properties like this (http://www.bluewatergmac.com/images/aerials/MAP44A.jpg - broken link). You can pretty well tell what the area looks like from these photos so it is fairly easy to pick a place that meets your personal preferences.

This is a map of area services and this site has some restaurant reviews. I will probably update those reviews before the beach season starts.

According to local news stories, rental agencies on the Northern Outer Banks are seeing a 30% drop in bookings compared to last year. The Crystal Coast is down only 5% or so. You might get some real deals in those areas experiencing a large drop in bookings, but it is still very early in the season.

I have a travel guide for Emerald Isle. If you are interested in what it is like to live here, you can check out this index of posts that I have done on the area.

Last edited by dsobotta; 01-28-2009 at 09:03 PM.. Reason: left out link
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,661 posts, read 24,670,044 times
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The slumping economy showed up in canceled summer vacation rentals on the North Carolina coast.

Lousy Economy Seen In Canceled NC Vacation Rentals - Winston-Salem News Story - WXII The Triad (http://www.wxii12.com/news/18563735/detail.html - broken link)
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:10 PM
 
19 posts, read 68,129 times
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Default NC beach

The outer banks (Duck) are popular and have large houses for rent -- with pools if you want. You may find some deals given the economy. My friends rent big houses on Corolla also, but I have not been there.

Here is what I know:
Further down the coast, closer to SC are Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, and Holden Beach.

Sunset Beach does not allow high rises and has very limited commercial activity on the Isl. A few stores, including a small market and a pier. No restaurants. It is mostly houses. This is very much of a family beach. It is connected to the mainland (very near Calabash - lots of restaurants) via the last swing span bridge in the county (as I understand it). The brige opens on the hour for boats during high season, so you have to time your departures from the Island or wait. But it is fun to watch the bridge open and the boats pass thru. NC is building a new bridge for easier evacuation. This is one of the few beaches to have accreted (sp? opposite of erosion), so the ocean front houses are quite far from the ocean.

Connected to Sunset Beach is Bird Island. This is an undeveloped Island (used to be separate from Sunset until a hurricane years ago). You can easily access Bird by just taking a walk. Turtles nest there, and there are some ecco tours there also, I think. Most of the houses are not as large as Duck and they do not have pools. Call Sunset Vacations 800-331-6428 and/or Sunset Properties (couldn't get there phone number easily) and they can tell you about the houses that will fit 3 families. I would call rather than mess with their websites -- these folks know their rentals.

Ocean Isle is quite a bit more commercial, but very nice also.

I hope you have a great time and find a deal!
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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The Outer Banks, while popular, is NOT a "typical NC Beach experience"; most folks in NC don't stay in 10-bedroom houses!

Try the Atlantic Beach/Indian Beach/Emerald Isle area (now known as the "Crystal Coast", but I'm old school and hate that term). You'll find old 1950s cottages for rent as well as modern condos (I personally love the old houses, even if they might not have EVERY modern amenity--reminds me of what "going to the beach" used to be like). Atlantic Beach is still pretty small, and is right across from Morehead City (not really a city) and delightful Beaufort, which is a very historic "fishing village". Emerald Isle is at the other end of Bogue Banks (the same island) and has more to rent, but is VERY CROWDED. The main highway through Emerald Isle is traffic city during the summer and I avoid it at all costs. But, it also has a quaint older town, Swansboro, just across the bridge.

Topsail Island used to be known as the "undevelped beach" on NC, but I think this was years ago; I haven't seen it in a long time. Ocean Isle is another place I've been visiting for 20 years, and seen it grow from a small beach to something a lot more crowded and commerical, but it's still a nice place.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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If you are looking for a family beach in NC the best choice will be Holdens beach without any doubt. Little to no night life limited shopping and mostly young children and older retired folks, not the teen or 20 something area.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Newport, NC
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Topsail Island is great if you're looking for laid back. No boardwalk, just lots of great beach. We've been down the past 2 summers and really enjoyed ourselves. We rented a house for 6 people and 3 dogs, same house both summers.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:39 AM
 
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My sister loves topsail. They are very laid back as well.

Last edited by SunnyKayak; 02-04-2009 at 12:31 PM.. Reason: advertising
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Hawaii and North Carolina
96 posts, read 296,301 times
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Default Emerald Isle gets my vote

Definately Emerald Isle. It is a great place with great beaches!!
Take a look at this:

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Old 02-10-2009, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,401 posts, read 19,414,647 times
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^ But now show them a photo of the highway or the grocery stores in Emerald Isle during peak season!
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