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Old 11-09-2013, 09:05 AM
 
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My boyfriend and I finally have 2 days off together and want to take a day trip to the NC coast, we've heard all about how beautiful it is since we moved to Raleigh 2 years ago! I know it's too cold to take a dip but I love the beach this time of year.

I've done a ton of research online and I'm quite frankly totally overwhelmed by the amount of stuff out there.

Since its a day trip we'd prefer a shorter drive to a longer one (but it doesn't matter too much because we don't mind leaving super early and getting home super late).

We are both in our mid twenties. We are from Long Island and love small coastal towns and beaches in New England. We are up for anything, the more exciting and unique the better. We have a friend in Wilmington and heard thats a nice coastal college town but Im not sure if its the best for our one time trip (We're probably only going to get the chance to make this trip once, which I know is sad since there is so much to see and do) so ...

What is your BEST recommendation for a beach/coastal town/bar?

We'd like to walk around a nice coastal town, take a walk on a beach, maybe a boardwalk. Then maybe a cool downtown ish area to walk around, see some local flavor, and grab a few drinks or bite to eat or listen to some music before heading home.

Thanks so much!!
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:28 AM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
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I think Swansboro is pretty cool. It is only a short ride to the beach. A real cool little town is Washington, but it is on the river, not beach. New Bern has a host of B and B's, lots of historic homes to look at, and some great restaurants, but is about 45 minutes from the beach. As to the beach itself, well, they all seem pretty much the same. Maybe Southport. I think the Outer Banks is a lot farther, and for just 2 days, would not be worth it.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,374 posts, read 27,059,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissa Marie View Post
What is your BEST recommendation for a beach/coastal town/bar?

We'd like to walk around a nice coastal town, take a walk on a beach, maybe a boardwalk. Then maybe a cool downtown ish area to walk around, see some local flavor, and grab a few drinks or bite to eat or listen to some music before heading home.

Thanks so much!!
I think Wrightsville Beach is closest to what you are looking for, but no board walk. Here's some past comments: https://www.city-data.com/forum/coast...boardwalk.html

Carolina Beach is a bit further, but has a boardwalk.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:05 PM
 
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Thanks! We don't really mind a drive, just want a great destination! Any must-see?
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:08 PM
 
Location: NC
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Originally Posted by LLN View Post
I think Swansboro is pretty cool. It is only a short ride to the beach. A real cool little town is Washington, but it is on the river, not beach. New Bern has a host of B and B's, lots of historic homes to look at, and some great restaurants, but is about 45 minutes from the beach. As to the beach itself, well, they all seem pretty much the same. Maybe Southport. I think the Outer Banks is a lot farther, and for just 2 days, would not be worth it.
Emerald isle
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,374 posts, read 27,059,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissa Marie View Post
Thanks! We don't really mind a drive, just want a great destination! Any must-see?
There are no "must see" destinations on the coast, IMHO. The point of going to the beach is to relax and enjoy the beach, not be a tourist. The only small, quaint towns at all like New England are Swansboro and Southport.

The Battleship North Carolina is nice, but you said you did not want to go to Wilmington. The town of Southport is a real town and is nice. It is closest to Caswell Beach.

Why not just pick one place and explore it? You will have many years to explore the other places on the coast.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:59 AM
 
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I know I'm late but Downotwn Wilmington has a riverwalk (same thing as Boardwalk but on the river) and plenty of bars and unique shops.

Beyond that I recommend Bogue Banks and Beaufort. You have the aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, Fort Macon on Atlantic Beach, and the Beaufort Waterfront and the NC MAritime Museum over there. You can catch a ferry ride over to Shackleford Banks and see the wild horses as well.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:11 PM
 
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Whoever told you Wilmington is a college town doesn't know much about Wilmington. These are usually the folks that spend their entire time in Wilmington on College Rd and, to be honest, miss all the good parts of Wilmington.

And for what its worth, I know a bunch of folks who drive from Raleigh to Wilmington for day trips because of the downtown and ability to go to Wrightsville Beach in the same day.

Next time you do this, go to Downtown Wilmington first. Southport is also a nice trip, but its a bit further. Besides that, I'd consider going to Manteo.
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