Crystal Coast Newsroom

The Crystal Coast Invites Travelers to Experience the Ultimate DIY Vacation Destination
June 23, 2014

As travelers search for privacy and off-the-grid adventures, the Crystal Coast invites trailblazers to take on the increasingly popular DIY trend by eliminating the middle man and completely customizing a one-of-a-kind vacation along North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks, cherry-picking everything from accommodations and dining to activities, attractions and seasonal events -- whether it's in the saddle of a bike or at the helm of a sailboat, visitors will uncover an authentic coastal experience unlike any other (

Crafting a personalized itinerary for North Carolina's most colorful seaside communities -- Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Beaufort and Cape Lookout -- is now easier than ever with a variety delightful distractions ranging from exploring Beaufort, “America's Coolest Small Town,” where the infamous pirate Blackbeard roamed, to taking a self-guided tour of Fort Macon, the site of a historic Civil War skirmish, to deep diving the no. 1 dive destination in North America, also known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” Imaginations run free along the 85 miles of silken shoreline, bidding the perfect backdrop for days spent exploring distinguished local activities and attractions, such as:

- NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores - Meet an Albino Turtle Named Nimbus
- Core Sound Waterfowl Museum - Learn How to Carve a Decoy
- Cape Lookout National Seashore - Climb the “Diamond Lady” Lighthouse
- Shackleford Banks - Discover Wild Horses Roaming Free
- Olympus Dive Center - Wreck Dive the German U-352 Submarine
- Fort Macon State Park - Experience a Civil War Reenactment
- Morehead City Waterfront - Fish the Gulf Stream Waters
- Beaufort Historic Site - Stand in the Oldest Wooden Courthouse in NC
- Croatan National Forest - Paddleboard through Lush Maritime Forest

After a hard day's wreck diving or surf fishing, visitors to the Crystal Coast tend to work up an appetite. From down home, delicious seafood shacks and drive-in cheeseburger stands to casual bistros and elegant candlelit beachside dinners, the destination has the ideal mixture of more than 80 locally owned eateries to choose from, such as:

- Amos Mosquito's - Swampside Café on Bouge Sound
- Front Street Grill at Stillwater - Coastal Waterfront Bistro overlooking Carrot Island
- Circa 81 - Tapas & Cocktaileria
- Channel Marker - “Sea to Spoon” Restaurant
- The Village Market - Gourmet Deli in Emerald Isle
- Arendell Room - Cocktails First, Questions Later
- El's Drive-In - Old fashioned, order in the car drive-in (bring cash)

There's never a dull moment on the Southern Outer Banks, but instead, days filled with outdoor recreation, sightseeing and cultural possibilities -- all thanks to the wind and the waves -- a sampling of summer events worth marking the calendar for include:

June/July/August 2014
- Summer Concert Series - now - September
- Beaufort Old Homes & Garden Tour - June 27
- Fourth of July Underwater Bike Race - July 4
- Cape Lookout Lighthouse Moonrise Climbing Tours - July 10-12 / Aug. 8-10
- North Carolina Maritime Museum's 8th Annual Crab Cake Cook-off - July 18
- Watercraft Center Boatbuilding Carpentry Class - July 26-27 / Aug. 23 - 24

Along with a wide range of attractions and events, the Southern Outer Banks offer year-round affordable accommodations options from luxury to economy, ranging from mammoth beach mansions, known locally as “sand castles,” and quaint B&B's to seaside cottages and comfortable condos -- a small selection of accommodations with starting rates:

- Cape Lookout - camping FREE/cabins $73/night
- Inlet Inn, Beaufort - from $130/night
- Atlantis Lodge, Atlantic Beach - from $190/night
- Hampton Inn, Morehead City - from $139/night
- DoubleTree, Atlantic Beach - from $179/night
- Emerald Isle Realty (Vacation Rentals) - starting at $1000/weekly for a condo
- Bluewater (Vacation Rentals) - starting at $560/weekly for a condo

Famous for 85 miles of shimmering beaches, crystalline blue waters and lush maritime forests, the Crystal Coast located along North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks, remains the favored Atlantic beach destination of generations and represents one of the only remaining natural barrier island systems in the world. The South facing beaches course east and west, lending views of the dazzlingly bright sun rise to greet the day and then slip into the glistening waters for a stunning sunset. Consistently recognized with admired acclaims, the Crystal Coast has recently earned nods from Travel + Leisure, naming Beaufort one of America's Most Romantic Towns, in addition to other notable achievements such as “Best Spring Break Destination” by Outside Magazine and “Top 25 USA Wreck Dives” by Scuba Diving.

For more information or to experience a “Do-It-Yourself Vacation” at the Crystal Coast call (800) 786-6962 or visit and


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