Five hundred miles of beaches and barrier islands make up the North Carolina coastline, and each area has something unique that makes it different from the others. Each seaside village, town, and city has its own character. Some are quaint and laidback, allowing you to slow things right down and take some time out. Others invite you to jump right in and taste their brand of cosmopolitan appeal. You may find it worth your while to get to know this portion of the U.S. Atlantic Coast, and you can do it from the comfort of North Carolina beach condo rentals.
Vacation Home Rentals at the Outer Banks
The Outer Banks is a 200-mile group of barrier islands making up North Carolina's northernmost coastline. The region has inspired imaginations as a former haven for pirates, among them the notorious Blackbeard. From your vacation rental, you can laze about at the beach, go fishing or diving shipwrecks, or tour lighthouses and historic sites.
Kitty Hawk landed in history books as the place where the Wright Brothers flew the first powered airplane in 1903. From your vacation rental, you can enjoy its uncrowded beach, and go hiking at Kitty Hawk Woods, a maritime forest reserve.
Rodanthe has become a destination for romantic beach holidays, thanks to the Nicholas Sparks novel "Nights in Rodanthe," and its slushy Richard Gere movie adaptation. There you can rent a getaway cabin, visit locations from the movie, and relax at the secluded beaches. You can also check out the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, which was the birthplace of the modern U.S. Coast Guard.
Vacation Rentals at the Sounds
The North Carolina coastline is home to Currituck Sound, Albemarle Sound, and Pamlico Sound—interconnected lagoons that form one of the largest bodies of water in the U.S. Your vacation home rental at the Sounds region can be your base for trying out bass fishing, water sports like parasailing and sea kayaking, and exploring the area's vast forests and wildlife reserves. The area is also part of the state's wine country.
New Bern is North Carolina's former state capital, and it has numerous historic landmarks and antebellum mansions you can tour. You can also check out its foodie-pleasing restaurants, its boutiques selling vintage fashions and antiques, and its bars that feature indie music and craft beers.
Crystal Coast Beach Condo Rentals
Crystal Coast, so named after the crystal-blue waters lapping its beaches, is one of North Carolina's busiest holiday hotspots. While its beaches are its main draw, the region also attracts divers, anglers, Civil War history buffs, and foodies. It has a lot of weekly rentals by the beach, and makes an ideal choice if you're on a long holiday with friends or family.
Atlantic Beach is counted among North Carolina's best beach communities for its white-sand beaches, its warm waters, and the variety of activities you can enjoy there. With your Atlantic Beach condo rental as a base, you can go surfing or wreck diving at the Graveyard of the Atlantic. You can also visit Queen Anne's Revenge—Blackbeard's notorious ship—and learn more about the region's pirate history. If you're a Civil War enthusiast, Fort Macon State Park is right next door.
Pine Knoll Shores
Pine Knoll Shores offers a quieter alternative to the bustle of its next-door neighbor, Atlantic Beach. Its beaches are more secluded and less crowded. It's also home to a number of championship golf courses as well as one of North Carolina's state-run aquariums.
Topsail Beach Vacation Homes
Locals claim that Topsail Beach got its name from the pirate ships of old, which hid behind the island with only their top sails visible and waited for unsuspecting merchant ships to plunder. You can learn about this and other aspects of the Carolinas' pirate history at the Missiles and More Museum. Topsail Beach is also known for its near-isolated beaches with cozy cottage rentals, as well as the Sea Turtle Hospital, a rescue center for injured sea turtles.
Wilmington Beach Condo Rentals
The port city of Wilmington is one of North Carolina's crown jewels. Built on the banks of the Cape Fear River, Wilmington's downtown is one of the biggest national historic districts in the U.S., encompassing more than 200 city blocks. There you can find antebellum mansions—some of which have been converted into house museums and vacation rentals—boutiques and specialty shops, and restaurants where you can dine al fresco. Wilmington is also dubbed Hollywood East; many Hollywood-produced movies and TV shows have actually been filmed in Wilmington.
A few minutes' drive from Downtown Wilmington is Wrightsville Beach, a seaside community with swells that attract professional surfers the world over. From your Wrightsville Beach condo rental, you can ride the swells yourself or engage in other water sports. If you're traveling with kids, you can pretend to be pirates and go treasure-hunting at the beach.
Just like its neighbor Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach is a surf hub a short distance from Downtown Wilmington. What sets Carolina Beach apart is its vintage boardwalk, lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and other attractions. The boardwalk often serves as a stage for outdoor concerts. You'll also find many Carolina Beach condo rentals there.