My Crystal Coast

The winter is a time full of holiday cheer, colder temperatures, and bundling up inside by the campfire (or maybe partaking in some winter sports if that’s your thing). For me, I typically escape the winter cold by jetting off to a location with a more tropical climate, think the Bahamas, Mexico, Aruba, etc. However, I recently took a trip to the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, a gorgeous beach in its own right, even though its temperatures aren’t exactly at Mexico levels. This means that you can’t necessarily work on your tan, but there are plenty of other things to keep you entertained, and most importantly relaxed on your vacation.

 

 

I’ve lived in North Carolina for quite some time now, over 10 years;  however, I had never paid a visit to the Crystal Coast before this trip. I’ve heard a range of great things about the destination from family and friends over the years, but I never brought myself to go. Until now!
And I’m excited to share with you some shots from the trip, as well as great things to do that apply no matter what time of the year that you visit the Crystal Coast.

 

 

First is obviously the beach. The Crystal Coast is a total beach town, and my absolute favorite part about it is how it is still somewhat of a hidden gem. This means that there won’t be hordes of people at the beach and you won’t need to fight for prime real estate to enjoy the waves. Beyond that the beaches are spotless and make for amazing running, walking and roaming along the coast. This was something I did everyday that we were there and I can confidently say these runs were some of the most peaceful that I’ve had in a while. I can’t speak to the Crystal Coast during the summer, but if you go in the fall or winter what you’re going to get is a great location for relaxation and in some cases even reflection.

 

 

I would come here to potentially bunker down and study for the GMAT, or maybe even start that novel I’ve been toying around with.

 

The tranquility is enough to inspire any writer to be as creative as possible and draw out the highest quality of stuff. I basically called this my Hemingway nook, since it has the perfect setup and decor for productivity and creativity.

 

 

And if you ever get the urge to leave your beachfront mansion that you’re staying in, or at least that we were residing in for this press trip, there are a ton of fun things to do in the surrounding city areas. One example is a double-decker bus tour of the downtown Atlantic City and marina area. This is a great way to get some history on the area while also seeing everything that is around town. The restaurants down here are pretty adorable and there are many that line the marina, which makes for a great lunch stop! You can also take in a lot of the old timey and very historic houses in this part of town, many of which are actually haunted! One interesting fact is that this area is one of the most “haunted” in the US, right behind places like Savannah and New Orleans. Another nifty tidbit is that Black Beard spent a bit of time in this region; take a guided “ghost tour” of the city and cemetery for more details; and make sure to follow it up with drinks nearby or a visit to the local pool hall & bar.

 

 

 And once you’ve explored town and the sun starts to set that means it is time for you to return to your cozy spot and throw on a sweater that is perfect for those beach nights, as well as for a sunset cruise! This was probably my favorite activity of the weekend because the sunset was obviously gorgeous and once the sun set and the spectacle was over the party really started! Make sure you find a cruise that has some speakers and as much champagne as you’d like. Beware though, certain boats have limits as to the number of people that can go on a trip, so look into that before hand.

 

 

The next day we began to explore the various parts of the Crystal Coast, which included this horse farm that is known for taking in horses, both from the area and horses that have been injured. The area is famous for the wild horses that peacefully roam the beaches, however, there is a need to “population control” these animals because the island areas can only support so many of them. As a result, this farm will take in some of the ones that are struggling and provide them extremely happy lives.

 

 

From there, our last stop before heading home was the famous Fort Macon, which has played a part in the defense of this area for centuries! It’s a great spot with a ton of fun photo opportunities and interactive museum on its grounds that is definitely worth checking out. We also found a few really fun gifts in their gift shop for that history buff in your life.And with that, our time at the Crystal Coast was over! It was a great destination for a weekend getaway in North Carolina, which doesn’t require you to go too far. You don’t even have to leave the state! One of the things I really like about NC is that it has so many different things to offer. So if you’re in the mood to hit the beach it’s a pretty simple drive, but if you want to have a more cozy mountain weekend then all you have to do is drive the opposite direction and you’re in the glory of the mountains in about the same amount of time.

I definitely would recommend the Crystal Coast for North Carolinians, as well as out-of-towners, who are looking for a great beach destination that is a little more low-key than a Miami or Myrtle Beach.

JRL

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