14 Best Things To Do In Emerald Isle, North Carolina

things to do in emerald isle north carolina
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An island of emeralds - doesn’t that sound enchanting? Floating as its own little oasis neatly off the Carolina shoreline, Emerald Isle is calling your name like a shipwreck in the night. There are plenty of comfortable vacation rentals and great beach houses for rent, so in terms of accommodation, you’ll definitely be covered. This destination is gorgeous, and her sunrises meld into your heart forever, and the hidden parks and trails nestled beneath her wings make for a truly spectacular getaway. With much to see, it is best we dive right into these waves. Get ready to learn where the phrase “trip of a lifetime” was coined. If you are planning a trip soon, continue reading to find out more about some of the best things to do in Emerald Isle, North Carolina.

1. Hot Wax Surf and Paddle Sports

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Emerald Isle boasts several stunning beachfront hotels for your accommodation needs, but it also boasts great beaches and watersport activities.

Thanks to Hot Wax Surf and Paddle Sports’ prime location along North Carolina’s picturesque coast, visitors can partake in thrilling surf lessons to ride the Atlantic’s waves under expert guidance. For those who are seeking a more tranquil adventure, stand-up paddleboarding sessions and kayak rentals are available, allowing you to peacefully explore the serene waters of Bogue Sound. This surf shop also boasts an impressive selection of surf gear and beachwear, making it a one-stop destination for all your coastal adventure needs.

Hot Wax Surf and Paddle Sports

Address: 200 Mallard Dr, Emerald Isle, NC 28594, United States

Website: Hot Wax Surf and Paddle Sports

Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 11am - 5pm; Thu - Sat: 11am - 5pm (closed on Wed & Sun)

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2. The Growler Bar Emerald Isle

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

All charged up from your relaxing stay in one of the long-term rentals on the island and wondering which places to visit in Emerald Isle, North Carolina? Head to The Growler Bar, which stands out for its exceptional craft beer selection featuring an ever-rotating lineup of local and regional brews on tap, as well as an extensive collection of bottled and canned options. The knowledgeable staff at The Growler Bar are passionate about their offerings and always ready to guide you through the diverse beer options to find the perfect brew for your palate.

With its cozy, relaxed atmosphere and regular events, it’s not just a place for great beer but also a fantastic spot to unwind, socialize, and enjoy the vibrant local culture.

The Growler Bar Emerald Isle

Address: 200 Mallard Dr, Emerald Isle, NC 28594, United States

Website: The Growler Bar Emerald Isle

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 12am

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3. The Point

The Point
Source: Photo by Flickr user Patrick Mueller used under CC BY 2.0

The beach effect is a real thing. Those warm breezes, the lulling sound of the crashing waves, the call of the gulls - it draws you in like mermaid song. The Point manages to accentuates all these treasures, and is just far enough out into the Atlantic to make you want to stay there forever.

With seashells galore, light sand, and minimal crowds, it’s really hard to compare this beach to anything else in the world. If you can manage, just one morning sunrise on these soft shores will soothe your soul. The Point is a one-of-a-kind Emerald Isle attraction and an absolute must on your travels here.

The Point

Address: Emerald Isle, NC

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4. Carolina Kitesurfing

Editor’s note: establishment is permanently closed

After The Point casts its spell on you, why not ride those ocean waves as you kitesurf under the summer sun? If you want to take it a little slower, then hop on a paddleboard and glide through those radiant rays. Carolina Kitesurfing has something for everyone and you’re going to be glad you chose to dance atop those waves for one splendid afternoon in the sun. This is an Emerald Isle activity you don’t want to miss!

Carolina Kitesurfing

Address: 142 Fairview Dr, Emerald Isle, NC 28594

Website: Carolina Kitesurfing

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5. Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier
Source: Photo by Flickr user Patrick Mueller used under CC BY 2.0

How does a nearly four-pound sea mullet sound to you? That’s the state record for this fun-filled fishing pier. With bait and tackle, drinks and food, beach gear, and restrooms, you’ll have everything you need to make a fresh catch during one of your afternoons here.

Bring that on home to your rented bungalow and savor the taste of truly lasting memories. Newly expanded, you’re going to be able to stretch out on Bogue Inlet for a nice, long afternoon, and enjoy the time well-spent with friends and family.

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

Address: 100 Bogue Inlet Dr, Emerald Isle, NC 28594

Website: Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

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6. Emerald Isle Adventures

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Keep the adventures coming! At Emerald Isle Adventures, you’ll find lovely fishing charters to sail you away into the waters of restful retreats or fishing fandangos. Family-owned and operated, it’ll be nice to support a local company that warmly welcomes you and your next big catch back to shore.

Emerald Isle Adventures

Address: 6800 Emerald Dr, Emerald Isle, NC 28594

Operating Hours: Daily, from 6 am - 8 pm

Website: Emerald Isle Adventures

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7. Salty Pirate Water Park of Emerald Isle

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by The Salty Pirate Water Park of Emerald Isle on Saturday, September 9, 2017

This is a cute little outdoor water park promising all kinds of summer fun. Another family-owned spot, you’ll find water slides, wading pools, an arcade, snack bars, and so much more. The kids will love their time here, and those pictures are sure to last a lifetime.

Salty Pirate Water Park of Emerald Isle

Address: 8915 Reed Dr, Emerald Isle, NC 28594

Hours of Operation: Daily, from 10 am - 5 pm, from Memorial Day to Labor Day

Website: Salty Pirate Waterpark of Emerald Isle

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8. Emerald Isle Woods Park

Emerald Isle Woods Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Patrick Mueller used under CC BY 2.0

This is a lovely 41-acre (5.6 hectare) park offering an endless array of outdoor fun. Sometimes it’s nice to take slow, savoring sips of local color; Emerald Isle Woods Park is just the place to do so. Enjoy relaxing strolls down wooded paths - listening to birdsong prepared just for you - and arrive at a welcoming pier with beautiful views of the sound. If you have it, launch a kayak and sail toward that setting sun, into moonlight delight.

Emerald Isle Woods Park

Address: 9404 Coast Guard Rd, Emerald Isle, NC 28594

Hours of Operation: Daily, from 6 am - 9 pm

Website: Emerald Isle Woods Park

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9. Cedar Street Park

Looking for a peaceful activity in Emerald Isle? Head to Cedar Street Park. After Emerald Isle Woods seeps into your soul, you’re likely to want a repeat of that retreat. Also offering kayak and windsurfing access, this is a wonderful place to pack up a picnic basket and spend an afternoon (if you can peel yourself away from the beach long enough).

Actually, autumn might prove to be a spectacular time to drink in these soundside parks. No matter when you visit, these are the special earthly treasures that allow you to put life on pause and take an inventory of all your many blessings.

Cedar Street Park

Address: 7800 Cedar Street, Emerald Isle, NC

Website: Cedar Street Park

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10. Wellness Massage & Yoga

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

It's been raining on and off all day but don't let that get you down! We offer mobile massage as an option for you when...

Posted by Wellness Massage & Yoga on Friday, June 4, 2021

Since we’re on the path to peace and tranquility, a trip to the local spa is an absolute must. If you’re here with friends and family, maybe the yoga enthusiast in the crowd can take a class while the massage-seeker can relax in his or her own way.

The real treat here is that these angelic masseuses travel! They’ll pack up their fresh linens and fluffy massage tables and come to you. Imagine how that morning’s sunrise is going to feel!

Wellness Massage & Yoga

Address: 8752 Reed Dr #8, Emerald Isle, NC 28594

Hours of Operation: Mon - Thu, from 8:30 am - 8 pm; Fri, from 8:30 am - 5 pm; Sat, from 8:30 am - 4 pm

Facebook: Wellness Massage​ & Yoga

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11. North Carolina Maritime Museum (about 30 min drive)

Welcome to the North Carolina Maritime Museum!
Source: Photo by Flickr user sf-dvs used under CC BY 2.0

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from your Emerald envy, head on out to the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort for some rich sea life color. Coastal living ​and the bustle of the seafood industry can be explored in this worthwhile afternoon drive.

Remnants from Blackbeard’s wrecked ship rest in peace here, too, including cannons, grenades, belt buckles, and beads. As a lovely step through maritime time, you’re sure to enjoy everything North Carolina Maritime Museum has to offer.

North Carolina Maritime Museum

Address: 315 Front St, Beaufort, NC 28516

Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri, from 9 am - 5 pm; Sat, from 10 am - 5 pm; Sun, from 1 pm - 5 pm

Website: North Carolina Maritime Museum

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12. North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores (less than 30 min drive)

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jack used under CC BY-SA 2.0

While the North Carolina Maritime Museum allows you to see life through exhibitions, the North Carolina Aquarium lets you get in on all the seaside action with touch pools, submarine tanks, and local sea otters! When’s the last time you befriended a cute little otter?

You can explore shipwrecks here, too, without even getting wet. A rare white sea turtle is just eager to make your acquaintance. A fun trip for all, definitely try to find time in one of your sun-filled afternoons to pack everyone up and head on over to this delightful aquarium.

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

Address: 1 Roosevelt Blvd, Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512

Hours of Operation: Daily, from 9 am - 5 pm

Website: North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

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13. Take the kids to Blue Heron Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Take a break from the beach and find entertainment in Emerald Isle amidst the attractive surroundings of Blue Heron Park. There are swings, and shady awnings, soft green lawns, and pleasant trees. Let the kids have a ball using the slides and climbing the playground equipment. Take along a picnic and enjoy the quiet of the park away from all the busy areas.

A couple of restful hours in the quiet and neat park will recharge you for the next adventure. The kids can burn off some energy. They can enjoy the fossil pit or mess about on the basketball court while you rest under a shady gazebo.

Blue Heron Park

Address: 7500 Emerald Dr, Located behind Town Hall, Emerald Isle, NC

Phone: +1 252-354-3424

Website: Blue Heron Park

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14. Professor Hacker's Lost Treasure Golf and Raceway

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

What's your favorite thing to do after a game of mini golf? Lost Treasure Golf, Branson, MO #losttreasuregolf...

Posted by Professor Hacker's Lost Treasure Golf on Thursday, July 23, 2020

Follow Emerald Isle Drive to the nearby (4 miles / 6km) Indian Beach and find Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf and Raceway. There, you can play mini-golf and it’s open in the evenings too. Start the outing with a mini-train ride to the courses at the top of the mountain and play your way down. The kids and the young at heart will have a lot of fun. Allow at least two hours.

The layout of the course is very pretty and the staff are very helpful and friendly. The place also offers go-karts, kiddie rides, and bumper boats.

Professor Hacker's Lost Treasure Golf and Raceway

Address: 976 Salter Path Rd, Salter Path, NC

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Emerald enchantment

Emerald Isle’s attractions and beaches are as enchanting as it sounds. With a bevy of beachside activity and soft sunlight dancing off the sound, you’re going to be glad you packed up and headed on over. This is one of those fantastic islands where it truly is come one, come all. Not sure where to stay? Emerald Isle has got you covered with plenty of Airbnbs and other lodging options. Do you need a solo getaway? Then, off you go! Are you excited to pack the family up and splash into the summer sun? Then, there you have it. The Emerald Isle really does have it all.

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Things To Do In & Around Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Source: Trip101

Frequently asked questions about best things to do in and around Emerald Isle

  • What are the top attractions to visit in Emerald Isle?

    There are plenty of exciting attractions in Emerald Isle and on top of the list is The Point, a beach like no other in North Carolina. Another on the list is Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier, a great place for fishing and sightseeing with the family.

  • What are the best outdoor activities in Emerald Isle?

    Given its landscape and location, most of the outdoor things to do here are water activities. The top outdoor activities here include kayaking at Cedar Street Park, Kite surfing at The Point, and fishing at Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier.

  • What are the most popular things to do in Emerald Isle with kids?

    Emerald boasts numerous kid-friendly activities and few of the most popular include biking and playing at the Blue Heron Park, meeting different kinds of wildlife at North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, and swimming at Salty Pirate Water Park of Emerald Isle.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Kit Kittelstad is a Freelance Writer who specializes in higher education and lifestyle articles, with a focus on travel pieces. She also serves as an Adjunct Communications Professor at Pace...Read more

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