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12 Best Things To Do In & Around Emerald Isle, NC - Updated 2020

things to do in emerald isle north carolina

An island of emerald - doesn’t that sound enchanting? Floating as its own little oasis neatly off the Carolina shoreline, the Emerald Isle is calling your name like a shipwreck in the night.

She’s gorgeous, 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, its best we dive right into these waves. Get ready to learn where the phrase “trip of a lifetime” was coined!

1. The Point

Beach Sunrise
Source: Photo by Flickr user Anna 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 beach and an absolute must on your travels to the Emerald Isle.

The Point

Address: Emerald Isle, NC

2. Carolina Kitesurfing


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.

Either way, 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 Emerald sun.

Carolina Kitesurfing

Address: 142 Fairview Dr, Emerald Isle, NC 28594

Website: Carolina Kitesurfing

3. Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

Holts Landing Pier
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user en:SheepNotGoats used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

4. Emerald Isle Adventures

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

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

5. Salty Pirate Water Park of Emerald Isle

Sundlaug Stykkishólms inside slide
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user BiT used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

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

6. Emerald Isle Woods Park

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

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

7. Cedar Street Park

Source: pxhere

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 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

8. Wellness Massage & Yoga

Yoga Classes
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

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

NC Maritime Museum
Source: Photo by Flickr user Michelle Underhill 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

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

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Source: Photo by Flickr user Mark Doliner 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

11. 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 relax in attractive surroundings in 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

12. Professor Hacker's Lost Treasure Golf and Raceway

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

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

Emerald enchantment

The Emerald Isle is 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. 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 & around Emerald Isle, NC

1. 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.

2.  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.

3. 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.

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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