Morehead City

, pop. 7,691 – the main city in the region, and a good base for outings in the area.

Beaufort (North Carolina)

, pop. 3,771 – a historic town established in 1713 with many original restored homes and a bustling waterfront.

Emerald Isle

, pop. 3,488 – family-oriented beaches with lots of cottages for rent.

Atlantic Beach

, pop. 1,781 – a popular beach resort since the 1920s.

Newport (North Carolina)

, pop. 3,349

Harkers Island

, pop. 1,525 – a historic fishing community known for its wooden decoy carving and its littleneck clams.


, pop. 1,426 – quaint downtown shopping and a pleasant riverside.

Cape Carteret

, pop. 1,214

Other destinations

Harkers Island

township in Carteret County, North Carolina

Beaufort (North Carolina)

town in Carteret County, North Carolina, United States of America

Newport (North Carolina)

city in North Carolina, USA


town in North Carolina, United States

Go next

Cedar Island

70, is the area's gateway to the rest of the Outer Banks. You can reach Ocracoke Island from the ferry terminal here; the sea trip is a little over 2 hours.

New Bern


Wilmington (North Carolina)


Research Triangle

area (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) is about 3 hours northwest on US-70.

Myrtle Beach



guide to

Crystal Coast

The Crystal Coast is a scenic and tourist-oriented stretch of beaches and towns in North Carolina, stretching from Emerald Isle in the west to Beaufort and Cape Lookout in the east (although a broader definition includes the area as far west as Swansboro, and as far east as the Pamlico Sound). The islands in this region are considered to be part of the southern Outer Banks.


Get in

The nearest major airport is Raleigh-Durham International (RDU); driving time to Morehead is approximately 3 hours. There are also smaller airports in Jacksonville (1 hour; a taxi from the airport costs around $40), New Bern (1 hour) and Wilmington (2 hours).

If you're driving in from the Raleigh area, US-70 is the most direct route to get to the Crystal Coast.

More information available on Wikivoyage

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