Best Photo Spots Around Emerald Isle

Vacations in Emerald Isle are filled with relaxation, adventure and plenty of new memories. Whether you’re enjoying this coastal hotspot with your friends, family or getting in some “me-time,” you’ll want to remember your trip for years to come.

Sure, you can stop by the souvenir shop for a t-shirt or use your sharp memory to think back on your time at the beach, but why not use your phone to snap a bunch of beautiful photos? Emerald Isle provides budding photographers, pro shooters and even camera phone fans with plenty of scenic backgrounds to capture their Crystal Coast vacation.

Family Beach Vacation Photos

Tips for capturing memorable vacation photos

Technology has made it easy for pretty much anyone to take eye-catching photos. Filters, automatic lighting and creative settings can assist in creating some fantastic pictures. With miles of shoreline and plenty of trails and wildlife, there are handfuls of ways to get creative when taking photos while on your Emerald Isle vacation.

One of the most straightforward tips for capturing a memorable photo is by using the rule of thirds. Don’t worry, this isn’t like college algebra or anything; you’re on vacation, be sure to keep it casual and always have fun. The rule of thirds is a simple 3×3 grid that you apply over an image you’re working to capture. Most phones and digital cameras come with this feature. If your gear doesn’t, you divide your image into three equal horizontal sections, then divide it again into three equal vertical sections. That gives you a total of nine blocks in your grid.

How will this help? The corners of the central square are the intersection points in your grid. This where you want to place the focal point of your shot (yourself if it’s a selfie, family, the wild horses of Shackleford Banks, etc.) Think of it as having four crosshairs with which to target a shot’s important elements. This will help you balance your main subject with negative space (a landmark, the ocean, trails or even wildlife) for a photograph that will attract any viewer’s eye.

Tips for Capturing Vacation Photos

Find the perfect photo spots around Emerald Isle

Endless ocean views from Crystal Coast beaches offer the perfect backdrops

There’s no shortage of natural scenery to use as a backdrop around Emerald Isle. From endless ocean views to lush nature trails, there’s always an opportunity to snap a couple of shots for your digital album.

One of the main attractions of the Crystal Coast is the sparkling waters of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. You’re sure to spend a fair amount of time soaking up the coastal vibes while at the beach. Be sure to plan an early day for one of your coastal ventures! Emerald Isle’s sunrises will give you one of the most breathtaking experiences ever. And snapping a couple of shots of the event will provide you with vibrant photos perfect for framing.

Crystal Coast Beaches Make the Perfect Photo Backdrops  Surfing Emerald Isle Beaches

Capture panoramic coastal views atop the iconic Cape Lookout Lighthouse

Another hotspot for stunning coastal views is Cape Lookout National Seashore! This peaceful location is popular with locals and visitors alike and provides you with some unique views for photography. Something sure to catch your eye is the bold, black and white Cape Lookout Lighthouse. This beautiful, iconic structure is the perfect background for that vacation selfie or a new wallpaper for your phone. Known as the Diamond Lady, visitors can visit this famous landmark from mid-May through September. Be sure to climb to the top for even more photo opportunities!

There’s a lot more to this 56-mile stretch of nature than the beach. It is home to wild Banker horses and various coastal birds, so be sure to pack your long lens or use digital zoom.

Beautiful views from Cape Lookout  Family Photos atop Cape Lookout Lighthouse

Fill your album with breathtaking shoreline views from Bogue Inlet Pier

Another seaside wonder you’ll want to visit for some memorable photos is Bogue Inlet Pier! While it’s gained quite the reputation as a prime location for fishing, it’s also excellent for birdwatching and getting an elevated look at Emerald Isle. The pier provides you with breathtaking views of the shoreline that you simply can’t find anywhere else. Plan an afternoon visit, stay until sunset and witness Emerald Isle light up as the night sets in. Don’t be surprised if you look back on these photos the most in your digital album.

Ocean Views from Emerald Isle Beaches  Sunset Views at Bogue Inlet Pier

Venture off-road for scenic shots at Croatan National Forest

There’s also an excellent selection of trails for hiking, biking or just taking a walk on Emerald Isle. Destinations like the Croatan National Forest provide you with all these options. This coastal woodland is home to various habitats and ecosystems that any outdoor enthusiast will enjoy taking pictures of!

Scenery at Croatan National Forest  Scenic views at Croatan National Forest

Take on one of the trails and strap on a GoPro as you venture through swamplands and even pine forests. One notable trail you won’t want to miss is the Patsy Pond Nature Trail. It winds through the “Longleaf Pine Flat Woods,” filled with bright longleaf pines and is home to deer, a variety of birds and the elusive Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers!

Deer on Trails in Emerald Isle  Scenic Views at Patsy Pond Nature Trail

Snap stunning selfies on the water

There’s more than one way to get out on the waters of the Crystal Coast! There’s nothing like getting a selfie while you row through reflective waters with the backdrop of a sunset sky! Whether you are touring the waterways on a paddleboard or gliding along Bogue Sound in a kayak, there’s more than one way to stretch your sea legs and capture stunning images of the scenery. If you don’t have your board or kayak, don’t worry, there are plenty of local rental services ready to help you venture out on the water.

Kayaking on Bogue Sound  Selfies on the Water

Capture a moment in history at Fort Macon State Park

Another can’t-miss wonder along the coast is Fort Macon State Park. Located on the eastern end of Bogue Banks in Atlantic Beach, this fort is a popular location for history enthusiasts. It’s filled with a vast history of wartime events spanning from the 1700s until its official closure in 1903. Since Fort Macon is part of North Carolina State’s Park System, the conservation of salt marshes and estuaries has been strict and has allowed the natural beauty to flourish. These preserved locations near Fort Macon State Park provide you with the perfect opportunity to capture the raw beauty of the area, as well as excellent places to capture pictures of the area’s birds.

Fort Macon State Park is the perfect spot for photos. The outside of the fort itself offers exceptional photo opportunities. Tours are also available year-round, adding to its photo appeal. Check the park’s calendar and plan your visit during one of their battle reenactments that take place throughout the year.

Cannons at Fort Macon State Park  Fort Macon State Park

Picture yourself on an Emerald Isle getaway today!

One more tip for capturing memorable photos: scheduling your getaway with Emerald Isle Realty! With plenty of family-friendly attractions, charming communities and more than 700 rental properties, you are sure to find the perfect vacation spot for your photography goals.


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Best Photo Spots Around Emerald Isle



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