Beach Weekend Getaways from Raleigh to Emerald Isle

For those who don’t mind a little drive, the beautiful and secluded beaches of Emerald Isle, North Carolina offer the perfect setting for relaxing weekend getaways from Raleigh. Located about a three-hour drive from Raleigh-Durham/Chapel Hill down I-40 East is Emerald Isle, one of several quaint beach communities that make up North Carolina’s Crystal Coast.

If you are ready to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, make plans to spend your next weekend getaway from Raleigh in Emerald Isle and enjoy unwinding with your family and friends.

Enjoy Off-Season on the Outer Banks

Visit the southern Outer Banks during the off-season as winter transitions to spring for a quieter and more serene experience. With milder temperatures and longer days in spring, it’s an ideal time for peaceful walks on the less crowded beaches and easy exploration of local attractions.

Relax and Spend Time on the Beach

Emerald Isle, North Carolina’s tranquil beaches offer the perfect backdrop for a short weekend trip from Raleigh. From morning to night, you will find plenty of ways to get out and enjoy some time on the beach.

For the early risers, a jog on the beach with the fresh ocean air is the perfect way to start a day. Spend an afternoon just relaxing on the beaches in Emerald Isle, listening to the sounds of the crashing waves and soaking up the heat from the sun as it slowly warms the shores. Or choose from a countless number of fun outdoor activities during your stay such as surfing, fishing or shelling.

The undisturbed beaches are just steps away from our oceanfront rentals in Emerald Isle. From Classic Carolina beach cottages to the most luxurious Sand Castle homes, enjoy gorgeous ocean views, spacious rooms, gourmet kitchens and plenty of other coveted amenities that will make you feel right at home.

Learn to Paddle Board on Bogue Sound

The nice shallow and calm waters of Bogue Sound make it the perfect place to enjoy an array of fun outdoor activities. Plan your stay in one of our soundfront rentals in Emerald Isle and you will experience Bogue Sound as your backyard, which means that all the fun is just steps away.

Bogue Sound stretches for nearly 25 miles along the Crystal Coast, from Atlantic Beach to Emerald Isle. With its widest point being only about 3 miles, Bogue Sound is a saltwater playground, offering plenty of wide-open space for vacationers to enjoy a myriad of activities.

Emerald Isle Paddle ToursIf you have never tried paddle boarding, there is no better time than now. Paddle your way through the marshes and estuaries of Bogue Sound on a guided tour with Emerald Isle Paddle Tours. This fun outdoor experience will take you along to view some of the wildlife species that abound along the coast. No experience is necessary.

Grill up Some Fresh Local Seafood

Nothing is better after a day at the beach than to head back to your vacation rental to fire up the grill. Choose from several Emerald Isle Realty vacation rentals with gas or charcoal grills, or even find a home that has a full outdoor cooking area.

Are you wondering how to best keep your vacation rental fridge stocked with all the items you need to prepare a delicious dinner? Grocery service is the answer. Lowes Foods offers an online service that makes grocery shopping as easy as possible. Simply place your order online and decide whether you will pick your items up curbside at the store or have them delivered directly to your vacation rental’s doorstep.

Stop at one of the local farmers’ markets in the area to stock up on fresh, locally grown foods. The Cap’n Willis Seafood Market, located in Emerald Isle, offers a great selection of local seafood, fresh off the boats.

The nearby Cedar Point community is home to Winberry Farm, known for its famous Bogue Sound watermelons and other locally grown fresh produce and baked goods. Just down the road is the Cedar Point Salty Air Open Market, an open outdoor market with everything from fresh local produce and pork to eggs and dairy products, in addition to handcrafted wares sold by local artisans and crafters.

The Friendly Market in Morehead City is another great option and is only a short drive from Emerald Isle. Here you’ll find fresh produce, in addition to fresh foods made and packaged daily from the kitchen such as homemade chicken salad and shrimp scampi dip.

Explore Nature on an Outdoor Hike

North Carolina’s Crystal Coast is home to a variety of habitats and ecosystems perfect for exploring and enjoying the beauty of nature. Go for a hike in the Croatan National Forest with its 160,000 acres of beautiful views and coastal scenery found just 10 miles south of New Bern. Two of the most popular trails are the Neusiok Trail and the Patsy Pond Trail. Nature lovers will delight in the plentiful opportunities for birdwatching in this area, with several sites being part of the NC Birding Trail.

Hiking trail at Croatan National Forest
Hiking trail at Croatan National Forest

Emerald Isle Woods Park is another great option with boardwalk access directly to Bogue Sound and a birding trail. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the park. There’s also a disc golf course that meanders through the maritime forest and ends near the Bogue Sound shoreline.

Or take the family on a hike along the Roosevelt Nature Trail, located adjacent to the NC Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores. The 1.5-mile-long trail offers scenic views of the maritime forest and Bogue Sound and is home to various birds and wildlife. The Crystal Coast has plenty of opportunities to experience the great outdoors.

Cool off With a Dip in Your Private Pool

Plan your stay in one of our vacation rentals with pools and enjoy spending time at the beach or just take in those beautiful ocean views from your own private pool. Spend an afternoon lounging on the patio, listening to the kids splashing in the pool, and enjoying some quality time with family or friends.

As the fall season progresses and the weather begins to cool, many of the vacation rentals with pools also have heated options. Or opt for a vacation rental with a hot tub and enjoy a nice warm soak and a glass of wine after a fun-filled day of activities.

Enjoy Your Favorite Coastal Cuisine

Enjoy unique dining experiences at restaurants in Emerald Isle and the surrounding beach communities. From fresh seafood to mouthwatering barbeque, there’s something for everyone here.

Start with breakfast at Yana’s Restaurant, located in the Yana Mama’s 50’s Memorabilia Shoppe, across the bridge in Swansboro. This 50’s themed restaurant serves delicious breakfast featuring American fare, and their fruit fritters are a must-eat.

Enjoy an excellent lunch at Rucker Johns, located in the Emerald Plantation Shopping Center. Try one of their juicy burgers or enjoy a specialty sandwich.

For dinner, you can’t go wrong with Caribsea. From exceptional steaks to delicious fresh local seafood to signature cocktails, this waterfront restaurant is a favorite amongst visitors and locals alike. And the rooftop is a great place to catch a sunset.

Just make sure to call ahead before heading out for your meal. If you prefer to dine out on the deck at your vacation home, many of the area restaurants have take-out and delivery options.

Bike to The Point to Watch a Sunset

Amazing panoramic views are synonymous with Emerald Isle. From views of the Atlantic Ocean as the sun begins to rise in the morning to some of the most incredible sunsets over Bogue Sound at night, each one somehow more breathtaking than the last.

The Point in Emerald Isle is considered one of the best beaches and a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Located at Bogue Inlet, on the farthest western side of Emerald Isle where the coast tapers off, The Point is known for its great fishing and surfing, but most of all, the incredible unobstructed views of the water. It is also a great place to do a little shelling and there is a good chance you may spot a few dolphins frolicking in the coastal waters.

The area is home to the Coast Guard Station and near the bike path on Coast Guard Road. The Emerald Path is an 11-mile pathway that stretches from the small town of Indian Beach to The Point. Following County Road 58, the path winds through grassy areas and woodlands, right into downtown Emerald Isle where you’ll find a variety of shopping and dining options.

A late afternoon bike ride down Emerald Path is a great way to get outdoors, do some exploring, and get a little exercise at the same time. There are plenty of places that offer bike rentals nearby and the magnificent sunset views that await along the coast are definitely worth the time spent.

Save with Weekend Getaway Deals on Vacation Rentals

Ready to start planning that weekend getaway? Spur-of-the-moment getaways to Emerald Isle are exciting, relaxing and great for the soul. Check out our list of vacation rentals offering last-minute specials, as well as off-season vacation rentals with discounted rates.

Tailor your Weekend Getaway with Nightly Rentals

Our nightly rental options are here to ensure your stay is exactly as long as you need it to be. Whether it’s a quick break or an extended weekend retreat by the sea, we’ve got you covered. Emerald Isle Realty provides a vast array of accommodations, from quaint oceanfront cottages granting immediate beach access, to opulent condos and roomy duplexes, catering to every taste and budget.

Our diverse property selections are designed to meet your specific needs, allowing you the freedom to plan a trip that aligns seamlessly with your desires and timetable. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Emerald Isle’s natural beauty and enjoy the plethora of leisure activities at your doorstep. Our nightly rentals offer the flexibility you crave to make your coastal escape truly unforgettable.

With so many options and reasons to visit, Emerald Isle is the perfect place to do as little or as much as you would like for your weekend getaway from Raleigh. From sparsely crowded beaches where you can enjoy shelling and maybe even find a shark tooth or two, to viewing some of the most stunning sunsets of any area along the North Carolina coast, it’s the ultimate destination to relax and unwind.

The beach, sun and fun are just a short drive away, so start planning your beach weekend getaway from Raleigh-Durham/Chapel Hill to Emerald Isle today!

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