By Emerald Isle Realty

May 24, 2023

Most  Instagrammable  Spots on  North Carolina's Crystal Coast

As one of the state’s top coastal destinations, the Crystal Coast is home to some of the most incredible natural scenery and picturesque spots you’ll find anywhere along the coast. 

Whether you’re enjoying some time away with friends or taking the family for your annual beach vacation, here are some of the most Instagrammable spots along the Crystal Coast to capture on your beach vacation.

There are precious few places like the Crystal Coast, an 85-mile stretch of gin-clear waters, emerald, green cord grass and some of the most celebrated beaches in the world.

Endless ocean views from Crystal Coast beaches

From touring the waterways on a paddleboard to catching waves on a boogieboard or surfboard, you’ll find plenty of ways to capture some fun photos on the water!

Capture fun photos on the water

Cast a line off Bogue Inlet Pier or just relax and unwind with a walk down the pier to take in some of the fresh ocean air and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Bogue Inlet Pier is a favorite photo spot

Cape Lookout National Seashore is home to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. This beautiful, iconic structure is the perfect background for that vacation selfie.

Cape Lookout National Seashore is a hotspot for stunning views

The Point is located at the westernmost tip of Emerald Isle and is a hotspot for fishing, shelling and capturing photos of the magnificent ocean and sound views. 

Scenic shots abound at The Point

End the day with a visit to The Point for some of the most spectacular sunset views on the coast. 

Sunsets at The Point

See the magnificent wild horses that roam Shackleford Banks and spend time exploring the island, swimming, fishing and shelling.

Snap a photo of the infamous wild horses 

Venture down trails through swamplands and pine forests that offer plenty of opportunities for capturing birds and wildlife in their natural habitats.

Venture off-road for scenic shots at Croatan National Forest

In addition to guided tours through the 19th-century fort, Fort Macon also has scenic nature trails and a swimming beach, making it a fun outing for the whole family.

Capture a moment in history at Fort Macon

Go behind-the-scenes of the colonial homes and buildings and learn about the town’s vast history on a walking tour at Beaufort Historic Site.

Take photos on a tour of historic Beaufort

This 2,000-acre area is in an estuary where fresh river and salty ocean waters mix. Here you can snap stunning photos of living shorelines, the wild horses and more.

Get stunning photos at Rachel Carson Reserve

Explore the natural surroundings and unspoiled beauty of the sound with its vast mazes of tidal creeks and saltwater marshes from your boat, dock, kayak or paddleboard.

Photo ops abound on Bogue Sound

The waterway runs along the coast and is filled with barrier islands, inlets and channels that offer endless opportunities for exploration.

Capture your adventures along the Intracoastal Waterway

Grab your hiking boots and head out on one of the two trails that wind through dunes and marshes and lead to incredible views of the coast’s natural landscape.

Snap a few pics at the Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area

Take a stroll along the waterfront to enjoy the views of Sugarloaf Island and local charter fishing vessels coming and going out of the harbor.

Find eye-catching scenic spots throughout Morehead City

Go wreck-diving off the coast of Morehead City. This underwater adventure makes for a truly unique photo op and experience that will be remembered for years to come.

Capture photos on an underwater adventure

Hike the nature trail through maritime forest that leads to views of a salt marsh and the estuary where Hoop Pool Creek flows into Bogue Sound. 

Hoop Pole Creek Nature Trail is filled with scenic photo spots

Rent a canoe, kayak or paddle board from a local shop and explore the waters around the undeveloped barrier land of Hammocks Beach State Park on Bear Island.

Get incredible photos at Bear Island

Whether you prefer Bogue Sound as your backyard or the beach only a few steps away, our vacation rentals offer the perfect setting for capturing photos of your vacation. 

Grab a pic from your vacation rental

Picture yourself on a Crystal Coast getaway today! With plenty of family-friendly attractions, charming communities and more than 700 vacation rentals, you're sure to find the perfect photo spots to capture memories on your beach vacation.

Special thanks to Sam Bland & Jim Snyder for their photo contributions.