Beaches on the Southern Coast of North Carolina - Wilmington, Pleasure Island, Top Sail Island, Ocean Isle Beach - Tourist Attractions, Oceanfront Resorts

This guide has information about North Carolina beaches on the Outer Banks and other areas along the coastal region.

There are over 350 miles of shoreline along the North Carolina coast and Outer Banks. You can find shoreline rentals, cottages for rent, beach vacation rentals, resorts, villas, inns, suites, apartments, vacation studios and other accommodations.

Getting Around

North Carolina has the 2nd largest ferry system in the US. Reservations are recommended for the Cedar Island Ocracoke ferry and the Swan Quarter Ocracoke ferry.

The main road on the mainland is US17 or the Kings Highway. It follows the coastline.

Alligator River National Wildlife refuge - Dare county mainland - wetlands. The Outer Banks is the northernmost habitat of the American Alligator.

NC Aquariums are in 3 Locations: Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores and Fort Fisher on Pleasure Island. The Aquariums feature sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, colorful fish, Moray eels, otters and more marine animals with hands on exhibits.

Calabash  is off US 17 just over the SC / NC line. The town is noted for its Seafood.

Camp Lejeune Marine Base is in Jacksonville. The closest beaches to the base are as follows: North: Hammock's Beach State Park (Swansboro) South: Topsail Island Beaches (Sneads Ferry). closest Large city Jacksonville.

Carolina Beach is on Pleasure Island.

The Cape Fear Coast includes Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Southport,  Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, Bald Head Island, Top Sail Island, Surf City and Masonboro Island.

building a sand castleFort Fisher is on Pleasure Island. It was a Confederate fort that protected the port of Wilmington, known as the Gibraltar of the South. The fort has exhibits of artifacts from sunken blockade runners ships.

Harkers Island attractions include Core Sound Waterfowl museum with exhibits of hand carved decoy ducks.

 Jacksonville is the location of the Camp Lejeune Marine Base. It is near Hammock's Beach State Park, Swansboro, Topsail Island Beaches Sneads Ferry, New Bern.

Kure Beach is on Pleasure Island.

New Bern is near Jacksonville and Oriental NC, Minnesott Beach (ferry).

Ocean Isle Beach is a few miles North of the SC Border.sunset over the ocean

Pleasure Island contains Kure Beach, Carolina Beach and Fort Fisher.

Shallotte is between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach.

Southport is South of Wilmington, near the Brunswick Islands, Oak Island, Long Beach, Caswell Beach,  Holden Beach, Shallotte, Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Yaupon Beach.

surfSunset Beach is near Myrtle Beach SC.

Swansboro is a fishing village with ferry service.

Swan Quarter is in Hyde county. The town of Swan quarter is known for the church moved by the hand of God, Providence church during a hurricane floated to its current location. Offers ferry service to Orcacoke Island and the mainland.

Topsail Island is near Sneeds Ferry, Surf City, Topsail Beach, North Topsail Beach.

Washington is close to Bath, Goose Creek State Park, Pamlico Beach.

Wilmington is an old historic city with beaches nearby.

Wrightsville Beach is close to Wilmington.