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Families Escape to a Winter Wonderland in the Sand Along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

November 25, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Whether naughty or nice, North Carolina’s Crystal Coast invites families to escape the winter blues for a budget-friendly experience, as the Southern Outer Banks — comprised of Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, Beaufort and Cape Lookout — presents affordable attraction and accommodation offerings for families looking to experience it all without breaking the bank, representing more than 40% off peak season rates.

From roaming the streets of Beaufort — recently named one of “America’s Favorite Towns” by Travel + Leisure — to discovering wild Spanish mustangs on Shackleford Banks, exploring countless species at the Aquarium and taking a glimpse back into maritime history, the Crystal Coast remains one of Southeast’s best values. Promising plenty of wallet-friendly adventures for the entire family, the 85 miles of silken shoreline bid the perfect backdrop for a wondrous winter escape with local attractions under $10, including:

Fort Macon State Park FREE
Beaufort Maritime Museum FREE
Cape Lookout Ferry Round trip $10
Beaufort Double Decker Tour Bus Adults $8/Children $4
North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Adults $8/Children $6
Beaufort Historic Site Homes Tours Adults $8/Children $4
Old Burying Grounds Adults $8/Children $4

North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks encourages visitors to experience the culture of the coast with winter sights, concert sounds and stunning firework shows taking place now through December. Yuletide vacationers enjoy a variety of coastal pursuits, such as:


  • Emerald Isle Christmas Parade – Nov. 30


  • Cherished Moments Gingerbread House Competition- Dec. 5-8
  • Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend – Dec. 6-8
  • Morehead Downtown Art Gallery & Tree Lighting – Dec. 6
  • Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla – Dec. 7
  • “Christmas by the Sea” Atlantic Beach – Dec. 7
  • Beaufort Art Walk – Dec. 14
  • Historic Beaufort Candlelight Homes Tour – Dec. 14
  • Morehead City Christmas Parade – Dec. 14
  • Crystal Coast Countdown – Dec. 27 – Jan. 1

After a day spent meandering along the Crystal Coast, travelers looking for a place to rest tired eyes before the next coastal venture find lodging options to suit every lifestyle and budget. From seaside cottages and massive beach mansions to oceanfront condo accommodations and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns. A sampling of best available starting rates include*:

Atlantis Lodge $55-125/night
Islander Inn & Suites $75 /night
Hampton Inn Morehead City $79/night
Inlet Inn $85 /night
Emerald Isle Realty $550/week
Bluewater Vacation Rentals $599/week

Dangling like a delicate strand of pearls off the coast of North Carolina, the favored Atlantic beach destination of generations represents one of the only remaining natural barrier island systems in the World. The Islands are strung together with 85 miles of silken coastline along the southern Outer Banks, 56 miles of which are in the protected Cape Lookout National Seashore. Miles of shimmering water reflects countless tiny suns during the day and shatters the moon into a thousand pieces at night.

To experience the Crystal Coast, call (800) 786-6962, visit or

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