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Where to stay on NC coast in July?

Melbourne, Australia
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Where to stay on NC coast in July?

We (best friend and I) are looking for a spot anywhere along coastal NC where we can rent a house on (or very near) the beach for a week. We are hoping for a destination that is not too crowded or built-up, that can give us a dose of nature and semi-private beaches while still providing options for places to go food shopping, restaurant hopping, plus a little shopping and people watching.

And we want all of this at the end of July. Is this too much to ask?

We had considered the Outer Banks, but that seems to be a tourist hot-spot. I'll be visiting from Australia and would like a nice, relaxing holiday that will make me feel it was worth the 32 hours of travel time!

Please help :)

Raleigh, North...
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1. Re: Where to stay on NC coast in July?

There are so many good choices but I will suggest looking into Beacon's Reach which is a very nice community with beach and sound access located in Pine Knoll Shores between Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle. It is largely self contained but is very convenient to restaurants, shopping, the NC Aquarium, and excursions to Morehead City and Beaufort. The sound side marina is an especially nice place to check out wildlife and view a sunset, especially at low tide. The beach is about as uncrowded as you will find at that time

Chapel Hill, North...
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2. Re: Where to stay on NC coast in July?

Well, most of the NC coast is built up with summer vacation (holiday) "cottages" (big houses). I don't think you'll find many of the kinds of private beaches I have seen pix of in Oz, but there are a few spots that are preserved as natural beaches. Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks is one. Bird Island is a small natural sanctuary abutting Sunset Beach. Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout on the Crystal Coast (Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Beaufort/Morehead City area) is another. You might like Ocracoke, south of Nag's Head, Kitty Hawk, Hatteras, etc, too. The town is on the sound side and there are no houses on the beach which is national seashore. It is not as accessible as Nags Head, etc, so it takes a little more effort to get there.

I hope you're not flying 32 hrs just to go to NC beaches! I love them, but you've got some amazing beaches in Australia!! Check out NC's mountains, too, while you're here. Might be something a little different from Oz.

Edited: 12 March 2014, 20:30
Wilmington, NC
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3. Re: Where to stay on NC coast in July?

I'd suggest Kure Beach or Topsail Beach. Kure beach is right outside of Wilmington and Carolina Beach, both of which are very "local" summer towns. Wilmington has a large University and a great local downtown scene for cool restaurants, River Walk, even Screen Gems studios which has most recently been a filming location for Iron Man 3. Carolina Beach gets crowded in the summer, but there are very few high rises and most commercialization is centralized to one area, past that is Kure Beach. It's a great place to go if you want to be somewhat secluded, but have access to dining, shopping and bars.

Topsail is much less commercialized. There is not even a large chain grocery store on the island. It's the way to go if you're looking for a more quiet, secluded beach. It still gets somewhat busy in the summer though.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Where to stay on NC coast in July?

Thanks for all your suggestions. Seems we have quite a few good choices before us.

Panchopup - I'm not flying 32 hours just for NC! I'm visiting family and will be hitting Cali, ME, MA, RI, NY and VA (hence needing some super relaxing beach time!).

Clemmons, North...
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for North Carolina, Winston Salem
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5. Re: Where to stay on NC coast in July?

Great suggestions above. I just wanted to add that there are many more possibilities to consider...Sunset Beach, Holden Beach, Oak Island, Surf City, and any of the southern Outer Banks villages like Avon, Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, etc., although the Outer Banks destinations may be too remote as there are not a lot of shopping and restaurant opportunities close by.

Google any of the above for more info. This site is also full of information about the NC beaches: http://www.ncbeaches.com/

Good luck!

Any Beach
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for Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, West Virginia
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6. Re: Where to stay on NC coast in July?

Carolina Beach/Kure Beach. Great, small, quieter, family beach area. Lots of houses and nice condos to rent. NC Aquarium, Ft. Fisher Museum, Southport Ferry, USS North Carolina Battleship...all in that area.

7. Re: Where to stay on NC coast in July?

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