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Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

Clarkston, MI
2 posts
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Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

Hi there,

I am trying to plan a trip for this summer for my family, my parents and my in-laws. We have 3 kids, 5, 9 and 12. We've been to the Outer Banks and have always stayed around Kitty Hawk. We're looking for a place where we can rent a house on the beach (for not a ton of $), where it's not too crowded and commercial but close to activities for the kids to do. Also, close to shopping and some restaurants. My parents have been to Topsail and Oak Island. Trying to find a good place to make everyone happy!

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Outer Banks
Outer Banks
North Carolina Coast, NC
Kitty Hawk
Kitty Hawk
Outer Banks, NC
Topsail Island
Topsail Island
North Carolina Coast, NC
Oak Island
Oak Island
North Carolina Coast, NC
Winston-Salem, NC
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1. Re: Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

Emerald Isle/Pine Knoll Shores is a good beach area to consider. It's not overly commercial and close enough to dining and nearby activities in Atlantic Beach/Morehead City/ Beaufort.

There's the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium for kids also.

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Emerald Isle
Emerald Isle
North Carolina Coast, NC
Pine Knoll Shores
Pine Knoll Shores
North Carolina Coast, NC
Atlantic Beach
Atlantic Beach
North Carolina Coast, NC
Morehead City
Morehead City
North Carolina Coast, NC
Beaufort
Beaufort
North Carolina Coast, NC
Columbus
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2. Re: Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

Our family LOVES Emerald Isle. Lots of great beach houses (we've rented with Sun Surf Realty with much luck). Never crowded. Good restaurants and just enough to do.

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Emerald Isle
Emerald Isle
North Carolina Coast, NC
Any Beach
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for Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, West Virginia
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3. Re: Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

The Carolina Beach/Kure Beach area would be perfect.

Very close to Wilmington..about 20 minutes...if you want a larger city

atmosphere for shopping and dining. Also about one hour from Myrtle Beach....LOTS of things going on there. Very commercial.

But the CB/KB area is great! Small, quaint , friendly little beach town.

Try Bullard Realty.

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Carolina Beach
Carolina Beach
North Carolina
Kure Beach
Kure Beach
North Carolina Coast, NC
Wilmington
Wilmington
North Carolina Coast, NC
Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach
Coastal South Carolina, SC
Clemmons, North...
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for North Carolina, Winston Salem
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4. Re: Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

Hi mizabs,

Good recommendations above. In fact, the good news is that you won't go wrong no matter what beach you choose. So you really don't need to worry so much about where you end up. Here's a bit of overview info that may help you decide:

In general, NC beaches can be grouped into four "areas". For the sake of our discussion, I'll consider the Outer Banks as one area. Since you've been there, no need to dwell on it other than to say the OB beaches are not as "user friendly" as the more southern beaches. The water is cooler and rougher, and the sand has a rough feel that's sometimes downright uncomfortable in bare feet. Still, I love the OB!

The next area includes the Jacksonville/Morehead City area beaches--Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Surf City, North Topsail. Beautiful beaches, with not a whole lot of commercialism other than fishing piers, small arcades, restaurants and shops.

Next are the Wilmington area beaches, including Wrightsville, Carolina, Kure, and Caswell beaches. These beaches are just a little more developed than the Jacksonville beaches above, but still are relatively quiet, family beaches. They have the advantage of being near Wilmington, where you'll find lots of things to do, restaurants, shopping, etc.

Finally, we have the South Brunswick beaches--Holden, Ocean Isle, and Sunset. I have to say these are my favorites, partly because I went there often as a kid. Wide, beautiful, uncrowded beaches, and just a short drive from all the action in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Good luck in your search. As I said, you won't go wrong!

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Outer Banks
Outer Banks
North Carolina Coast, NC
Jacksonville
Jacksonville
North Carolina Coast, NC
Morehead City
Morehead City
North Carolina Coast, NC
Atlantic Beach
Atlantic Beach
North Carolina Coast, NC
Emerald Isle
Emerald Isle
North Carolina Coast, NC
Surf City
Surf City
Topsail Island, NC
North Topsail Beach
North Topsail Beach
Topsail Island, NC
Wilmington
Wilmington
North Carolina Coast, NC
Wrightsville Beach
Wrightsville Beach
North Carolina
The Carolina Inn
The Carolina Inn
1,511 Reviews
Chapel Hill, NC
Kure Beach
Kure Beach
North Carolina Coast, NC
Brunswick
Brunswick
Golden Isles of Georgia, GA
Holden Beach
Holden Beach
North Carolina Coast, NC
Ocean Isle Beach
Ocean Isle Beach
North Carolina
Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach
Coastal South Carolina, SC
Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

We like the Wrightsville Beach area because there is shopping and restaurants nearby. The beach is nice and very family friendly. It is close enough to Wilmington to enjoy some of the sites there also.

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Wrightsville Beach
Wrightsville Beach
North Carolina
Wilmington
Wilmington
North Carolina Coast, NC
Chillicothe, Ohio
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6. Re: Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

Like one of the previous comments..our family has always loved Emerald Isle. This year will be our 9th time! The whole stretch of beaches is awesome..Emerald Isle is on the southern tip..in between is Salter Path, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and the northern tip is Atlantic Beach. We have stayed in EI and Pine Knoll Shores. The tips will have most of your commercial areas and grocery stores (we actually go into Morehead City to do our grocery shopping). We love Pine Knoll Shores (very quiet & residential) and have stayed at the Breakers through Emerald Isle Realty four years in a row! Again..the only drawback is the drive to the store..but we usually just load up on groceries and enjoy the beach! If you decide on where to go.....let me know.....we have stayed at almost all the condo complexes!

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Emerald Isle
Emerald Isle
North Carolina Coast, NC
Pine Knoll Shores
Pine Knoll Shores
North Carolina Coast, NC
Atlantic Beach
Atlantic Beach
North Carolina Coast, NC
Morehead City
Morehead City
North Carolina Coast, NC
Mississippi
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7. Re: Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

I second Wrightsville Beach. Wilmington is a great town for shopping and dining. The kids might like the Battleship tour also.

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Wrightsville Beach
Wrightsville Beach
North Carolina
Wilmington
Wilmington
North Carolina Coast, NC
Battleship NORTH CAROLINA
Battleship NORTH CAROLINA
2,987 Reviews
Wilmington, NC
Maryland
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8. Re: Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

any advice or thoughts about Indian Beach and/or the Ocean Club complex?

Chillicothe, Ohio
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9. Re: Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

I believe the Ocean Club is new? It seems a few years back we were eating in Indian Beach and we were told the place was going to be demolished to make way for some big fancy oceanfront complex? I could be wrong...however..the area is really nice. There is a mini-golf place & a few places to eat right there.....jet ski rental place on the sound side. It isn't commercialized yet. We have stayed in Sound of the Sea, The Breakers (Pine Knoll) and Pebble Beach. Each place has its perks....but I have to say if you go anywhere on the Crystal Coast (EI, Pine Knoll, Salter Path, Indian Beach or Atlantic Beach..you cannot go wrong!!!

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Atlantic Beach
Atlantic Beach
North Carolina Coast, NC
Bel Air, Maryland
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10. Re: Help! Trying to choose beach town for extended family vaca.

Carolina Beach is close to Fort Fisher, has an aquariam, you can take the ferry over to SouthPort for lunch, has fireworks on the beach every Thursday, has a lake with paddle boats , Wilmington is GREAT, I grew up there and I am going to Carolina Beach myself in August for a week, can't wait. Wrightsville Beach is also wonderful, great pier with good lunch foods, (newish steel pier), pretty beach. Myrtle beach is SO crowded and commercial, kind of like Vegas. Ok though if that is what you like.

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Carolina Beach
Carolina Beach
North Carolina
Southport
Southport
North Carolina Coast, NC
Wilmington
Wilmington
North Carolina Coast, NC
Wrightsville Beach
Wrightsville Beach
North Carolina