15 Best Things to Do in Atlantic Beach, NC

15 Best Things to Do in Atlantic Beach, NC

Welcome to one of the five communities of Bogue banks, the massive Atlantic Beach, a great town with a rich history. This is the perfect spot if you love beaches and to chill in the sun. It is essentially a barrier island located offshore on the Atlantic coast surrounded by water and shorelines. It has a great climate throughout the year which is basically subtropical and the winters are mild and not very long. But the summers are hot and humid and very long. So if you are a summer baby and love basking in the sun and beaches, then this is the place for you.

Explore the fort at Fort Macon State Park

Fort Macon state park
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The famous Fort Macon where the Battle of Fort Macon was fought during 1862, today stands with pride and rebuilt and restored fully to its former glory.
The State Park though comparatively smaller in area than other State Parks, is still the second most visited State Park in the entire North Carolina with a huge number of tourists and visitors throughout the year.

It is located just near to Atlantic Beach and was made open to the public in 1936. There is no admission fee or parking fee and it is entirely open to the public around. Enjoy a variety of activities like swimming, guided tours, surf fishing, nature trails and a bath house. The park is very beautiful and there are green lawns spread all around. It is also very important from a historical point of view hence attracting many tourists.

Have fun with your kids at the Atlantic Beach Town Park

This is the perfect spot to vacation with your kids. Since it has many options like a traditional playground, a skate park, a miniature golf course and even a splash pad, it's very beautiful. And there are a variety of activities that you can do like hiking or walking in the nature trails.

The skate park is well built with some challenging areas as well. During the summers drive in movies are also hosted in the parking lot sometimes. There is also a half-court basketball court. The restrooms are clean. You can also pack a picnic lunch and have a lunch date with your family at the picnic shelter and shaded tables. The park remains open all seven days of the week. Mini golf is chargeable at a nominal charge of dollar five per person while the rest is free.

Watch fish play at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

Jellyfish at Pine Knoll Shores NC Aquarium
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This huge aquarium site is a really fun place to visit, where you can learn about a variety of fishes and look at them. They even have a ship wreck, fashioned and modeled on a real wreck, which you can explore.
Get your kids to learn and unleash that inner pirate. With 1000s of aquatic animals on display, it's a colorful and wonderful sight. River otters are also kept in a special enclosed area.

Some of the rare species that you can look here include sea turtles and stingrays. Nurturing of tortoises is also carried out here and you can actually watch a loggerhead sea turtle hatch out of eggs and a cute hatchling flip about and reach the shores. A special play area is also constructed called the Alice Hoffman nature trail, which has a tree house, a climbing net, a swinging bridge and even slides for your little kid to keep playing.

Tour the nearby town of Beaufort Historic Site

Beaufort Historic site
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Visit a variety of historically important places like the old jail, the John C. Manson house and more. On this historic site, you can even take the double decker bus tour where you get to sit on a classic 1967 English double decker bus. They also have narrators on the bus itself, who keep giving you information and telling you stories from the past as you go about visiting.

Another great attraction is the apothecary shop and doctor's office that has pharmaceutical and medicinal art pieces which were used during the olden times, which date back to as much as 1857. There are also three buildings on the historic building tour where the staff dress up in period dresses and guide you through.

Look at beautiful maritime marine exhibits at the North Carolina Maritime Museum

This museum has a great taste and the exhibit are historically important and culturally significant showpieces. Some larger exhibits include sailboats, and motorboats. A giant heart of a whale is also on display. There are guided tours available that explain various stuff related to marine life such as commercial fishing, a Fresnel lens. Some of the species whose models are on display Include sea monsters like dragons, sharks and even a section and mermaids.

Climb the lighthouse at Cape Lookout National Seashore

Lighthouse in Cape Lookout
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This seashore has everything that you can ask for combined in one. But the best activity that you can do here is climbing the tall and massive Cape Lookout lighthouse. It's really fun and the view from the top is beautiful. You can see the vast expanse of the turquoise blue waves as they hit the shores. Carry along that DSLR and click some really beautiful photographs for your IG. Other than this you can also enjoy a variety of other activities like fishing, boating, camping, horse watching, and shelling. Historic villages are also located nearby where you can take a little detour.

For avid bird lovers, birding is a very beautiful activity since as many as 250 types of different species visit the seashore from time to time. Most of them are endemic and rare to look at. If you're planning to camp at one of the beaches, then please keep in mind that they're remote, so carry along food, water and other necessities that you might need, including trash bags.

View wild horses at the Rachel Carson Reserve

Wild horse on Rachel Carson Reserve
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Originally brought here in the 1940s the horses started thriving in these marshes and have today become one of the major tourist attractions and tourists throng to look at horses in their wild and natural habitat. Maintain safe distances when you be with them, since they're untrained.

Moreover, to visit the reserve, you can only take a private boat or a passenger ferry. So have fun as you Bob on the boat to visit this place, motorboats are also available. You can also opt for canoes and kayaks. Regulated hunting is also a sport that can be enjoyed here. Other than this, the marshes host a variety of natural vegetation, and wildlife. You can observe many plant species including submerged aquatic vegetation, ocean beaches, and even a maritime forest.

Birdwatching is another hobby that everyone loves and there are as many as 200 species to look at, at this migratory flyway. Plovers are also found in abundance here, since it's an important feeding site in the estuaries. Some of the creatures that you can spot include river otters, Marsh rabbits, raccoons, and grey Fox. Make sure that you take an entire day trip to this reserve, since it's huge and there are many activities that you can cover.

Visit the Core Sound waterfowl museum and Heritage Center

Essentially a Heritage Center, it showcases various artifacts from the mid-18th century, which was used in the hunting of waterfowl. Carving was a traditional art and was widely employed by many locals like fishermen and hunting guides and they used to carve a lot. The museum exhibits various carve outs and styles from those days in a variety of collections.

There are really beautiful artifacts on display including those of swans, geese and various other birds. The Gathering room is also very pretty and well maintained and is filled with various artifacts related to hunting. In the library, you can find a variety of books on various themes like birding, hunting, waterfowl, commercial fishing, folklore, community life, among others. Aesthetic art pieces and decoys are also displayed all around. So you can just sit and rest in one of the armchairs with the book in hand and look around and absorb the culture.

Try paddling at Cedar Island Bay, or the Whitehurst Creek paddle

At Cedar Island Bay, you can choose from two locations to start your paddling journey, which is Driftwood campground or the Lola road boat ramp.
As you go about paddling, look around at the various marshlands which houses many marine creatures and sea life and also other birds. You can also look at some of the semi feral cattle that grazes along at the grasses in the area.

At the Whitehurst Creek you can explore a variety of marine birds like egrets, shorebirds, seagulls, pelicans and herons. It begins from the straights landing boat ramp and then extends to the east side. If you visit during the winters than you can gaze at the common bird species like ducks.

Hike on the Hoop pole Creek nature trail

Hoop pole Creek nature trail
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A one mile long hike, this nature trail is very beautiful and gives you a peaceful walk through nature. Most of the part is paved and there is also a sprinkling of boardwalks so it's easy to walk on.

On either sides you can look at salt marshes and estuaries as they flow by and tall trees are also located. If you're visiting during the summers be sure to carry some bug repellent creams since it can get quite exhausting. It's a nice break from the crowds and the beaches. It also has great scenic views and you can also do some nature photography.

Exercise your mind at Game on escape rooms

Escape rooms are always a great way to bond with family or friends and enhance the team spirit among yourselves. Game on escape room is another premium escape room which is one of the top rated fun things to do in Atlantic Beach.
The doctor lab room is especially loved by visitors and is very challenging. This is an especially fun and interactive experience for kids. And there are various other themes to choose from.

Try seafood at the Oceanana Pier and Pier house restaurant

Oceanana Pier
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Take a long stroll on the ocean boardwalk and follow it up with a nice dinner or lunch at the Pier House restaurant serving delectable seafood at great prices.
It's perfect to end a peaceful stroll after spending some time with yourself. Do try the grilled shrimp since it's cooked to perfection and the glaze and sauces are very tasty. The cheeseburgers are also a great catch and do try the bacon cheeseburger.

Try a modern gaming experience at Battle Works Tactical Laser Tag

It's not a typical glow in the dark arena or a typical laser tag game. But a modern version which mixes elements of video games and uses laser tags.
Featuring stimulated electronic weapons and battlefields set in an urban theme, this is a great place to visit with your kids and let out some pent up energy. The light and sound placement and arrangement is terrific. If you are visiting as a small group, you can go for a walk in play and if it's a large group, you can also book in advance.

Dine at the Beach Tavern Bar and Grill

Another famous restaurant that most visitors and tourists swear by is the Beach Tavern Bar and Grill. The food here is amazing and very delicious.  The seafood used in the dishes is all fresh and locally sourced. Some of their must try dishes are the clams. The normal menu like the fries and chips and chicken nuggets alongside juicy burgers are also delicious.

Carry out a shopping haul at Wings Beachwear

Famous for its resort wear and beach wear, Wings beachwear produces and sells great merchandise since its inception in 1978. The clothing is available for all ages.
There is also a swimsuit section which has some really beautiful body suits. The souvenir department houses umbrellas and chairs and other essentials accessories to take to the beach. Select some Cool funky beachwear and sunglasses for the perfect beach look.