Named for its stand out quality as a shining gem off the coast of North Carolina, Emerald Isle comprises the westernmost 13 miles of Bogue Banks barrier island of the southern Outer Banks. 12 miles in length, 1 mile across at its widest and less than a quarter mile at its narrowest, this island ensures that its visitors will never be far from the ocean and its bounty. With gorgeous vacation rentals comprising 70% of the housing on the island, you are bound to find the perfect home for you and whomever you choose to take with you on your fun-filled vacation.
There are over 100 public water-access locations to the beach and the sound with plenty of parking for cars, bikes, skateboards or whatever means you choose to travel by. The miles of multi-use paths make it easy to get around the island and meet your friends and family at a picnic pavilion, on the volleyball court, or at the playground. Emerald Isle strives to maintain a family beach image and to foster the small town atmosphere, ensuring that you will feel right at home for the duration of your vacation.
During your vacation you will do much more than just get around the island. Enjoy the vast array of aquatic activities including swimming, fishing, surfing, snorkling, scuba diving, boating, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, shell hunting and more. There are also many opportunities for volunteering - a great way to become an integral part of the local community.
No beach town would be complete without stellar seafood, and Emerald Isle has fresh fare aplenty. Make your friends green with envy as your enjoy a delicious, fun-filled vacation on the beaches of Emerald Isle, North Carolina.
Beaufort Historic Site
100 Block Turner Street, Beaufort, NC 28516
Take a trip back in time, have fun with history, and become immersed in North Carolina’s rich culture in the third oldest town in the state. This depiction of life in the 18th and 19th century includes nine authentically restored buildings open for tours all year. This coastal city is rich with heritage, demonstrated through numerous educational programs, guided tours, and events which depict the lifestyle during this time in history.
North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
1 Roosevelt Blvd. Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512
Visit one, two, or all three of the beautiful aquariums located on the coast of North Carolina – each offers something new and exciting. The Roanoke Island Aquarium, located on the Outer Banks, hosts 68,000 square feet of sharks, sea turtles, eels, and other native aquatic life. Children are invited to visit exhibits such as the marine-life “touch tank” housing live crabs and sea starts. The Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium will allow you to feel the spray of a mountain waterfall while touching... read more
Visit one, two, or all three of the beautiful aquariums located on the coast of North Carolina – each offers something new and exciting. The Roanoke Island Aquarium, located on the Outer Banks, hosts 68,000 square feet of sharks, sea turtles, eels, and other native aquatic life. Children are invited to visit exhibits such as the marine-life “touch tank” housing live crabs and sea starts. The Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium will allow you to feel the spray of a mountain waterfall while touching stingrays and coming face-to-face with live sharks. Finally, the Fort Fisher Aquarium is located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River and all visitors are dared to take a journey down the “Waters of Cape Fear.” read less
Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament
405 Evans Street, Suite A, Morehead City, NC 28557
Venture to the premier spot for marlin fishing on the East Coast for the “Super Bowl” of fishing tournaments and battle with past champions. For the past 13 years, the total winnings have topped 1 million dollars and have been on the rise since 1974. Register today for your shot at the big prize and take home the biggest marlin!
St. Patrick's Festival
Emerald Plantation Shopping Center 8700 N.C. Hwy. 58 Emerald Isle, NC
Celebrate the beginning of spring with this festive March event. It is held on the Saturday prior to St. Patrick's Day at Emerald Plantation Shopping Center. It is a fun day filled with activities for the entire family! There is no admission fee - come join the fun! 9am - 5pm - see you there!
Fish Tales Town Creek
232-A W. Beaufort Rd. Beaufort, NC 28516
Located on the water in Beaufort, Fish Tales is the perfect place to find a variety of seafood, chicken, and many other dishes, providing something for everyone. Bring the whole family and enjoy the scene while enjoying your fresh seafood. Or, stop by a little later to see the sunset from the Tiki Bar and indulge in a few drinks while listening to live music.
Emerald Plantation Shopping Ctr. MM 20, N.C Hwy. 58 Emerald Isle, NC
This family oriented restaurant on the Emerald Isle is open every day from 11 am to 10 pm and is great for groups and families of all sizes. The large portions will fill you up and the friendly wait staff will keep a smile on everyone’s face. Outdoor seating is available in the summer, or if you want to want to be a bit more comfortable, take-out is an option as well.
Ballyhoo's Island Sports Grill
140 Fairview Dr. Emerald Isle, NC 28594
Ballyhoo’s is a local favorite on the Isle, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner year round, always with a side of good times. Late night starts at 10 pm for those 21 or older, and provides the largest selection of Ales and specialty brews. Stop by during the winter to catch your favorite team play or just hang out with friends. Catering is available for large events.
Kathryn's Bistro and Martini Bar
8002 Emerald Drive, Emerald Isle
Kathryn’s serves classic American dishes in a more traditional, fine-dining atmosphere. Come visit for a tasting of some of the best seafood and steaks in the area and an extensive choice of drinks from the full martini bar.
Emerald Isle - Insider Info
Plan your entire vacation on the gorgeous Emerald Isle using all insider information and tips from locals. Find advice from moving to the area to fun-filled family activities to planning your perfect wedding. Visitors just staying the day can also find assistance in planning the perfect activities and outings. If you’re feeling brave, venture outside of the island and discover the many other destinations along North Carolina’s Southern and Central coasts.