Family Fun in North Carolina’s Crystal Coast


There is plenty of fun activities to do with the family in North Carolina’s Crystal Coast!

From the beach to Blackbeard, putt-putt to parasailing, the Crystal Coast offers exciting activities for all ages.

For some kids, a plastic bucket, shovel and plot of sand are all they need for a day’s worth of entertainment. From swimming to sandcastle building, shell searching to just plain goofing around, family fun on the beach is what makes a vacation to the Crystal Coast so memorable.

beach path

Path to the Beach

But beyond the beach, you’ll also find numerous activities to entertain the whole family, from the 5-year-old balls of energy to those hard-to-please teenagers. Spend a day at one of the many amusement parks in the area, which offer everything from bumper boats to go-kart racing, rock climbing walls to water slides. Many attractions stay open well after the sun sets, ensuring a full day’s worth of fun. Mini-golf is particularly popular, day and night. Challenge the family to 18 holes of putt-putt through waterfalls and windmills on one of the area’s lighted and extravagant courses.

Even the kids will enjoy a history lesson at the Crystal Coast’s own captivating museums and historic areas.

  • Visit the Beaufort Historic Site, and get a glimpse of what this coastal region was like during the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Catch a glimpse of some of Blackbeard’s treasures and personal belongings at the North Carolina Maritime Museum
  • A recent addition is the North Carolina History Education Center located in New Bern, with 60,000 square feet of interactive fun for all ages
  • Get up close and personal with nature at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, which showcases local wildlife from the land and sea and provides interesting facts about the region’s ecosystem.
  • Hop on a ferry to Cape Lookout National Seashore and explore maritime forests and pristine beaches
  • Head to Shackleford Banks and look for wild ponies grazing on the beach or seeking shade under the trees. There are several nature cruises that take visitors to places inaccessible by foot, with knowledgeable guides pointing out plant life, birds and animals on shore.

Of course, there are dozens of ways to get out on the water and explore. Rent a speedboat or wave runner, and set your own course across turquoise waters. The wind and the ocean spray will be a welcome cool-off after a day spent sunning on the beach. Other ways to explore the wide open seas include:

  • Sailing
  • Sunset cruises
  • Parasailing
  • Dolphin-watching trips
  • Fishing charters
  • Kayak excursions

With all these entertaining options plus miles and miles of beautiful beaches to explore, the Crystal Coast tops the list of any family seeking the ultimate beach vacation.

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