10 Ways to Kickoff Your New Year on the Crystal Coast


Can you believe how quickly the year has flown by? It seems like just yesterday I was writing about how to create your own 2015 resolution calendar, and now is the time to be preparing for a brand new year! We hope that your Christmas was a wonderful time spent with friends and family while you were vacationing here in Emerald Isle, but don’t let the post-Christmas blues get you down!

Now’s the time to start preparing for the New Year and getting excited about all of the fun events that will be taking place along the coast in January 2016!

1. Resolution Run 1 Mile & 5K

We all know that one of the top New Year’s resolutions is to get healthy, get in shape, and then actually stay in shape! So, to help you get a kickstart on this resolution, a one mile and a 5K Resolution Run will be taking place in Beautiful downtown Beaufort on the first of January. So, get into gear and have fun as you begin your New Year’s resolution right on time!

2. First Climb at Cape Lookoutcape-lookout-lighthouse

Another New Year’s resolution that has always been on my list is to travel, make memories, and get a new perspective on the world around me. If you’re like me, then getting a new perspective is really an illuminating and often adventurous experience. This year, getting a new perspective, learning some history, and certainly making memories is a given if you are attending the First Climb at Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Climbing to the top of the lighthouse on New Year’s day is certainly a memory you will not soon forget!
photo credit: National Parks Service

3. First Day Hike

If you are looking to combine the health of a run with the fun of a new perspective, then the First Day Hike in Fort Macon is the New Year’s day outing for you. Learn more about the wonderful history of Fort Macon and get out into nature with either the shorter, 1 mile hike, or the longer 3 mile hike (extending through part of the park’s new trail!). It is such a beautiful area that it is sure to give you a new appreciation for the world around you, especially while visiting the coast this New Year’s.

4. Penguin Plunge

The Penguin Plunge is an annual tradition along the Coast that involves running at top speed into the freezing Atlantic with hundreds of other participants in an effort to raise money for a local charity. Sound crazy? It pretty much is, but participants are always out to have a fun time and to do good for the community. There are many new participants each year, but there are always "the regulars” who come back for a quick plunge in the water because it really is a lot of fun. This year’s donations will go towards Loaves and Fishes of Carteret. Do you dare to try the Penguin Plunge this year? It’s for a good cause!

5. Crystal Coast Bridal Fair

For all the lucky brides to be that will be tying the knot here on the Crystal Coast, first of all, congratulations! Second of all, you will definitely need to be heading over to the Crystal Coast Bridal fair this January. This is an annual event that celebrates all of the lucky brides to be and also provides insights into the best caterers, bakers, designers, floral arrangements, and locations on the coast for the perfect wedding celebration. You can talk to the professionals in the area, get samples of their work, view dresses on display, and all with no pressure to buy until you are ready. It’s a perfect way to find all you need to know about how to plan your wedding on the Crystal Coast.


6. Crystal Coast Bridal Salon

Along with the Bridal Fair, the Crystal Coast Bridal Salon is another great event to learn about the expert wedding planners and caterers in the area while also having some events and activities for the groom! This is just icing on the wedding cake for those that are participating in the Bridal Fair and it is a great way to involve the groom in some of the wedding plans as well.

7. Free Admission to the Aquarium on Martin Luther King Day

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Show up to the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium on Martin Luther King Junior day and receive entry completely free! This is a fun way to spend the day with the family and to enjoy the undersea wonders of the Crystal Coast.

8. 5th Annual Clam Chowder Cook-off

calidore-string-quartetSatisfy your taste buds in the New Year with this delectable event! Participants of the 5th Annual Clam Chowder Cook-off will get to sample the best clam chowder in the area and vote on their favorites. As an added bonus, this event will also double as a corn bread tasting event! You can’t get much better than the coast’s finest clam chowder and cornbread. Yum!

9. American Music Festival Series

Add a bit of cultural refinement to your New Year with the American Music Festival Series. The Calidore Quartet will be gracing the History Place of Morehead City with their music on January 23. They will be joining Barbara McKenzie for the beautiful Brahm’s Piano Quintet, the first quartet from Beethoven himself. This award winning quartet has been said to be "a miracle of unified thought…” from La Presse in Montreal. This is definitely a beautiful way to start the New Year.
photo credit: The American Music Festival

10. Succulent Seafood Series

If you just didn’t get enough of the coast’s fine seafood while attending the Clam Chowder Cook-off, then you will definitely want to attend the fabulous Succulent Seafood Series. But then again, who can ever have enough of the Crystal Coast’s finest seafood? Head on over to the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium for a quick lesson about the delicious seafood you will be sampling from Aquarium staff, then receive some insight from local chefs on the best ways to prepare the food yourself! This month, the Saltwater Grill in Swansboro, the Ice House in Swansboro, and Crab’s Claw in Atlantic Beach will be featured. Definitely a delicious night at the Aquarium!

With these 10 events going on in January, your New Year’s is sure to be full of fun right from the start! We hope that you enjoy your visit to Emerald Isle this New Year and that you have a fun, safe night as you say goodbye to the old, and hello to the new in 2016!

Share with us: How are you going to spend your New Year on the Crystal Coast?



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