Families Love Emerald Isle NC: Here's Why


The perfect blend of a peaceful beach escape combined with abundant coastal activities for all ages and interests makes Emerald Isle a favored family vacation destination on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks.

Family Friendly Emerald Isle

The main attraction here is the beach, that's for sure. With its wide sandy beaches, crystal-clear Atlantic waters and family-friendly atmosphere, Emerald Isle is a beach lover's haven. Young and old enjoy time in the sand, sun and surf. Emerald Isle offers a safe and welcoming ambiance that makes you feel right at home. Collect shells, swim with the dolphins, scour the shoreline for sharks' teeth, or just sit back and dig your toes in the sand.

We know you'll be spending plenty of time on our beautiful beaches, but what else is there to do? We can help you with that. Here are our top family-friendly activities found in Emerald Isle. You don't even have to leave the island. Try one or try them all!

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

Taking a kid fishing is fun way to spend a day or evening in Emerald Isle. Let your kid squirm a little as he baits the hook. Show him how to cast a line without hurting himself... or others. The anticipation of what lies beyond the tug on the line is irresistible.

It's not just for kids, though. Pier fishing from Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier is fun for the whole family. Stroll the 1,000 feet of lighted wooden pier. Enjoy the panoramic views from the end of the pier. Take the stairs right down onto the beach.

The Bogue Inlet Pier is a one-stop-shop for all of your pier fishing needs offering bait, tackle, multiple fish cleaning stations, a snack bar, and restroom facilities right on site. Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier is located at Mile Marker 19 in Emerald Isle on 100 Bogue Inlet Drive, right off of Highway 58. Parking is always free for those who are fishing and an NC salt water fishing license is not required. Check out their day passes, rod and reel rentals and package deals.

Want to see live, real-time conditions at the pier? Click here.

The Emerald Path

Formerly known as the Emerald Isle Bike Path, the Emerald Path has had a bit of a name change to reflect the essence of this multi-use path. Bike it, walk, jog it; it's your choice. Whichever way you choose, it's one of the best ways to see the sights around town. The Emerald Path is a work in progress with an ultimate goal of providing 11 miles of paved paths from one end of town to the other for our residents, visitors and vacationers to enjoy.

Looking to get together with others for a ride around town? Check out the informal bike ride that happens every Tuesday at 5:30p.m. Meet at Hwy 58 Bicycles and ride as little or as long as you like at your own pace. Meet new people, get some exercise and enjoy the ride.

The Great Outdoors

Spend quality family time in the great outdoors with the ones you love the most. Breathe in the sea-salt air while you have a little local fun in Emerald Isle. Go miniature golfing. Rent paddleboards. Take surf lessons. Go fly a kite in our coastal breezes.

Get out and explore the waters of the Crystal Coast. Take a fishing charter, go dolphin watching, or just enjoy the views on a sightseeing tour. Check out our local links for some of our recommendations of favorite things to do during your time in Emerald Isle.

Sweet Treats

What's a beach trip without some ice cream? It's the quintessential family outing. Take the family for a delicious sweet treat at one of our local Emerald Isle ice cream shops. We have traditional favorites and places with local flavor.

Ben & Jerry's is an ice cream lover's icon offering heaping scoops of your favorite flavors. There are ice cream cakes, smoothies, shakes and sundaes too. The Ben & Jerry's in Emerald Isle is located at 8204 Emerald Drive, so be sure to stop by.

Dairy Queen is a quick stop for your ice cream fix. Indulge in some soft ice cream, a Blizzard, or drop in for a bite to eat. The Dairy Queen in Emerald Isle is located at 8307 Emerald Drive.

Where to go to find the local scoop? The Sweet Spot at 8201 Emerald Drive is where it's at. Located oceanside one block from the Bogue Inlet Pier, you'll find a huge selection of yummy ice cream in almost 50 different flavors. The Sweet Shop features Hershey's brand ice cream and offers banana splits, sundaes and milkshakes galore. It's also a great place to find unique coastal gifts, saltwater taffy, Jelly Bellies, fudge, truffles and gummies. Since we're talking families, the kids area is worth a mention, too.

Where Families Stay in Emerald Isle

One of the biggest draws for families is the wonderful selection of beautiful Emerald Isle vacation rentals. Whether you're searching for something just for you and your immediate family or something larger that can accommodate your extended family, we have what you're looking for. Vacation rentals are the only way to go!

Customize your Emerald Isle family beach vacation by choosing the size, style and location you desire. Don't forget about all of the amazing family amenities that are available. Pools, hot tubs, fireplaces, scenic decks and game rooms are just some of your options.

Kids Enjoying Emerald Isle

We wish we had additional time and space to tell you more, but we'll have to continue this another time, in another blog post. Stay tuned for more information on Emerald Isle day trips, Crystal Coast attractions, Emerald Isle festivals and events, and more of our recommendations for your Southern Outer Banks travel itinerary. Subscribe to our blog, so you don't miss out.

Oh, one more thing. If you're here with us this weekend, check out the annual Emerald Isle Day4Kids where you'll find family-centered activities, games, rides, inflatables, vendors and more. This local event is all about family and quality time spent together. We hope to see you there.

What are your favorite family-friendly activities in Emerald Isle? Tell us!


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