North Carolina Aquarium
Everyone will enjoy this educational and fascinating exhibit of marine life. The aquarium has presentations, videos, live animals and "behind the scenes" tours for all visitors. Special trips such as beginning snorkeling and cruises through North Carolina's coastal waters, are also offered.
Fort Macon State Park
Historic Fort Macon is 385 acres of forest, dunes and beach and is home to a famous Civil War fortress. Visitors are free to roam this old fort or to take one of the many tours. Fort Macon State Park is the most visited park in North Carolina and is an attraction not to be missed by Civil War buffs.
Atlantic Beach lies within a ten-minute drive of Beaufort, the third oldest town in North Carolina. This quaint area offers tours of historic homes and runs a double-decker bus tour and two boat tours in the summer season.
North Carolina Maritime Museum
The North Carolina Maritime Museum traces the history of the relationship between the people of coastal North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean. The museum covers a wide variety of topics, from the once thriving whaling industry to the different types of ships and boats used throughout the decades.
Morehead City supports an excellent sport fishing industry and is the location of events like the North Carolina Seafood Festival and The Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament. Morehead City also has shops and plenty of seafood restaurants.
This community hosts the Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival and has one of the biggest amusement parks on the island (20-minute drive).
Check out Emeralds Isle's St. Patrick's Day Festival.Learn More
If you are a little more adventurous, you might choose to take a long day trip to Ocracoke, which lies about 3 1/2 hours away from Atlantic Beach. The excursion is well worth the drive and 2 1/2 hour ferry ride.