North Carolina has always offered some of the best vacation spots for boaters, both along the coast and inland waters. It’s scattered with waterfront communities every boater should visit. Whether you are looking for a place to dock your boat for a few days or an adventure that takes you where the wind blows, North Carolina’s waters add excitement to any trip. Immerse yourself in some of the nation’s most interesting history, dine on some of the finest waterfront seafood, or just kick back and enjoy the beautiful life on the water. Either way, you are sure to find your paradise in one of these North Carolina destinations:
On the Eastern Seaboard, Beaufort, North Carolina is boating central. If you haven’t been yet, its attractions will be obvious the moment you set anchor in Taylor Creek. Sea captains’ mansions and cottages grace downtown Front Street on the shore, and the towns history unfolds in preserved buildings plaqued house fronts. This place has everything you are looking for in your boating vacation. Clear water, tons of on – the – water dining, and wild horses grazing just off the shore. Nestled along the community’s historic waterfront is the Town Docks (ICW mile mark 202), so once you dock up, you’re walking distance from numerous top – north restaurants and bars. At the hub of it all, where no boater can miss it, is the North Carolina Maritime Museum, with five centuries of Carolina nautica lovingly restored and displayed. As if that weren't enough, it’s only a short hop to Gulf Stream fishing and the area is famous for its tuna, wahoo and billfish action. Stopping here is at your own risk, you might never want to leave.
Lake Norman, NC
Located only 15 miles from Uptown Charlotte, Lake Norman is the biggest lake located in the state. It’s a true water sports paradise with 32,510 acres and 520 mile shoreline that can make you feel you’re a world away from your home. Of course the best way to enjoy this beautiful lake is by boat. On the water you can enjoy a variety of activities, from water skiing, wake boarding, fishing and sailing. If you are a fisherman, the fishing opportunities are plentiful. You might even want to join one of the annual national fishing tournaments held here. The fish are known for biting all year around. And don’t miss Chaparral's number one dealer The Boat Rack! They have a waterfront marina providing boat launches, boat slips, boat storage, boat repairs, and also an impressive 25,000 square foot new and used boat showroom.
Take your boat to one of North Carolina’s most relaxed boating towns! The small island town is not easy to get to but it’s well worth the trip. The town of Ocracoke is small, but there are plenty of things to do and enjoy. There are many unique restaurants and nature trails around the island. Local marinas offer bike rentals for you to easily get around. Or you can stay on your boat entirely and grab drinks and food on the boat from the Jolly Roger Pub and Marina. Or tacos at Eduardo’s Taco Stand during the day before checking out local bands and brews at Gaffer’s or Dajio. This boating spot will disconnect you from your busy reality and introduce a much simpler way of life. Only a small community of people winters here, and most get around on bikes.
Badin Lake, NC
Badin Lake is one of a series of lakes created by the damming of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River in the Uwharrie Lakes Region. This lake is filled to the brim with recreational activities that not only include boating, but also hiking, fishing, and golfing. It’s a fisherman’s paradise as it homes a diverse amount of game fish including: largemouth bass, catfish, striped bass, and more.
Lake Lure, NC
Lake Lure is surrounded by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina. The lake has been named one of America’s most gorgeous man–made lakes, and is about 720 acres with over 20 miles of shoreline. You can enjoy watersports, fishing or just sightseeing.
Famously the sailing capitol of North Carolina but boaters alike will feel equally at home. It is located where the Neuse River meets the Pamlico Sound and its intricate network of creeks will keep you cruising for days.It’s also an easy access to the Outer Banks, and just a short hop across the sound to Adams Creek Cut, which leads to Beaufort. Oriental is not only full of history and relaxation but its creeks are full of anything from flounder to drum or tarpon.
New Bern, NC
This place has something for everyone. If you a history enthusiast, then New Bern will take you back in time, to Tyron Palace, the first permanent capitol of North Carolina, which has been restored and reopened for almost 50 years. If nightlife is more your style, you can dock at one of the many boat marinas and check out Bear Town Market and Beer Garden downtown for over 38 beers on tap and specialty drinks while listening to live music with local fishermen. If you have children, this place is ideal. There are three amazing sailing camps located in New Bern: Camp Sea Gull, Camp Seafarer and Camp Don Lee.
There is no shortage of wonderful boating destinations in North Carolina, but we are sure that these places will bring the most fun for you and your crew.