5 Things to Know about Vacationing in Emerald Isle, NC

watermelon flad1. Grocery shopping made easy.

The day before you leave home for your vacation on beautiful Emerald Isle, go online to Lowes Food in Cape Carteret, NC, and fill out your shopping list. They shop for you and pick-up is only $4.95. This way you beat the crowd and spend your first glorious hours of vacation on the beach instead of inside the grocery store.

2. Staying out of traffic.

The locals know when to avoid the roads leading to the Emerald Isle bridge: arrival and departure days for tourists. If you’re that tourist, consider arriving two hours before check-in, get on the island before the rush (when the locals arrive), enjoy the beach, and then check into your lodging.

3. Rainy day plan.

When the rain drives you inside or when a sunburn sends you looking for shelter, there are plenty of options. The local movie theater, the Emerald Plantation Cinema has the latest blockbuster films, but they are cash only. Over the bridge in Cape Carteret, MacDaddy’s can provide hours of entertainment with bowling, arcades, billiards and more.

4. Free music events.

The Crystal Coast is all about free summer music concerts. Check out SwanFest in Swansboro, the concerts in Fort Macon near Atlantic Beach, the Concert Series in the Park in Morehead City.

5. Happy Trails

The four-mile island path on Emerald Drive has been extended in the last year, so you and your family can enjoy a longer ride or walk. If you enjoy a shady walk in the woods, take a stroll (and a picnic) in the 41-acre Emerald Isle Woods Park off of Coast Guard road. Pets are welcome on a leash.

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