Welcome to the Crystal Coast, home of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Positioned along North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks, the pristine beaches and scenic natural wonders provide the backdrop for a vacation escape filled with rich history, wonderful water activities, and some amazing stories.
Perhaps the most intriguing story in the area are the wild horses of Shackleford. These horses, often referred to as "Bankers," or "Banker Ponies" came to the area in the 16th century from Spain. There are many stories as to exactly when and where they horses came from. But everyone agrees, the ponies are beautiful and the pride and joy of local residents.
For more of the area’s intriguing history, one must go underwater, and the Crystal Coast is known as one of the top diving destinations in the North America. Clean, clear water and a host of colorful marine life await those who enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving. But the stories come from the shipwrecks in the area, including a sunken U-boat and many other wrecks that become local legends.
If you enjoy water activities that don’t involve submerging yourself in water, the area as miles and miles of amazing beach access. There are also several piers that cater to fisherman, including piers that offer restaurants where you can enjoy a bit of your own, while waiting for the fish to bite. There are also boat tours and deep sea fishing expeditions. And there is no shortage of yummy treats from the sea, and if you go in mid-March, you will be lucky to enjoy the NC Seafood Festival Funfest. For those visiting the first weekend in October, you can enjoy the North Carolina Seafood Festival.
For the history buffs, the area offers Fort Macon State Park. North Carolina’s most visited state park includes a 19th Century Civil War fort, recreation area with swimming, bathhouse, and picnic area. There are also Civil War reenactments during the summer months, and guided tours of the fort year-round. Or, take the self-tour guide available at the bookstore.
There is so much to do in the Crystal Coast area that we have barely scratched the surface. Golfing, nightlife, kayaking, surfing, the aquarium, eco exploration, and more. The best way to find out all there is to do is to go and find out for yourself. But be warned, one week may not be long enough, and you when you leave, you will want to return again and again to explore more.