Crystal Coast, NC

Enjoy a reunion in Crystal Coast, North Carolina with 85 miles of scenic beachfront along with exciting activities and historical attractions.

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Make the most of the sun, sand and sea in Crystal Coast, North Carolina

A family-friendly reunion destination, the inviting 85-mile long coastline of Crystal Coast is a place to indulge in the sun, sand and sea. At Cape Lookout National Seashore, families can enjoy activities like fishing, swimming, birding, boating, windsurfing and kayaking and climb the Cape Lookout Lighthouse for some scenic water views. Explore the second most visited state park in North Carolina, the Fort Macon State Park where the Battle of Macon was fought in 1862. Reunion groups can go swimming in a protected area and go exploring on nature walks.

Families with little ones will be thrilled to see the variety of aquatic flora and fauna at North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. With an impressive 306,000-gallon ocean habitat teeming with species of fish, sharks and turtles, the aquarium also has a replica of the U-352 German submarine that was sunk off the North Carolina coast. Visit the Harkers Island Visitors Center with interactive displays and exhibits centered around island ecology and take a ferry to Shackleford Banks and see feral horses roaming freely.

Not to be missed is the downtown area of “America’s Favorite Town”, Beaufort, with its lively marina. Take a cruise down the waterways, pick up treasures at the local community market and take a double-decker bus tour of the historic district and see the Carteret County Jail built in 1829 and the Apothecary Shop and Doctor’s Office dating back to 1857.

A Treasure Trove of Experiences

Fun-filled Activities, Gourmet Dining and More

Crystal Coast is the perfect beach destination with plenty to see, do and eat

Comprising communities like Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Morehead City, Cape Lookout, Pine Knoll Shores and Harkers Island, Crystal Coast is the hub of activity all through the year with sporting events, seasonal festivals, concerts and shows.

Catering to a variety of tastes, your reunion group will be in for a culinary treat at Crystal Coast. Feast on seafood specialties at Shark Shack, healthy eats at Refection Foods and delicious barbeques at Roland’s Barbecue. Head to Black Sheep for brick-oven pizzas, China Garden & Mongolian Grill for all-you-can-eat meals and the Dank Burrito food truck for a delicious selection of Mexican food. Grown-ups can sip on craft brews at Crystal Coast Brewing Company and Cru Wine Bar.

Reunion groups of all sizes have a variety of accommodation options to choose from at Crystal Coast including oceanfront hotels and condos, boutique bed & breakfasts, camping and RV parks and beachfront cottages.

Video Tour

With so many things to do and see at North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, there’s something for your whole family or group to enjoy!

 – Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority

Further Reading

Four Core Communities of the Crystal Coast, North Carolina

With its stunning 85-mile long shoreline, the Crystal Coast along North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks is perfect for families who love the sun, sand and sea.

Browse below for some family-friendly additions to your itinerary

Why Reunite on the Crystal Coast, NC


  • 85-mile long coastline with pristine beaches
  • Discounted accommodation in oceanfront hotels and condos, camping and RV parks and beachfront cottages
  • Abundance of outdoor activities like birding, fishing, boating and kayaking
  • Vibrant restaurant and entertainment scene
  • Treasures like the marina at Beaufort and downtown Crystal Coast

Family-Friendly Dining Experiences in the Crystal Coast, NC

Shark Shack (Atlantic Beach)

A family-owned and operated restaurant that specializes in fresh seafood, the Shark Shack is located in the heart of Atlantic Beach. The Shark Shack is a local favorite for grouper bites as well as homemade crab cakes, large shrimp, juicy fried oysters, clam strips, seafood wraps and much more.


Reflection Foods (Morehead City)

Eat with a purpose at Reflection Foods, which offers a quick way to grab a bite to eat without having to settle for fast food options. Reflection Foods serves healthy meals including fresh vegetables, lean meats and delicious herbs and spices.


Roland’s Barbecue (Beaufort)

A staple for all things barbecue in Beaufort for the past 25 years, Roland’s Barbecue is known for serving amazing barbecue, chicken and seafood along with a top-notch catering service. Roland’s serves incredible pork chop sandwiches, barbecue ribs, chicken wings and much more.


Smithfield’s Chicken N Bar-B-Q (Various locations)

For more than 40 years, Smithfield’s Chicken N Bar-B-Q has focused on creating an enjoyable dining experience while also serving outstanding food. Fabulous dishes such as bar-b-q pork platters, fried chicken and shrimp are served as are bar-b-q and chicken tender sandwiches.


Ready to find out more about how Crystal Coast can help plan your family trip or reunion?


Clamdigger Restaurant (Atlantic Beach)

Located along the oceanfront inside the Inn at Pine Knoll Shores, Clamdigger Restaurant is a convenient and popular spot to enjoy a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner. Clamdigger serves some of the freshest seafood available and also serves nightly specials that include flounder, mahi, shrimp, chicken parm and steak dinner plates.


Family-Friendly Attractions in the Crystal Coast, NC

Cape Lookout National Seashore

A boat ride three miles offshore brings you to the barrier islands of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Families can enjoy activities like fishing, swimming, birding, boating, windsurfing and kayaking in this majestic area. Horse watching, shelling, camping and touring historic villages are also popular activities.


Cape Lookout Lighthouse

The southernmost lighthouse that guards the Outer Banks, this is one of the most visited attractions on the Cape Lookout National Seashore. Accessible only by a privately owned boat or ferry, the lighthouse, which was built in the late 1850s, offers fabulous panoramic views from the top of the 163-foot structure.


Fort Macon State Park

A perfectly restored Antebellum-era fort, Fort Macon State Park is also a museum-quality coastal education center and an unspoiled shoreline for swimming, surf fishing and beachcombing. Nearly surrounded by water, the park offers undisturbed natural beauty and the chance to learn about salt marshes, estuaries and a dune field. Cannon and musket demonstrations and guided tours are regular features.


North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

Thousands of aquatic animals take you on a journey from North Carolina’s grand peaks to the open Atlantic. This aquarium is home to a prodigious 306,000-gallon ocean habitat filled with species of fish, sharks and turtles. The aquarium also features a replica of the U-352 German submarine that was sunk off the North Carolina coast.


Ready to find out more about how Crystal Coast can help plan your family trip or reunion?


Downtown Beaufort

“America’s Favorite Town,” picturesque downtown Beaufort is home to a variety of history, culture and community. There is plenty of downtown shopping as more than 35 shops sell everything from clothing to home interior offerings. Delicious cafes and restaurants will satisfy your hunger and downtown also houses a pair of renowned art galleries.  


Family-Friendly Accommodations in the Crystal Coast, NC

Beaufort Hotel (Beaufort)

Nestled on 10 acres, the Beaufort Hotel features the privacy of a resort-style setting on the banks of Taylor’s Creek with expansive waterways. This boutique 133-room hotel provides state-of-the-art in-room technology including 48-inch flat-screen TVs, a mini-refrigerator and private balconies or patios. Guests can also enjoy an outdoor pool, fitness center and public boat ramp.


The Inn at Pine Knoll Shores (Atlantic Beach)

Whether you arrive for business, pleasure or simply want to decompress, The Inn at Pine Knoll Shores has all the comforts of home. Every room features an oceanfront view, and the inn provides direct access to the beach, sun, sand, surf and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.


Inlet Inn (Beaufort)

For more than three decades, Inlet Inn has been the inn of choice for many travelers. Located in the heart of downtown Beaufort, the hotel offers an unobstructed view of Taylors Creek and Carrot Island. Inlet Inn also has 36 large, comfortable rooms, many with their own private waterfront porch and rocking chairs.


A Place at the Beach (Atlantic Beach)

Featuring wonderful ocean views, unbeatable amenities and friendly service, A Place at the Beach is a perfect place for families to gather. This hotel features an outdoor and indoor swimming pool, game room, fully equipped kitchens in all the rooms and tennis courts. Guests can also enjoy indoor and outdoor hot tubs, shuffleboard, a water slide, conference facility and a lighted basketball court.


Ready to find out more about how Crystal Coast can help plan your family trip or reunion?


Islander Hotel and Resort (Emerald Isle)

Boasting a beachfront location, Islander Hotel and Resort is Emerald Isle’s only oceanfront hotel. Located just five miles from Star Hill Golf Club, Islander provides an array of activities under the sun. Guests can take a refreshing plunge in the pool or enjoy a workout in the fitness center and each of its 102 rooms feature a flat screen TV and upscale bath amenities.


Family-Friendly Venues in the Crystal Coast, NC

Beaufort Club (Beaufort)

This 18-hole semi-private world-class championship golf course is also a perfect location for your family reunion. This full-service venue boasts a full bar, patio and dining room surrounded by scenic views. Every event includes tables and chairs, customized setup, glassware, flatware, a personal coordinator and a personalized menu and beverage options.


Beaufort Historic Site (Beaufort)

Located in the heart of historic Beaufort-by-the-Sea, this charming and picturesque coastal seaport offers a spacious outdoor venue in which you can hold your reunion. The two-acre site provides a beautiful backdrop for your event, whether under the shade of magnolia trees or classic white tents, or even inside the Carteret County Courthouse, which was built in 1796.


Beaufort Hotel (Beaufort)

This boutique 133-room hotel and waterfront venue nestled on 10 acres is one of the only premier luxury event locations in Eastern North Carolina. The hotel can accommodate events from 50 to 500 with its indoor or outdoor space and its staff will treat your reunion as an exclusive event.


Carolina Home and Garden (Newport)

Throughout this five-acre property resides a variety of beautiful plants and vintage décor along with water features. The newly constructed climate-controlled Sun Room is filled with exquisite green plants growing wild like a jungle, giving it a beautiful yet simple vibe. This room can fit 250 people and is perfect for any reunion or family gathering.


Ready to find out more about how Crystal Coast can help plan your family trip or reunion?


Core Sound Waterfowl Museum (Harkers Island)

This museum welcomes reunions of all kinds and loves sharing its facility and grounds with families who would like to add a “taste of Down East” to their event. Core Sound can host up to 350 people theater style or 250 banquet style in its Community Hall area.


What are you waiting for?

Let Destination Reunions help you plan the perfect reunion.

Jim Browder

Jim Browder

Phone: 252-726-8148