Not many people think of the beach when it comes time to plan a weekend getaway in the winter months. But that’s only because they don’t see the many benefits of visiting the Crystal Coast during the “off season.”
1. Shelling – With 81 miles of pristine beaches the opportunities to find shells and sea glass is far great in the winter months when shoreline traffic is reduced.
2. It’s not that Cold – Really. We have a wonderfully mild climate year round in Eastern North Carolina. Average winter temperatures linger in the high 50s and low 60s for the best part of the season, making it a great time to take a walk along the beach.
3. No Reservation Needed – Whether you’re looking for the perfect overnight accommodations or a bite to eat in one of the region’s many fine restaurants, reservations are not nearly as important as they are mid-summer. In fact, most restaurants can seat you immediately as walk-ins.
4. Birdwatching – Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge serves as a winter home for thousands of ducks and waterbirds. View raptors on the hunt and listen for songbirds always ready to bring a little music to a cold winter’s day.
5. Shorter Lines – And that applies just about everywhere, whether you need to stop in the bank or you’re waiting your turn to get up close to the glass at the otter enclosure at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, less visitation during the winter months can often translate into a more enjoyable visit for those who do.
6. Hiking – Sunny skies and cooler temperatures make winter the perfect time to check out one of the region’s many hiking trails. From the Neusiok Trail in the Croatan National Forest to the Cedar Island Wildlife Refuge, get up close with nature and stretch your legs.
7. Beautiful Sunsets – Perhaps it’s overstated, but there is little that challenges the beauty of the Crystal Coast and there is never a better time to take in the sights and sounds than the winter. While summer heat can add a haze of humidity to the air, the atmosphere is crisp and clear during the winter months, and around every bend is a picture perfect moment just waiting to happen.
8. Holiday Events – We like to celebrate on the Crystal Coast and the holidays are the perfect time to do it. Parades and caroling, home tours and bonfires, we know exactly how to ring in the season – all that’s missing is you!