Breath-taking beaches, awe-inspiring nature and rich historical significance make North Carolina’s Crystal Coast the perfect vacation escape.  Atlantic Beach offers an unspoiled stretch of Southern Outer Banks Coast with some of the finest fishing and scuba diving in the country.  With so much to do, this top 5 list should help guide you on a fantastic Atlantic Beach getaway.

Beaches, Beaches and More Beaches
The beaches along the Crystal Coast are undeniably the greatest feature.  Soft warm sand spread out along the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean offers an unparallel experience of pleasure and relaxation.  Bogue Banks is where the majority of beach communities are located.  This barrier island offers access to many beautiful beaches, public fishing piers and hotels.  Most access points offer shower and restroom facilities along the pristine beaches.

Great Accommodations
With such great scenery, any lodging along the beach has a built in panoramic treasure.  For travelers looking for a high-class pampered stay, the One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa ( offers upscale accommodation with the added benefit of a full feature spa.  For those of you looking for a bargain stay, check out an Atlantic Beach Hotel with a mini-vacation offer (  These packages are designed to introduce you to a resort’s timeshare offerings and they generally include access to some great amenities during your stay.

Scuba Diving
The Atlantic Beach area is far and away one of the absolute best scuba destinations in North America.  With an abundance of clear, clean water and an amazing array of marine life, diving along the Crystal Coast is an experience that will last a lifetime.  While exploring the variety of marine animals you can visit one of the many shipwrecks or take a peak back in history by diving alongside a sunken U-boat.

First envisioned in 1870 as an Ocean Resort town by Appleton Oaksmith, Atlantic Beach began life as a retreat for relaxation purposes.  The first bathing pavilion was constructed in 1897 followed by the construct of the New Atlantic Beach Hotel to house guests.  Surrounded by significant historical sites such as the Civil War era Fort Macon, Atlantic Beach also offers a glimpse into World War II history with the sunken wreckage of a German U-Boat sitting on the sea floor just off the coast.  Any history lover will enjoy the many tours and historical sites available to wet their appetite.

Exposure to Nature
Atlantic Beach is surrounded by and saturated in pristine nature.  The Rachel Carson Reserve, named for the well-known naturalist, is home to an abundance of crustaceans, birds, butterflies and wonderful vegetation.  For those of you interested in observing ocean life without a scuba tank, the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores ( is a must see.  This state of the art aquarium displays all the local sea life and is a great family destination if you want to take a break from the beach for a day.

With all the activities to choose from, Atlantic Beach is a prime location to get away from it all.  Pack your sunscreen, bring a good book and don’t forget your camera.  The memories you make while staying on the Crystal Coast are sure to last a lifetime.

Byron Mackelroy