People are always asking me for my recommendations on things to do, and in particular, places to eat on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, so here’s the quick and dirty!
About the Crystal Coast:
I love its tourism slogan “North Carolina’s Gem.” It’s so fitting for this lovely area that includes Atlantic Beach, Morehead City and Beaufort.
Where to stay:
Formerly known as the Clamdigger, it now goes by the more upscale sounding moniker of The Inn at Pine Knoll Shores. It’s a great hotel for a quick weekend trip. For longer trips we book a condo through Cannon and Gruber.
Where to eat: (The most frequently asked question!)
Amos Mosquitos in Atlantic Beach. My number one choice though it’s really a tie between here and Floyds. Fun, casual atmosphere and great food. The pork chop with tasso ham gravy is what I’d want as my last meal if I’m ever on death row. It’s only open for dinner and always packed in the summer. Get there early and be prepared for a wait, but it’s worth it. Have a mojito in the bar while you wait. And order the s’mores for dessert cause it’s fun!
Floyds 1921 in Morehead City. My other number one. In a beautiful old home it’s casual but still has a fine dining flair to it. The entire menu is wonderful. The crab bisque, mac and cheese appetizer and meatloaf are all good. I usually order mahi mahi when I’m here. And I ALWAYS (well except for last year when I was pregnant) order a Big Daddy Dirty Martini! Amazing desserts too!
Ruddy Ducks in Morehead City. This is my dad’s favorite place and we usually end up eating here at least twice if not three times while we are visiting in the summer. The shrimp basket is the best deal at the beach! Sitting on the deck makes for an even more enjoyable experience. The painkiller cocktail is another yummy choice. The fish tacos are good as are all the burgers. Great place for the seafood and non-seafood lovers.
Channel Marker in Atlantic Beach. This place has a bit of an old-school feel to it. They put out the cracker basket and cheese on the table when you arrive. The deck is great if you like to sit outdoors with a view, it’s right on the waterway. The mahi is good and just the plain ol’ fried flounder is another of our favorites. I always upgrade to the stuffed baked potato.
Spouter Inn in Beaufort. Great spot for lunch. The flounder sandwich is good as is the egg salad. Another great place to dine al fresco right on the water!
What to do:
North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. I just love this place. I go nearly every summer. Be sure to pet the stingrays and say hi to the otters, Neuse, Pungo and Eno. If the otters are asleep on your first trip around, swing back by again before you go. It’s worth it to see them playing!
Shackleford Banks. Take the ferry from Beaufort over to this little island to see the wild ponies and collect some shells. It’s wonderful at low tide as there is a big sandbar you can walk way out on.
Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach. If you like history this place is definitely worth a visit.