Morehead City, one of the charming cites along the Crystal Coast, is one of top fishing destinations along the North Carolina Coast. South of the Outer Banks and just across the Newport River from Beaufort, Morehead City is one of the few deep-water points in the region. The sparkling-clear waters of the river to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway to the south set the stage for all kinds of adventures. Away from the shore, the town is home to some spectacular shopping opportunities and a host of welcoming resorts.
A local outfitter, based in Morehead City, is the starting point for excursions away from the shore. The diving conditions along the Crystal Coast are buoyed by a long stretch of clear water. Many shipwrecks happened in these waters, which have provided an infrastructure for mature coral reefs. The dive shop offers equipment rentals, training, and transportation to the best dive sites along the Intracoastal Waterway.
Many fishing charters also leave from docks along the Intracoastal Waterway. With the Morehead City beaches in the background, you can enjoy saltwater fishing no matter what the season. In the fall, the trout and red drums are plentiful, while the warm winter waters attract flounders and a host of anglers. By summertime, shoving out into the waters of the Gulf Stream will lead you right to bountiful schools of marlin and other game fish.
The city proper does not have any beaches, so if you’re looking for Morehead City beaches, you’ll need to follow the bridge to Bouge Banks. This tiny barrier island, just opposite of Morehead City, is lined by a ribbon of white-sand beaches. The town of Atlantic Beach is home to several beaches with public access—some of the most popular of all North Carolina beaches. Lifeguards are on duty in the summer, watching over a sea of people enjoying saltwater swimming and strolling the beach.
Fort Macon State Park
A link to Civil War History as well as one of the Morehead City beaches, Fort Macon State Park is found at the tip of Bouge Banks. The entire park is surrounded by three different bodies of water—the Atlantic Ocean, Bouge Sound, and the Beaufort Inlet. With so much shoreline, the park is especially well-suited for watersports and fun both on and off the shore. In the summertime, lifeguards are on duty and the snack stand is open. Park visitors all have the chance to sample the local surf fishing scene and enjoy picnics with a view. When you’re not sampling the state park’s recreation scene, you could explore the very fort touched by Civil War history. Tours and exhibits help share the store of Fort Macon’s past.
Heading to the east, you’ll find more great shoreline and the town of Indian Beach. With a half dozen public access sites, it’s easy to find the perfect place to have some fun in the sun. Some of the beaches are open to four-wheelers, while others are more suited for swimming and picnics. Indian Beach also is a great place to watch for wildlife—dolphins playing in the surf and turtles scuttling along the beach.