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The state of North Carolina is home to 300 miles of barrier island beaches. Which means if you’re looking for a beach vacation for your family this summer that’s a little less hustle and bustle and a little more about rest and relaxation, North Carolina is the place to go. From small beach towns to larger seaside cities, the Tarheel State has a wide variety of sandy destinations to choose from, each with its own offering of unique, comfortable and affordable beach hotels.
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Sunset Beach, a small seaside town near Bird Island, is the perfect place for a relaxed beach vacation, away from all the commercial chaos. In fact, it was named as one of the 21 Best Beaches in the World by National Geographic, because of its long stretches of pristine beaches and marshes with no boardwalk or high-rise buildings in site. It only makes sense then, that one of the best places to stay in Sunset Beach is The Sunset Inn – a bed and breakfast that resembles a grand Southern home from the 1940’s. From the beautiful guest rooms with private screened porches, wet bars and luxury linens, to the breakfast buffet and large wrap around porches, the inn offers everything you need to feel right at home.
Located on the opposite end of Wilmington is another quaint little beach town – Carolina Beach. This beach is full of nostalgia and charm, and features miles of beachfront, as well as a state park with hiking trails and an old-time style boardwalk, complete with restaurants, shops, amusement park rides, live music and a giant Ferris wheel. And the Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront is the perfect place to stay if you want to be in the middle of it all. From the oceanfront rooms with private balconies to The Bistro restaurant and on-site Starbucks, there are plenty of upscale amenities, but at affordable prices.
If you’re looking for a getaway to a tropical island without having to leave the mainland of the United States, take a visit to The Winds Resort Beach Club in Ocean Isle Beach where you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported straight to the tropics. Located just north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this family owned and operated resort offers a variety of oceanfront rooms and suites, as well as vacation cottages. All of which come with access to the property’s many amenities including two outdoor pools and one indoor pool, an oceanfront whirlpool, a poolside tiki bar with frozen beverages and free use of bicycles to roam the island. But the most special part of this property is the family atmosphere that you’ll feel from the beginning of your visit to the end!
The newly-renovated Sanderling Resort in Duck, NC offers a beach experience that feels exclusive, thanks to its quiet surrounding and oceanfront luxury. Made up 120 guest rooms and suites, as well as five individual vacation homes, the resort offers elegant accommodations for every budget. You’ll also find a wide variety of amenities here including views of the ocean or sound, a Beach House bar and fire pit, private balconies or patios and a world-class spa that offers coastally and seasonally-inspired massages, facials and other body treatments with views of the Currituck Sound. Plus, you’ll be in the town of Duck – where the infamous Duck Donuts was born! So, be sure to stop in for a warm donut during your stay!
Located just outside of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach consists of a cozy four-mile long island lined with cute beach house rentals, a couple of high-end resorts, two fishing piers (including one with a gift shop and snack bar) and a variety of delicious restaurants and cute shops, as well as plenty of sandy beach for sunbathing. For over 50 years, the Blockade Runner Beach Club has been one of the most popular hotels on the beach, thanks to its charming boutique style and its long list of amenities including a beachfront bar, an indoor/outdoor pool, sauna, hot tub, fitness center, oceanfront dining and the Aquarium Bar, where you can unwind with your favorite cocktail while watching colorful fish and overlooking the hotel’s lush gardens. Keep your eyes peeled for the bunnies that like to hang out there too!
Although the Sea Vista Motel may look unassuming from the outside, you’ll find tons of charm and comfort on the inside. Each of the units at the Sea Vista are privately owned, and therefore, individually furnished. You’ll find lots of beach-themed décor, private balconies, full kitchens or kitchenettes (depending on the unit) and many rooms that are dog friendly as well. Just outside the motel, you’ll find a private crossover to the beach, plus plenty of quaint shops and restaurants just a few minutes away.