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The North Carolina beaches are some of the best in America. In fact, we would even go as far as to say the most similar to what we’d find back home in Australia.

It’s no wonder we have a special bond with the Carolina Coast and have fond memories of all our North Carolina beach vacations.

The best thing about the beaches in North Carolina is they are not overdeveloped, have pristine conditions, loads of space, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, the stunning Intra-coastal waterway offering water activities, and vibrant surf culture.

We have been exploring the Atlantic Coast for years, and while we still have so much to see, we wanted to share with you what we consider the must-see experiences on the coast of North Carolina.

We road-tripped the North Carolina coast from Carolina Beach to the Brunswick Islands to see the best North Carolina beaches we could find. Here’s what we discovered.

This guide details more than just places to lie on the beach and swim. We share the experiences that tell the unique story of the beaches, as well as why our now home state will offer the moments you remember the most.

The Best Things to Do on North Carolina Beaches

If you’re ready to pack your sunglasses and flip-flops and hit the coast, then be sure to visit these incredible beaches in NC. As well as listing the best beaches, we’ve also got some tips for things to do on North Carolina beaches too.

1. Learn to Surf Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach is one of the best North Carolina beach towns and you’re just 10-minutes away from charming Wilmington.

It is where surfing started in North Carolina. It also receives accolades as one of the world’s best surfing towns (National Geographic, Coastal Living, and Surfer magazines all agree). And we also have experience in global surfing towns to say this is a legit title.

So far, it’s number one on our top beaches in North Carolina list for its all-round beach experience.

Put on your wetsuit, grab a board, and hit the waves. And don’t worry if those waves look far too small to ride.

Craig and Savannah had a blast riding what looked like un-surfable waves thanks to the great instruction by Steve from the South End Surf Shop

2. Climb the Oak Island Lighthouse, Caswell Beach

Quite an unexpected thrilling adventure is to climb the 131 steps up to the Oak Island Lighthouse viewing platform. What makes it thrilling is it is the only known lighthouse that uses a ladder configuration the entire way, rather than the typical spiral staircases.

While not as beautiful on the outside as some of the other North Carolina lighthouses, it’s the most adventurous and exciting lighthouse to visit on the North Carolina coast.

3. Leave a note in the Kindred Spirit Mailbox

For over 40 years, people have been coming to this secret mailbox tucked into the sand dunes on Bird Island, the most southern beach in North Carolina before reaching South Carolina.

The Kindred Spirit Mailbox was first planted on the barrier island by Frank Nesmith in the late 1970s.

People walk 1.4 miles along the beach from Sunset Beach Pier to record their wishes, thoughts, prayers, and dreams through letters in the mailbox.