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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Live Music By The Sea in Emerald Isle & Swansboro

Ahhh, the beach season has officially arrived. The days are chock-full of sun, sand, and surf. But what about the evenings?

How about a nice combination of fresh coastal air, warm hues of a sunlit evening, and some free live music? Pack up a picnic dinner, grab a chair or blanket, and head out for an evening of music by the sea on the Crystal Coast through the summer concert series set in two locations.

The town of Emerald Isle offers Emeraldfest for its residents and visitors on the first and third Thursday evenings of the month from 6:30-8p.m. May through September. Located at the Western Ocean Regional Access just off of Islander Drive and under a half-mile from the Cameron Langston Bridge, the access offers its guests convenient access to the beach, lots of parking, picnic tables, restrooms, and more. Emeraldfest features varied musical performances in a spectrum of genres throughout the season. Be sure to check the list of scheduled performances for full details.

Not far from Emerald Isle just over the Cameron Langston Bridge and a short drive to the waterfront town of Swansboro, you'll find Swanfest occurring on most Sunday evenings 6:30-8p.m. from May through September. Swanfest features a different performer each Sunday evening in such musical categories as acoustic rock, blues, folk, country, bluegrass, soul, and reggae just to name a few. The performances are held at the pavilion at Olde Town Square in downtown Swansboro. Please view the schedule of performances slated for the season. Also, pets and alcohol are not permitted at Swanfest. Concerts are weather-permitting.

Don't forget, these summer concert series are free and family-friendly as are many of the events here. Whether you've already booked your beach house in Emerald Isle or you're still researching some of our coastal vacation rental specials, make it a point to check out the local events that are happening during your stay. They will add to your Southern Outer Banks experience and give you a chance to mingle with the locals. We look forward to seeing you!

Have you attended any musical events or festivals during your stay in Emerald Isle? Tell us about it! We'd love to hear from you.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Family Vacations in Emerald Isle

Summer is coming. Memorial Day is right around the corner. Father's Day will be here before you know it. Have you made any vacation plans yet? Whether it's a special occasion or not, there are plenty of reasons to plan a family vacation to Emerald Isle.

Family time is precious whenever and wherever it can be found. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's easy to overlook the importance of getting away from it all and focusing in on some quality time with your loved ones. A beach vacation can provide an idyllic setting to do just that.

This area of North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks offers its vacationers an island oasis, set apart from many of the busier, more crowded beaches along the East Coast. Many of the those beaches require visitors to pay additional parking fees and beach access fees only to arrive onto a beach where it's difficult to find a spot large enough to put your towel let alone a beach chair or two. Once you traipse through the sea of people, dragging all of your beach gear along with you, you eventually find a spot to squeeze into and get situated only to realize that your views are limited to the sea of umbrellas and beach chairs filling the beach. This is not ideal.

We invite you to a more family-friendly, relaxing, get-away-from-it-all kind of beach vacation. In Emerald Isle, it's not a hassle to get the beach. Once on the beach, you'll be able to sink your beach chairs into the sand, spread out your towels, set up your umbrellas, and have plenty of room to spare for the kids to play. Take in uninterrupted views of blue-green waters, soft sandy beaches, and unending blue skies. This is ideal.

While you are enjoying the pristine beaches, clear waters, and warm salty air, you'll also want to find time to explore the local shops, restaurants, and other area attractions. There is plenty of family fun to be had whether you like to golf, kayak, parasail, fish, surf, bike, scuba dive, sail, and the list goes on. The Bogue Inlet Pier is newly rebuilt and worth a visit. It offers some fantastic fishing spots as well as an observation deck where spectators can have a bird's eye view of all the action.

Since we're located on an island, we offer a wide range of accommodations both in size and location. Whether your family prefers an oceanfront beach house or a soundside vacation rental, you'll find the perfect place to suit your needs while still having close, convenient access to all the island has to offer.

Don't delay! The beaches of Emerald Isle beckon you to spend some time, make some memoriesand when you leave, we hope you'll be coming back for more.

Have you and your family vacationed in Emerald Isle? What did you do? What did you see? Will you be coming back again? Be sure to share your Emerald Isle memories and adventures with us in the comment section below. We hope to hear from you and see you soon!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Get Ready for Summer at the Crystal Coast Boat Show on the Morehead City Waterfront

As the number of days leading up to summer gets shorter, the list of things to do while vacationing in Emerald Isle gets longer! We know, we know. Beach time is a top priority. It's easy to fill the days with sun, sand, and surf. If you want to spend all of your days staying on the beach, we won't mind one bit. We just like to give you plenty of options while you're here.

As mentioned in our last blog, there are several waterfront towns that are worth visiting if you have the time. Morehead City is one of those towns. It's conveniently located off of Bogue Banks by taking the Atlantic Beach Bridge right into Morehead City. It's perfect to add as a day trip any time of year with opportunities to shop and dine in some fabulous establishments along the waterfront. Take a stroll down Charter Boat Row and enjoy firsthand views of topnotch fishing boats and charter vessels.

Speaking of boats, this weekend is a great opportunity to see in-water and on-shore boats—and lots of 'em. The Crystal Coast Boat Show runs Saturday, May 19 (10a.m. - 5p.m.) through Sunday May 20 (11a.m. - 4p.m.) along the Morehead City Waterfront and attracts people from all over. Gear up for the summer season by visiting the various vendors on-hand showcasing everything from marine products and services, outdoor gear, and fishing tackle to fishing clubs, resource conservation groups, and so much more. 

This is another free (we love free!) event open to the public offering a variety of activities for the entire family.

Additional Highlights of The Crystal Coast Boat Show Include:
  • ARTrageous public art event right on the waterfront hosted by the Art Council of Carteret County.
  • Annual Antique Auto Show sponsored by the Antique Automobile Club of America happens at Katherine Davis Park in Morehead City.
  • Sunset Party in the Park Concert by the Steady Eddies at Jaycee Park in Morehead City.
  • Band concerts.
  • Pirate Treasure Hunt for the kids (12 and under). Kids cruise on a ferry boat to Sugarloaf Island to hunt for treasure with real pirates. Argh!
  • Food and beverage vendors (just in case you get hungry or thirsty).
For a full listing of activities, days, and times, please check out the schedule of events.
With all the buzz about boats, fishing, and being out on the water it may not be enough to just vacation here. Perhaps you should consider a permanent relocation at the beach? Then you could partake in the coastal scenery and activity year-round. We highly recommend it!

Tell us about your favorite things to do in the water, on the water, or near the water. We love your input, so please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stay & Play on Emerald Isle's Beaches and Plan to Spend a Day (or More!) on the Beaufort Waterfront

Our last blog touched upon some of the top reasons to vacation in North Carolina's Emerald Isle in the month of May. We also mentioned that we'd tell you more in future blog posts, and we like to keep our word, so this is one of them.

Our beaches speak for themselves. They are one of the top reasons to vacation here any time of year. Once you see the sparkling crystal-clear waters, the natural beauty of the pristine beaches, and the unending coastal charm of Bogue Banks—you won't soon forget them. They will keep you coming back for more.

Naturally, most people prefer to stay right on the beach. It is convenient and the views are unforgettable. Throw on your beachwear, grab your sunscreen, umbrella, and beach chair, and walk right on out to the beach. It really doesn't get much better than that. Also remember that during the month of May, there are vacation rental discounts available. Be sure to check those out!

While we love the beaches of the Southern Outer Banks region, we only think it's fair to tell you that the waterfronts and their quaint towns are worth a visit, too. Emerald Isle is conveniently located near several (Swansboro, Morehead City, and Beaufort). We only have time and space to touch on one of these right now, but we'll revisit the others in future blog posts. We promise.

The waterfront town of Beaufort is approximately a half-hour drive from Emerald Isle (maybe a bit more, depending on traffic). It is a scenic coastal drive and the destination is the perfect spot for a day trip. Beaufort is rich with maritime and historical influence and offers things to do year-round such as strolling the waterfront, shopping in its unique storefronts, and dining at some fabulous restaurants. The North Carolina Maritime Museum and Beaufort Historic Site are must-sees. This time of year is ideal for a ferry ride around some of the local islands. You will have the opportunity to see everything from majestic yachts and sailboats to the wild horses on Carrot Island.

Beaufort often has special events occurring in addition to its everyday attractions. If you're here this weekend be sure to stop by one of Beaufort's flagship eventsThe Beaufort Music Festival. Beginning at 5:30p.m. on Friday, May 11, you'll find an artist lineup that's sure to please. Come back on Saturday, May 12 from 12:30p.m. to 10p.m. for another fun-filled day of music and so much more. This festival is highly supportive of the arts and the community. We are proud to boast that it is another free event which is family friendly. So bring yourself, bring the kids, you can even bring the dog (leashed, please), and come on out.

For the active-at-heart, The Beaufort Music Festival is also hosting the 5K Fun Run on Saturday May 12. The event begins at 8a.m. on the Beaufort Waterfront. With same-day registration beginning at 7a.m., you still have the opportunity to participate and support a great educational cause.

As usual we could go and on, but we'll call it a blog. You know we love your input, so please tell us your favorite thing to do when staying with us in Emerald Isle!

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Top 3 Reasons to Plan Your Emerald Isle Vacation in May

We hope to see you here on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina this year. Our sandy shores, undulating tides, and sea-salt air beckon you to come and relax with us for awhile. 

With the ushering in of May (yes, it's May), Memorial Day is right around the corner. Traditionally, that's the "official" start of the season here on the beach. However, each year as the popularity of this area of the Southern Outer Banks increases, the off-season decreases. Our visitors have realized that summer is not the only time to visit and vacation with us here on the coast!

With that being said, it's not too early to book your summer beach getawaybut keep in mind that it's also not too late to book your May beach getaway. Why wait until summer? We have some fabulous vacation rental discounts this time of year, so be sure to check those out.

Have we convinced you yet? Just to peak your interest a bit further, we've included our  Top 3 Reasons to Plan Your Emerald Isle Vacation in May. We know you want to soak up some rays and allow for some serious beach time, but here are a few additional things you may want to plan around or pencil in to your itinerary this month.

Reason #1: The MCAS Cherry Point Air Show. During the first weekend in May, the 2012 Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point Air Show begins on Friday evening, May 4, and continues through Sunday, May 6. Cherry Point is located in Havelock and is about 30 miles from Emerald Isle. It is the home of the largest military  air show in North Carolina. The MCAS Air Show offers free admission and free parking! It's a chance to experience aviation at its best with the highlight being a demonstration by the United States Naval Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels. In addition to the incredible sights, this year's show offers a free concert on Saturday featuring Darryl Worley, Bill Gentry, and David Kroll.

Reason #2: Mother's Day. Mother's Day is quickly approaching and May 13 will be here before you know it. Time with family seems incredibly limited these days so make it an extra special celebration by gathering up the entire family and spending it here in Emerald Isle. Why not plan to bring the extended family, too? Sun-Surf Realty has spacious accommodations in ideal locations for special events such as these.

Reason #3: Memorial Day. Primarily a day to remember those who have died in service to our nation, Memorial Day is observed on May 28 this year. As mentioned earlier in this blog, the military has a strong presence in the area with Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville. Why not tie in some historical and modern day meaning along with the traditional Memorial Day gatherings, picnics, and time with family? It's also an opportune time for a long weekend getaway during the holiday (or better yet, extend it a week or two if you have the time) in a relaxing coastal setting. You can find all of these things right here.

Well, we've made our case for some of the top reasons you should consider a vacation here this month. Of course there are so many more reasons to be here in May, but we just don't have time to list them all. (Stay tuned for more information in future blog posts.)

In the meantime, we we want to hear from you! If you've vacationed in Emerald Isle, tell us about your top reason(s) for choosing it as a vacation destination in our comment section. Share the love!

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