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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

December Kicks Off the Holiday Season on the Crystal Coast

December is just about here and so is the holiday season. The Crystal Coast is a wonderful place to plan to spend your holidays. Spend some time shopping the unique local shops, dining in the waterfront restaurants, and taking in the seasonal sights and sounds.

In addition to all of the usual things to do on the Crystal Coast, December offers a host of holiday events to partake in while you're vacationing here. Please follow our blog weekly, and we'll do our best to keep you posted on the event happenings here on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.

Photo Courtesy of Sun-Surf Realty
Plan ahead now to spend your holidays here with us. We have a nice selection of beach vacation homes to meet your every need and want. Find the perfect location for you and your family, and then make your stay complete by choosing the amenities that suit your vacation style. We also have some great seasonal discounts and specials on Emerald Isle accommodations, so be sure to check those out as you plan your stay.

Once you're here, the hardest part is finding time for all of the many things you'll want to do. If you happen to be here this weekend, here are some seasonal events worth stopping by. It's your chance to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit here on the coast. Come on out!

The Crystal Coast Holiday Flotilla
 Enjoy this maritime twist on a holiday parade! Plan to be at either the Beaufort or Morehead City waterfronts on Saturday December 1 to see the myriad of boats lit up and decorated for your delight during this twilight parade.

Photo Courtesy of the Jacksonville Daily News
The Crystal Coast Holiday Flotilla begins at 5:30p.m. on the Morehead City Waterfront and continues on to the Beaufort Waterfront at 6:15p.m. The flotilla features boats, yachts, and commercial vessels (about 20-25 of them) decorated for the season. Decorated boats are judged for excellence and creativity. An awards party occurs after the flotilla at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

The Crystal Coast Holiday Flotilla is known as one of the most scenic events along the waterfronts and is a crowd-pleaser. We hope to see you there. Don't forget to bring your camera!

Swansboro Seaside Arts Council Hosts Jennifer Licko: A Celtic Christmas
Photo Courtesy of the Seaside Arts Council
Also occurring this weekend on Sunday, December 2 at 2p.m. in Swansboro is the Seaside Arts Council Performing Arts Series at the Swansboro Town Hall Annex located on W. Corbett Avenue. It's a great opportunity to enjoy live music and some fantastic performances.

The featured performer this weekend is Jennifer Licko. She is a Celtic Folk singer, dancer and multi-instrumentalist. She blends a stunning vocal range with sensitivity and warmth. If you're not already a Celtic music fan, you will be after her performance!

Tickets are available at the Emerald Isle Town Hall and Swansboro Area Chamber of Commerce. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, if they aren't already sold out! Further details can be found at Swansboro's Seaside Arts Council website.

As you can see, we've only touched on a couple of events, but there's plenty to see and do on the Crystal Coast in December. We'll keep you posted on other events as they occur this month. We hope to see you on our beaches and in our waterfront towns in the very near future.

Have you spent the holidays on the Crystal Coast? Tell us about it! Our comment section is open and we'd love to hear from you. Happy December!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Emerald Isle Christmas Parade & Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair

With the Thanksgiving holiday happening this week, there's a lot to do in Emerald Isle. After the family dinners, the quality time spent with loved ones, and the big shopping day on Friday—there's still more to see and do this weekend! We will touch on a couple of events, but be sure to check out the Town of Emerald Isle's full listing of events here.

The Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation hosts a Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair in the gymnasium on Friday, November 23 from 6-9p.m. and Saturday, November 24 from 9a.m.-4p.m. Enjoy shopping for handmade or hand-authenticated items from our local crafters and artisans. 

Also this weekend on Saturday, November 24 beginning at 3p.m., the Emerald Isle Christmas Parade takes place on Hwy. 58 (Emerald Drive). The event is sponsored by the Town of Emerald Isle and the Emerald Isle Business Association. In addition to the parade, the official Christmas tree lighting takes place in Merchant Park, a holiday caroling sing-a-long is planned, and free refreshments are available. Children can enjoy a visit with Santa, too!

Photo Submitted by Phil Stith
Whether it's a holiday occasion or just any occasion, Emerald Isle offers a great beach getaway any time of year. It's always a great time to stroll the beaches, take in the local events, and plan day trips throughout the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.

Here you'll find palatial beach houses to cozy soundside cottages, and everything in between. Find the vacation rental that's just right for you and your family. The amenities are plentiful. Beach vacations are not just for the summer! 

If you're fortunate, maybe you'll catch a snowfall in the winter months. Snow is pretty infrequent in this area, but it does happen. Snow on the sand is a beautiful sight! It doesn't last long (so have your cameras ready to go), but it's memory that won't soon be forgotten. 

Photo Submitted by Stefani Pereira
The quaint waterfront towns of Beaufort, Morehead City, and Swansboro are a delight during the holiday season. There's a historic maritime charm that is uniquely reflective of this area. Shop locally and find one-of-a-kind gifts you won't find anywhere else. 

We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, no matter where you may be spending it. We hope to see you on our coastline in the upcoming weeks and months. 

If you've spent time in Emerald Isle over the holiday season, we'd love to hear about it! Tell us about your Crystal Coast adventures in our comment section. We always love hearing from you. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beach Getaways for the Family in Emerald Isle

Photo Submitted by Jen Helt
We're almost halfway through November (hard to believe) and the holidays are coming up which means some time off from work and school, and families are planning get-togethers in the upcoming months. Have you thought about spending some quality family time at the beach?

You might think that summer is the only time to plan a beach getaway for the family, but it's not. It is a wonderful time of year to be here in Emerald Isle. The beaches are uncrowded, the autumn colors are vibrant, and the coastal scenery is as stunning as ever. Plan ahead to do some holiday shopping while strolling the waterfront towns of Beaufort, Morehead City, and Swansboro, which are all an easy drive from Emerald Isle. Try one of our local restaurants or spend the day at a historic site or two. The possibilities are endless!

Photo Submitted by Sun-Surf Realty
Gather up the family, pack up the car, and take a road trip to the Crystal Coast for a few days. Plan ahead and spread the word to your extended family and make it a family reunion at the beach. 

There are many spacious Emerald Isle vacation rentals to choose from with plenty of room for you and all of your family. Choose the amenities that suit your needs. Many of our rentals have decks with ocean views, grills for a family cookout, games and entertainment options for the kids, and so much more. In addition to all of the great selections, there are seasonal specials and discounts on Emerald Isle accommodations

Be sure to check out the local events that are occurring during your stay. If you're here this weekend, stop by the Jumble Sale at the Beaufort Historic Site on Saturday, November 17. The site transforms into a community market rich with handmade goods, arts and crafts, holiday gifts, pre-loved treasures, antiques, clothing, and so much more. Get a head start on your holiday shopping right here. The Jumble Sale has no admission fee and runs from 9a.m. to 3p.m.

Also worth a visit this weekend is the Beaufort Historical Association's (BHA) Community Thanksgiving Feast held at the Beaufort Historic Site on Sunday, November 18 from 11:30a.m. to 1p.m. It's your chance to begin celebrating Thanksgiving early with a traditional turkey dinner served with all of the fixings in a historic waterfront setting. 

The feast is provided by some of the local fine dining establishments in the area. It's a real treat! Dinners are available for take-out or can be enjoyed on the grounds of the historic site under their tent. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 the day of the event. Hurry, this event sells out quickly!
We'll keep you posted on the upcoming events here on the Crystal Coast. Please know you have a standing invitation to join us in the upcoming weeks. We'd love to see you!

Have you and your family enjoyed an off-season beach getaway in Emerald Isle? Tell us about it in our comment section. We'd love to hear about it!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Veterans Day Parade, Free NC Aquarium Admission & More on the Crystal Coast

Veterans Day is this weekend on Sunday, November 11. Our national holiday honors all those who have served in the United States Armed Forces and thanks them for their service and sacrifice. Are you wondering what the Crystal Coast has planned for this holiday weekend? We can help you with that.

Locally, Morehead City holds its annual Veterans Day parade on Saturday, November 10 at 11a.m. It's a big event that draws crowds to line Arendell Street in participation and support of our veterans. We hope to see you there!

On Sunday, November 11, the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores offers free admission to all (no past or present military affiliation required) in honor of Veterans Day. The aquarium is open from 9a.m. to 5p.m. and as always has a host of fun and free activities which include two touch pools, dive presentations, animal programs, and so much more. 

Take advantage of the free admission, but also take advantage of the two opportunities available to visitors to support and give back to the community. Collections for Martha's Mission Cupboard in Morehead City are being taken this day, so bring non-perishable food donations with you when you come. Staples such as cereal, peanut butter, powdered milk, canned fruit and vegetables, dried beans, rice, and crackers are in demand. This local food pantry helps families on the Crystal Coast during difficult times throughout the year. With the holiday season coming up, they are especially in need of donations during this time. Also, please be sure the items have not passed their expiration date. Collection boxes are available or you can just hand your donations to an aquarium staff member between 9a.m-5p.m.

The American Red Cross is on hand in Soundside Hall from 10a.m.-4p.m. so roll up your sleeve and give if you can. This precious commodity is in need of replenishing and any donations are greatly appreciated. 

Photo Submitted by Sarah Pipetti
Neither of the donations are required for the free admission to the aquarium, but we do hope you'll give if you're able. Thank you in advance for your support!

If you're visiting the coast this weekend, don't forget that there are some nice seasonal discounts on beach vacation rentals. Be here for the holiday weekend, and extend your stay for the week!

We thank all those who give on a daily basis and serve our country, past and present. Remember to take a moment and thank a veteran; not only on Veterans Day, but on any day that you have the opportunity.

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