Local Lifestyles

First Time Home Buyers

An important step in life is one’s first home purchase. First-time home buyers are usually younger and have a price range of $100,000 to $200,000. Western Carteret County and the HWY 70 Corridor of Craven County has many opportunities for those looking to own a private residence.

Newport in Carteret County and Havelock to point’s west in Craven County are some of the best locations for new home buyers. The area on Highway 70 of New Bern is a great opportunity for purchasing a home under $200,000.

The rapidly expanding area known as the Old Cherry Point Road area lying between New Bern and Havelock is a wonderful new home site for first time buyers. A brand new development in the $100,000-$200,000 price range is Falcon Bridge. Many other already existing neighborhoods are available for those looking to purchase in this area as well.

Another option the first-time home buyer might want to consider is a townhome, condominium or patio home. These low maintenance units offer yard service, community amenities and are much less expensive than a traditional single family home. Low maintenance homes can be found all over these areas.

Click here for information on the $8000 first-time homebuyers “Tax Credit”

Island Living

Fort Macon, Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path / Indian Beach and Emerald Isle are all part of the island of Bogue Banks, a 21 mile long barrier island at the southern point of the NC Outer Banks.

This is North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, an Island with beautiful Atlantic Ocean beaches on one shoreline and the Intercoastal Waterway and Bogue Sound on the other.

Living off the bounty of these waters has been a way of life for fishermen and pirates alike for hundreds of years. Discover this area for yourself today. You will find the Crystal Coast and Bogue Banks have the treasures you’ve been seeking. Once here, you will never want to leave.

History abounds in the nearby by towns and villages of Morehead City, Beaufort, Harkers Island and Swansboro. Spend a week or spend a lifetime along Bogue Banks and Welcome Home.

Sport Fishing

Anglers find themselves with the freedom to fish at just about anytime of year on the Crystal Coast with at least one species abundant year-round. Visitors during the fall months find a bountiful source of false albacore and red drum. The false albacore during this time can reach anywhere from six to 15 pounds while red drum in recent years have reached 70 pounds. Seatrout angling is also very popular in the fall especially off the shores of Cape Lookout National Seashore and at Fort Macon State Park. The refreshing weather brought on by winter’s wind ushers in with it some very big striped bass, lots of bluefish and plenty of large flounder. Shackleford Banks is a prime spot in the spring to catch cobia ranging in weight from 40 to 80 pounds. The summer heat lures fishing enthusiasts 40 to 45 miles offshore to the warm shimmering waters of the Gulf Stream where white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, dolphin and wahoo are plentiful. Book a charter and see for yourself – we recommend Captain Dale Britt. Check out www.sensationsportfishing.com for information on ½ day, ¾ day and full day trips offshore.

The methods of catching a “big one” are easier on the Crystal Coast with several fishing piers conveniently situated near Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle, public beach access at Fort Macon State Park and a plethora of charter fishing boats pleasantly bobbing in Bogue Sound. The Big Rock Tournament is an annual event that brings huge crowds to the Morehead City Waterfront every year. Along with the cornucopia of colors brought by Fall, enterprising anglers can partake in the Gordie McAdams Speckled Trout Surf Fishing Tournament, one of the fastest growing tournaments in North Carolina.


In addition to adventures above the water, diving enthusiasts have another realm of exploration beneath the brilliantly luminous waters of the Crystal Coast. A trifecta of diving perfection with rich wreck diving, coupled with warm waters reaching an average of 80°F and approximately 75 feet of sparklingly clear visibility make for a diving experience unlike anything else in the world.

The waters of the Crystal Coast possess a hidden graveyard of more than 2,000 vessels that have made their unlikely final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic. Many ships were sunk by crewmembers desperately trying to avoid capture and some were submerged in order to promote coral reef development. During WWII, German U-boats frequently targeted and sunk merchant vessels carrying oil, sulfur and other natural resources to northern states. This has sparked an unprecedented surge in diving enthusiasts seeking to experience the alluring mysteries the graveyard of the Atlantic has to offer.

The state of North Carolina has recently implemented a program, aptly named Dive Down, to allow 1500 recreational divers over the course of five years, from 2006 to 2010, the chance of a lifetime — to view the remains of the Queen Anne’s Revenge. As the legendary tale goes, in 1718 Blackbeard decided to ground the ship and leave with a select few of his crew.

Since it’s discovery the underwater shipwreck has been off-limits to everyone except archeologists and state officials in order to protect the integrity of the site.

In addition to the hauntingly beautiful shipwrecks off the shores of the Crystal Coast, divers find the waters are teeming with aquatic life. The usual suspects such as stingrays, cobia, grouper, lobster, small tropical fish and several varieties of coral are abundant. The lionfish, a stunning but poisonous species with sharp spiny fins and brick red bands covering its body, make occasional appearances as well. Previously known only to inhabit the tropical and subtropical waters of the South Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, the lionfish has mysteriously appeared in North Carolina waters in recent years.

Paddling and Sailing

Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts have the freedom to journey through the intricately laced inlets and waterways winding throughout the Crystal Coast. Explorers visiting the area find paddling adventures that are suited to every interest and schedule. Paddling excursions range from convenient two to four-hour guided tours through the waters surrounding Beaufort, Morehead City or Cape Lookout to full-blown eight-day paddling expeditions taking explorers up and down the coast of North Carolina. Paddlers interested in hitting the open sea find adventurous paths from popular western Crystal Coast locales, Hammocks Beach and Bear Island.

With the natural abundance of spectacularly shimmering waters, it is no coincidence that boating plays a vital role in vacations to the Crystal Coast. Seafarers visiting the area charter boats to voyage to all areas of the Crystal Coast, even the islands only accessible by boat. From Shackleford Banks and Portsmouth Island to the smaller but equally captivating locales, Carrot Island and Hammock’s Beach, the barrier islands of the Crystal Coast are literally a boat ride away.

Adventurous souls, with a little more time on their hands, take charge of their very own vessel and learn how to sail themselves. Instructors go over all the points of sailing including tacking, jibing, anchoring and docking on 22 to 30-foot boats. Personalized sailing courses are available geared towards sailors of all skill levels.

There are even instructional courses designed to give children their first glimpse into the world of sailing. The North Carolina Maritime Museum features a Junior Sailing Program held throughout the summer months. The two-week program is designed to teach children the fun of sailing, the thrill of competition, navigational skills and seamanship.

Popular in the summer, The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores plays host to “On-board Collecting Cruises” in which curious visitors experience the thrill of wrangling marine life while aquarium experts identify each creature and explain how they affect the delicate North Carolina eco-system. Once the explorers learn all they can about the Crystal Coast marine life, the creatures are set free in the ocean.