North Carolina is known for many things – BBQ, the Great Smoky Mountains, historic cities, and stunning beaches. With magnificent waves and sandy coves, boating and kayaking, sightseeing and whale watching, these idyllic North Carolina beach towns are some of the best around. Whether you’re looking to relocate to North Carolina or are one of the many North Carolinians looking for a beachside property, you have lots of towns to choose from.
But if you’re not sure what beach towns in North Carolina to check out, we’ve got you covered. To help you find the right coastal area, Redfin has put together a list of 13 beach towns in North Carolina, from Beaufort to Wilmington. Let’s dive into some of North Carolina’s top beach cities, listed in alphabetical order, so you can find the right place for you.
Median home price: $608,000
Avon, NC homes for sale
Avon, NC apartments for rent
First up is the beach town of Avon, located along Hatteras Island. There are plenty of beaches to explore while living in Avon such as Avon Beach. Additionally, there are only about 470 people living in this coastal North Carolina town. If you’re considering moving to this beach town make sure to visit the Avon Fishing Pier and stop by one of the many great local restaurants.
Median home price: $449,000
Beaufort, NC homes for sale
Beaufort, NC apartments for rent
Another one of North Carolina’s great coastal towns to consider buying a home in is Beaufort. Home to roughly 4,600 people, there are plenty of beaches to visit like Radio Island Beach and Topsail Marine Memorial Park. Make sure to check out the historic sites like Beaufort Historic Site, explore the downtown area, and visit the Rachel Carson Reserve if you decide on making the move to Beaufort.
Median home price: $252,500
Calabash, NC homes for sale
Calabash, NC apartments for rent
Located along the South Carolina border, Calabash is home to about 2,200 residents. There are lots of beaches to explore on a warm North Carolina day like Calabash Waterfront Park and Sunset Beach. If you find yourself moving to this fishing village, make sure to grab a meal along the waterfront, golf at one of the courses, or camp at one of the campgrounds.
#4: Carolina Beach
Median home price: $539,000
Carolina Beach, NC homes for sale
Carolina Beach, NC apartments for rent
Home to beautiful beaches like Carolina Beach, Carolina Beach Lake Park, Lake Public Beach, Ocean Public Beach, and Spartanburg Public Beach, there are countless places to spend a beach day in the area. There are about 6,600 residents living in Carolina Beach which is located along the Cape Fear River. Other than a beach day, you can explore Carolina Beach State Park, spend the day at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, and check out some of the quaint local cafes and restaurants.
Median home price: $710,000
Duck, NC homes for sale
Duck, NC apartments for rent
The charming coastal town of Duck has about 760 residents, making it a great place to consider moving to. You’ll find beautiful beaches such as Duck Town Park Boardwalk, Schooner Ridge Beach, and Wild Duck Dunes. Living in Duck, you can explore the town of Duck and check out one of the waterfront restaurants.
Median home price: $331,000
Edenton, NC homes for sale
Edenton, NC apartments for rent
With just about 4,400 people living in Edenton, it’s a great beach town to consider renting or buying a house in. Some beaches you can visit in Edenton include Waterfront Park and Queen Anne Park. Whether you visit the Roanoke River Lighthouse, explore the downtown area, and stop by the Historic Edenton State Historic Site, there are many activities to do and see in this beachfront town.
#7: Kitty Hawk
Median home price: $442,000
Kitty Hawk, NC homes for sale
Kitty Hawk, NC apartments for rent
With a population of close to 3,800, Kitty Hawk is a magnificent beach area to live in. There are plenty of beaches to explore in this Outer Banks area like Kitty Hawk Beach. If you’re going to call this town home, plan time to visit the Sandy Run Park and Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Preserve, grab lunch at a local spot, or explore the nearby small villages.
#8: Nags Head
Median home price: $765,000
Nags Head, NC homes for sale
Nags Head, NC apartments for rent
Nags Head has beautiful beaches such as Conch Street Beach and Nags Head Beach, great for taking in the water views. Living in Nags Head, make sure to explore Jockey’s Ridge State Park, check out the local shops and restaurants, or visit Jennette’s Pier.
#9: Oak Island
Median home price: $545,000
Oak Island, NC homes for sale
Oak Island, NC apartments for rent
Located along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean is Oak Island. About 8,900 people live in the area where you’ll find beaches like East Beach and Long Beach. Other attractions in Oak Island include exploring the Point, spending time at Ocean Crest Fishing Pier, and strolling along E. Oak Island Drive to check out the local shops and restaurants.
Median home price: $505,000
Ocracoke, NC homes for sale
Ocracoke, NC apartments for rent
This waterfront city only has a population of 970, but there are lots of beaches to spend time outside at. In Ocracoke, you can visit Pony Pens Beach and Ocracoke Beach. You’ll also have plenty of activities to explore during your free time, like hiking along Springer’s Point Preserve, checking out Ocracoke Lighthouse, and exploring Ocracoke Pony Pens.
Median home price: $430,000
Southport, NC homes for sale
Southport, NC apartments for rent
In Southport, there are lots of beaches you’ll want to check out if you decide to move to this cozy town, including Southport Waterfront Park. This city is home to 4,100 people and you’ll find a variety of other activities to do like touring the North Carolina Maritime Museum, walking along the Southport Waterfront Park, or having some fresh fish along the waterfront.
Median home price: $389,500
Wilmington, NC homes for sale
Wilmington, NC apartments for rent
Wilmington has lots of beaches and waterfront parks to explore, perfect for a beachside picnic. If you’re looking for a different activity, be sure to stroll along the Wilmington Riverfront, explore the Historic District to see the museums and historic sites, and check out Airlie Gardens.
#13: Wrightsville Beach
Median home price: $725,000
Wrightsville Beach, NC homes for sale
Wrightsville Beach, NC apartments for rent
There are a plethora of beachfront spots to check out if you decide that Wrightsville Beach is the right beach town for you. Some of the local spots include South End Beach and Wrightsville Beach. In this town of 2,400 residents, you can also stroll through downtown or check out Wrightsville Beach Park where you’ll find a museum and playground.
Note, this list is not comprehensive of all the beach towns in North Carolina. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during June 2023. Average rental data from Rent.com June 2023. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.