Crystal Coast – Perfect North Carolina Shores Vacation Destination

Perfect North Carolina Shores Vacation Destination


As you remember, my husband and I took the kids to the Crystal Coast of North Carolina a few weeks ago. It’s a beautiful area down at the Southern end of the Outer Banks and is the perfect North Carolina Shores vacation destination!

We spent several hours each day just enjoying the beauty of the beach. The kids loved playing in the sand and splashing around in the shallow waves.


North Carolina Shores Vacation Destination Crystal Coast


Besides playing in the sand with the kids, I loved sitting on the beach and enjoying the wildlife. I saw some amazing species of sea birds, dolphins, and this little guy:


Beach Crab at Crystal Coast our North Carolina Shores Vacation

After enjoying a great morning by the ocean, we spent the afternoons sightseeing and having fun around the local area. One of our favorite places was the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.

North Carolina Aquarium

The kids had such a great time, seeing all sorts of amazing creatures like enormous sharks, playful otters, hungry penguins, slippery rays and so much more. Here are a few photos of the awesome exhibits at the N.C. Aquarium:
Summer Vacation Destination NC Aquarium
Crystal Coast North Carolina Shores Aquarium

NC Aquarium - Summer Vacation Destination


Jellyfish at NC Aquarium - Summer Vacation Destination Ideas


Penguins at the NC Aquarium - a great Summer Vacation Destination 

Summer Vacation Destination Ideas NC Aquarium



Beaufort Historic Site


We spent another afternoon touring beautiful historic Beaufort.  We took the tour from the top of a double-decker bus, which the kids absolutely loved! I enjoyed learning the history of the area and seeing the wonderful old houses and buildings of Beaufort.


Beaufort NC Summer Vacation Destination


Beaufort NC Summer Vacation Destination Old Historic Houses


I even saw some wild horses across the water, but didn’t get a photo in time. This area of the Outer Banks is known for the wild horses that run free in small areas of the islands.


Summer North Carolina Shores Wild Horses in Beaufort NC


Bus Tour Crystal Coast Summer Vacation Destination


The Hammock House, the oldest home in Beaufort, dates back to approximately 1700 and is rumored to have been visited by Blackbeard. Very cool!


Blackbeard's House Hammock Summer Vacation Destination


After long days on the beach and out sightseeing, we looked forward to a delicious dinner and weren’t disappointed. We ate at several area restaurants and really enjoyed them all.


Beaufort Grocery Co.


The Beaufort Grocery Co. is right in the historic district where we’d just taken the double-decker bus tour.  As we enjoyed our dinner, we saw horse carriages ride by and families strolling down the street. 


Summer Vacation Destination Beaufort Grocery Co


Our dinner at Beaufort Grocery Co. was wonderful. The restaurant is a little more upscale than the others we visited on this trip, but everyone was very welcoming of our family with three kids in tow.  :)

We started our dinner off with the hot Gorgonzola and Fresh Spinach Dip with Grilled Pita and Lavosh Crackers. It was sooooo good, we could have ordered another order or two and just all eaten that for dinner!


Beau Gro Summer Vacation Destination Crystal Coast


For dinner, we had the Shrimp & Scallops and Caesar Cardini Salad. The kids all enjoyed salads and pasta. Everything was delicious.

Beaufort Grocery Co. has lots of amazing desserts, so we saved a little bit of room to try them. Our whole family sampled the Lemon Pie, Peach Cobbler and Pecan Pie a la mode. They were all delicious and perfect with a cup of coffee after dinner.


Beau Gro Crystal Coast Summer Vacation Destination


We loved our dinner at Beaufort Grocery Co.. I’d love to go back again and sit outside next time to enjoy the beautiful scenery while having more delicious “Beau Gro” food!



Amos Mosquitos


We all thought that Amos Mosquito’s was such a fun restaurant!  Besides the delicious food, the unique decor and gorgeous outdoor seating with a water view are also reasons to come for a great meal. There are lots of fun design elements like iron mosquito lights and branches hanging from the ceiling – we loved looking around at everything while we had dinner!


Amos Mosquito's Crystal Coast Summer Vacation Destination


I had the server bring a bartender specialty drink. It was fruity, sweet and delicious and came in this fun glass.


Amos Mosquito Summer Vacation Destination Crystal Coast


We tried several yummy appetizers at Amos Mosquito’s, including the Coconut Shrimp, Fried Dill Pickles and Iceberg Wedge Salad.


Amos Mosquito's Summer Vacation Destination


For our main course, we had the Shrimp and Grits and Shrimp and Scallop Alfredo. The kids all had the “Snake Skins”, which were buttered noodles with parmesan cheese. We loved everything!

Even with the delicious drinks, appetizers and entrees, our favorite part was definitely the make-it-yourself indoor S’mores! The kids had a ball making their own desserts. I thought it was such a cute idea!


restaurant and bar Crystal Coast Outer Banks NC


Even though there were a lot of fun elements at Amos Mosquito’s that we all loved, the decor wasn’t the reason so many people were enjoying dinner while we were there.  The food is creative, original and absolutely delicious!



Beaufort Grocery Too


Owned by the same people that run the Beaufort Grocery Co., Beaufort Grocery Too brings the same great quality of food in a more casual, fun restaurant.


NC Summer Vacation Destination Beaufort


The attention to detail was clear throughout the design of the restaurant, the art on the walls and the food we were served, all the way down to the kids’ sides of fruit.


Beaufort Crystal Coast NC Outer Banks


Our server suggested the Saganaki for an appetizer and we were glad she did. It was a Kasseri cheese served flaming in brandy with a big bucket of homemade breads. It was amazing!


NC Summer Vacation Destination Travel Ideas


For our entrees, we had the Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles and the Mo’ Better Cheeseburger and the kids had waffles.  Everything was so unique from the appetizer through the dinners and we loved it all!


Crystal Coast Outer Banks Summer Vacation Destination


We had a great time at Beaufort Grocery Too. Our server was so knowledgeable, helpful and sweet.  We took her recommendations for several of our orders and it was clear she knew her stuff. We loved the entire experience and will definitely be back!


Thanks for reading all about our wonderful trip to the Crystal Coast in the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina!  I could write so much more about the fun we had (and I just might do that!).  It’s a beautiful, unspoiled area of the Outer Banks that had enough restaurants, shopping and activities to keep us happy and entertained without being overrun by crowds of tourists.  It’s by far one of our favorite beach vacation spots and we will be back again in the future!

I would love to thank everyone we met during our trip to the Crystal Coast.  You all made our entire vacation magical and enjoyable!  We’ll be back.  :)


If you’d like to learn more about these awesome places,  check them out online:

Atlantis Lodge –

Beaufort Grocery Co. –

Amos Mosquito’s Restaurant –

Beaufort Historic Site Tours –

North Carolina Aquarium –




I received a discounted rate and complimentary meals in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own. The Crystal Coast ROCKS!  











  1. The food photos alone are well worth that trip!

  2. I have never been to the Outer Banks, but your photos really make me want to go. We aren’t too far away here in GA, so I definitely see that as a “to go” destination in our future!!

  3. Love the pics! That looks like a fun trip. Um, can you teach me how to pixelate the faces too? Thx!
    Whirlwind of Surprises

  4. I’ve never heard of the Crystal Coast before – I definitely want to go check it out now!

  5. I’ve never heard of Crystal Coast either but it looks like a great vacation destination!

  6. What fantastic photographs. It looks like you must have had an amazing time!

  7. Valerie Higins says:

    We have been looking for somewhere for the entire family to stay at the beach this coming summer (17 people). This looks like a nice place to get rooms near each other.

    I’ll check it out. Thanks!

WordPress Backup