Beach driving is the perfect weekend activity to do while at the ocean. Of the many attractions that Emerald Isle brings, beach driving is always a favorite! So, can you drive on Emerald Isle Beach? Short answer: YES! Long answer: You will need to apply for a permit before you can drive on the beach strand. Let’s get into the details!
What time of year can I drive on the beach in Emerald Isle?
According to the town of Emerald Isle, beach driving opens in mid-September and runs to late April of the next year. For 2021-2022, Emerald Isle beach driving runs from September 15th to April 30th. However, beach driving is closed in Emerald Isle from April 15th – 25th for the Easter Holiday. Due to the time change, the beach will have differing operating hours throughout the year. Check out the list below for a full breakdown.
EMERALD ISLE BEACH DRIVING HOURS 2021-2022
September 15th to November 6th – 5:00 am to 9:00 pm
November 7th to March 12th – 5:00 am to 7:00 pm
March 13th to April 30th – 5:00 am to 9:00 pm
*Note: All vehicles must be off of the beach strand before closing hours. Vehicles not off the beach strand may be cited by the police department.
Do I need a permit to drive on Emerald Isle Beach?
Yes. All vehicles require an annual beach driving permit issued by the Town of Emerald Isle. For non-residents, a beach driving permit is $175, for Carteret County residents, a beach driving permit is $100, and for Emerald Isle residents under 65, a beach driving permit is $50. If you are a person with a disability, a Veteran with a disability, a Town employee, or an Emerald Isle resident over age 65, your beach driving permit will be free of charge.
What type of vehicle do I need for beach driving?
At Emerald Isle beaches, all vehicles must be 4-wheel drive vehicles. All-wheel drive vehicles are prohibited.
How do I apply for a beach driving permit in Emerald Isle?
The application process is very simple. Just visit the Town of Emerald Isle’s website and apply online. You will need a valid driver’s license, your vehicle registration, any supporting documentation, and payment information ready. Apply for a beach driving permit here.
What are the beach driving rules for Emerald Isle?
All vehicles must abide by North Carolina Vehicle laws while driving on the strand. The speed limit is 20 MPH and all vehicles must allow pedestrians the right of way. Please reduce speed and avoid driving near beachgoers. Also, be on the lookout for any sea turtle nests or other wildlife that may have come ashore.
Driving on the dunes is not allowed at any time. This is vital to the environment and vehicles should stay a minimum of 10 feet away from any primary dunes. Occasionally, beach driving locations may be closed to all guests, in which case a sign will be posted at the entrance to the beach.
Where can I enter to drive on Emerald Isle beach?
Authorized beach access ramps for entry and exit are located at the following sites.
Ocean Drive Ramp – “dog-leg” (located on the east end near mile marker 15 on NC 58 near 3101 Ocean Drive and the Emerald Isle Dollar General) **Fun fact: Our vacation rental property Blue Sapphire is located across the street from this driving ramp!
Black Skimmer Ramp – Black Skimmer Drive (located across from the Police Department near 7501 Ocean Drive)
Point Ramp – The Point (located at the terminus of Inlet Drive and Bogue Ct. near 100 Bogue Ct.)
Other things to know about Emerald Isle Beach Driving
Please be sure to adhere your Beach Driving Permit to the inside of the lower left-hand side of your front window and remove decals from all previous years. The Emerald Isle Police Department strictly enforces these rules. Please also allow 20 feet from the primary dunes to remain open for first responders and town vehicles to pass by once on the beach strand. If any of your party digs holes in the sand while visiting, please fill in the holes before leaving as these can be detrimental to other cars.
Last but not least, HAVE FUN, bring your dog, your family, and enjoy our beautiful Emerald Isle beach! If you have any further questions, please be sure to visit EmeraldIsleNC.org for more information.
We all love our furry friends and want to bring them with us everywhere! So when planning a beach vacation to Emerald Isle we have to ask, “Can my dog come too?!” The short answer: Yes! Emerald Isle is a dog-friendly beach destination along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.
Now let’s dig into the dog-gone details.
Can Dogs go on Emerald Isle Beach?
Yes, dogs are allowed on Emerald Isle Beach as long as they are on leashes.
Does my Dog need to stay on a Leash in Emerald Isle?
Yes, your dog must remain on a leash the entire time while on Emerald Isle beach. If your dog would like to run or chase a ball on the beach, we recommend using retractable leashes.
What are the pet policies in Emerald Isle NC?
According to the Town of Emerald Isle’s latest Beach Regulations, “Dogs are permitted on the beach strand but must be kept on a leash. Dog excrement must be collected and removed from the beach strand.” There are plenty of trash can containers along the beach strand located at every public beach access. Our tip? Bring pet waste bags with you. There are great options of clip-on waste bag containers that you can attach to your dog’s leash.
Where are the best places to take my dog in Emerald Isle?
Where are dog-friendly places to stay in Emerald Isle?
Funny you should ask! We offer dog-friendly vacation rental options in Emerald Isle at PDL Beach Properties! Here is a list of our pet-friendly homes in Emerald Isle. There are also some dog-friendly options on the island at local hotels plus our friends at bringfido.com have some amazing listings as well!
We hope this article helped answer your pawing questions about dog-friendly options at Emerald Isle! If you have any other questions regarding our dog-friendly vacation rentals in Emerald Isle, visit our about page or contact us online.
If you are anything like us, reading a book set in the location you’re visiting is about one of the most amazing experiences you can imagine. With these North Carolina books, we’ve gone one step further and ensured that they are all set within our beautiful coastal waters. Take a look at our running list of the best beach books set in North Carolina for your vacation to the Atlantic Ocean!
From local author in Emerald Isle, Tom Gill, to New York Times Bestseller & New Bern local, Nicholas Sparks. We have it all!
12 Best Beach Books Set in North Carolina
#1. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks – We are sure this comes as no surprise if you know anything of famous North Carolina Authors. The Notebook is a #1 New York Times Bestseller that was adapted to film in 2004 and began Nicholas Sparks’ notable career in creating North Carolina based stories. The book itself was actually set in New Bern, North Carolina which is about an hour outside of Emerald Isle. The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned from the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.
#2.Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – Crawdads are very common to the North Carolina intercoastal waterways which is where this story begins in a fictional coastal town, known as Barkley Cove. Delia Owens’ #1 New York Times Bestseller, ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’, became a hit sensation in the summer of 2018 & has since become a favorite on many reviewers’ lists, including Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
#3.A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks – If you’re looking for a tear-jerker, Nicholas Sparks delivers in this Beaufort, North Carolina based novel about teenage love turning into the greatest love one can find, true love. Follow along with Landon Carter, a 17 year old boy in 1958 who falls in love with the pastor’s daughter. Can she change his life forever? In 2002, the book was adapted into a movie starring Mandy Moore and Shane West.
#4.Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks – Proving that grief after losing a loved one can truly make us want to send them a “Message in a Bottle,” Nicholas Sparks’ novel captures the essence of what it means to have a second chance at love. This novel is set in Wilmington, North Carolina, and follows the story of two characters who find their way to each other under extraordinary circumstances & get a glimpse at what life could look like together. Unfortunately, sometimes fate has other plans. Message in a Bottle was adapted to film in 1999 and was produced by and starred Kevin Costner.
#5. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen – Set in a fictional southern town in North Carolina called Mullaby. In her latest enchanting novel, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen invites you to a quirky little Southern town with more magic than a full Carolina moon. Here two very different women discover how to find their place in the world–no matter how out of place they feel.
#6. Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks – The only of Sparks’ novels that mentions it’s location in the actual title, ‘Nights in Rodanthe’ is a romance novel set in Rodanthe, North Carolina about 4 hours northwest of Emerald Isle, NC. The novel was adapted to film in 2008 starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane. At forty-five, Adrienne Willis must rethink her entire life when her husband abandons her for a younger woman. Reeling with heartache and in search of a respite, she flees to the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina to tend to a friend’s inn for the weekend. But when a major storm starts moving in, it appears that Adrienne’s perfect getaway will be ruined — until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. At fifty-four, Paul has just sold his medical practice and come to Rodanthe to escape his own shattered past. Now, with the storm closing in, two wounded people will turn to each other for comfort — and in one weekend set in motion feelings that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives.
#7. Joyland by Stephen King – Set in a beach town of North Carolina, this thriller mystery follows a college student who takes a summer job at an amusement park called Joyland & discovers the mysteries behind a murder taken place years earlier.
#8. The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks – Taking place just 18 minutes outside of Emerald Isle, ‘The Guardian’ is a romantic thriller set in Swansboro, North Carolina. A little outside of Nicholas Sparks’ norm, this romantic thriller follows Julie Barenson, a 29-year-old who is in search of her next emotional commitment. Julie Barenson’s young husband left her two unexpected gifts before he died: a Great Dane puppy named Singer and the promise that he would always be watching over her. Now, four years have passed. Still living in the small town of Swansboro, North Carolina, Julie is emotionally ready to make a commitment to someone again. But who? Should it be Richard Franklin, the handsome, sophisticated engineer who treats her like a queen? Or Mike Harris, the down-to-earth nice guy who was her husband’s best friend? Choosing one of them should bring her more happiness than she’s had in years. Instead, Julie is soon fighting for her life in a nightmare spawned by a chilling deception and jealousy so poisonous that it has become a murderous desire.
#9. The Bridge by Tom Gill – A touching love story, The Bridge reveals how a family tragedy—kept hidden for fifteen years—ends up wreaking havoc when it is finally revealed. An automobile accident at the Langston Bridge foreshadows events to come when high school sophomore Kirby Smith sets off on an intoxicating summer vacation at her grandparents’ home in gorgeous Emerald Isle, North Carolina. Sparks fly when the two young people get together. But when Kirby innocently stumbles on a shocking secret, readers are taken back to another time, revealing heartrending events that have been concealed for years. Tom Gill also wrote a sequel to ‘The Bridge’ called Return to Emerald Isle which was published in 2017.
#10. Beach Rental by Grace Greene – Set in Emerald Isle, NC along the beautiful Crystal Coast, Beach Rental brings about the story of Juli Cooke. Hard-working and getting nowhere fast, Julie agrees to marry a dying man for a financial settlement, not expecting this will soon set her on a journey of hope and love. The first of three novels, Grace Greene brings to life the seaside escapes of the North Carolina coast in this perfect beach read. Check out her other two books in the Emerald Isle, NC series: Beach Winds and Beach Wedding.
#11. A Field of Fireflies by Joey Jones – Set in Washington, North Carolina this novel takes place about an hour and 30 minutes outside of Emerald Isle, NC. Synopsis: Growing up, Nolan Lynch’s family was unconventional by society’s standards, but it was filled with love, and his parents taught him everything he needed to know about life, equality, and family. A baseball player with a bright future, Nolan’s on his way to the major leagues when tragedy occurs. Six years later, he’s starting over as the newest instructor at the community college in Washington, North Carolina, where he meets Emma Pate, who seems to be everything he’s ever dreamed of—beautiful, assertive, and a baseball fan to boot. Emotionally complex and charged with suspense, A Field of Fireflies is the unforgettable story of family, love, loss, and an old baseball field where magic occurs, including the grace of forgiveness and second chances.
#12. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han – This trilogy of books by author Jenny Han is based in a fictional coastal town known as Cousins Beach, North Carolina. When asked, Han confirmed that the location is inspired by Cape Cod, the Hamptons, and a splash of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The young adult series is a perfect summer read for any teen wanting a quick read at the beach.
Honorable mentions – More Books Set in North Carolina:
The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon – 5th novel in the Outlander series during the War of the Regulation based in North Carolina (from about 1765-1771). You may know the series from the TV adaptation “Outlander” on Starz Network. Claire and Jamie’s home is located on Fraser’s Ridge in the North Carolina mountains. Gabaldon herself has said that Fraser’s Ridge would be near Boone, NC and Blowing Rock.
Serena by Ron Rash – New York Times Bestseller and newly adapted film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradly Cooper. This story is set in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.
Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty – Set in Asheville, NC
The Secret Book and Scones Society by Ellery Adams – Set in Miracle Springs, NC
The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin – Set in Charlotte, NC
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier – A historical fiction set in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in Cold Mountain, NC.
Outbound Train by Renee Winchester – Set in Bryson City, NC just outside of Asheville.
Carolina Mist by Mariah Steward – Set in a Victorian Estate in Primrose, NC.
We hope this list brings you some well-deserved reading time on the beaches this summer and you continue to find books set in our beautiful state of North Carolina for years to come.
You may think it’s all fun and games in Emerald Isle NC…
and YOU’D BE RIGHT!
Our curated list comes from years of experience and adventure all along the gorgeous Crystal Coast of North Carolina. Emerald Isle is a town on Bogue Banks Island, part of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast that is full of adventure, relaxation, and beautiful sunsets. Check out our list of the Top 11 Things to Do in Emerald Isle NC!
The most obvious…THE BEACH! Come to Emerald Isle NC to get your summer tan on and enjoy the crystal clear waters of North Carolina. You can bring the family for a beach day with your umbrellas and chairs & build sandcastles along the wide stretch of beach. Listening to rolling waves while reading a good book or sleeping under a huge sun hat sound good right about now!
2. Next up, the ocean! Emerald Isle is a hub for watersports! Anything from Surfing to skimboarding to water skiing. We have it all! The Western and Eastern Ocean Regional Accesses are public entry points to the beach for this watersports hub. You can even rent canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks along the Intercoastal Waterway to avoid any huge waves and stay close to shore. This is ideal for those kids and teens who secretly want to be surfers! Who doesn’t?
3. We told you about the watersports but we forgot to mention one of the biggest tourist attractions…Deep-Sea Fishing! The Bogue Inlet Pier is a popular fishing spot, with views of the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the boats like to charter from Morehead City and Swansboro, NC.
4. If you love to see fish and other sea creatures from a safe distance, the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is for you!! Our aquarium is by far one of our must-see attractions, if you can only manage a few of these suggestions, let it be the NC Aquarium.
5. Emerald Isle Woods Park has a disc golf course and a dock, plus shoreline and forest trails, including part of the North Carolina Birding Trail. This is a great place for the entire family to find something they will enjoy!
6. The Salty Pirate Water Park is full of water slides that are both big and small, and is perfect for a day trip! Check out that “pirate ship”!!
7. Shopping!! Who doesn’t love a beautiful boutique filled with buried treasures? You will find so many fun places to find those one-of-a-kind souvenirs to bring home to family and friends.
8. Golfing and Putt-putt galore! One of our favorites is Lost Treasure Putt-Putt Golf & Raceway on Salter Path Rd. Bring the whole family and challenge each other to get that hole in one on the last hole to win a secret prize!
9. For our History buffs out there, Emerald Isle is very close to historic Beaufort NC. Learn about the beautiful historic homes and visit the town!
10. Fine Dining and Fun dining with delicious Seafood restaurants and fun beach-style atmospheres. Some of our personal favorites: Caribsea, Crab Claw Oceanfront Restaurant, Michaelangelo’s Pizza and Subs, Jackie’s American Grille, The Trading Post, and The Village Market.
11. Throughout the year Emerald Isle NC is also host to many events like Fairs & Festivals. Here is a list of the upcoming Emerald Isle NC events in 2018:
Beaufort Art Walk and Candlelight Homes Tour – December 8, 2018
In the words of our Property Manager at PDL Beach Properties, “There is always an adventure that awaits and a relaxing paradise when you visit Emerald Isle.” If you are in search of an amazing vacation rental in Emerald Isle NC, reach out to us by using our contact form online, emailing us at[email protected], or calling (919) 753-5751. We can’t wait to help you plan a truly memorable Emerald Isle Vacation with Places Designed for Leisure!