Why is Emerald Isle, NC called Emerald Isle?

Many of our visitors often ask if Emerald Isle is named after Ireland’s famous nickname, “Emerald Isle.” They also wonder if our Emerald Isle in North Carolina was somehow founded by an Irishman. Let’s dive into some history and found out!

View of Emerald Isle from Flyover with the Atlantic Ocean on Left and Bogue Sound on Right.

Where is Emerald Isle?

Emerald Isle is located within the Crystal Coast, also known as the “Southern Outer Banks,”  in North Carolina on the Bogue Banks. This 12-mile stretch of island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Bogue Inlet Sound. Travel to the island is made easiest by using one of two bridges that cross Bogue Sound. Of which, the Cameron Langston Bridge is the most direct route to Emerald Isle. 

History of the Town of Emerald Isle

As much of American History can tell us, Native Americans inhabited this land before the Colonial Times. However, settlers soon realized the fishing and marine life of this coast was extremely valuable.

Fishing Grounds in the 1900s off of Crystal Coast NC.

Many whalers and fishermen made the island their hunting grounds until in 1920, Mr. Henry Fort acquired ownership of this land. His goal was to create a brand new Summer tourist location but was unable to finish his development. 

Fishermen dragging the marine sound in Bogue Sound, NC (1917).

Upon Mr. Fort’s death, his daughter, Ms. Anita Maulick sold lots of Emerald Isle land to 7 individuals. Each individual agreed the land should remain family-oriented. Therefore, they limited commercial development on the island to make way for single-family homes. In 1960, ferry service began from North Carolina’s mainland, and finally, in 1971 the Cameron Langston Bridge was complete. Allowing tourism to Emerald Isle to skyrocket each Summer and more development to continue over time.

Watercolor Map of the NC Crystal Coast by Artist MoJoFineArt

So..Where did Emerald Isle get its Name?

Before development began to block out the island as a new tourist destination, a Florida consultant visited. During his flyover of the island, the lands of North Carolina with its lush maritime forests against the sparkling blues of the ocean gave him a brilliant idea. Hence, the name “Emerald Isle” was born. These maritime forests inhabit incredible flora and fauna such as Sea Turtles, White Egrets, Wax myrtle, Holly, and Sea Oats. They are also essential to the island’s shoreline as a windscreen and protector of the constant movement of the coast. The name Emerald Isle was born and stands to remain a beautiful indicator of the incredibly diverse wildlife and coastal estuaries along the Crystal Coast. 

Ocean front cottage in Emerald Isle NC
See Turtle Cottage in Emerald Isle, NC

No matter its name, Emerald Isle is one of USA Today’s Top 10 NC Best Beaches. 

From its small southern town feel to its town slogan, “Nice Matters,” Emerald Isle is the perfect family beach getaway in North Carolina. It has thousands of Emerald Isle Vacation rentals for large groups to small, more than 75 public ocean beach access sites, more than 25 public sound access sites, and maintains more than 350 public beach access parking spaces on or near the oceanfront. With Emerald Isle’s key town value to maintain a family beach small-town atmosphere and the many events held throughout the year, this is the perfect North Carolina beach to visit. 

If you are searching for your perfect vacation rental property in Emerald Isle, contact PDL Beach Properties today! If you’d like to learn more about Emerald Isle, read this list of fast facts provided by the town of Emerald Isle.

Best Beach Books Set in North Carolina

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. 

Learn more about Emerald Isle Tourist Attractions | Contact Us

Top 11 Things to do in Emerald Isle NC

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!

  1. 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:

Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival – September 29, 2018

NC Seafood Festival in Morehead City – October 5-7, 2018

Emerald Isle Flavor Festival – October 20, 2018

Swansboro Christmas Flotilla – November 23, 2018

Crystal Coast Oyster Festival – November 24, 2018

Emerald Isle Christmas Parade – November 24, 2018

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus at the 2013 Emerald Isle Christmas parade on a candy cane float

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!

What Guests Want to Know

A Simple FAQ For Our Current and Future Guests.

Booking & Cancellation

Q: How do I book with PDL Beach Properties?
A: Contact Joyce Jones by phone, email or contact form on the website to discuss any of our 11 Emerald Isle Vacation Rentals.

Q: How old do I need to be to reserve a home?
A: In order to reserve one of our vacation homes everyone who is traveling must be at least 25 years old or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Q: Do infants count toward the maximum occupancy?
A: Generally, children under the age of 2 do not count toward the maximum occupancy.

Q: Can I bring my dog along?
A: Dogs are allowed in all of our homes. Prior to bringing your dog, you must check with the Property Manager and pay the required one-time pet fee per pet. There is no limit as to how many furry friends you can bring but the fee is charged per pet. We do not allow cats at this time.

Q: What is the difference between HomeAway/VRBO and your site?
A: VRBO/HomeAway are advertising sites. We are the property management company that manages everything from marketing to maintenance and housekeeping. We advertise on VRBO and other sites to get our homes the most visibility.

Q: What is PDL Beach Properties’ cancellation policy?
A: A sixty (60) day notice is required for cancellations.  Cancellations that are made more than sixty (60) days prior to the arrival date will not incur a penalty.  Cancellations or changes that result in a shortened stay, that are made within sixty (60) days of the arrival date, forfeit the full advance payment and damage/reservation deposit.  Cancellation or early departure does not warrant any refund of rent or deposit.

Q: Do you have any homes without a three-night minimum stay?
A: Most of our homes have at least a three-night minimum stay during the Off-season. Over the peak season, we only allow weekly rentals from Saturday to Saturday.

Q: Do you take partial payments or must I pay in full upon booking?
A: For All Reservations, a $500 refundable damage deposit is due upon booking with signed contract. Half of the rental fee is due 60 days after the contract is signed and the entire balance is due 14 days before the start date of your reservation.

Q: Do you allow weddings in your homes?
A: Some of our homes do allow weddings with the Property Manager’s approval. Depending on the home, there may be additional fees, parking restrictions and guest count maximums. Please call us for more details.

Q: How can I modify my reservation, and are there any fees associated with that?
A: Please call us at 919-753-5751 to help you modify your reservation. There could be additional fees depending on the change occurring, but we will walk you through everything before finalizing it.

Q: Do you have monthly rates for your homes?
A: Yes. Please call us for more details on a specific rental property.

Q: Would I need to sign a rental contract for renting a vacation rental?
A: By booking a reservation, guests acknowledge and agree to abide by PDL Beach Properties’s rental policies. Some of our homes will require you to sign a reservation contract agreeing to policies that are specific to that home. We ask that you review and sign the contract and return it to us via email.

Q: How do I go about booking a vacation as a gift for a friend?
A: You can book and pay for a reservation for another person. However, you must ensure that the name and all contact information listed on the reservation, including the email address, are for the person that will be staying in the home.

Q: What is the difference between a hotel and a vacation rental?
A: All of our vacation rentals are owned by private home-owners and can be preferable to hotels for a number of reasons. They are typically more comfortable, offer kitchens for preparing meals and are more accommodating to those traveling with children and/or pets. Vacation rentals also offer a wider variety of accommodations which enables them to fit any vacation need or group size.

Q: How do I pay for a reservation?
A: We accept the following credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express.

Features & Amenities

Q: Do you supply anything for the pool?

A: Yes, at most locations there are extra towels and some pool toys to play with. We also have corn hole sets at many of our Emerald Isle rentals. Be sure to ask about specific locations when booking.

Q: Do I need to bring any kitchen supplies?

A: No, all of our vacation rentals have fully stocked kitchens: dishes, cups, pots, pans, cooking utensils, eating utensils, coffee makers (some locations have Keurigs), bottle openers, and much more.

Q: Is smoking allowed in the home?
A: Smoking is prohibited on the rented premises.

Q: Does the home come with linens and towels, or do I need to bring my own?
A: The home will be equipped with all the basic necessities. All the beds will be made with fresh linens and bath towels will be provided. If you would like beach towels, we recommend bringing those with you.

Q: What other items can I expect to find in the home? 
A: Please see the features and amenities section of the home listing. PDL Beach Properties will have a few items to get you started, including a small amount of toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, dishwasher pacs/pods, and dish brushes. If there is something specific that you require, please make sure you bring it with you. This is ONLY a small supply so you will need to bring extra. PDL Beach Properties does not provide extra supplies.

Q: What cable package does the home have? Will we be able to watch the game?
A: Each rental property will have a different cable vs streaming option. Please ask about a specific rental property you are interested in.

Q: If I want to order a movie or a game can I do so and have it charged to my credit card on file?
A: Our homes generally do not provide any sort of pay-per-view service.

Location & Access

Q: How do I obtain the keys?
A: We will e-mail check-in instructions 7 days prior to your stay including driving directions and the code to the lockbox or electronic deadbolt.

Q: The lockbox only has one set of keys. Can we get another set?
A: We prefer the keys stay in the lockbox so that each member of your party can access the home at any time. This will eliminate the need for multiple key sets. It also prevents the keys from getting lost.

Housekeeping & Maintenance

Q: Can I not pay the cleaning fee if I clean the home myself, rather than using your cleaning services?
A: No. Guests are not allowed to clean after their own stay. Our housekeepers meet very strict guidelines and are required to clean the home after each guest vacates.

Q: We’ve run out of toilet paper. Can you bring us some more?
A: PDL Beach Properties provides a starter kit of supplies only. If you think you will need more than what is provided, please make sure to bring some with you. We will not bring you extra supplies.

Q: We can’t get the fireplace/internet/TV/etc. working. Are there instructions in the house?
A: You should have received an email from us with check-in instructions that include a list of instructions specific to your location. However, if no instructions are found or if you need further assistance please contact us at 919-753-5751.

Q: I am allergic to pet dander and other smells, but I want to stay in a pet-friendly home. Is there any way to ensure that I won’t be bothered by them for my stay?
A: All our homes are thoroughly cleaned after each stay. However, we are unable to guarantee that you will not have a reaction to a home that has been regularly occupied by pets.

Check-in & Check-out

Q: Do I have to check in by a certain time?
A: Check-in is at 3 PM or 4 PM depending on the rental and guests can arrive any time after. There are some cases when early check-in is available. If that is the case, we will email you to inform you that an early check-in option is available. Please note that we will not be able to confirm or deny an early check-in request prior to the day of check-in due to our cleaning schedules.

Q: What are the check-out procedures?
A: Check-out is at 10 AM or 11 AM depending on the rental. A per hour fee will be assessed for failing to vacate the unit by the agreed upon check-out time.

Q: Do you allow early check-ins?
A: An early check-in is dependent on whether or not the housekeeper has time to fully clean the home before your arrival. If guests are checking out the same day that your reservation begins, an early check-in is not allowed as it will not allow the housekeeper enough time to fully prepare the home for you. We will email you if an early check-in is available.

Q: Can I get a late checkout?
A: Late check-out is available if we do not have another reservation that night. There is a fee (plus taxes) associated. The fee varies from house to house. We can tell you if a late check-out is available three days before check-in.

After your stay

Q: What is your lost and found policy?
A: We will return your lost item to you if you call us within two weeks of your departure date. Any items not claimed within two weeks will be donated to a local charity.

Have any further questions? Please contact us & we would be happy to assist you!