North Carolina’s third largest city, Greensboro, is located at the intersection of two interstate highways and is one of the state’s business and cultural hubs. Greensboro is also located only a short drive away from the Atlantic coastline, where many world-class beaches offer a wide range of activities for the whole family.
Camping and Fishing
If you’d rather stay out of the water on your trip to the coast, then Carolina Beach State Park is for you. Swimming is not allowed, but camping and hiking are popular throughout its 761 acres of protected land. While there, check out the famous Venus flytraps, which are local to the area.
Fishing is also a popular Carolina Beach pastime. Wheelchair access ramps are available, as are marinas for boat fishing. Commonly-caught species include spot, flounder, sheepshead and striped bass.
The Atlantic coast, located about three and a half hours east of Greensboro, is dotted with marinas and various other facilities for any boat-faring group or family. Wrightsville Beach, located just east of Wilmington, has several marinas catering to boating travelers, as well as round-the-clock on-the-water towing and assistance companies. Carolina Beach State Park, located just north of Wrightsville, will also have a fully operational marina once renovations are finished in September 2010.
Surfing is popular along the entire East Coast, and one of the best spots close to Greensboro is Wrightsville Beach. A vibrant surfing community has sprung up around the beach, with a predominance of surf schools and shops. Carolina Beach, located on the east side of Pleasure Island, also has a prominent surfing community.
Family and Relaxation
For a more relaxed, family-oriented environment, there’s Bald Head Island. This barrier island is located south of Greensboro and about two miles across the Cape Fear River from the city of Southport.
The island is only accessible by boat that for most of the year leaves the mainland every hour beginning at 7 a.m. The resort boasts its own spa and golf course, as well as year-round activities, including sand castle-building competitions, patriotic tie-dyeing and family olympics for those staying on the island.
If you are interested in taking a break from the usual beach-based activities, give Oak Island a try. A four-hour drive from Greensboro, Oak Island is located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. It is just over 12 miles long and has two towns: Oak Island and Caswell Beach.
A plethora of seaside activities are available along the 10 miles of beaches that surround the island. There are 15 challenging golf courses within seven miles of the Island, but there is also miniature golf, amusement parks, three piers, a maritime museum, the Fort Fisher State Park and Historic Site and the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, just an hour drive away.