A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

A note from Our State: In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina is currently under a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Roy Cooper. We hope that our

Madison County Championship Rodeo

A note from Our State: In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina is currently under a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Roy Cooper. We hope that our

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

A note from Our State: In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina is currently under a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Roy Cooper. We hope that our

18 Piers to Visit for Fun, Sun, and Seaside Snacks

A note from Our State: In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina is currently under a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Roy Cooper. We hope that our readers will look forward to traveling throughout our state once it’s safe to do so, and we will continue to share beautiful destinations for your future travel planning.


For a downloadable checklist of this guide that you can print, save, or screenshot to take with you, click here.

North Carolina’s 18 piers are stalwart landmarks for families and fishermen who’ve gone to their beach for generations. Cast a line, take a stroll, breathe in the salty air — and order that ice cream cone. This is your official NC pier bucket list.

Oceanana Pier, Atlantic Beach

Built in 1959
Inspired by the sunset-watching parties on Mallory Square in Key West, Florida, the Barnacle Bar at the end of the nearly 1,000-foot-long pier lures more than just fishermen. Order a frozen Painkiller and settle in for live music.

Oceanana Pier
700 East Fort Macon Road
Atlantic Beach, NC 28512
(252) 726-0863
oceanana.com

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Avon Fishing Pier, Avon

Built in 1963

The weather-scarred wooden pier in Avon juts out 665 feet from Hatteras Island and is known for its excellent red drum fishing.

Avon Fishing Pier
41001 NC Highway 12
Avon, NC 27915
(252) 995-5480
facebook.com/avon-fishing-pier-nc

 

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier, Emerald Isle

Built in 1960; rebuilt in 1984, 1997, 2012

Fish for Spanish or king mackerel, or grab an ice cream cone from the on-site convenience store and post up on top of the observation deck to watch the action.

Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier
100 Bogue Inlet Drive
Emerald Isle, NC 28594
(252) 354-2919
bogueinletpier.com

 

Holden Beach Fishing Pier, Holden Beach

Built in 1960

Browse the beach shop and watch as the setting sun fills the sky with color.

Holden Beach Fishing Pier
441 Ocean Boulevard West
Holden Beach, NC 28462
(910) 842-6483 

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Kitty Hawk Pier, Kitty Hawk

Built in 1953; rebuilt in 2008

The pier house often hosts weddings, but for simpler pleasures, it’s an excellent spot to watch the sunrise.

Kitty Hawk Pier
5353 North Virginia Dare Trail
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
(252) 261-1290

 

Kure Beach Fishing Pier, Kure Beach

Built in 1923; rebuilt in 1955, 1984, 1996

The oldest pier on the Atlantic Coast is open 24 hours a day in the summer, so people come to fish, stroll, and hang out around the clock.

Kure Beach Fishing Pier
100 Atlantic Avenue
Kure Beach, NC 28449
(910) 458-5524
kurepier.com

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Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head

Built in 1939; rebuilt in 1945, 2011

It’s no longer the only pier on the Outer Banks, but it stands alone as an eco-friendly educational center where children and adults alike can explore aquarium exhibits, learn about renewable energy, and, of course, learn how to fish.

Jennette’s Pier
7223 South Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 255-1501
jennettespier.net

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Nags Head Fishing Pier, Nags Head

Built in 1947

Catch a fish and the Pier House Restaurant will cook it — fried, grilled, or blackened — and then serve it to you on a plate piled with French fries, slaw, and hush puppies. The stunning ocean view is a bonus.

Nags Head Fishing Pier
3335 South Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-5141
nagsheadpier.com

 

SeaView Fishing Pier, North Topsail Beach

Built in 1982; rebuilt in 1999

At more than 1,000 feet, this pier is one of the longest in North Carolina. At one end, it offers king mackerel fishing; at the other, a memorable cheeseburger.

SeaView Fishing Pier
124 Fishing Pier Lane
North Topsail Beach, NC 28460
(910) 328-3172
facebook.com/seaviewfishingpier

 

Oak Island Pier, Oak Island

Built in 1955; rebuilt in 1972, 1992, 2019

At 27 feet above the sea, this is the tallest pier in the state. Take a stroll to the end and wonder at the views of Oak Island.

Oak Island Pier
705 Ocean Drive
Oak Island, NC 28465
(910) 933-6161
oakislandpier.com

 

Ocean Crest Fishing Pier, Oak Island

Bring your own beach chair to get comfy while you drop a line or relax beneath the shady gazebo at the end of this pier, which often hosts fishing tournaments.

Ocean Crest Fishing Pier
1409 East Beach Drive
Oak Island, NC 28465
(910) 278-6674
ocpier.com

 

Ocean Isle Beach Pier, Ocean Isle Beach

Built in 1957

Be sure to order a cheeseburger at The Pier Grill, then grab an ice cream or a beer from the small shop to enjoy in “the backyard.” The grassy area is filled with wooden tables overlooking the ocean and often features live music.

Ocean Isle Beach Pier
1 West First Street
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
(910) 579-3095
oibpier.com

 

Rodanthe Pier, Rodanthe

Built in 1960

Go fishing, look for sea life, hang out in the game room with a cold drink, or simply take in the view of the coast dotted with colorful houses.

Rodanthe Pier
24251 Atlantic Drive
Rodanthe, NC 27968
(252) 987-0030
rodanthepierllc.com

 

Sunset Beach Fishing Pier, Sunset Beach

Built in 1960; rebuilt in 1976

In 1864, Vesta, a Confederate blockade runner, ran out of fuel and then ran aground on what was then known as Bald Beach. It was unloaded and abandoned, set on fire, and, eventually, buried by sand. This pier was built over the sunken ship hull.

Sunset Beach Fishing Pier
101 West Main Street
Sunset Beach, NC 28468
(910) 579-6630
sunsetbeachpier.com

 

Surf City Ocean Pier, Surf City

Built in 1951; rebuilt in 1974, 1996

The original Surf City Ocean Pier was mostly steel. Now, the wooden structure offers ocean views above and a different kind of beauty below — almost like a cathedral.

Surf City Ocean Pier
112 South Shore Drive
Surf City, NC 28445
(910) 328-3521
surfcityoceanpier.com

 

Jolly Roger Inn & Pier, Topsail Beach

Built in 1954

This pier opens up early so that fishermen can get a weather update and a bag of breakfast sandwiches to go — but even if you aren’t heading out on the boat, you can still enjoy a tasty breakfast.

Jolly Roger Inn & Pier
803 Ocean Boulevard
Topsail Beach, NC 28445
(910) 328-4616
thejollyroger.com

 

Crystal Pier, Wrightsville Beach

Built in 1939; rebuilt in 1955

Spectators on Wrightsville Beach’s only wooden pier have the best seats in town to watch surfers catching waves. But those in the know stay for a meal at the adjoining Oceanic restaurant. Diners fill the window-facing seats, and more sit outside on the pier itself, where tables overlook the sand and sunbathers below.

Crystal Pier
703 South Lumina Avenue
Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
(910) 256-5551
oceanicrestaurant.com

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Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier, Wrightsville Beach

Built in 1937; rebuilt in 1955, 2002

This solid-concrete pier — unusual on the Carolina coast — is a favorite fishing spot year-round. When you want to get out of the sun, duck into the pier house, which features a tackle shop, grill, gift shop, and small arcade.

Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier
23 East Salisbury Street
Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
(910) 256-2743
johnniemercersfishingpier.com

 

This story was published on May 11, 2020

Our State Staff

Our State Staff

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.