pearl coastal plain oriental feat img
photograph by Chris Hannant

1. Discover our small towns on the inner coast.

These towns are buoyed by their proximity to water — river, sound, bay — yet they’re far enough from the ocean that you won’t find sand in your shoes. Here, 14 quirky places claim their fame in boats and bears, local characters and history.

2. Write an open letter to the world.

Take the 1.5 mile hike on sand to Bird Island’s Kindred Spirit mailbox. Like a message in a bottle, the notes inside the seaside mailbox a contain the stories and secrets of those who seek a spiritual connection.

3. Taste the unique flavor of Stump Sound oysters.

Live near the coast? Far from it? Either way, Stump Sound oysters are within your reach. Read more about this Carolina delicacy and how to order them from a few local companies.


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4. Live like a local in Kinston.

The eastern North Carolina community of Kinston has found new life as a culinary mecca, but locals see it — and know it — as so much more. See why we think it’s a must-visit stop on your next coastal tour.

5. Ride the little known Sans Souci Ferry.

The Sans Souci Ferry is one of the last of its kind, a scavenger hunt of a destination that you’ll find if you’re dedicated. Or a local. Or lost. Read more about one of the only three remaining cable-guided ferries left in North Carolina.


Find more coastal travel ideas here.


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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.