Memorial Day getaway? Report names best beaches in North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA — Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and beach weather is already here as temperatures top 90 degrees across much of North Carolina.

As the country’s economy continues to recover, the number of Americans traveling this weekend to beaches, barbecues and getaways is expected to surge. AAA estimates that more than 37 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend, up 60% from 2020. And 2.5 million Americans are expected to board airplanes, a figure that approaches 2019 numbers.

Many people in North Carolina will be heading east to the array of sandy beaches on the state’s coast. From Bald Head Island to the Outer Banks, the North Carolina coastline offers beachgoers something for everyone.

Triangle Business Journal — a CBJ sister publication — decided to take a look at the best beaches in the state, according to U.S. News and World Report, which ranks 14 of the best spots on the coast as part of its “Best Vacation Rankings.”

At the top of the list is Emerald Isle near Morehead City. The 12 miles of beaches on this barrier island offer “a wide shoreline and beach amenities galore, including grills, showers, picnic pavilions and parking,” according to U.S. News.

Check out the rest of the best beaches here.