7 Best Beach Camping Spots in North Carolina You’ll Never Forget!

The sound of traffic and city lights are out!

The sound of rolling waves, soft sand and the light of the moon and campfires are in!

If you’re looking for a different type of camping vibe than what you’ll find in North Carolina’s mountains, we’ve got you covered in this guide.

In it, we’ll show you the 7 best beach camping spots on the coast of North Carolina.

From secluded islands to family friendly campgrounds, these coastal gems offer something for any and all campers.

Hammocks Beach State Park

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Want to feel like a castaway on a deserted island? Hammocks Beach has got you covered. 

This primitive paradise on Bear Island is only accessible by boat or kayak, so you’ll need to channel your inner pirate to get there. 

Once you’ve made landfall, get ready for moonlit beach strolls and the soothing sound of crashing waves lulling you to sleep. 

Amenities are basic but clutch – restrooms, drinking water, picnic shelters, outdoor showers, and a snack shack in season. 

No campfires allowed, but the solitude and natural beauty make up for it.

You can choose from 14 primitive campsites nestled among the dunes or really get off the grid with one of the three remote sites only accessible by paddling (these three lack drinking water).

Cape Lookout National Seashore

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History buffs and nature nerds, this one’s for you. 

Cape Lookout National Seashore offers pristine shorelines and an iconic lighthouse straight off of a postcard. 

Primitive camping is an option for the hardy souls, but there are cozy cabins for those who like a few more creature comforts. 

You’ll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to tackle the sandy roads, and campfires are permitted below the high watermark (just don’t count on finding much driftwood). 

Be prepared for steady winds around 10-15 mph, so make sure your tent is properly staked down – you don’t want to end up a human kite as you sleep!

Oregon Inlet Campground

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Scenic beauty and modern amenities? Say no more! 

The Oregon Inlet Campground within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a real treat. 

You’re just a short stroll from the beach, which is prime real estate for fishing, swimming, bird watching, surfing, and shell hunting. 

Back at camp, you’ll have flush toilets, potable water, outdoor hot showers, picnic tables, paved parking pads, and charcoal grills at each site. 

RVers, they’ve got you covered with full hook-ups and a nearby dump and water fill station. 

Be sure to check out the historic Bodie Island Lighthouse and world-class fishing at the Oregon Inlet while you’re there.

Ocracoke Island

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Can’t decide between beachside bliss and a charming small-town vibe? 

Ocracoke Island has you covered with over 130 campsites right on the beach and an awesome little beach town just a short drive away. 

Spend your days exploring miles of unspoiled coastline or hit the trails in the picturesque nature preserve. 

When you need a break from all that fresh air, pop into Ocracoke for some gift shopping, grocery runs, and a well-deserved meal at one of the local eateries. 

Just be warned – the winds can get pretty gusty, so bring some extra-long stakes to secure your tent.

Freeman Park

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First-time beach campers, this one’s for you! 

Freeman Park at the northern end of Carolina Beach is an ideal introduction to coastal camping. 

Not only is it easily accessible, but you’ll have a whole community of fellow campers around in case you need a hand with anything. 

Four-wheel-drive vehicles are a must to access the beach, and you’ll need to grab a pass from the pay stations. 

Once you’re set up, kick back and enjoy the comforts of trash cans, port-a-potties, and permitted campfires, all while being serenaded by the soothing sounds of the Atlantic.

Surf City Family Campground

RV life is the good life at the Surf City Family Campground on Topsail Beach. 

This family-run gem has been welcoming guests since 1961 and sits just 100 feet from the ocean. 

With 90 campsites, full hook-ups, and bathhouses, you’ll have all the creature comforts you need. 

This campground has that old school feel to it, with lots of barbequing and hanging out after a good day on the beach.

Golf carts are a popular way to cruise around, but the compact layout makes walking a breeze too. 

As the waves crash against the shore, you’ll drift off to sleep serenaded by the soothing sounds of the Atlantic.

Great Island Cabin Camp

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Tents and RVs not really your thing? No sweat! 

Great Island Cabin Camp at the Cape Lookout National Seashore offers a unique alternative – beachfront cabins accessible only by boat. 

These rustic digs range from 288 to 960 square feet, accommodating groups of up to 12 people. 

Each cabin has bunk beds, a private bathroom with a shower, a hot water heater, and a kitchen with a propane stove and grill. 

You’ll need to bring your own bedding, cookware, coolers, and supplies, but the reward is 112 miles of pristine, uninhabited shoreline right at your doorstep.