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8 Fun Things to Do in Onslow County, NC

dining in onslow county


Onslow County, North Carolina sits on the southern coast of the state and is known for authentic coastal culture, outdoor recreation, and tons of family-friendly activities. It’s a terrific place to visit, and even more special when you call it home. Whether you catch the sun on a world-famous beach, or catch a prize redfish in some of the country’s best fishing waters, you’re sure to love your time in Onslow County. Here are eight of our favorite things to do while you’re here!

Top Things to Do in Onslow County, NC


1) Hit the Beach


Onslow County has 30 miles of beautiful, sandy coastline accessible by four beach access points. Whether you’re looking for shallow waters for the kids to splash in, unspoiled island beachfront to clear your mind, or an oceanfront resort experience to elevate the senses, Onslow beaches have it. The three main beaches are North Topsail Beach, Travel + Leisure favorite Bear Island at Hammocks Beach State Park, and Onslow Beach at Camp Lejeune N.C.


2) Go Fishing


Inshore, nearshore, offshore — whatever your fishing preference, the Onslow waterways and coastline have plenty of it. There are so many ways to enjoy this area’s favorite pastime. Rent a fishing charter and let the pros take you to the best fishing spots, enter or watch a fishing tournament to see some amazing catches (and prize money), or simply take your rod out to one of two fishing piers for a laid-back and relaxing time.


3) Shop Your Heart Out


Don’t expect the big box retailers here. Onslow is known for some pretty great antique shopping and thrifting. It’s easy to lose track of time treasure hunting in the wide variety of antique stores, consignment stores, and flea markets. From vintage artifacts and furniture to books and clothes, you never know what you might find. 


boat ride in onslow county


4) Take a Boat Ride


Life happens on the water in Onslow County! But even if you’re more of a “dry clothes” type of person, there are still plenty of opportunities for you to get out onto the water and enjoy yourself. Dock your own boat at one of the many marinas, or take a specialty cruise where you can sit back, admire the scenery, sip a cocktail, and have the time of your life. 


5) Dine in Style


Authentic North Carolina barbecue, local fresh-caught seafood, traditional southern — take your pick because Onslow has some of the tastiest food on the coast! Be sure to add waterfront dining to your must-do list — enjoying an excellent meal overlooking beautiful coastal scenery will create lasting memories. 


6) Rent Water Gear & Equipment


Want to have fun on the waterways but don’t own any gear? No problem! You can rent just about any kind of boat or equipment including kayaks, canoes, fishing equipment, paddle boards, and wave runners. Unsure of what to do when you’re actually out on the water? Book an assisted tour and you’ll be gliding through the water in no time.


beach in onslow county


7) Have Fun with The Kids


Kids (and adults) of all ages love Onslow County because there’s too much to do to ever be bored! Water activities are the biggest draw, but there’s also land activities to keep them more than busy. From an indoor trampoline park and laser tag to Mike’s Farm, where they can learn about the food production cycle, and countless parks and playgrounds, they’ll never want to leave. 


8) Visit Swansboro


Swansboro, NC is called the “Friendly City by the Sea” and this quaint, historic town lives up to its name. Wherever you go and whatever you do in town, you’re sure to see a friendly face and enjoy authentic Southern hospitality. From Hammocks Beach State Park to some of the region’s most popular festivals, there are countless ways to have fun and enjoy the very best of Onslow County. 

If you’re interested in making this coastal paradise your permanent home, learn about homes built on your land in Onslow County and start enjoying the good life!


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