Labor Day Weekend is right around the corner! Do you need a last-minute getaway? As a coastal North Carolina community, we are honoring the economic achievements of American workers and the contributions they make to strengthen the prosperity and well-being of our country. Here are 10 ways to enjoy a safe and relaxing weekend at the central coast of North Carolina, in Onslow County. All of the businesses listed have health safety measures in place to ensure your safety and a good time for all! Visit their Facebook pages and websites for more details. Also, be sure to practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and wear a mask when at all possible.
If you like the idea of leaving the mainland behind, cross over the wide-span bridge and the Intracoastal Waterway, where you can quickly settle into vacation mode. On North Topsail Beach, you’ll find plenty of free parking at two public beach accesses as well as lots of wide-open beaches for sunbathing and fishing. On all of Onslow County’s uncrowded family beaches, you can unwind into a leisurely day focused on the sound of the waves or chatting with your friends. For longer stays, consider a beach cottage or multi-level oceanfront rental. PUBLIC NOTICE – Onslow County Beach Accesses | Beach Guidelines & Rules
Tour Lejeune Memorial Gardens
Lejeune Memorial Gardens is a place to reflect and honor our American military servicemen and women in light of the sacrifices that they have made in defense of our country and our freedoms. Located at the gateway to Downtown Jacksonville, and nestled amidst North Carolina pines and a beautiful landscape, it is a true place of beauty to pause and reflect on the awe of the American patriotic spirit.
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Can anyone tell us what song’s words are carved into the round roof at the #VietnamMemorial at #lejeunememorialgardens ? This is the second largest #Vietnam memorial in the USA with every name inscribed in the glass that surrounds this tranquil place. What is your favorite thing about this beautiful public space and garden near City Hall? . . . . #remember #neverforget #visitnc #summertravel #nctravel #ourstate #ourstatemag #explorenc #nccoast #ncbeaches #camplejeune #raleigh #chapelhill #durham #norfolk #onslowcounty
Exploring Bear Island
For an even more isolated and a feels-like-you’re-the-only-one-here experience, head over to Bear Island, which is accessible only by the Hammocks Beach State Park by private boat. There you’ll find over three miles of unspoiled island beachfront, with all the salty air, wave action, and large seashells that you want. Marsh Cruises and Lady Swan offers sunset, shelling, and eco excursions along Bogue and Bear Inlets. Charter a day or evening sunset cruise aboard either of their private charters over to this unique barrier island in Swansboro. Other shelling excursions to Bear Island include Pogie’s Fishing Center, Swansboro Paddle Boating, and Paddle NC.
Sip Local Flavors at Our Winery & Distillery
Stop by Huffman Vineyards for a tasting of 30 different wines, all bottled and labeled at the farm near Richlands. The relaxed vibe and outdoor patio are popular with regular customers who enjoy the tasting bar, where flavors like blackberry and green apple Riesling make an appearance. Don’t miss taking a tour of Walton’s Distillery, where the locally owned and operated family business produces moonshine and corn whiskey. The peach whiskey is popular at tastings, and special events are scheduled throughout the year. If you’d like to give brewing a try, stop by the Fermentation Station for home brewing kits and products.
Enjoy One of Our Restaurants
Onslow County has a culinary delight for everyone’s tastes, from authentic North Carolina barbeque to local fresh-caught seafood at one of our renowned waterfront restaurants, where your dining experience can include the added ambiance of the beautiful coastal scenery.
The perfect getaway calls for an exploration of the best local cuisine. Sample traditional mouthwatering southern delicacies, indulge a pasta craving, some good authentic Mexican, or your favorite sushi. Endless options are available and we’re sure your taste buds will be satisfied. List of Restaurants offering outdoor seating.
Kayaking & Paddle Boarding
Enjoy paddling the waterways in Onslow County! Whether you are an expert or a beginner looking to enjoy some easy recreation in Onslow’s Great Outdoors, we have many access points throughout Onslow County…along the Intercoastal Waterway in Swansboro, at Hammocks Beach State Park, or at North Topsail Beach. Check out our outfitters and outposts for gear and guided tours!
Recreational, sport, and commercial fishing has deep roots in our coastal communities of Onslow County. If you’re interested in casting a line or two, you might catch your own dinner and enjoy seafood at its freshest! List of all fishing outlets
For the land-based angler, head over to Seaview Fishing Pier or enjoy walking along North Topsail Beach and fish the surf and the areas around the inlets. Be sure to obtain a permit and review the rules and regulations from the Town of North Topsail Beach.
Saltwater fishing from both land and boat is an anglers dream in Onslow. You’ll find an abundance of speckled trout, flounder, red drum, bluefish, sea mullet(whiting), croaker, Spanish mackerel, and spot in our waters. Those that have larger boats can fish for cobia, Mahi (dolphin), king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, grey trout, flounder, black sea bass, various groupers, and more. Unless you are fishing from a pier, head boat, or charter, you must have the appropriate license to fish saltwater.
Freshwater fishing opportunities are available along the New River in Jacksonville and the White Oak River in Swansboro. Anglers enjoy catches of speckled trout, red drum, flounder as well as largemouth bass, sunfish, and white catfish.
Visit NCWildlife.org to obtain information about obtaining a fishing license in addition to rules, regulations, and related guidelines.
Cruise the New River with Bayonet Cruises
Board Bayonet Enterprises Cruise private yacht charter for a relaxing day on the water. Cruise along the New River and enjoy the sights of downtown Jacksonville and the surrounding wildlife. Choose from a champagne brunch, lunch cruise, sunset retreat, a mini overnight getaway, and more.
Front Porch View at Mike’s Farm
Rock and Relax in one of the 80 rocking chairs on the porch at Mike’s Farm in Beulaville, a popular family-style restaurant, bakery, and event farm in Onslow County. Their NC Products Barn is home to the largest variety of products that are all produced, manufactured, and crafted in our great state. From the Mountains, Piedmont, and the Coastal Plains they hope to have all 100 counties represented. From suspenders, pottery, and mismatched socks to specialty coffee, handcrafted foods and unique wines there truly is something for everyone!
Being outdoors and active is front and center in Onslow County. We love our great outdoors, it’s a big part of our lifestyle! Visitors will find opportunities for a wide variety of recreation and family fun activities at our parks throughout the area including along our waterfront towns, at the beach, as well as throughout the City of Jacksonville and Richlands.
Paddle trails, bicycle routes, tennis, playgrounds, picnic areas, basketball courts, disc golf, splash pads – you name it! We encourage you to visit Onslow County’s Recreation & Parks website as well as the Recreation & Parks – Jacksonville, NC Facebook Page for a whole slew of happenings and activities to enjoy throughout the year. List of Parks.
If a relaxing fun and safe Labor Day weekend are what you have in mind, we are ready if you are. We look forward to seeing you at the central coast of North Carolina in Onslow County!