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Travel + Leisure Ranks Bear Island in Top 10 NC Beaches

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We are super excited to have Hammocks Beach State Park’s Bear Island make Travel + Leisure’s Top 10 Beaches in North Carolina list!  And of course, we couldn’t agree more.  For an adventurous beach experience, many consider it one of coastal North Carolina’s best-kept secrets!

From Travel + Leisure’s 10 Best Beaches in North Carolina | by Elizabeth Rhodes | June 23, 2020

“Like few other barrier island destinations, Hammocks Beach State Park’s Bear Island is accessible only by ferry or boat, so it’s perfect for people looking for a quiet, relaxing beach. You won’t find rows of restaurants or beachfront bars along this largely undeveloped beach, which is exactly why people love it. You can rent canoes, kayaks, or paddleboards to explore the marshes, Bear Island, and Huggins Island, or take time to learn about the park’s wildlife. Bear Island hosts a number of campsites, too, so you can extend your stay at this state park.”

Due to current social distancing guidelines that are in place to protect our visitors, the Hammocks Beach State Park ferry service that runs every year from April through October is temporarily suspended.  However, you can get over to Bear Island from Historic Downtown Swansboro via our specialty cruise operators, Lady Swan Boat Tours, and Marsh Cruises.

Enjoy a sunset cruise, a day of shelling along Bear Inlet, or an eco-tour to learn about the wildlife that you’ll see while out on the water that is native to our coastal North Carolina region.


Check out our Safe Travel Page on our website for useful travel tips and come see us for your next vacation or weekend getaway.  Adventure awaits in Onslow County!