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Hammocks Beach State Park Named One of Best Uncrowded Beach Campsites

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One of the North Carolina central coast’s best-kept secrets is Hammocks Beach State Park, in Swansboro.  But we’re pretty sure that the secret is out! Outside Magazine has selected this gem of a park as one of the 6 Best Uncrowded Beach Camping Sites in the US!

From Outside Magazine, by Megan Michelson, August 3, 2020

“The highlight of Hammocks Beach State Park is Bear Island, a four-mile-long undeveloped barrier island that you can only reach via ferry from the central North Carolina town of Swansboro or by paddling a canoe or kayak about 2.5 miles through the marsh along one of a few designated canoe trails. The island comes with 14 oceanfront campsites ($35; reserve online) scattered between the dunes. Paddle NC rents kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards and leads guided tours of the area’s loggerhead turtle nesting grounds. Before you go, check here for the latest.”

In addition to Hammocks Beach State Park being optimally “uncrowded,” Outside Magazine also noted its also the best for paddling!

COVID-19 Safe Travel Updates:

It looks very hopeful that the Hammocks Beach State Park ferry service which runs every year from April through October and transports visitors to Bear Island will return to normal operation in 2021, from being temporarily suspended in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.  If you’d like to head over to Bear Island directly from Historic Downtown Swansboro, you can do so via one of our specialty cruise operators, Lady Swan Boat Tours, and Marsh Cruises.

The park is open year-round!  Spend the night among the sand dunes, or simply bask in the sun and do nothing at all. Secluded and tranquil, free from intruding commercialism, Hammocks Beach may not be for everyone, but the island is a retreat for people who welcome the challenges of relentless sun, sand, sea, and sky.  For all the details about primitive camping including maps, rules, amenities, and more, visit their camping overview and reservation website.

For more camping options in Onslow County, check out our complete list of campgrounds on our website.  Enjoy your outdoor adventures, #OnlyinOnslow!


Matador Network has selected Swansboro, North Carolina as one of The 25 Coolest Towns in America to Visit in 2021!