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Cape Hatteras

Enjoy the southern coastal breezes as you get swept up in the adventure and history of the rugged North Carolina coast.

North Carolina offers a long history of pirates, shipwrecks, and Mother Nature in the wild - at places like Cape Hatteras, (photo, top left), Cape Lookout, and the Outer Banks.

Located along the Cape Fear coast on the southern part of the state, Wrightsville Beach is often placed at the top of the list of North Carolina's best beaches. (But be warned. If you want to beat the summer heat here, be sure to start out early to beat the crowds.)

Or, try more peaceful and serene Coquina Beach and Ocracoke Island beaches on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore which are considered by locals to be the Outer Banks' loveliest spots for lazing the day away.

Another popular beach along the NC coast is Carolina Beach State Park which, incidentally -- doesn't allow swimming! -- although exploring, hiking, and beachcombing is an ideal way to spend a summer's day.

Have fun!

What's the weather like today? North Carolina beach webcams

Outer Banks webcam

Cape Hatteras webcam

Wrightsville Beach webcam

Surf City webcam

Scenic sunrise at Wrightsville Beach, just east of Wilmington, NC.

DID YOU KNOW? North Carolina beach fun facts:

blackbeard the pirate

• In the early 1700's the notorious pirate, Blackbeard, sailed off Cape Lookout in his flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, which ran aground in 1718. The infamous ship was only rediscovered in 1996, and today the vessel's cannons and other artifacts can be viewed on display at the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

• No one knows for sure how the Outer Banks beach community Nags Head got its name. Local historians tend to favor the old tale about pirates who once hung a lantern around a nag's head -- in hopes of luring in rich merchant ships from coastal waters.

• Carolina Beach State Park is one of the world's few natural habitats of the meat-eating Venus fly trap. The unusual plant feasts on flies, spiders, and other insects as its main source of food.

Wild horses still run wild along the coast of North Carolina. These are the descendants of Spanish mustangs which survived early shipwrecks.

Dolphins love the North Carolina coast. They are often seen migrating just offshore in summer to give birth before moving on to warmer waters in the fall. Favorite dolphin summer hangouts include the Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras, and Cape Lookout.

More about North Carolina beaches around the Web:

Carolina - Browse the entire NC coast with information on area attractions and more in the Albemarle, Pamlico, Cape Fear, Outer Banks, Hatteras, Corncrake and Crystal Coast areas.

North Carolina Coast and Beaches - Check out the entire picture with information on the Outer Banks, the Crystal Coast, the Wilmington area and more with photos, video, trip suggestions and maps from the official NC Tourism site.

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