North Carolina is notable for having both mountains and beaches within easy reach of most residents. Here in Sanford, you’re almost equidistant from both! But if you’re craving the smell of salt and the sound of waves, you’ll head east towards the coast. Each region of our coast has its own unique sights; here’s a guide to get you started planning your next vacation.

Northern Coast

With a more rural feel than its Southern brother, NC’s Northern coast is ideal for people who want something a bit more out of the way. Highlights include:

  • NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island: known for its lost English colony, Roanoke Island also hosts an aquarium with exhibits of the local wetland wildlife and other sea creatures.
  • Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge: home to a large red wolf population, this area is defined by its unique terrain: the pocosin, a unique swamp that hosts interesting species like the Venus flytrap.
  • Elizabeth City: home to the USA’s largest Coast Guard base, Elizabeth City also retains much of its historical architecture and charm.

Southern Coast

The Southern coast is dominated by Wilmington, a major NC city home to a thriving downtown, plenty of beaches, and the famous Battleship USS North Carolina. You can easily kill all the time in the world in Wilmington, but you’d miss out on some other attractions in the area.

  • Croatan National Forest: this 160,000 acre national park’s swampy, low-lying terrain offers unique camping and outdoor activities.
  • Holly Shelter Game Land: a can’t-miss spot for hobbyist deer hunters. Between January and September, hiking is also available.
  • Jacksonville: home to the Marine Corps base of Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville is full of military history and sights.

The Outer Banks

One of the most unique landscapes in North America, the Outer Banks are a long, thin strip of islands that extend from our coast into the Atlantic ocean, arcing from North to South. Here the beaches are small and secluded. Thanks to their historical importance in the New World, you can also find plenty of history – including shipwreck diving! Other highlights include:

  • Kitty Hawk: where the Wright Brothers flew for the first time, and where NC license plates get their slogan from.
  • Duck: one of the more developed parts of the Outer Banks, where you can enjoy a resort feel.
  • Hatteras: home to one of America’s most famous lighthouses.

Are you looking for a new home? Sanford, NC offers convenient access to the Triad and Triangle, and Autumnwood is its hottest new neighborhood. Here you can enjoy a beautiful new home that combines upscale suburban living with the charms of a historic small town. If you’re interested in new openings, contact us today and we’ll welcome you to our neighborhood!

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