​Underrated Escapes: Sunset Beach, North Carolina

Uncover hidden gems and underrated destinations with our new series! First up is our director of GIS, Tom Vitacco, sharing his favorite beach destination. Stay tuned for our staff's favorite picks off the beaten path.

Sunset Beach, NC

The Vibe: The beauty of the Outer Banks and the sunshine of Myrtle Beach…minus the crowds. Peaceful and relaxing, this is a family beach or couples' getaway destination for anyone who wants to go for long walks on the beach with some of the best sand for an Atlantic Ocean beach. Note: There are only a few small shops and no larger hotels, restaurants or bars if you are interested in more lively nightlife.

Why It's Great: "My parents would take us here when I was younger and then I took my wife and kids here for years, says Tom Vitacco, Director of GIS for Rand McNally. "It's a small beach town on the border of NC/SC and less famous than the Outer Banks to the north and Myrtle Beach about a half hour to the south and one of the nicest “beaches” on the East Coast (Atlantic Ocean) and I have been to and I have been to quite a few."

"They have kept it quiet by not having hotel chains or restaurants and it is one the best “walking beaches” I have ever been on in the lower 48," says Vitacco. "When I was younger it was only accessible via a one-lane pontoon swing bridge so you had to wait to get on and off the island at the top of the hour as they let boats pass through on the intracoastal waterway. Now they have a larger bridge, but the old draw bridge was pretty cool."

Don't Miss: "They also have a quirky point of interest on the end of the island about 1.4 miles from the pier which is the Kindred Spirits mailbox, an actual mailbox stuck in the sand dunes with journals inside so if you walk or bike down to the mailbox, you sit on the bench and write in the journals," says Vitacco. "It is a cool experience and something I have done quite a few times with my family."

Author: Tom Vitacco
Date:Apr 24th 2024