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Emerald Isle in Winter?

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Ballwin, Missouri
posts: 45
reviews: 61
Emerald Isle in Winter?

We've booked a condo for the week following Christmas. We realize that we won't be "beaching it" during the week, but we'll enjoy the views of the ocean anyway.

Question: Does the island "shut down" during the off season? I've read that it's not overly commercialized, which may mean that there's not much to shut down.

Just curious about whether or not we'll be able to "get the feel" of Emerald Isle during our first visit, which will be during the winter.


posts: 137
reviews: 5
1. Re: Emerald Isle in Winter?

Restaurants are open-maybe with reduced hours-can't remember. All the activities such as go carts and kiddie rides are shut down. Shops are open but with reduced hours. The aquarium will be open. Don't think you'd be able to get to Cape Lookout, but I don't know for sure if the ferrys run that time of year.

I've been in January before and it was so windy it was not fun being out on the beach, but we love EI any time of year.

posts: 24
reviews: 6
2. Re: Emerald Isle in Winter?

I concur with flips. This is off season, so many places will be closed or on reduced hours. For outside activities, the main factor will be the wind, and then the cloud cover. I've been many winter weekends when the wind is light and sunny days are in the sixties or seventy degrees. Lots of vitamin D :-)

Your restaurants and shops will be where the permanent population is (Swansboro, Morehead City, Beaufort).

There are good NC museums (open year round) at the NC Aquarium (Pine Knoll Shores) and the NC Maritime Museum (Beaufort).

Swansboro, North...
posts: 59
reviews: 14
3. Re: Emerald Isle in Winter?


How is the weather during October and November? We'll be there from October 18th - Nov 22nd.


Ballwin, Missouri
posts: 45
reviews: 61
4. Re: Emerald Isle in Winter?

Hi! I am the original poster and we did take this trip Dec. 25 - Jan 1 in 2006.

I presume the weather you encounter will be warmer than the weather we had, and that there may still be more shops open. All that being said, I can say that even without laying on the beach, the visit was wonderful. The island was very tranquil and we made a couple of short trips out and about. The trip to Beaufort was especially memorable.

Main point is that regardless of the weather you should enjoy your stay.

Swansboro, North...
posts: 59
reviews: 14
5. Re: Emerald Isle in Winter?

Thanks Richland34! We aren't big on "beaching it" We enjoy walking on the beach and shelling but that's really about it where the beach is concerned. Our big enjoyment is watching the changes in the ocean and listening to it which we'll be able to do because Playtime, the house we are renting, is right on the beach.

We are planning to go to the National Shell beach and a couple of others for shelling. Beaufort is definitely on the list. We love to antique so I'm hoping we can find some cool small, single owner antique shops along the way. NC aquarium is on our itinerary too. Any other suggestions of things to do?

Thanks again for the info!

posts: 155
reviews: 16
6. Re: Emerald Isle in Winter?


I think you will find that Emerald Isle in the fall and winter quite nice. As is anywhere the weather is not predictable. It can be in the 70's and 80's or we do have snow occasionally.

There are quite a few antique shops in Swansboro and Cedar Point. If you travel into Morehead and Beaufort some there too. Good art galleries there.

A few restaurants do close. The grocery stores remain open. It has become more seasonal each year. October and November are our favorite months. The fishing is great and the big crowds are gone.

PS...do remember we have hurricanes, season technically ends in November.

Swansboro, North...
posts: 59
reviews: 14
7. Re: Emerald Isle in Winter?

Sounds like we are going to have a wonderful time walking the beach and antiquing! Are there any good restaurants you can suggest?

We've been told that shelling on EI isn't the best but that there are a couple of islands that are great for it so we are going to visit those as well.


8. Re: Emerald Isle in Winter?

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