Recently had a few friends heading down to Emerald Isle for a week. I decided last minute, yes the day they were leaving to go so did't know what to expect. Hopped on TA and wanted to find a little out about the place however was kind of surprsied wasn't much in the way of reveiws or acticvity opn the forums for emerald isle so just wanted to tell others who havn't been what it's like as well as some activities I liked.
Emerald Isle is ntohing like Virginia Beach or Myrtle Beach. It's much smaller town, much less touristy, doesn't really have a main drag of bars, shops, etc. in some ways this is good as I think Myrtle Beach is a bit too touristy and wisconsin dellsish but I do wish they had a bit more in the way of bars, nightlife, and restaurants. There is kind of a main drag, ther's a few tshirt shops nad some restaurants but not much in the way of nightlife or a main drag to walk down.
The food is the worst thing about this place, overpriced and terrible. First night went to the Mexican restaurant can't think of the name but it's near the bike rental place and tshirt shops just down from pebble beach. We had a party of 6 or 7 and the bill came to over $120 and that didn't include drinks. The tortillas are god awful but you can't really blame them as I can't imagine you can get good mexican products out there, I'm probably a bit spoiled comming from Chicago authentic mexican food. I got the flank steak my gf got the fajitas, no beverages only water and our part of the bill was about $40. Immediately after dinner we said were not wasting money on restaurants and went to the grocery store and ate baloney sandwiches the rest of the trip.
One day after kayaking we did stop at a restaurant can't think of the name something like bettys or soemthing little country breakfast and lunch place right next to colors tshirt shop. We both had the french toast and sweet tea, pretty good and pretty cheap. She had been here before and said that's the onc place that's cheap and not bad.
As far as other things to do you can go on a few boat tours, rent kayaks an jetskis. I rented Kayaks from a place in Indian Beach which is just down the road. Had a lot of fun kayaking out to the islands.
The main thing to do seemed to be to hang on the beach. I love the beach and could swim and lounge on the beach for weeks on end so this was perfect for me, however if you like day trips or activities there's not a ton to do in the way of those.
I got stung by a jellyfish on the first day but I was the only one in our party to get stung. There's some cool wildlife in the ocean. We wer eon the beach at like 1am and saw lots of crabs and stuff on the sand and some small one and two foot sharks in the shallow water on the beach maybe a foot or two in.
Overall it was fun. I drove down to charleston sc to visit some family for a day or two prior to emerald isle, I preferred it down there but it's like comparing apples to oranges. I had fun and would recommend emerald isle if you have a bigger group. May be a bit boring if it's just you and a gf or bf