I had been DYING to go to the beach so I spontaneously (well, spontaneously within two days), decided to take a drive south and visited a beach belonging to the Southern Outer Banks (I guess Nags Head and the like are the “Northern Outer Banks,” I’ve always just called it OBX).
I stayed in Atlantic Beach, which is at the other end of the better known Emerald Isle; both of which are a part of the North Carolina coast aptly named The Crystal Coast.
The view from my room wasn’t the best, but I also didn’t pay for the best because I was only there for one night. You can kind of see the ocean, just above and next to the pitched skylight (that little tiny strip of blue). Lovely view of the courtyard though!
The sun was setting just as I was climbing out of the water, but I managed to catch a shot or two from my room. I was particularly awed by the tiny rainbow effect on the left.
I had dinner on the pier and it was…pier food, nothing special. But nothing can beat that view and the sound of the waves crashing.
I woke up early the next morning so I could catch the sunrise. I didn’t actually see it though because not only was it overcast, but it was behind me! I’ve never gone to the beach and not seen the sun rise over the ocean! What the what?
But nevertheless the ocean was still beautiful and it was refreshing to start my day on the beach.
I then took a walk up and down the beach to collect shells and saw a couple of interesting things.
Horseshoe crab (dead, obviously)
One of many seagulls
And lots of shells!
I added a couple of pens for perspective/size. The shells at the top were by far the largest whole ones I’ve ever found. I think I also found my first piece of sea glass! It’s that tiny square piece of green on the right side. The red stripped ones above it are also some of my favorites. I found a lot of good ones!
And of course Snickers had to come check out what I was doing.
After the beach I cleaned up, checked out and drove a couple of miles down the road to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. I can’t miss an opportunity to see an aquarium!
They had salamanders, lizards, frogs and coy in the first exhibit.
And lots of fish!
The aquarium has a “living exhibit” outside where you can see the marshland and wildlife.
They also had a dinosaur exhibit which was cute.
Back inside were alligators, the ray touch tank and seahorses.
If you look closely, you’ll see the pink face of a seahorse in between the grass blades.
One of the biggest draws in the aquarium is the Living Shipwreck where you can sit and watch fish, sharks and a turtle swim about.
He’s really hard to see (they must like it dark, every octopus exhibit I’ve ever seen was practically pitch black), but this is an octopus, you can see his suckers on the glass.
I’ve never been able to get a good shot of a Lionfish, but I think I finally did :)
And of course, no aquarium would be complete without jellyfish!
While there isn’t much to do in Atlantic Beach, it is the perfect place if you just want some R&R. Quiet and quaint with warm, clear water, it has definitely become my favorite beach destination.