CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) — Is the best beach in North Carolina right in your backyard?
USA Today has launched a national poll asking for people to vote on the best beach in North Carolina. Right now three of the top ten beaches are in Carteret County, and Emerald Isle is ranked number one.
Emerald Isle visitors like Jean Steusloff said there’s no place like it.
“A wonderful walking beach,” said Steusloff. “I always see dolphins. It’s usually not really crowded. It’s just the best place in the world. I feel closer to God here than any place else on earth.”
Town Manager Frank Rush agreed. “I think people have the right approach here in Emerald Isle,” said Rush. “From the very beginning the goal has been to be a family beach with small-town atmosphere.”
Many people said they come to Emerald Isle because it’s not as developed as other beaches in the state.
“It’s not as built up,” said Carteret County resident Bill O’Connor. “It’s not like the Outer Banks where they built all these McMansions. They kept it low key. So it’s just very friendly and easy.”
Also in the poll’s top ten is nearby Atlantic Beach. Where visitors say a big perk is how well- maintained the beaches are by the city.
“You see now a lot of beaches are really just… there’s garbage everywhere,” said Atlantic Beach visitor Jaimee Reyes. “Which is really sad but it’s really well kept up here so I really like that.”
Onslow County’s Hammocks Beach State Park also made the list.
You can vote for your favorite beach here. Voting closes on Monday, April 2 at noon and the winning beach will be announced on Friday, April 6.