Safety and Resources Registration
Pedal-powered Boat Rentals
Instruction and Rentals
Supplies, Accessories and Repair
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Surfing Gear and Supplies
Tours and Services
It is said that once you get salt water in your veins, you'll never leave here -- and no wonder. North Carolina's beaches are arguably the finest on the Eastern seaboard, given the combination of mild weather, warm water temperatures, good water quality, clean, uncrowded beaches and availability of services. Our coastal waters are warmed by the Gulf Stream, which not only makes for long seasons for watersports, but also brings a surprising array of tropical sea life. Watersports enthusiasts can splurge. The opportunities are limited only by your desire and stamina.
But you need to be aware of local ordinances. For example, swimming and surfing are forbidden within 100 feet of most fishing piers, and walking on protected dunes carries a minimum $50 fine. Some beaches do not allow dogs during the summer season, while others are more accommodating if the animals are leashed.
The sections that follow tell you more about local variations. The Boating section of this chapter includes details on safety, rentals and boaters' maps and charts. Be sure to check the Fishing chapter for information on the locations of boat ramps. The point is, every section relating to water activities will complement your primary interest.