Visit Historic Downtown Swansboro, North Carolina

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Hello and welcome back to my travel blog.  For this trip, I’m going to talk about Historic Downtown Swansboro, North Carolina and why you should visit it.

Swansboro is a small town located in the Southern Outerbanks area of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast.  The waters around Swansboro are brackish, because it is an estuary area where rivers feed into the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway.

I live right outside of town limit’s and we spend quite a few afternoons a week in Swansboro.  Whether its one of the many parks, the historic downtown waterfront, or the recreational sports fields; we always find something to do there.

For this travel blog, we are going to focus on the historic downtown area.  Swansboro is home to Hammocks Beach State Park, but that’ll be another travel blog!  You can visit Swansboro any month of the year, so I’m going to talk about it in general, and not about one of the many festivals that the town throws each and every year.

For those interested, some of those annual events hosted in downtown Swansboro are:

Arts by the Sea Festival in June
Fourth of July Fireworks in July
Hook & Bones Redfish Tournament in August
Annual Swansboro Mullet Festival in August
King Mackerel Tournament in October
Historic Ghost Tour in October
Annual Swansboro by Candlelight in November
Annual Friendly City Speckled Trout Tournament in November
Annual Christmas Flotilla

As you can tell, the main focus of the town is the waterfront.  These aren’t the only festivals within the town’s limit though.  Hammocks Beach State Park and the Rotary Center hosts several events throughout the year as well.

There is also a fun feature called the Outdoor Free Summer Concert Series.  A band will set up in the downtown pavilion and play live music as spectators enjoy the historic seaside shops on weekend evenings.

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I’m going to start this tour off at where I usually start my tour of Swansboro at, the Bicentennial Park on the shore of the White Oak River.  This park is on the other side of the White Oak River Bridge.  The park has features such as a bathroom facility, a fishing dock, a statue, recreation water craft access, and a boardwalk.

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After you spend some time fishing at the park, you can head under the bridge on the footpath to the downtown area on the other side of the highway.  Mind your head as you go!

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Once you clear the footpath, you enter Front Street and are now on the waterfront road in downtown Swansboro!  Once there, you can stroll the many seaside shops and diners that the town has to offer.

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If some of the scenic shops look familiar, don’t be surprised.  The movie, The Inkwell, was filmed partly on this strip in Swansboro!  It starred actors such as Larenz Tate and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Many of these shops and eateries have handmade crafts and items featuring the scenic coast.  Items that you can’t find anywhere else in the State!  There’s even a public restroom at the visitor center with many brochures of regional area venues.  These shops are often inundated with tourists during the season taking a break from renting kayaks or attending one of the many festivals.  That and taking boat tours or fishing charters to a few of the barrier islands of the outer banks.  During the off season, people still flock to the calm and restful seafront to relax.

Speaking of the waterfront…

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That was a quick peek at the waters along Swansboro.  You might have noticed a few barrier islands on the water as well as a tour boat.  These islands can be easily visited by boat, kayak, paddle board, or canoe.  Many of which can be rented at the shops along the way at very affordable prices.  You can also follow these waters down to the Atlantic Ocean and indulge in some of the best fishing the Crystal Coast has to offer.

That’s not the only great part though.  You can spend a few days in Swansboro, and visit other local area attractions such as the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knolls Shore, the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, Hammocks Beach State Park, the hiking trails in the Croatan National Forest, and places like Wilmington or New Bern that are only an hour’s drive away during your stay in The ‘Boro.

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