Situated on the island of Bogue Banks, across the Bogue Sound from Cedar Point and Cape Carteret, Emerald Isle is an approximately 12-mile stretch of land with large beaches, many shopping and dining options, numerous vacation homes, beach cottages, vacation rentals and investment properties. With a network of deserted interior islands located in the calm waters inside Bogue Sound, as well as several pristine natural areas nearby, including Bear Island and Hammocks Beach State Park, Emerald Isle is a haven for boaters and kayakers.
Emerald Isle is convenient to the employment centers of Jacksonville and Morehead City, as well as the towns of Swansboro and Atlantic Beach. A modern high-rise bridge and many recent improvements to Highway 70 make Emerald Isle a relatively easy drive from New Bern and the Raleigh Durham area. This is a partial explanation for why the population of Emerald Isle sees a substantial increase in the summer months. Visitors and residents appreciate Emerald Isle for the chance to visit the wooden fishing pier, nearby golf courses, water park, ice cream stores, fresh seafood and of course, the wide sandy beaches.
History of Emerald Isle
Early Native Americans were the first inhabitants of Emerald Isle. Later, whalers and fishermen lived there. Plans to develop Emerald Isle into a vacation spot were made in the 1920s by Henry Fort, owner of the beaches and the property surrounding them, but he was never able to realize his goal. When Fort died he left all of Emerald Isle to his daughter Anita , who sold it to a group of seven investors in 1951, for a total of only $350,000.
After drawing from a hat to decide who got which piece of land, the investors divided Emerald Isle into 54 blocks, which run from the sound to the ocean. An aspect of the development the investors agreed upon was the restricting of commercial properties and the use of mobile homes. This has resulted in Emerald Isle becoming a family-oriented place, home to several local parks, including Emerald Isle Woods Park, which has a nine hole disc golf course, walking trails, a pier and a picnic pavilion. Blue Heron Park has a playground and several tennis courts, Cedar Street Park has a kayak/stand up paddle board launch, and the Senator Jean Preston Memorial Park has a large playground.
Another great place to visit that is located nearby Emerald Isle is the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. People also like that there are many restaurants to choose from in Emerald Isle, and that it is a quiet beach town most of the time, with approximately 3,700 year-round residents.