3. Hammocks Beach State Park
With 323 acres and home to 4 beautiful islands, Hammocks Beach State Park is one of North Carolina’s crown jewels. One of the most popular areas to explore is Bear Island, a three-mile long, undeveloped barrier island only accessible by the park’s passenger ferry or by paddling a canoe or kayak. Here visitors will find a beautiful area perfect for beachside camping, where massive dunes and stunning ocean views make for a memorable overnight stay. You’ll have plenty to do here, from the hiking trails on Bear Island to the well-marked paddle trails, while fishing, swimming and picnicking are all a favorite pastime in the area.