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North Carolina Crystal Coast: Close Enough to Drive but Far Enough to Escape

North Carolina's Crystal Coast offers an escape from life's daily grind but is within comfortable driving range of metro areas such as Washington D.C., Long Island NY, Richmond VA, Charleston WV and other East Coast and Midwestern cities.  With uninhabited barrier islands, quaint sea faring communities, and a history dating back to colonial times, the Crystal Coast is a wonderfully exotic wedding location lacking the restrictions of many popular destination wedding locations. The Crystal Coast is a wedding photographers dream location.

The Crystal Coast features one of the few southern facing beaches along the U.S. East Coast.  Bouge Banks, the largest inhabited barrier island in the area, strecthes 21 miles.  Fort Macon State Park is located at the East end with the island ending at the community of Emerald Isle.  A number of other popular resort communities are located on the island including Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach and Salter Path.  The beaches and associated beach houses and beach clubs are all popular venues for Crystal Coast wedding photography, wedding ceremonies and receptions. Additionally the North Carolina State Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores makes a spectacular setting for weddings. There are a number of island themed bars and restaurants that also make great locations for wedding receptions.

On the mainland side several communities sit along the sounds and waterways.  Beaufort is a quaint town with a rich sea faring history.  Stories of pirates, colonial ghosts and other romantic historical figures abound.  There are a number of venues in this sea side community that are available for weddings, receptions and wedding photography.  The Beaufort waterfront is an excellent location for capturing romantic,engagement, bridal or wedding day portraits. Morehead City is the largest community on the Crystal Coast.  While not as historically quaint as Beaufort's, it too has a lovely waterfront lined with charter fishing boats, seafood restaurants and specialty shops.

There are a number of activities to entertain guests and members of the wedding party before and after the wedding.  The Crystal Coast is known worldwide for both its off-shore and inshore saltwater fishing.  There are many charter operations in the area.  There are also several nice golf courses that are open to the public.  Of course, being a resort community, boutique shopping opportunities abound.  There are also a number of museums and educational attractions such as the Core Sound Waterfoul Museum, Fort Macon State Park, The History Place, and the NC State Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.

When planning a Crystal Coast wedding from outside the area a wedding coordinator is almost indispensable.  You can find additional information about the Crystal Coast and local wedding planners by visiting the Crystal Coast Tourism Authority's site, Looking for a Crystal Coast wedding photographer? Look here.

Bob Decker is a wedding and portrait photographer that makes his home along the Crystal Coast.  He can be contacted via his website,

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