Best Sea Kayaking in North Carolina

This list represents the most popular sea kayaking in North Carolina. Use this list to plan your next North Carolina sea kayaking trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

  • #1 Hammocks Beach State Park

    3 Reviews

    Swansboro, NC

    Hammocks Beach has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the area and one of the most popular spots for sea kayakers on the North Carolina Coast. This island, like many, can only be reached ...
    •  3 to 4 hours
    •  6 miles
    •  Guide

    Hammocks Beach has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the area and one of the most popular spots for sea kayakers ...

  • #2 Bald Head Island

    2 Reviews

    Southport, NC

    Barely 2 miles off the southeastern tip of North Carolina lies a semitropical island. Covered by dunes and beach, maritime forest, and vast salt marshes, this secluded island is a paddler’s paradise. ...
    •  4 to 6 hours
    •  7.5 miles
    •  Guide

    Barely 2 miles off the southeastern tip of North Carolina lies a semitropical island. Covered by dunes and beach, maritime ...

  • #3 Cape Lookout National Seashore

    2 Reviews

    Beaufort, NC

    So close to civilization, yet so far away, Cape Lookout National Seashore is another world. This 55-mile-long seashore is made up of three islands: North Core Banks, South Core Banks, and Shackleford ...
    •  2 to 3 hours
    •  7 miles
    •  Guide

    So close to civilization, yet so far away, Cape Lookout National Seashore is another world. This 55-mile-long seashore is ...

  • #4 Masonboro Island

    2 Reviews

    Wilmington, NC

    Masonboro Island is one of the components of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve System in North Carolina. The NCNERRS encourages researchers from universities and government ...
    •  2 to 3 hours
    •  6 miles
    •  Guide

    Masonboro Island is one of the components of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve System in North Carolina. ...

  • #5 Nags Head Woods and Jockey's Ridge

    1 Reviews

    Nags Head, NC

    You can’t miss Jockey’s Ridge. This huge sand dune is the tallest on the East Coast. Surrounded by Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Jockey’s Ridge is between 110 and 140 feet tall, depending on the ...
    •  5 to 6 hours
    •  12 miles
    •  Guide

    You can’t miss Jockey’s Ridge. This huge sand dune is the tallest on the East Coast. Surrounded by Jockey’s Ridge State Park, ...

  • #6 Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Island

    1 Reviews

    Hatteras, NC

    Early maps show Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands joined. Hatteras Inlet was formed on a stormy night, September 7, 1846. Its history has been stormy every since. During the Civil War, the Confederates ...
    •  4 to 5 hours
    •  6 miles
    •  Guide

    Early maps show Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands joined. Hatteras Inlet was formed on a stormy night, September 7, 1846. Its ...

  • #7 Portsmouth Island from Atlantic

    1 Reviews

    Atlantic, NC

    Established in 1753, Portsmouth grew to be the largest settlement on the Outer Banks. It remained the largest for one hundred years. At that time, Ocracoke Inlet was the major trade route through ...
    •  3 hours to overnight
    •  4 miles
    •  Guide

    Established in 1753, Portsmouth grew to be the largest settlement on the Outer Banks. It remained the largest for one hundred ...

  • #8 Portsmouth Island from Ocracoke

    1 Reviews

    Ocracoke, NC

    This is one of America’s few remaining undeveloped barrier islands. Covered by grasslands, bordered by dense vegetation, dunes, and wide open beaches, and surrounded by salt marsh, Cape Lookout ...
    •  6 hours to overnight
    •  8 miles
    •  Guide

    This is one of America’s few remaining undeveloped barrier islands. Covered by grasslands, bordered by dense vegetation, ...

  • #9 Fort Fisher

    0 Reviews

    Wilmington, NC

    Live oaks with limbs seared by the salty wind and spray, the ocean visible in the background—this is Fort Fisher. Located on the southern tip of Pleasure Island near Wilmington, 5 miles south ...
    •  2 hours to all day
    •  2 miles
    •  Guide

    Live oaks with limbs seared by the salty wind and spray, the ocean visible in the background—this is Fort Fisher. Located ...

  • #10 Kitty Hawk Woods Preserve

    1 Reviews

    Kitty Hawk, NC

    A local secret for years, Kitty Hawk Woods is one of five best maritime forests in the world. What makes it special is that plants and animals you would usually find in upland communities exist ...
    •  3 hours
    •  8.5 miles
    •  Guide

    A local secret for years, Kitty Hawk Woods is one of five best maritime forests in the world. What makes it special is that ...

  • #11 Oak Island

    0 Reviews

    Southport, NC

    Oak Island’s 13-mile beachfront incorporates the communities of Caswell Beach, Yaupon Beach, and Long Beach. Fort Caswell lies on the most northern section of the island. This earthworks fort ...
    •  3 to 4 hours
    •  3 miles
    •  Guide

    Oak Island’s 13-mile beachfront incorporates the communities of Caswell Beach, Yaupon Beach, and Long Beach. Fort Caswell ...

  • #12 Bodie Island

    0 Reviews

    Nags Head, NC

    Just south of Nags Head is Bodie (pronounced body) Island. You won’t find a bridge, because it is no longer an island. Six different inlets have come and gone in the area between Bodie Island ...
    •  2 to 4 hours
    •  7 miles
    •  Guide

    Just south of Nags Head is Bodie (pronounced body) Island. You won’t find a bridge, because it is no longer an island. Six ...

  • #13 Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

    1 Reviews

    Nags Head, NC

    Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a true wilderness. Red wolves prowl its forests, alligators slither under the clear black water, and black bears, bobcats, otters, and deer wander ...
    •  3 to 4 hours
    •  6 miles
    •  Guide

    Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a true wilderness. Red wolves prowl its forests, alligators slither under the ...

  • #14 Cape Hatteras National Seashore

    0 Reviews

    Avon, NC

    Where sea, sand, nature, and people come together in an uneasy mix—that’s a good way to describe Cape Hatteras. It’s not easy to get here, to live here, or to leave. It’s wild and untamed. The ...
    •  3 to 4 hours
    •  6 miles
    •  Guide

    Where sea, sand, nature, and people come together in an uneasy mix—that’s a good way to describe Cape Hatteras. It’s not ...

  • #15 Corolla Marshes from Timbuc II

    1 Reviews

    Corolla, NC

    Currituck first became known as the duck hunting capital of the East Coast. The name Currituck comes from the Indian word for “land of the wild goose.” There used to be so many birds that they ...
    •  3 hours
    •  7 miles
    •  Guide

    Currituck first became known as the duck hunting capital of the East Coast. The name Currituck comes from the Indian word ...

  • #16 Boating, Sailing, & Paddling on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

    0 Reviews

    Buxton, NC

    Boating is a way of life on the Outer Banks. There’s much more water than there is land, so it’s only natural to be afloat. Maybe it’s the whipping wind in your face or the wake you leave behind, ...
    •  Guide

    Boating is a way of life on the Outer Banks. There’s much more water than there is land, so it’s only natural to be afloat. ...

  • #17 Avon from Spence Creek

    0 Reviews

    Avon, NC

    Avon was once named Kinnakeet, but the post office deemed the name too long and changed it. The area was once covered with thick woods of live oak and cedar. These trees were cut as timber for ...
    •  3 to 4 hours
    •  5.75 miles
    •  Guide

    Avon was once named Kinnakeet, but the post office deemed the name too long and changed it. The area was once covered with ...

  • #18 Frisco Woods

    0 Reviews

    Frisco, NC

    Frisco is a small community located between Buxton and Hatteras Village. Originally known as Trent, it is wooded on the sound side and has several large sand dunes on its ocean side. The area ...
    •  3 to 4 hours
    •  6 miles
    •  Guide

    Frisco is a small community located between Buxton and Hatteras Village. Originally known as Trent, it is wooded on the sound ...

  • #19 Martins Point and Duck

    0 Reviews

    Duck, NC

    All of what is now Southern Shores was once sand dunes and beach covered with dead cedars. Down Jean Guite Creek, however, was a thriving maritime forest. Live oaks big enough for ship timbers ...
    •  5 hours
    •  11 miles
    •  Guide

    All of what is now Southern Shores was once sand dunes and beach covered with dead cedars. Down Jean Guite Creek, however, ...

  • #20 Whale Head Bay to Monkey Island

    0 Reviews

    Corolla, NC

    The area around Whale Head Bay is known for its beautiful marshes, which are filled with wildlife such as otter, deer, and birds. It is well protected from the winds if you stay inside the islands. ...
    •  Part day or full day
    •  7 miles
    •  Guide

    The area around Whale Head Bay is known for its beautiful marshes, which are filled with wildlife such as otter, deer, and ...