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WEB EXCLUSIVE Many of North Carolina’s exceptional beaches have opened just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Be aware, there are still rules to be followed and precautions to take before you head out. Here, we break down what you need to do know before you hit the coast.
Beaches on the Outer Banks reopened to the public on May 16. Social distancing practices are still encouraged. More non-essential businesses are also reopening in the area and restaurants are continuing takeout and delivery.
North Topsail Beach, Surf City and Topsail Beach reopened parking lots and beach access on Friday, May 8 and allowed short term rentals again. Masks are still required inside of Surf City businesses and social distancing will continue to be be enforced.
Wrightsville Beach relaxed restrictions to allow sunbathing, fishing and games beginning Wednesday, May 20. They’ve also reopened six public parking lots, totaling 329 available parking spaces. All on-street parking will remain closed; only those with parking hang tags and tax decals will be permitted to park on the street.
On May 9, Emerald Isle reopened public parking and water access for swimming, surfing, kiting, kayaking, fishing or boating. Visitors can also walk, jog and sit on the beach while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier also fully reopened on May 15.
Atlantic Beach began allowing recreational beach access on May 8 and reopened about 150 parking spaces. Mayor Trace Cooper says he only allowed a select number of parking spaces to reopen in the hopes that tourists don’t flood to the city. “Our goal….is to primarily allow some locals to get out on the beach and get some fresh air,” Cooper said.
Kure Beach resumed normal activities as of May 8 with social distancing measures required. There are no short term rentals available at the beach.
COVID-19 related restrictions were lifted on May 8, allowing short-term rentals, public parking and beach activities.
Public access points, rentals and public parking reopened on April 30. Restrooms opened on May 18.
On April 30, Ocean Isle opened beaches for both exercise and relaxation. Public parking is also open and short-term rental restrictions have been lifted.
Sunset Beach reopened for all activities on May 15. Public parking also reopened, but short-term rentals won’t resume until May 22.
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