Bogue Banks is the narrow barrier island that stretches below Morehead City, with its main highway, N.C. Highway 58, nearly parallel to N.C. Highway 24. At the east end of the island is Fort Macon and the town of Atlantic Beach and at the west end of the island is Emerald Isle. The body of water called Bogue Sound separates Bogue Banks from the mainland. The 30-mile-long island is connected to the mainland by two high-rise bridges, one at each end — one bridge from Morehead City to Atlantic Beach on the east end and the other bridge from Cape Carteret to Emerald Isle on the west end. Because the ocean and sound beaches attract visitors and summer residents, you will find many second homes, condominiums, hotels and summer rental cottages on the island.
Bogue Banks offers residents and visitors a special treat. The island runs east to west and its Atlantic Ocean side faces due south, so you can watch the sun rise in the east over the ocean, travel across the sky, and set in the west over the ocean. This barrier island changes with each storm or hurricane as sand is shifted or eroded away.
N.C. Highway 58 extends the entire length of Bogue Banks. Along the way it is marked with green mile markers (MM). The MM series begins with mile 1 at the east end and continues along N.C. 58 to mile 21 on the west end. On this site we give the MM number as part of the address for businesses on Bogue Banks.
The majority of Bogue Banks' development, both commercial and residential, is along N.C. 58, and in the Coast Guard Road area of Emerald Isle. A ride from one end to the other gives you an overview of the island communities. To illustrate how narrow the island is, in several places you can see both the sound and the ocean from the road.
Bogue Banks embraces five townships that often seem to blend together. Atlantic Beach is at the far east end of the island and borders the town of Pine Knoll Shores. Indian Beach surrounds the small unincorporated community of Salter Path, and Emerald Isle is at the far west end of the island. Each town has its own personality, points of interest and governing body.
As N.C. Highway 58 passes through the different communities, it often takes on a new name. In Atlantic Beach, the road is called Fort Macon Road. East Fort Macon Road is the strip between the old fort and the main intersection in town. West Fort Macon Road is the strip between that intersection and the western edge of town. The longest stretch of the highway is called Salter Path Road, and it runs from Atlantic Beach through Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach and Salter Path. In Emerald Isle, the highway is called Emerald Drive. It really isn't as confusing as it sounds — N.C. 58 is just one road with several names that all spell scenery and coastline comforts.