Getting Here, Getting Around in Emerald Isle, NC

Whether you drive into Emerald Isle, NC, from the Highway 58 bridge or enter from the Atlantic Beach, NC, end of the island, you are never far from water.  You may prefer to arrive in Emerald Isle by boat as it is on the Intracoastal Waterway.  The nearest airports are in Jacksonville and New Bern, unless you land your private plane at the airport in Beaufort.  Look for details in this section.

Featured Local Businesses

By Land

The Crystal Coast which includes Beaufort, Morehead City, the Bogue Banks communities of Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Cape Carteret, and Swansboro, draws visitors from all over, and is an easy three hour drive on U.S. Highway 70 to Raleigh, the state capital.  Greenville, NC, home of East Carolina University, is a quick hour and a half jaunt.

Travelers from the north or south will find that Interstate 95 or U.S. Highway 17 takes them to either U.S. Highway 70 and on to Morehead City or to NC Highway 58, which leads straight to Emerald Isle.

From the west, Interstate 40 will also take you to U.S. 70, which leads directly to Morehead City. From the east, the most picturesque journey into Carteret County, travelers must reserve space for the 2¼-hour ferry ride from Ocracoke Island to Cedar Island (see the ferry schedule in this chapter). At the ferry landing, NC Highway 12 continues a short distance to intersect with U.S. 70 W near the community of Sea Level, the highway's point of origin. (Interestingly enough, U.S. 70's other terminus is in Los Angeles.) From here, it's an unforgettable ride through lowland fields of junkus and Spartina marsh grasses and Down East fishing villages to historic Beaufort and the Crystal Coast or on to Havelock and New Bern.

Between Morehead City and Emerald Isle or Swansboro, the main thoroughfare is NC Highway 24, which offers views of Bogue Sound as you cross its bridges at Broad Creek and Gales Creek. On the island of Bogue Banks, NC 58 runs parallel to the beach for more than 22 miles, from Atlantic Beach west to Emerald Isle. Mile markers along the way make it easy to find things. Mile 1 (MM 1) begins at Fort Macon State Park on the east end of the island and the markers continue west, ending at the high-rise bridge in Emerald Isle.

Taxicabs, Shuttle Vans and Limousines

(252) 240-3555

Atlantic Beach Taxi serves all the towns between Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle as well as Morehead City and will take passengers to the airport in New Bern and Jacksonville....more about Atlantic Beach Taxi

2401 Bridges Street
Morehead City, NC 28557
(252) 247-4600

Serving Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Cape Carteret, Havelock, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Newport, Airport Locations, and more, Carteret Cab is the largest taxi company in Carteret County and ready to serve you all day, every day. Their drivers use meters and have completed background checks. Both non-smoking and smoking cabs are available....more about Carteret Cab

Swansboro, NC
(252) 393-6015

This is a locally-owned, reliable taxi service which will pick up customers in all surrounding areas - from Swansboro, Jacksonville, Morehead City, and more....more about Designated Driver

Trolleys and Buses

Amtrak's Thruway buses depart from the nearby Morehead City Train Depot, 1001 Arendell Street at 10:10 AM arriving at the Amtrak Train Station in Wilson, NC, at 1:27 PM with stops in Havelock, New Bern, and Greenville. It departs Wilson at 2:45 PM and arrives in Morehead City at 5:57 PM. For ticket information call 1-800-USA-RAIL. Although it does not originate in Atlantic Beach, the Greyhound bus service does exist to and from the neighboring towns of New Bern and Jacksonville. Carteret County does not offer public bus service or trolleys. If you are not traveling by private car, call a taxi or limousine.

3820 Bridges St
Morehead City, NC 28557
(252) 240-1043

Available to all citizens and guests of Carteret County, CCATS, is an accessible public transportation. Whether you need a ride to and from work, to or from medical appointments, or anywhere in and around Carteret County, this county bus service is available for you. There is a fee for each rider...more about Carteret County Area Transportation System CCATS

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