Swansboro Travel Guide

Explore the best places to visit, food and drink scene, where to stay, and local culture and customs of Swansboro. Learn about the safety measures, transportation options, and nearby destinations, and experience the best of Crystal Coast.

Introduction to Swansboro

Swansboro is a charming town located in the heart of Crystal Coast in North Carolina. Known for its quaint streets, beautiful waterfront, and pristine beaches, Swansboro offers an unparalleled travel experience. From outdoor adventures to historical attractions, visitors can explore the town’s rich heritage and natural beauty. Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled family vacation or a peaceful getaway, Swansboro has something for everyone.

List of Places to Visit in Swansboro

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Swansboro Historical Association

The Swansboro Historical Association is a non-profit organization that promotes the preservation and protection of the town’s historical landmarks, structures, and artifacts. Visitors can explore the organization’s exhibits, enjoy guided tours, and attend community events and programs.

Hammocks Beach State Park

Hammocks Beach State Park is a natural reserve that boasts of stunning beaches, diverse wildlife, and scenic trails. Visitors can hike, fish, kayak, or simply relax on the beach. The park also offers educational programs and guided tours for kids and adults.

The Heritage Center

The Heritage Center is a cultural hub that showcases the unique heritage and traditions of the region. Visitors can attend workshops, exhibitions, and concerts, and explore the center’s extensive collection of artifacts and artworks.

Natural Attractions of Swansboro: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

White Oak River

White Oak River is a scenic river that offers a range of outdoor activities, including fishing, kayaking, and boating. Visitors can enjoy the breathtaking views of the river and explore its diverse flora and fauna.

Bear Island

Bear Island is a secluded island that can only be accessed by ferry. Visitors can hike, swim, or sunbathe on its pristine beaches, or explore its scenic trails and abundant wildlife.

Bogue Sound

Bogue Sound is a picturesque waterway that offers fishing, boating, and other water sports. Visitors can enjoy the stunning views of the sound and visit nearby islands and landmarks.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Swansboro

Swansboro offers a range of hiking and biking routes that cater to all skill levels. Visitors can explore the trails at Hammocks Beach State Park, hike along the White Oak River, or bike through the town’s historic streets.

Best Things to Do in Swansboro: Activities and Tours

Swansboro offers a range of activities and tours that cater to all tastes and interests. Visitors can attend community events, enjoy live music, or embark on a guided tour of the town’s historic landmarks. Some popular activities and tours include:

  • Sea Turtle Excursion
  • Pirate Fest
  • Swansboro Arts by the Sea
  • Ghost Tours
  • Wine and Beer Tasting

Week-Long Itinerary for Swansboro

Day 1: Arrival and Beach Day

Arrive in Swansboro and check into your hotel near the beach. Spend the day lounging on the beach, swimming, or playing beach volleyball.

Day 2: Hammocks Beach State Park

Explore the Hammocks Beach State Park and take a guided tour. Enjoy hiking, fishing, or kayaking in the park, or simply relax on the beach.

Day 3: Swansboro Historical Association

Visit the Swansboro Historical Association and attend a guided tour of the town’s historic landmarks.

Day 4: Bear Island

Take a ferry to Bear Island and explore the scenic trails and pristine beaches.

Day 5: Outdoor Adventures

Enjoy a day of outdoor adventures, including fishing, kayaking, or boating in White Oak River or Bogue Sound.

Day 6: Cultural Attractions

Visit The Heritage Center and attend a concert or exhibition.

Day 7: Departure

Check out of your hotel and depart from Swansboro.

Food and Drink Scene of Swansboro

Must-Try Dishes

Some of the must-try dishes in Swansboro include:

  • Fresh Seafood
  • BBQ Pork
  • Local Craft Beer
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Fried Chicken

Local Beverages

Swansboro is known for its local craft beer and wine. Visitors can enjoy a range of craft beers, wines, and spirits in the town’s various bars and restaurants.

Where to Stay in Swansboro: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Swansboro offers a range of hotels, hostels, and guesthouses that cater to all budgets and preferences. Some popular options include:

  • The White Oak River Campground
  • The Quilted Rooster
  • Swansboro Dolphin RV Park
  • The Gray Dolphin Inn

What to Buy in Swansboro: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Some popular souvenirs and local products to bring home from Swansboro include:

  • Coastal Artwork and Crafts
  • Jewelry and Accessories
  • Beach Gear
  • Local Food and Drink

Local Culture and Customs of Swansboro

Swansboro is known for its rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality. Visitors are recommended to respect local traditions and customs, and participate in community events and festivals.

Best Time to Visit Swansboro

The best time to visit Swansboro is from March to May and September to November. During these months, the weather is mild and pleasant, and the crowds are thinner.

Do’s and Don’ts of Swansboro


  • Respect local traditions and customs
  • Participate in community events and festivals
  • Explore the town’s historic landmarks and natural attractions


  • Litter or damage natural landmarks and trails
  • Disrespect locals or their traditions
  • Neglect safety measures during outdoor activities

Safety and Health

Safety in Swansboro

Swansboro is a generally safe town. Visitors are advised to practice common safety measures, such as avoiding unlit areas at night and keeping an eye on their belongings.

Health in Swansboro

Swansboro offers a range of medical facilities and services. Visitors are recommended to carry a basic medical kit and take necessary precautions during outdoor activities.

Getting to Swansboro: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Swansboro

The nearest airports to Swansboro are:

  • Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ) - 33.4 miles
  • Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN) - 46.4 miles

Bus Stations Near Swansboro

The nearest bus stations are:

  • Greyhound Bus Station - 30.4 miles
  • Amtrak Station - 43.6 miles

Other Options

Visitors can also drive to Swansboro or take a taxi from nearby towns and cities.

How to Get Around in Swansboro

Swansboro is a small town that can be easily explored on foot or by bike. Visitors can also use taxis or rental cars to travel to nearby attractions and landmarks.

Where to Go Next from Swansboro: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Some nearby destinations and excursions from Swansboro include:

  • Wilmington, NC
  • Morehead City, NC
  • Cape Lookout National Seashore
  • Outer Banks, NC


Swansboro offers a unique travel experience that combines rich culture, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. From outdoor adventures to historical landmarks, the town is a must-visit destination in North Carolina. With this comprehensive tour guide, visitors can plan their trip to Swansboro and experience the best of Crystal Coast.