Our Amazing Weather Continues
Fall is a favorite beach season
Sometimes standing on our dock on Raymond's Gut dazzles my senses. The blue of the sky becomes so intense when reflected into the water, I often blink my eyes just to make certain that I am not dreaming.
After a damp midsummer that stretched into August, our weather has found that sweet spot of temperature, humidity, and blue skies that brings pure delight to humans. The weather is very pleasant and I remain convinced that it should be bottled. Perhaps the fall weather seems even nicer than it is because we have just come from the heat and humidity of late summer which brought us some cottage fever.
My post, Fall Belongs to the Southern Coast, makes a strong case that the three and one half months of very nice weather that visits the Crystal Coast each fall beats a few weeks of brilliantly covered leaves. I mean no affront to beautiful leaves, but each year that we have yet another amazing fall makes it easier to accept colorful leaves as mere window dressing for a lot colder weather.
Things do slow down slightly on the coast as we get into October. Going to the Food Lion on Emerald Isle becomes possible once again. We recently had lunch at Santorini's Mediterranean Grille in Swansboro. Parking was not a challenge and the restaurant was not even crowded. Some of the distant areas of the beaches are a little more crowded now that the fishing trucks are back on the beach, but there is plenty of space for everyone to get along.
While things slow down during the week, the fall weekends are often filled with festivals. Last weekend was the North Carolina Seafood Festival. This weekend the Swansboro Mullet Festival will be upon us. Because the festival has a history of challenging parking, we usually avoid it or go late on Sunday, but I understand they have an improved shuttle system in place this year. I also read in the local paper that visitors will be able to choose between mullet and flounder on their fish plates. That might be a relief to folks who are not fans of fried mullet.
I prefer my flounder home-cooked and my mullets jumping around the inlet but for many years we have truly enjoyed the October Episcopalian Lobster Fest. It is a wonderful event with music and even beer if you want it. This year's event is scheduled for October 18. You can call either 252 354-5859 or 252 240-2388 for tickets.
Beyond eating, there is plenty to do here in the fall. With temperatures still touching the eighties, there is little doubt that it is still summer on the beach. While the water has cooled, you can depend on beautiful waves and fall fish to delight you along with all the great weather.
I love fishing the oyster rocks on the White Oak River during the fall. Kayaking on the river is really special when the water still has warmth and the air is a little cool. You can always hope for a nice drum or some trout to make things interesting. You might get lucky and bring home a cooler full of fish like I did one evening last fall. This year I have caught some very tasty flounder including this big doormat that weighed over three pounds.
If you come visit, we can highly recommend Angie's Lighthouse Cafe on Highway 58 just north of the stoplight before the bridge to Emerald Isle. We enjoyed both a wonderful breakfast and a tasty lunch there in the last month. We also had a very nice lunch at Village Market in Emerald Isle this past month. One of the great things about the Crystal Coast is that it does not shut down after Labor Day. You can even find local oysters this time of year. This really is the best time of the year to return to the beach.
Festivals, fishermen on the beach and even spot yachts in Bogue Sound are just part of this great time of year, a fall that seems a lot like summer except with better weather and fish that are biting instead ignoring your bait in the surf.
When December does start rolling around, things get very peaceful, but that is one of the reasons that I moved here. The peace of the area makes for a wonderful holiday season. How long this spectacular weather will last is anyone's guess. Sometimes it makes all the way to December. While there are occasionally a few cold and damp bumps in the road, even those can bring benefits to fishermen willing to get a little wet and chilled.
Count on plenty of great weather in October, just enough in November, and perhaps even a few stunning days of shorts weather in December. Do not let the fall chill of your home area make you hesitate visiting our beaches and enjoying a last taste of warmth before winter.
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Thanks so much for taking the time to read about the Crystal Coast and Emerald Isle. We are happy to have you as part of the group of people who love our piece of paradise.
Hopefully if you are dreaming about coming for a visit, you will get to realize that dream soon.