Whether you work or not, the Crystal Coast is an amazing place to live. With more than 85 miles of enticing North Carolina coastline and 11 incorporated municipalities, the area has opportunities as endless as our ocean for you to live, work and play.

Living in a vacation destination has its perks! Throughout the year, you can enjoy a variety of unique activities from seasonal festivals to a Beaufort double-decker bus tour and culinary tours to athletic events.

You will also enjoy:

  • North Carolina’s lowest county property tax rate ($.31 per $100 valuation)
  • One of the state’s best-ranked school districts (second highest SAT score in NC in 2018)
  • A nationally ranked health care system
  • Easy access to anywhere on the East coast via a four-lane connector (soon to be Interstate 42) connecting Carteret County with I-95, I-40 and Raleigh-Durham and the Research Triangle Region

Places to Live on the Crystal Coast

You can choose to live in a variety of locations. Carteret County has 11 municipalities and many unincorporated areas from which you can choose. From the bustling town of Morehead City to the seclusion of Harkers Island, the beach views in Emerald Isle to the South’s favorite town of Beaufort, you can find a place to call your own that fits your personality.

An amazing variety of housing is available at very affordable prices in Carteret County. You can choose to rent or purchase your home on the Crystal Coast.

From ocean-, sound- and riverfront homes and condominiums to funky cottages within walking distance to restaurants, bars and shops, the Crystal Coast has a housing option just for you. And if you want to live — literally — on the water, you can live on your boat and enjoy that lifestyle too!

What are you waiting for?

Come and be a part of the award-winning Crystal Coast!

Beaufort home
Photography by Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority
Big Rock weigh station
Photography by Marc Montocchio
NC Seafood Festival
Moonrakers inside
Kyle Rusthoven

"I'm a radiation oncologist. In 2015, I decided to start my own practice and relocated with my family to Morehead City. We chose Carteret County because we believed this community to be an ideal location to build a thriving radiation oncology practice. The move to Morehead City turned out to be a great decision for our family. Our family has thoroughly enjoyed living in Carteret County. In addition to its vast natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, we have also found this to be an ideal place to raise our family. The school system is excellent and there is a strong community identity. We have developed relationships with a wide array of business, professional and community leaders with great ideas and a commitment to continued economic development in the area. In my opinion, Carteret County truly is the perfect destination for a young professional or entrepreneur to build his or her career."

Dr. Kyle Rusthoven

Radiation Oncologist, Carteret Health Care

Mat Bottoms

"Our county's public school system is ranked among the highest in North Carolina and our graduates are well prepared to take on the next phase of their lives, whether attending the best universities in the nation, taking courses at a community college, entering the workforce or enlisting in the military. The reputation of the Carteret County Public School System draws many families to our county. Our students receive an incredible education and can enjoy an unparalleled quality of life."

Mat Bottoms

Carteret County Schools Superintendent

Andy Pigott

"I've raised my children here, started a business here and trained for a triathlon here. Words can't describe the love we have for this dynamic area. From the outstanding schools to the great weather and conditions, the Crystal Coast is one of the best places to live on the east coast. I grew up at another popular beach community in Virginia and I love that there is no traffic here. I can achieve anything we need for our business and family life. I own a business that allows me to live anywhere as long as I have a great internet connection and I'm so happy I call Morehead City home."

Andy Pigott

Owner, Marine Structures