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Emerald Isle North Carolina Ocean Front Camping

April 5, 2010 by · 4 Comments 


For those of us that live in the eastern part of central Virginia, it was an unusually long, cold and snowy winter — the type of winter that gives you a gnawing fit of “cabin fever” and makes the lust for green grass, flowers and birds even more intense.

Finally, April has arrived – bringing with it longer days, more sunshine and the opportunity to get outdoors and bask in the beauty of the surrounding nature. There is only one thing better than beautiful weather in April.  It is beautiful weather at the ocean in April!

We left home after Church Easter Sunday heading down to Emerald Isle, NC.  There we camp at the Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort for Campers off of Coast Guard Road and just over the bridge to the island (If the link does not work, cut and past the following URL into your browser: .  We have been coming to this campground since the early 80’s, long before the condos along the road were ever built.  To us, it is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable places on the east coast. The park is a family owned facility and has been personally managed by Ronnie Watson and his family for over 30 years.  It is an extremely well maintained, managed and beautiful park that consistently earns the coveted Woodall’s Five Diamond Rating for facilities.  There are sites for tent campers, pop-ups and even the big rigs such as Nancy and I have.  No matter what your camping style, the Emerald Isle Holiday Trav-L-Park has accommodations for you.  Even better, it is a Good Sam Park and offers the 10% discount for members.  Virtually all oceanfront camping resorts are more expensive than their inland counterparts.  While summer or seasonal camping rates here can quickly add up to a significant amount, they are still reasonable by comparison to other facilities.

Unlike many other oceanfront resort areas, Emerald Isle still allows pets on the beach.  Thus, it has become the favored retreat for campers like us that enjoy taking our four-legged children out onto the sands rather than leaving them locked inside a camper.  Oscar loves the beach and can spend the entire day digging in the sand and running after his ball in the surf.  He befriends children, adults and other canines with his antics.

The ocean waters in North Carolina are still pretty cold in April.  But, with the sun shining and temperatures in the mid 80’s, there were plenty of swimmers out in the surf.  Oscar and I did get in up to our knee caps and quickly felt the numbness of the cold water.

We actually eat better when we are camping than when we are at home.  We do our best to eat healthy and avoid the high fat foods.  Fresh fish, shellfish, vegetables and fruits are readily available even this early in the season.  Dinner tonight consisted of grilled Rainbow Trout, garlic /onion and olive oil sautéed New Potatoes, and a freshly tossed salad.

It is really great to be out exploring and enjoying God’s creations once again.

Beach and Ocean at Emerald Isle, NC.

Campsites in the tenting area are nicely fenced on three sides to define "your space".

Oscar loves digging in the beach sand. EI is one of the few places that still allow pets on the beach year round. Dogs need vacations too!

Sand dunes with Sea Oats serve as barriers for the campground from the wind, tides and storms.

In April the campground grass is very green and there are lots of open spaces. The park offers sparkling clean heated or air conditioned bath houses, amphitheater with entertainment, laundromat, a massive wine mart, go-cart track, fully stocked store, fuel, RV storage and site set-up, gated entry with security guard and organized activities for children and families.

Fresh Rainbow Trout off the grill with onion/garlic/olive oil baked New Potatoes. Tossed Salad and a view of our neighbor's camping unit out the dining table window.

Our campsite at the crest of a hill looking out over the dunes at the ocean. As you can see, many sites are "big rig" compatible with room to spare.


4 Responses to “Emerald Isle North Carolina Ocean Front Camping”
  1. Monica McLaughlin says:

    This place sounds great. I have a tent and 2 dogs.

  2. John says:

    You’ve got to be kidding. “reasonable” it’s $150 a month for a pet. and for $1500 a month and I still have to pay for TV what about WIFI, that must be another $5 a day This must be an all inclusive resort, Let’s see free food and beverages I bring my own room that sounds about right. NO?
    Yeah I’m going to spend $4 a gallon to get to this place.

  3. Jim C. says:

    Too exclusive. Paying for name.

  4. Robin says:

    The management of this campground are the rudest, uncaring, cold, heartless, unkind and down right mean people I have every had to deal with. Be careful when dealing with them……especially if you store your camper there.

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