Why You Should Visit Onslow County in 2016

Only in Onslow County will you find something new and different for the entire family. From the pristine beaches to a rich military history, we invite you to come explore everything Onslow County has to offer in 2016. There’s never been a better time to book your stay with us in Eastern North Carolina.

Hit the Beach


Onslow’s own Bear Island is among the most unspoiled beaches on the Atlantic Coast, home to multitudes of beautiful wildlife and serene beaches. When the weather starts to get a little warmer, locals and visitors alike flock to this quiet getaway by ferry, private boat, or kayak to enjoy fishing, picnicking, camping, and swimming.

Explore the vast 892 acres of Hammocks Beach State Park, where rolling dunes and lush forests make a tranquil home to incredible wildlife. Hammocks Beach is a favorite nesting ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle, especially during the warmest months of the year. Visit Onslow during the summer time to witness the miracle before your own eyes.

Whether it’s our state parks or North Topsail Beach, where you can drive on the sand and find the ideal sunbathing spot, Onslow County is home to a number of pristine beaches offering fun for the whole family. Bring your standup paddle board, surf the waves, kayak the waterways or just lounge in the warm Eastern NC sun.

Honor Those Who Serve


For generations, Onslow County has taken great pride in sharing its rich military history, honoring the brave men and women who still fight for this great country. 2016 marks the 33rd year since the Beirut Bomb Blast, an event that would forever change the Onslow County community. Each year, military members, community leaders, and families travel to the Beirut Memorial to pay their respects. Onslow County is also home to Lejeune Memorial Gardens, home of the 9/11 Memorial and the Onslow Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Jacksonville is also home to the world’s oldest operating USO, supporting military servicemen and women in the state of North Carolina and those just passing through our area.

Challenge Yourself


Runners rejoice! Onslow County is the place to be for those who love to push their body to the limit. This February 6th, rise to the occasion at the Camp Lejeune X-Treme Endurance Challenge, held in the heart of the Marine Training Zone, Camp Devil Dog. This scenic, off-road 10K course will test your strength, stamina, and endurance with obstacles, mud crawls, and more.

September is the time to be in Onslow County if you’re a dedicated runner. You can look forward to the 4th Annual Boots On The Run 5k, the Marine Corps Half Marathon, and Color Vibe 5k all this fall. Onslow County offers a number of family fun runs, competitive races, charitable races and more. Follow us on social media for more on the upcoming 2016 race season.

Celebrate with Festivals


The quaint waterfront town of Sneads Ferry, North Carolina is home to the annual Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival, held during the first week in August. Since 1971, the festival has continued to grow and attract people from far and wide to the parade, live music, shrimp heading contest, fireworks show, beer and wine tent, car show, military exhibits, arts & crafts, lots of food, and lots of shrimp!

Swansboro’s annual Mullet Festival hosts a weekend of family fun each October, including live bands, a parade through the historic downtown district, and of course, delicious fried fish. Stick around for the Onslow County Oktoberfest at Riverwalk Park, overlooking the Neuse River. You can kick off the weekend with a Stein & Shine Beer Tasting, and keep sipping until they run out of beer!

Whether you prefer traveling during the summer for endless beach days, the fall for the incredible festivals and cooler temperatures, or even the winter for the festive holiday events, there’s always something exciting happening in Onslow County. We hope you’ll join us in 2016! For a list of annual events, or to start planning your vacation, visit www.onlyinonlsow.com.

Onslow County Tourism

Onslow County Tourism

As one of North Carolina’s oldest counties, Onslow County reflects a rich and varied history.  It’s also the proud home of the Marines of Camp Lejeune, New River Air Station, Camp Johnson and Camp Geiger.

The county has been graced with an extraordinary natural beauty: over 30 miles of wide, unspoiled beaches, waters teeming with an abundance of marine life, forests filled with wildlife, and rich farmland to harvest.

Today, you can explore everything from military and historic monuments to beautiful waterways and beaches to friendly spots to eat and play.