Why Historic Swansboro is Picture-Perfect Coastal North Carolina

Onslow County includes a number of cities that each bring something unique and fun, but Historic Swansboro was our favorite. The vibe, the restaurants, the shops…the location right on the water…it was picture-perfect!

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Where to Eat

My very favorite restaurant of our entire trip is pictured above, Boro Restaurant. They offer lunch and dinner, but we showed for weekend Brunch. The spicy Bloody Mary was terrific, and I loved the chicken-friend steak. They offer burgers, shrimp-and-grits, and more. Eat inside or grab a patio table at night when the string lights are shining.

Church Street Deli is a fun place to grab a sandwich and beer before heading out on the water. They serve several dozen varieties of sandwiches – I loved the Reuben! And don’t miss their Irish coffee.

Riverside Steak and Seafood is a more formal restaurant (though still great for kids.) Shrimp and grits, seafood and pasta are their specialties. And don’t miss starting your meal with an appy – we recommend scallop nachos!

Swansboro Food & Beverage Co sits on the corner of the main street, and was the first place we ate when in town. Coloring pages for the kids, and creative drinks for mom and dad made this a winner. Sandwiches, burgers, seafood and salads make it easy to please everyone. Start with the pimento cheese and don’t skip dessert!

Yana’s Ye Olde Drug Store Restaurant is where you need to get breakfast. The boys ate chocolate chip pancakes – I loved the omelette…but we all adored the retro decor. Breakfast convo included stories about the people we saw in photos on the walls – Marilyn Monroe, the Lone Ranger, and more!

Sharing the same parking lot as the must-stay apartment we mention below is Saltwater Grill. It is newly refurbished from Hurricane Florence, with gorgeous modern decor, views of the water from their 2nd story deck, and delicious food. Loved the crab stuffed flounder, and hubs gave the short ribs two thumbs up.

We love that many of these restaurants (and more) offer live music on the weekends. Locals and visitors alike gather to decompress from the week, share a pitcher of beer, listen to live tunes, and relax on the water. 


Where to Play

Bake, Bottle & Brew is another place to find live music. Enjoy a glass of wine, beer, coffee or ice cream with gorgeous views of the Intracoastal. We love the shop here, with lots of fun finds.

Candy Edventure is a super fun candy store with chocolate, traditional candies, bulk bins and more. They also have the coolest sodas…like pickle flavored soda!! We stopped in several times for treats for the boat.

Pogies (pictured above) is an outfitter right on the water. Rent kayaks, set up a fishing charter, get your fishing equipment and more.

The Mercantile, Poor Man’s Hole, Salt Marsh Cottage…I could go on and on…there are so many adorable shops on the main thoroughfare. Don’t miss this!!

Swansboro Paddle Boarding is where to go for paddle board and kayak rentals, and great guided tours around the islands, looking for shark’s teeth and shells.

Sweet Edventures maybe should be in the where to eat, but we escaped the kids for a moment and enjoyed a cocktail here, which felt more like “play!” My lemon drop martini was delish, and I loved the prohibition theme.


Disclosure: Thank you to Onslow County for hosting us. Opinions here are all our own, as always!




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