Historic downtown Swansboro

Swansboro, sometimes called the "Friendly City by the Sea", is a town of 1,426 people (as of 2000) in Onslow County, North Carolina, between the White Oak River and the Intracoastal Waterway. The town was incorporated in 1783, and named for Samuel Swann, a former Speaker in the North Carolina legislature. It's on the western border of the popular Crystal Coast tourist region, and is often considered to be unofficially part of the region. The town's main attractions are its beautiful waterfront views and its quaint downtown, filled with boutiques, shops and delicious restaurants.

Get in

Swansboro is located on NC-24, about half an hour east of Jacksonville and just across the White Oak River from Cape Carteret. If you're coming from Raleigh, the quickest route is to take I-40 to Kenansville (exit 373) and then follow US-258/NC-24 past Jacksonville.

Get around

Parking in town is free, and many people enjoy walking or biking through the downtown area.



  • Casper's Marine Service, 301 South Water Street, +1 910-326-4462. 150 slips.
  • Dudley's Marina, Highway 24 East, +1 252-393-2204, . 25 slips. Also has hot showers and a store for fishing equipment.
  • Swansboro Yacht Basin, Highway 24, +1 252-393-2416. 90 feet of dockage. Also has three restaurants, including the Flying Bridge.


Swansboro is a town that loves its festivals. Among the highlights:


Many people come to Swansboro for the express purpose of meandering through its quiet lanes and browsing the quaint shops. Parking is free, so take your time.




Go next

The Crystal Coast area has a variety of other areas to visit:

Further afield, there are some interesting destinations for daytrips:

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