FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Wildlife to Spot on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast

by Aoife O'Riordan

Jan 12, 2023

© Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority

North America

News of the legendary Loch Ness Monster making an appearance in Atlantic Beach on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast made waves across the country and, while most likely a whale or eel was spotted, family travelers have all the more reason to visit North Carolina’s Crystal Coast to see some amazing wildlife.

Shackleford Horses

© Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority

The region’s most famous animals, Wild Shackleford Horses, descend from the Spanish mustangs brought over by European settlers 400 years ago. These wild horses roam the shores of Shackleford Banks and impress onlookers with their beauty.


Head to Croatan National Forest for some prime birdwatching opportunities. The forest is home to the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, as well as osprey, great blue herons and anhingas.

Emerald Isle

© Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority

The Crystal Coast also features a sea turtle sanctuary, situated on Emerald Isle. Every year, between May and November, loggerhead sea turtles come to the beaches to lay their eggs. These endangered animals require protection, especially when they lay their nests.


© Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority


Look to the sea to spot the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin, a popular sea creature that makes the most appearances in winter when they come to the area’s inland bays. To see the dolphins up close, book an excursion with Crystal Coast Ecotours to enjoy a personalized and guided tour of the barrier islands and potentially spot these graceful creatures.


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