North Carolina's beach and waterfront access sites are categorized into four groups: Regional, Neighborhood, Local, and Waterfront. Initial site location data were collected in 1996 with ongoing updates occuring since 2005.
Regional access sites are generally the largest and often feature restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and ample parking (25+).
Neighborhood sites generally have fewer parking spaces than regional sites and often do not have facilities such as showers or restrooms. However, there are exceptions.
Local sites are often simply dune crossovers with little or no associated parking and no facilities. However, bicycle racks may be provided. These are primarily used by pedestrians who reside within a few hundred yards of the site.
Waterfront sites are generally located on estuarine waters in urbanized areas. They vary greatly in the amount of parking and facilities provided.
All of the access sites in DCM's GIS database, both the location and attribute information, were collected by North Carolina Sea Grant and DCM staff using mapping grade GPS receivers and desktop Geographical Information Systems (GIS). This access site database includes only those sites for which DCM provided funding. There may be other locally funded public access sites that use the DCM sign but are not shown in our data.
Report Issues with Access Sites:
You can help keep access information up to date by contacting Ken Richardson to report errors or submit an updated photo. Please include site location or description in your correspondence.
How to use the Access Locater:
Welcome to the Division's newest interactive beach access locator. Both access site information and map viewer were updated in 2015. The map viewer is a browser-based application that works on both mobile devices and desktop computers.
On a mobile device, use the Share Your Location feature to automatically zoom to your location
Measure length, area, or get map coordinates
Return to full map extent
Change map background
Zoom to address using the "Enter Location" text box.
Zoom in/out tips: Shift + or - buttons, mouse wheel up or down scroll, or by holding down the shift key and draging mouse cursor to make a box around the area of interest.
DISCLAIMER: These data are considered non-surveyed. Therefore, maps obtained from this web site are to be used for general information purposes only. These data were collected with mapping grade GPS, however, the NC Division of Coastal Management does not guarantee accuracy of location or associated site information.