You would have a hard time finding residents who think there is a better season than fall along North Carolina's Crystal Coast. The weather often defies description. It is a time when the air is cooler, the water still warm, and the skies almost as blue as they are in winter.
Just about any activity is within the realm of possibility. People still swim in the water though it is a little cool for swimming in my opinion. However, I don't mind standing knee deep in the water, wetting a line, and trying to catch a fish or two. The scenery and the weather are often so nice that catching fish is optional.
There are fall days that I have a hard time deciding what to do. The humidity is for the most part gone so long walks on the beach are very enjoyable. But if the wind is quiet, the area waters are perfect for kayaking this time of year. Hiking and paddling are two of my favorite activities. I often carry a fishing rod in my kayak.
Earlier in October I went for an evening paddle, and the water was almost perfect when I got back into our inlet. I just glided along and listened to the sounds of the birds around the marsh. A few days later the wind was just right, and I hardly had to lift a paddle as the wind pushed my kayak back to the dock.
Fall is also a great time to take a skiff out and enjoy the beauty of the area marshes. My wife who is not a huge summer boating fan really enjoys riding through the area waters in the fall. Even with pictures, it is hard to appreciate the beauty of the waters and marshes along the Crystal Coast. You don't even have to own a boat to go on a marsh cruise in the fall. The folks at Hammocks Beach State Park have regular pontoon boat cruises for fund raising for local charities in the fall.
It is also almost impossible to get through a fall weekend without a festival of some sort. We have recently had the NC Seafood Festival in Morehead City, the Mullet Festival in Swansboro, the Mumfest in New Bern, and two lobster festivals at area Episcopalian churches.
If I had to pick one favorite fall thing, it would be standing in the still warm water and doing a little surf fishing. However, being a resident on the Crystal Coast lets me sample all the pleasures of the area in the fall.
Even our yards cooperate. The centipede grass that makes up most coastal lawns conventiently slows its growth in the fall so that we have more time for fall activities. It sure beats a mountain blue grass yard. They usually get a spurt of growth in the fall and often require mowing into December.
If you have never visited the coast in the fall, don't let another season slip by without giving it a try.