It's that time of the year when we start craving the hot sun, white sand and huge waves. Living in North Carolina, we're lucky to have so many beaches right at our fingertips; you can literally beach hop every weekend. This beach in North Carolina has all that you would want on a private island and more. 

Shackleford Banks is an island in Carteret County, North Carolina and is an absolutely beautiful destination. You can only get to the island by ferry, which only takes about 15 minutes. This little slice of paradise is right off the coast of NC and once you get there, you'll wonder why it took you this long to visit.

You might be surprised to see all the majestic horses roaming around the island when you arrive. There are over 100 wild horses that call Shackleford Banks their home. No one knows how long they've been there, but they have been there long enough to adapt to the harsh conditions of the island.

Legend says that the horses were around in early European times and when there were shipwrecks along the North Carolina coast, the horses swam to shore for safety. They are said to be Colonial Spanish horses, but no one knows for sure. 

This undeveloped island will give you a sense of tranquility since it isn't your typical packed beach. The entire island is only 8.5 miles long and is only about a mile wide at its widest point, according to Outer Banks

You can take the ferry to the island for $17, but you can also kayak for free if you are experienced. This will give you a different type of experience that may be challenging, but if you're an experienced paddler, you should choose this route. 

There are so many things to do on this island as well. You can spend your day hanging out on the beach while cooling down in the tides, but you should see what else this spot has to offer.

Searching for seashells is a popular activity here and is a known destination for great finds. You might encounter sand dollars, moon snails, olive shells and even colorful scallops along your journey. You can also surf, paddleboard, kayak, and bodyboard in between finding cool shells.

Exploring the rest of the island, you'll see so many of the feral horses, but it's best to keep your distance because they are still wild and unpredictable creatures. You can also spot ghost crabs, gray foxes, otters, and blue crabs. 

Shackleford Banks 

Price: $17

Address: 600 Front St., Beaufort, NC and 1800 Island Rd., Harkers Island, NC

Why You Need To Go: This is a secluded island that is inhabited by wild horses, making for a unique day adventure. 

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