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In North Carolina, the Crystal Coast is an 85-mile stretch of coastline that extends from the Cape Lookout National Seashore, which includes 56 miles of protected beaches, southwestward to the New River. The Crystal Coast is a popular area with tourists and second-home owners in the summer. The absolute boundaries of this coast are often disputed, but the main area includes all the major Carteret County beaches (those on Bogue Banks, which face south). It also includes eastern portions of Carteret County, such as Harkers Island, Down East and Shackleford Banks, as well as the northern Onslow County beaches (Bear Island/Hammock's Beach), and a few ports along the Intracoastal Waterway. Some tourism marketing describes the region as the Southern Outer Banks, to draw a connection to the main barrier islands of the Outer Banks. The main communities include the coastal resorts of Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Salter Path, as well as the inland (sound-side) ports of Beaufort, Morehead City, and Swansboro. Besides the many quiet beach communities and numerous shops and restaurants in the area, other major attractions include Fort Macon State Park, which protects a series of historic coastal forts used from the early 19th to the mid 20th century, and the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, one of three such aquariums located along the North Carolina coast. A population of feral Banker horses is located on Shackleford Banks, and several protected areas, including Hammocks Beach State Park, Cape Lookout National Seashore (including the ghost town of Portsmouth) lie along the region as well.
New Bern, formerly called Newbern, is a city in Craven County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 29,524, which had risen to an estimated 29,994 as of 2019. It is the county seat of Craven County and the principal city of the New Bern Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located at the confluence of the Neuse and the Trent rivers, near the North Carolina coast. It lies 112 miles (180 km) east of Raleigh, 80 miles (130 km) north of Wilmington, and 162 miles (261 km) south of Norfolk. New Bern is the birthplace of Pepsi. New Bern was settled in 1710 by the Palatines and Swiss under the leadership of Christoph von Graffenried. The new colonists named their settlement after Bern, the Swiss region from which many of the colonists and their patron had emigrated. The English connection with Switzerland had been established by some Marian exiles who sought refuge in Protestant parts of Switzerland. There were also marriages between the House of Stuart and notable people in the history of Calvinism. The colonists later discovered they had started their settlement on the site of a former Tuscarora village named Chattoka. This caused conflicts with the Tuscaroras who were in the area. New Bern is the second-oldest European settled colonial town in North Carolina, after Bath. It served as the capital of North Carolina from 1770 to 1792. After the American Revolution (1775–1783), New Bern became wealthy and quickly developed a rich cultural life. At one time New Bern was called "the Athens of the South," renowned for its Masonic Temple and Athens Theater. These are both still very active today. New Bern has four historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places; their numerous contributing buildings include residences, stores and churches dating back to the early eighteenth century. Within walking distance of the waterfront are more than 164 homes and buildings listed on the National Register. Also nearby are several bed and breakfasts, hotels, restaurants, banks, antiques stores and specialty shops. The historic districts contain many of the city's 2,000 crape myrtles—its official flower—and developed gardens. New Bern has two "Local Historic Districts", a municipal zoning overlay that affords legal protection to the exteriors of New Bern's historic structures.
Jacksonville is a city in Onslow County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 United States census, the population was 70,145, which makes Jacksonville the 14th-largest city in North Carolina. Jacksonville is the county seat and most populous community of Onslow County, which is coterminous with the Jacksonville, North Carolina metropolitan area. In 2014, Forbes magazine ranked Jacksonville as the fifth-fastest growing small city in the United States. Demographically, Jacksonville is the youngest city in the United States, with an average age of 22.8 years old, which can be attributed to the large military presence. The low age may also be in part due to the population drastically going up over the past 80 years, from 783 in the 1930 census to 70,145 in the 2010 census.It is the home of the United States Marine Corps' Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station. Jacksonville is located adjacent to North Carolina's Crystal Coast area. On 21 June 2016, the City of Jacksonville, became the first jurisdiction to adopt a paid holiday honoring the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which made slavery in the United States and its territories illegal. The resolution of adoption targets the prevention of the modern slavery epidemic in the form of human trafficking, which includes forcing children to engage in labor and combat.
Onslow County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 177,772. Its county seat is Jacksonville. The county was created in 1734 as Onslow Precinct and gained county status in 1739. Onslow County comprises the Jacksonville, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. The southern border is the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.