Home to the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, this seaside town in North Carolina is a popular destination for military families. Camp Lejeune, NC offers families plenty of outdoor adventures and water-based activities, as well as fun dining options, museums, and more. 

Here are 10 things you and your military family will love about Camp Lejeune, NC. 

1. Wilmington Railroad Museum

If you’re based in Camp Lejeune, NC, then the Wilmington Railroad Museum is about an hour’s drive away and it’s more than worth the trip. Seeking to preserve the railroading history of the area for future generations to experience and appreciate, this museum displays life-sized engines and even offers rides on the miniature Thomas the Tank Engine. Be sure to ask about military discounts and children’s rates when going.

2. Bear Island

According to their State Parks website, the crown jewel of the North Carolina coastline is Bear Island. This four4-mile stretch of undeveloped barrier island is accessible by several different options: private ferry, the park’s passenger ferry, canoeing, or kayaking. It offers beautiful beaches, massive sand dunes, picnic sites, and gorgeous ocean water. The mainland has a full-service visitor center offering information on nearby wildlife, including the endangered sea turtles and nesting shorebirds.

3. Lynnwood Park Zoo

The Lynnwood Park Zoo is a Veteran-owned and -operated animal park with a clear mission: connecting the public with wildlife through education. With 10 acres of land and over 80 animal exhibits housing animals from a wide range of different backgrounds, this zoo makes for the perfect family outing.

The zoo houses animals from rescue situations and private-owner surrenders, plus rehabilitated animals unfit to be released and more, so there’s plenty to learn about and see if you’re looking for things to do near Camp Lejeune.

4. Zing Zumm Children’s Museum

If you have children ages 10 and under, the Zing Zumm Children’s Museum in Jacksonville is a great option for a fun afternoon. Not a far drive from Camp Lejeune, NC, this museum is community supported and a non-profit.

5. Visit Topsail Beaches

Topsail Island is a 26-mile long stretch of beautiful beaches and three different towns: North Topsail Beach, Surf City, and Topsail Beach. You can easily make a whole day out of visiting the different beaches along this island.

Be sure to bring some kayaks, surfboards, boogie boards, and other fun water activities to get the most out of your beach day.

6. Onslow County Parks

The Onslow County Parks and Recreation Department offers a wide variety of park facilities for you and your military family within a 30-minute drive from Camp Lejeune, NC. These facilities include five district parks with beach access sites as well as paddle trails, bike routes, children’s parks, and more.

7. Lejeune Memorial Gardens

Created to honor anyone who has served our country, the Lejeune Memorial Gardens is a gathering place to remember and respect those who have offered the biggest sacrifice for our freedom as a nation. This location is home to many different memorials, including the Beirut Memorial, the Onslow Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Montford Point Marine Memorial, and the 9/11 Memorial Beam from the World Trade Center. 

8. Myrtle Beach

If you’ve never been before, Myrtle Beach is a great vacation destination and only a two-hour drive from Camp Lejeune, NC. With plenty of shoreline to explore, shopping, food, games, and even daredevil sports and activities, everyone in the family is sure to find something they can enjoy. 

9. Local Festivals and Events

The community near Camp Lejeune is very welcoming, from the local businesses to the supportive military families. Get plugged in as quickly as you can and be sure to check out all the local festivals and events. The area typically has lots to offer when it comes to affordable and even free weekend events for the military community. 

10. Visit Wilmington and Raleigh

If you run out of things to do near Camp Lejeune, Wilmington is about an hour drive south and Raleigh is about two hours north. Both cities have plenty of interesting things to see, from art museums to parks to aquariums and more.

Between the local beaches, parks and nearby cities such as like Jacksonville, Wilmington, and Raleigh, you’ll never run out of things to do near Camp Lejeune. Share your experiences living in Camp Lejeune with the SpouseLink community on our Facebook page!

Meet SpouseLink Ambassadors Gisella and Jessica

They have both lived in and represented us at Camp Lejeune. Connect with them for more insights about the area!


More North Carolina Fun for MilFams:

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