Memorial Day Weekend at Emerald Isle Travel Diary

Hope y’all are having a great weekend! In my May 2019 Favorites post, I mentioned that I went to Emerald Isle, NC for Memorial Day weekend. I did a full Emerald Isle Travel Guide post last summer, but I thought it would be fun to share a little travel diary of my time away three weeks ago. Spending the unofficial start of summer at the beach is one of my favorite traditions. This was actually the fourth Memorial Day weekend in a row that I’ve spent at Emerald Isle. I took the Friday before Memorial Day off from work and headed down to the beach that Thursday evening. I’m so glad I decided to do this, because I got to beat the Friday traffic, and I got an extra full day at the beach. Here’s some highlights of my long weekend!

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Free Frosty

Wendy's Frosty

Sometimes it’s just the little things in life that make you happy. I didn’t get to the beach until around 10:00pm that Thursday evening, and I knew Dairy Queen was already closed. Therefore, I stopped at Wendy’s on my way in to get a Frosty. They were having a 50 cent small Frosty promo, which was exciting enough. When I pulled up to the drive-thru window, the Wendy’s worker handed me my Frosty. But as soon as I started rummaging around in my wallet, she told me not to worry about it, because I had to wait and it was in the wrong size cup. I mean, my grand total was a whopping 54 cents, so it’s not liked I saved that much money. However, the Wendy’s worker totally didn’t have to give me my Frosty for free, and I didn’t even think I had to wait that long!

Publix & Coffee


Friday morning I got up and went for a run on the beach. Sometimes it’s nice to get a little bit of exercise in before spending the remainder of the day lounging around, haha. After my run, I went to Publix to pick up a sub to eat for lunch later. I also wanted to get some banana pudding, since someone on Instagram who lives in Florida and has easy access to Publix was raving about it. I didn’t see the banana pudding in the deli, so I went to the bakery. After not seeing it in the bakery, I asked the bakery worker where it was. He told me it was in the deli, and immediately volunteered to walk over there to show me where it was. I should mention the bakery is on the opposite side of the store as the deli. Talk about customer service! When I lived in Greenville, SC, I was always within 5-10 minutes from a Publix. Although Publix is slowly making its way into North Carolina, the closest one to my apartment is still 30 minutes away. Therefore, it’s a treat to have a Publix three minutes away when I’m at the beach house!

Emerald Isle Travel Diary

After Publix, I went to get a latte from the local coffee shop, Stir It Up. The barista almost exactly remembered my order from last summer. The only detail I had to correct her on was that my latte was hot instead of iced. I still thought this was really impressive considering this was my first visit in over eight months.

Beach Time

Emerald Isle NC

The weather was absolutely gorgeous the entire weekend, and perfect for getting in some quality beach time!

Dunkin’ Munchkins

Dunkin' Munchkins and Latte

Another favorite beach tradition is to get Dunkin’ munchkins and a latte for breakfast one morning. There’s a Dunkin’ not too far over the bridge from Emerald Isle.

Rucker John’s

Rucker John's Emerald Isle Rucker John's Emerald Isle

On the Sunday of our trip, my dad and I went to Rucker John’s for an early lunch before hitting the beach. Rucker John’s is my favorite restaurant at Emerald Isle, and my go-to is the Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad, which comes with a yummy croissant. I also really like their strawberry daiquiri.

I wore my Vineyard Vines for Target patchwork shorts for the first time. Pairing them with a pink v-neck top, my navy & white Jack Rogers, and dainty jewelry made a perfect ensemble for a casual lunch out at the beach. Unfortunately these shorts sold out the first day of the Vineyard Vines for Target launch. However, you can shop Jack Rogers here, my Vineyard Vines hat here, my crossbody bag here, and my earrings here. You can shop a similar pair of sunglasses here.

Emerald Isle Travel Diary

Emerald Isle Travel Diary

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen Blizzard

A lot of my beach trip highlights revolt around food, and I have absolutely zero shame. I had a Dairy Queen Blizzard my last night on the island. Then I stopped and got another one for lunch at the Dairy Queen just over the bridge in Swansboro on my way out on Memorial Day.


Hope you enjoyed reading this little travel diary from my Memorial Day Weekend trip to Emerald Isle. I plan to do more posts like this in the future after I take trips. Overall, I’m so thankful I had the chance to get away for a few days, slow down my pace of life, and really appreciate the simple joys in life. Did y’all go anywhere for Memorial Day weekend, and do you have any fun trips coming up?

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-xoxo Liz

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I'm Liz- and I'm here to inspire you to embrace the simple joys in life and encourage you to be your authentic self!

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