The Bogue Banks form a 21-mile (34 km) barrier island off the mainland of North Carolina in Carteret County. The island, separated from the mainland by Bogue Sound, runs east to west, with the ocean beaches facing due south. Bogue Banks is the only island on the Carteret County shore that has been developed with housing. Numerous communities are located on the island and can be accessed by one of two bridges across Bogue Sound, either from Morehead City to Atlantic Beach, which is the more heavily traveled bridge, or from Cape Carteret to Emerald Isle.
The communities of Bogue Banks are the most prominent of the Crystal Coast. NC 58 traverses a majority of the island’s length. There are several hotels that dot the island, but most of the land contains private houses, which are rented out during the summer, or maritime forest. Stores and other commercial properties are limited to the five main communities.