Travel: Fort Macon, NC
I've frequented many North Carolina beaches, but my favorite by far is Atlantic Beach. Perhaps it's the nostalgia of knowing it's the beach I've always gone to and the beach where my parents fell in love, but it's become my home away from home.
At the eastern end of the island lies Fort Macon - a five-sided fort made of brick and stone which is now a North Carolina State Park. It's barely visible from the shoreline, with a bulbous green hill concealing where live cannons once stood. The fort is filled with eerie vaulted rooms as shadows dance around the arched ceilings. During the 18th and 19th centuries the inlet was ideal for naval attacks, with Blackbeard and other infamous pirates passing through these coastal waters. The walls are worn from the salty air and the wooden floors creak in distress from the weight of it's past. There are shapes hidden everywhere in the pentagon fortress: arched doorways, square windows, circular cement bases, spiraling wrought iron decorating the tops of the steep staircases... We stopped in a few hours before sunset and I was stunned by the raw beauty of this historic backdrop.