Fall in Love with Nature in the Brunswick Islands

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February is the month of love, but visitors and locals can fall in love with North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands year-round, including its stunning nature and coastal beauty. Whether spotting dolphins from the sand or birdwatching in the marshes, the nature of the Brunswick Islands is sure to take your breath away. Plan your next date with the outdoors with one of these scenic adventures.

Sun, Sand and Surf
The Brunswick Islands’ 45 miles of beaches are filled with opportunities for amazing nature sightings. Take a morning stroll and spot sand dollars and other unique shells along the shore, or go for a bike ride at low tide and watch for dolphins playing in the waves. In the fall and winter months, watching the sun rise and set over the ocean is an incredible view on the Brunswick Islands’ south-facing beaches. No matter the time of year, beachgoers in search of natural beauty won’t be disappointed.

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Walk (or float!) on the Wild Side
Discover a different side of the barrier islands with the Intracoastal Waterway and the area’s vast ecosystem of salt marshes, creeks and estuaries. Find some of the best kayaking, paddle boarding and more in the region where salt water meets fresh, home to crabs, oysters, fish, shrimp, skates and even dolphins. Nature preserves and parks throughout the Brunswick Islands provide additional outdoor spaces to spot wildlife and unique plants. Or try a swamp boat eco-tour for an up close look at a cypress swamp.

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Shell-ebrate Miracles
For a truly heartwarming experience from July through October, watch baby sea turtles make their way to the ocean in their first moments of life outside their eggs. Thanks to an abundance of trained volunteers and the sanctuaries throughout the Brunswick Islands, the nests are observed and tended to so the community can be educated on the importance of the protection of this endangered species. Visitors along the beach at night can see this natural miracle for themselves, and watch as volunteers monitor the hatching process and guide the baby turtles to the ocean, where they can live for up to 50 years or more.

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Birds of a Feather
NC’s Brunswick Islands is home to eight sites along the North Carolina Birding Trail. The Islands’ prime location and varied ecosystems make it a haven for birds, and over 330 species have been spotted in Brunswick County. From the majestic bald eagle to the spectacular painted bunting, nature lovers are in for a treat. For a full list of the NC Birding Trail sites in the Brunswick Islands and the species often seen at each site, visit http://www.ncbrunswick.com/activity/brunswick-bird-watching-mainland.

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Out of This World
For a unique take on some other-worldly nature, visit the Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach. The state-of-the-art planetarium has an 85-seat SciDome Sky Theater with high definition digital protection and surround-sound system where visitors can learn about the universe around them. The theater shows educational programs about space exploration and astronomy, along with laser music shows. Explore the interactive exhibits in the Paul Dennis Science Hall for fun, hands-on learning.

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To learn more about nature exploration in the Brunswick Islands, and to plan your trip, visit www.NCBrunswick.com.

 

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands: The Place For Your Next Golf Getaway

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Looking for a retreat to relax and reconnect with good friends while playing some great golf courses? North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, also known as “North Carolina’s Golf Coast”, is awaiting golfers of all levels with more than 30 championship courses and a mild, four-season climate. Get together with friends and play a round in this stunning coastal destination with 45 miles of beautiful beaches and plenty of activities to tee up the perfect getaway. Whether you’re planning a guys’ or a girls’ trip, NC’s Brunswick Islands has an abundance of adventures for both serious golfers and those looking to let loose and feel the sand between their toes.

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Book Your Stay
Select the best accommodations for your group with the array of lodging options in the Brunswick Islands. Try a golf resort like Sea Trail Resort or Brunswick Plantation & Golf Resort for all the makings of a golf getaway in one location. Experience a hotel or resort, either oceanfront or inland for a comfortable stay in your desired location.  Another great option for groups, the Brunswick Islands is home to countless beach rental homes, ideal for individual rooms and the advantage of a main gathering space. Check out the Brunswick Islands’ lodging options at http://www.ncbrunswick.com/accommodations.

Plan a Hole-in-One
No matter where you’re staying, you’ll find a golf course just minutes away, ideal for those early tee times. With 120 miles of fairways, beginners and experts can find their best golf experience. Golfing in the Brunswick Islands is made even better with the scenic views of the area’s waterways, lush maritime forests and marshes. View a directory of all the courses waiting for you at http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/golf.  Book your own tee times or let one of our golf packagers book your accommodations and your golf.

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Catch Some Adventure
With over 30 golf courses in the Brunswick Islands, you can golf all day every day of your stay.  But with 45 miles of Atlantic coastline, there’s also plenty of ocean waiting to be explored, along with scenic marshes and the Intracoastal Waterway. Board a fishing charter for a half-day, full-day or even overnight trip where you can access the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and have a chance to hook tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi and more. For a more low-key day, head out to the salt marsh creeks, black water rivers and coastal bays for kayak fishing in search of trout and flounder. One of the Brunswick Islands’ five ocean piers and surf fishing are even more opportunities for a relaxing day with friends by the water. Browse through the options and select your perfect Brunswick Islands fishing adventure at http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/fishing_and_charters.

Take a Deep Breath
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Make wellness part of your getaway with fitness centers and classes, along with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, at select lodging options. Try a yoga class, or venture off-property and rent a bike to take a leisurely pedal down the beach. There’s also nothing like a spa day to recharge your body after a round of golf. Find a range of day spas around the Brunswick Islands, and treat you and your friends to day of pampering and relaxation. Massage away sore muscles and get ready for another round of golf or just a day of lounging on the sandy beach. Start planning your spa day at http://www.ncbrunswick.com/activity/day-spas.

Feel the Salt Air
Six towns over five barrier islands mean even more options for a beach day without the crowds. The pristine beaches of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands offer not only sand, sun and surf, but active travelers can explore two lighthouses, the Oak Island Lighthouse and Old Baldy, along with five ocean piers to find gorgeous scenery without the need for a boat. Discover the unique personalities of each Brunswick Islands beach and spend one day of your getaway trading the golf course green for deep ocean blue. Learn about the towns and beaches of the Brunswick Islands at http://www.ncbrunswick.com/islands.

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Taste the Coast
In the seafood capital of the world, a coastal feast is a not-to-be-missed experience. Find local eateries on the water serving up authentic Calabash-style seafood in one of the many family-owned restaurants throughout the Brunswick Islands. Beyond seafood, surprise and satisfy your taste buds with worldly flavors and steaks worthy of a post-golf refueling. Pop into Silver Coast Winery in Ocean Isle Beach to experience their “European Style Wines at the Beach” in a beautiful, rustic setting, or stop by Check Six Brewing Company in Southport to toast the day with a wide selection of their 10+ handcrafted ales. Special brewery events include live music and karaoke, and you can take home a growler to continue the celebration. Search for the perfect dinner destination at http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/dining.

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about getting your friends together for a retreat. To plan your guys’ or girls’ golf getaway, visit http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/Golf_Trips

Tee Up Your Golf Getaway At North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ Golf Resorts

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Take advantage of the mild year-round weather and plan your golf retreat when the time is right for you. In addition to more than 30 championship courses, all a quick drive away from 45 miles of beautiful beaches, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands features two golf resorts to satisfy both the golfer and non-golfer, making for a fun and relaxing multi-day getaway.

Sea Trail Resort

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Located in Sunset Beach just minutes from the surf, Sea Trail Resort offers 2,000 acres of pristine landscape with three world-class golf courses. Designed by Rees Jones, Dan Maples and Willard Byrd, the courses are made for golfers of all levels and feature added amenities, such as two clubhouses with full-service golf shops and dining options. To fine-tune your skills, be sure to visit the putting greens, driving range and PGA-sanctioned Golf Learning Center.

*Sea Trail hosts the Mel Sole Golf School, which runs year-round with options for one- to three-day programs and includes video analysis.

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Other members of the group can enjoy their visit off the course with indoor and outdoor pools (seasonally) and the Sea Trail Village Activity Center. Visitors can access the Activity Center for local outings to explore the unique coastal communities with eco-tours, kayaking, deep sea fishing and more, adding to the advantages of staying at a golf resort. Sea Trail also boasts 40,000 square feet of event space for meetings and conferences.

*Don’t miss yoga at the Village Activity Center, with several classes for all levels of yogis.

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Overnight guests can choose from nearly 200 fully-equipped, condo-style accommodations, from Deluxe Mini Suites to Deluxe Three-Bedroom Villas, with full kitchens or kitchenettes, and living and dining areas. Complete the resort experience with a visit to the two on-site restaurants.

*Special rates on long term rentals are available for stays longer than 30 days.

Brunswick Plantation & Golf Resort

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A 1,700-acre, plantation-style resort, Brunswick Plantation & Golf Resort is a full-service property in Calabash, N.C. that is perfect for both family vacations and golf escapes with three newly improved courses. Golfers can also access the full pro shop, as well as golf packages and daily green fee specials.

*Customizable golf packages are available where you can play your choice of more than 30 courses throughout your stay in the Brunswick Islands.

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Beyond the golf course, guests get a full resort getaway with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, fitness center, on-site restaurant, along with lodging with large decks and kitchens for a comfortable stay, all without leaving the property. For those wanting to venture off-property in the picturesque coastal region during their stay, the area is prime for active outdoor activities, shopping or just relaxing on the beach.

*Less than 10 miles from the Sunset Beach coast, a beach day is a quick drive away.

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Villa options include 1- and 2-bedroom, and efficiency condos. The spacious accommodations range up to 1,200 square feet for two bedrooms with scenic views of the greens.

*Pet friendly units are available for an additional fee so you can bring the whole family!

To begin planning your golf getaway at one of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ golf resorts, visit www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/Golf_Trips.

Get a Bird’s-Eye View of the Brunswick Islands

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Even with the fall weather setting in, travelers can still enjoy outdoor activities in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands with attractions that make the destination a perfect year-round vacation spot.

Find a new perspective on your next visit and get a bird’s-eye view of the Brunswick Islands by zipping, climbing or flying to great heights with spectacular sights.

Zipline Through the Canopies

DCIM100GOPROG0100475.It doesn’t have to be summer to explore the treetops by zipline! Soar through the 100-year-old cypress trees with zipline tours at Shallotte River Swamp Park and spot deer, raccoons, wild boar and more in the natural swamp habitat. Shallotte River Swamp Park is open year-round where you can get your fill of fun with 10 zipline stations including 1.25 miles of zipline cable, along with 53 different challenge elements in the aerial adventure park.

Climb Through History

DSC_7902_LRLooking for a middle ground between a high-flying adventure and grounded escape? The Brunswick Islands are home to both the oldest standing lighthouse and the last lighthouse built in North Carolina, and you can climb to the top of both for 360-degree views of the Carolina coast. Essential to the area’s history, Old Baldy on Bald Head Island is 110 feet tall and turns 200 years old in 2017. Completed in 1958, the Oak Island Lighthouse on Caswell Beach is the state’s newest lighthouse and invites visitors to climb 131 steps to the top with a series of ship ladders – a truly unique experience!

 

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Fly Through the Sky

DSC_0239_BaldHead_Aerial_hiBoost your adrenaline even more and hop into a helicopter or plane for breathtaking views of the Brunswick Islands. Take an amazing aerial tour by helicopter with Ocean Isle Beach Helicopter Tours or High Tide Helicopters. If you’re more into DIY, take adventure into your own hands by learning to pilot a helicopter with High Tide Helicopters’ professional flight instructors on a Discovery Flight. Suncoast Aviation offers open cockpit biplane rides, perfect for a scenic flight for two. Or design a custom tour with Brunswick Air.

To learn more and plan your high-flying adventure in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/attractions.

Fish Tales in the Brunswick Islands

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DSC_3069_OAK ISLAND PIER_LRIt’s almost fall, which means cooler weather and water temperatures, and one of the best seasons for fishing is here again! In the Brunswick Islands, the fish are abundant, and all levels of anglers and fisherman can gear up to go after their big catch. With several ways to fish, the Brunswick Islands offer the best methods and top areas to catch fresh seafood this fall.

If you’re looking for beautiful scenery without needing a boat, pier fishing is for you. The Brunswick Islands has five ocean piers to choose from, all equipped with concessions, handicap access, bait, tackle and rentals. Pier fishermen can expect to catch red drum, sea trout, mackerel and more.

DSC_4299_DEEP SEA FISHING_LRFor the more adventurous fisherman, fishing charters are the way to go. Fishing charters are great for family trips or even a get together with old friends. Take a charter out to the Gulf Stream where the warm waters make for an eventful day of fishing with possibilities of catching tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi, giant sea bass, king mackerel and more. Charters run both half day and full day trips, or if you are a truly dedicated fisherman, you can take a 24-hour immersion trip on a bunkhouse-fitted charter.

For bird and other wildlife spotting, kayak fishing may be up your alley. While kayaking through salt marsh creeks, black water rivers and coastal bays, you will be able to catch trout and flounder while enjoying the Brunswick Islands’ pristine nature. Surf fishing is also a great alternative for a casual day on the shore.

US Open cmsSolidifying the Brunswick Islands as a hotspot for fishing, the area is home to one of the state’s oldest tournaments, the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament, which will be held September 29 – October 1, 2016 in Southport. The competition attracts over 400 boats and welcomes all ages, as well as spectators when the competitors bring in their catches.

The five ocean fishing piers and commercial fishing charters provide blanket fishing licenses but, if you are fishing in another setting, don’t forget your fishing license! For more information on saltwater licenses, please visit  http://www.ncdmf.net/, and for freshwater licenses, visit http://www.ncwildlife.org/. The Brunswick Islands feature several free public ramps for launching a boat, as well as plenty of parking spaces for your cars and trailers. Information on boat rentals can be found here.

Join us in the Brunswick Islands for your next fishing excursion and see why our waters are an angler’s paradise. For more information about fishing in the Brunswick Islands, visit www.ncbrunswick.com.