Nine Not to Miss Golf Holes in NC’s Brunswick Islands

Top Golf Holes

Salty breezes, unsurpassed coastal views, and exceptional golf make North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands a mecca for golf enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. Home to more than 30 championship courses and over 120 miles of fairways, visitors to “North Carolina’s Golf Coast” can play a new course every day for a month without repeating a hole. It’s impossible to go wrong with the abundance of incredible golf courses throughout the Brunswick Islands, but before you leave, make sure to check out the list below of some of the top golf holes in the area. Selected for their challenge level and extraordinary scenery, these holes will challenge and delight your inner golf aficionado. (All yardages are from the white tees.)

Leopard's Chase Golf Course

Leopard’s Chase, Hole 18

Designed by Tim Cate, and named by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Best Public Courses in America for 2007,” Leopard’s Chase is a breathtaking course. Located in Ocean Isle Beach, the course showcases natural and man-made water features throughout its 18 holes. The par 4 18th hole is an impressive finishing hole that tees off over native wetlands to a narrowing fairway guarded by a massive bunker running down the length of the hole on the right and a large lake on the left. The hole features an elevated lagoon in front of the green and a spectacular cascading waterfall that beckons golfers to tackle its 369 yards.

Rivers Edge Golf Course Top Hole

Rivers Edge Golf Club, Hole 9

Named by Golf Magazine as one of the “Top 20 North Carolina Courses in North Carolina in 2016,” and designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, Rivers Edge Golf Club is a one-of-a-kind course. Located in Shallotte, the course rests along the tidal marshes of the Shallotte River and features over 500 acres of unsurpassed natural beauty. The 9th hole is an exceptionally challenging par 5 at 509 yards. Players are advised to aim down the left center of the fairway off the tee. A suggested second shot would be played towards the middle fairway bunker, then a wedge to a very narrow, deep green surrounded by the Shallotte River and marsh.

Carolina National Golf Course

Carolina National Golf Club – The Heron Nine, Hole 5

With three nines winding through rich, low country terrain, Carolina National Golf Club in Bolivia offers players of all skill levels opportunities to enjoy the sport. Heron’s scenic coastal views set the course apart from the other nines at Carolina. The picturesque 5th hole is a par 3 at 182 yards, and requires both skill and precision to land a good shot over the Lockwood Folly River marshland that surrounds much of the green. Some call this one of the most difficult par 3s in the area and say that four strokes isn’t a bad score here.

The Pearl West Golf Course

The Pearl Golf Links West, Hole 16

Located in Calabash, this links-style course displays vast, open stretches of pampas grass alongside bluffs that overlook the picturesque Calabash River and coastal marshland. Golfers will be pleased by the challenging elements of the course that are complimented by untouched natural beauty. The 16th Hole is a mammoth par 5 at 552 yards, lined by the River on the right side of the hole. The entire hole slopes left to right toward the water requiring strategy to avoid a drastic roll down the hill. The approach shot is also difficult with a side-hill lie.

Oyster Bay Golf Course

Oyster Bay Golf Links, Hole 15

Located in Sunset Beach, this course encompasses variety and innovative architecture to create an unforgettable experience for visitors. With a range of intricate, marsh-oriented holes, scenic freshwater lakes and undulating greens, each hole is unique in its own regard. The 15th hole is a noteworthy par 3 at 135 yards where golfers must test their skills to reach the challenging island green.

Farmstead Golf Course

Farmstead Golf Links, Hole 18

Set in Calabash, this course is one of the most exciting courses in the Carolinas. Farmstead is home to one of the most memorable holes in the area, its 18th Hole, which will amaze any golf fanatic. Serving as the region’s only par 6, this lengthy 679-yard hole (it’s a whopping 767 yards from the back tees) starts in South Carolina with a drive into a wide sweeping fairway and ends in North Carolina on a large undulating green.

Crow Creek Golf Course

Crow Creek Golf Club, Hole 8

Designed by Rick Robbins, this Calabash-based course has earned the reputation of being one of the most well-maintained courses along the east coast. The 8th hole on the course is exceptionally challenging, as it is an all carry par 3 at 143 yards. Skill is needed to clear the surrounding lake and bulkhead wall in front of the green, which slopes from back to front and will require creative strokes. A short hitter can bail out to the right, but will still have to chip to a multi-level green. Course experts suggest that putting could be the key to scoring well on this hole.

Compass Pointe Golf Course

Compass Pointe Golf Club, Hole 18

Located in Leland, this course is truly one of the jewels of the Southeastern North Carolina golf scene. It sits in the untouched wetlands, separated by billowing pine trees and native grasses that create a peaceful ambiance. The 18th hole is quickly gaining recognition as one of the most challenging holes in the county. A par 5, the 500-yard hole is “reachable” in two strokes by the longest hitters, as long as they are able to hit past the hazard that crosses the fairway just short of the green. The majority of players lay up short of the hazard and face a mid to short iron third shot to an elevated green that features the most undulation of any of the greens on the course.

Rees Jones Course Sea Trail Resort

Sea Trail Golf Resort – Rees Jones Golf Course, Hole 5

The Rees Jones Course, part of Sea Trail Golf Resort in Sunset Beach, provides an exceptional background for a round of golf. Scattered with several pot and large expanse bunkers, this coastal course provides an ideal setting for a delightfully challenging game. The 5th hole, a 155-yard par 3, features wide fairways surrounded by water and towering trees. Players tee off from an elevated box to a green with the front half surrounded by water. Many refer to this hole as the kick-off to the most difficult three holes on the course.

To begin planning your golf course excursion to test your skills in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, or to request your free golf guide, visit www.NCBrunswick.com.

Find Authentic Coastal Cuisine with Waterfront Dining in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

waterfront dining

No beach vacation is complete without enjoying fresh seafood with a view. Throughout North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, waterfront restaurants are serving up local fare in scenic settings. The area offers waterfront dining set along the Atlantic, the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway and more, making for memorable meals for any getaway to the Brunswick Islands. Top it off with a visit to “The Seafood Capital of the World” in Calabash, and you’re in for a treat! Take your pick of the below waterfront dining options in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands.

Calabash seafoodThe Calabash seafood phenomenon began in the town of the same name, now home to several restaurants along the Calabash River. The folks at Waterfront Seafood Shack own their fishing and shrimp boats, and the fresh catches go straight to the seafood shack, ready to be prepared and eaten all in the same day. Visitors to this dining locale find themselves in the vacation mood with tiki-style décor and outdoor picnic tables for a true coastal dining experience by the water. Diners looking for scenic river views and an authentic Calabash seafood dining experience will find the perfect setting at Captain John’s Seafood House, Captain Nance’s Seafood or Dockside Seafood House Restaurant.

Moving along the coast, Twin Lakes by the Sea in Sunset Beach boasts panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Take in the beautiful sunsets while you dine on fried, sautéed, grilled, broiled or blackened seafood. Chef Alysa Watkins creates Calabash-style seafood with southern flare for guests to enjoy by the Intracoastal Waterway.

Waterfront dining view

On nearby Ocean Isle Beach, The Isles Restaurant & Tiki Bar sits along the ocean, serving fresh seafood in a family-friendly, fine dining atmosphere. Enjoy a summer evening at The Isles’ oceanfront tiki bar. Over on the Intracoastal Waterway, Sharky’s Restaurant is Ocean Isle’s oldest restaurant and features 200 feet of boat docking for easy water access. The menu includes a variety of seafood, along with unique twists on other casual dining favorites. Next door on the Waterway, the Ocean Isle Fish Company Restaurant features a tiki bar on its upper deck where diners can enjoy expansive views (including boats bringing fresh seafood right to the dock) while feasting on coastal favorites. Just opened in April, Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille overlooks the water with spectacular sunset views each evening. Menu items highlight fresh, local seafood, and guests can also get on island time at the restaurant’s raw oyster and tiki bars. On the mainland, The View at Brick Landing Plantation offers Intracoastal Waterway views from multiple patios and the spacious dining room. The restaurant’s seasonal menu is full of fresh seafood options and traditional dishes.

Several restaurants sit along the Intracoastal Waterway in Holden Beach. Captain Pete’s Seafood Restaurant features Chef Matt Karas’ creative culinary takes with an elevated view of the Waterway, including outdoor seating. Famous for their incredible shrimp burgers, Provision Company is a laidback, open-air dining destination providing views of the boats passing along the Waterway.

Provision Company Holden Beach

Back on the ocean, Island Way in Oak Island is a fine dining establishment with 18 large windows for guests to enjoy the coastal views. Perfecting steaks and seafood, the restaurant is ideal for celebrating a special occasion. Find more panoramic views of the ocean at The Flying Fish Café, known for their innovative menu of local ingredients with “West Coast style.” On the other side of the island, the Fish House Restaurant offers fresh seafood and Intracoastal Waterway views. Just over the bridge to the mainland, The Dead End Saloon Fish Factory Grille is located at the South Harbour Marina on the Intracoastal Waterway. Bring the whole family to enjoy the dog-friendly patio, and the restaurant’s “fun” (rather than “fine”) dining and casual atmosphere. Also on the Marina, Joseph’s Italian Bistro serves award-winning cuisine with fantastic views of the Waterway. Try the fresh seafood options with the restaurant’s authentic Italian flavors.

waterfront dining at Fishy FishyHead over to Southport for views of the Cape Fear River and Intracoastal Waterway as they meet the Atlantic Ocean. The Historic Yacht Basin is a picturesque waterside area with a host of eateries featuring scenic water views, many accessible by both land and water. The well-known Fishy Fishy Café has true vacation vibes with colorful décor, fun cocktails and delicious seafood small plates and entrees. Be sure to catch a sunset from the outdoor deck! The menu at Yacht Basin Eatery includes homemade comfort food and North Carolina beers, all to be savored overlooking the stunning waterfront views. Next door, The Provision Company of Southport is a no-frills seafood shack offering quality seafood with unobstructed water views. Sit on the covered patio for a delicious meal, and feel the waterside breeze.

The Frying Pan offers yet another option for admiring a breathtaking waterfront view with a spectacular meal, including variations of classic seafood dishes with southern twists. Oliver’s on the Cape Fear, originally a ships chandler dating back to the 1700s, is now a fine dining restaurant with large windows facing the water, ideal for watching boats make their way up or down the river from the Atlantic. Sip on a seasonal cocktail at the restaurant’s outdoor patio just steps from the water.

The Inlet View Bar and GrillToward the mainland, The Grillin’ Crab sits along the river on Shallotte’s Main Street. The restaurant’s covered waterfront deck is positioned perfectly for sunset views over the Shallotte River. Featuring Southern Coastal Fare, the menu showcases fresh seafood, along with prime cut steaks, as well as casual lunchtime options. On the Intracoastal Waterway and Shallotte River, the Inlet View Bar & Grill has been family owned and operated for nearly 40 years. Diners can savor fresh seafood with the shrimp on the menu coming straight from the family’s boat.

Half the fun of vacation is discovering new dining spots to taste culinary creations and local flavors of the area. To explore all the dining options in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/dining.

Choose NC’s Brunswick Islands as your Homebase for the Great American Solar Eclipse

A once in a lifetime experience, The Great American Solar Eclipse is coming up on August 21. With the eclipse sweeping from the Pacific to the Atlantic, this natural wonder will transform the sky, turning daytime into twilight for just a few minutes. This is a can’t-miss event, so pack up your bags and make a one-of-a-kind vacation out of this natural phenomenon. Stay in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands where you’ll be a short drive to numerous prime eclipse viewing locations in the path of totality. Before and after the big event, the Brunswick Islands serve as the perfect spot to relax and escape the crowds.

Although the path of totality is slightly south of the islands, the Brunswick Islands’ 45 miles of beautiful beaches are an ideal lodging spot for easy accessibility to the main event. Find hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, vacation rental homes, and many more options where you can settle in and rest up for the occasion. Spend the weekend on the beach, enjoy some authentic coastal cuisine and explore the Intracoastal Waterway.

Another perfect reason to choose the Brunswick Islands for your eclipse getaway is the Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach, where visitors can gain in-depth knowledge about the eclipse in advance of the event. The planetarium offers a state-of-the-art 85-seat SciDome Sky Theater, where visitors can view awe-inspiring and educational shows about space exploration and astronomy. Throughout the summer, the planetarium is hosting a special ECLIPSE: 2017 show at the theater, Monday-Friday at 11:00 a.m., highlighting the history and novelty of the incredible event. The expert staff at the Ingram Planetarium is prepared to equip all visitors with the knowledge and enthusiasm necessary to fully appreciate The Great American Solar Eclipse. Be sure to stop by the Galaxy Gift Shop at the Ingram Planetarium for your protective eye glasses –  a must-have for viewing the eclipse!

To plan your getaway to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit www.NCBrunswick.com.

Get Your Groove on at Free Outdoor Concerts in NC’s Brunswick Islands

outdoor concert

The fun doesn’t have to end at the beach when the day ends. Bring your beach chair or blanket and the whole family to enjoy free outdoor music concerts scheduled throughout the summer in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands.  Dance like no one is watching or just sit back and enjoy music of all genres from talented local bands to well-known regional favorites. You can catch a free concert practically every night of the week. And you’re certain find music you’ll want to tap your feet to from beach tunes, blues, rock, and soul to reggae, bluegrass, big band, and country. Visit www.ncbrunswick.com/events to get a complete schedule of concerts and bands.

Calabash Concert Series
Tuesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. (through August 29)
Calabash Town Park, Calabash

Sunset Beach Concerts
Wednesdays, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (through September 6)
Gazebo in the Village Park, Sunset Beach

Southport Summer Concerts – Thursdays in the Park
Thursdays, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. (through September 21)
Franklin Square Park and Garrison Lawn, Southport

Shallotte SummerFest
Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. (July 6 through August 10)
Mulberry Park, Shallotte

Ocean Isle Beach Concerts
Fridays, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. (through September 8)
Museum of Coastal Carolina parking lot, Ocean Isle Beach

Oak Island Summer Concerts
Fridays, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (through August 31)
Middleton Park, Oak Island

Holden Beach Concerts
Sundays, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. (through September 3)
Holden Beach Pavilion, Holden Beach

No matter your musical taste, these summer concerts are sure to add to your summertime fun and relaxation. For a full list of the events taking place this summer and beyond in the Brunswick Islands, visit www.ncbrunswick.com/events.

Celebrate Seasonal Freshness with Outdoor Markets in the Brunswick Islands

Summer is the prime time for fresh, local goods in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. The area’s outdoor markets take place throughout each week so you never have to be without seasonal fruits and vegetables, whether you’re a local or a visitor. In addition to produce, the markets are filled with artists and artisans showing off their creative talents and offering pottery, photography, handmade goods, and homemade snacks and desserts. Topping off the perfect outdoor market scene, local musicians can also be found playing at several of the events, making these must-do summer and fall activities.

Southport Waterfront Market
Wednesdays through September 6, 2017; 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Fort Johnston Garrison Lawn, Southport
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/1217

Local artisans come together by the Cape Fear River to offer fresh and local produce, baked goods, arts and crafts, and more. Enjoy the shade of ancient Live Oak trees with music and entertainment.

Oak Island Farmers and Artisans Market
Mondays through September 4, 2017; 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Middleton Park, Oak Island
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/1306

Market-goers can pick up fresh produce, homemade goods, like cakes and jam, as well as a variety of handmade crafts, like jewelry and potholders.

Ocean Isle Beach Waterfront Market
Mondays through September 11, 2017; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
East Second Street, Ocean Isle Beach
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/1359

Held in the town center’s grassy field, feel the ocean breeze while shopping for local and homemade produce, baked goods, crafts and more.

Sunset Beach Waterfront Market
Thursdays through October 12, 2017; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sunset Beach Town Park
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/1378

Set by the Intracoastal Waterway, the bustling market features local crafters and artists with their homemade treasures and original art. Shop for fresh produce from local farmers, fresh catches of the day, seasonal flowers and plants, and much more.

Shallotte Farmer’s Market
Saturdays through July 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Mulberry Park, Shallotte
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/1278

The open-air market is filled with fresh, local produce, arts and crafts, and more. Entertainment by local musicians makes this market a must-visit on Saturdays. Four special seasonal markets will also be held during the fall and holiday season.

To see a full schedule of the outdoor markets and other events in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit www.ncbrunswick.com/events.