Choosing the Perfect Accommodations for your Brunswick Islands Vacation

In North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, you don’t have to compromise when it comes to choosing your vacation accommodations. The islands and coastal communities are full of lodging options for every group size and itinerary. Read on to learn more about the benefits of every type of accommodations the Brunswick Islands have to offer and how to find your perfect “home away from home.” You can also visit www.ncbrunswick.com/accommodations for a full listing of the area’s accommodations.

Vacation Rental Homes

Vacationing families who want to be near or on the beach can find the perfect fit for their stay with one of the vacation rentals throughout the Brunswick Islands. Beach vacation rental homes often become a tradition for families, and they return to the same house year after year. Along with easy access to the beach, vacation rentals offer the comforts of home with full kitchens, and gathering space for the entire family to spend time together and relax. Choose from cozy condos and beach cottages to grand oceanfront homes able to accommodate a large family reunion. Vacation rental homes along the Intracoastal Waterway or island canals are also a great option for visitors with boats looking for direct boating access to the water.

If you’re new to the concept of renting a beach house, check out our video page for rental experience videos in which families share why they love renting a beach house for their family’s vacation.

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Hotels and Inns

Don’t need the space provided by a vacation home rental or looking for traditional hotel services? The Brunswick Islands offer a variety of hotels and inns to choose from. Locally-owned inns on the islands offer an intimate experience with an array of amenities, all close to the beach. National brand hotels can be found off the islands, making for an easy drive to sites and attractions beyond the beach. Many hotels and inns feature pools, hot breakfasts, bikes and fitness centers adding even more relaxation to your vacation.

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Golf Resorts

Visitors looking to vacation beyond the beach have two golf resorts to choose from in the Brunswick Islands – Sea Trail Resort and Brunswick Plantation & Golf Resort. Split your days between golf, the on-site pools and the nearby beach, maximizing your vacation fun! Golf resorts offer spacious accommodations (one to three-bedroom villas), many with kitchens, as well as on-property amenities like fitness and activity centers, pro shops and restaurants. 

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Bed and Breakfasts

For history mixed with southern hospitality, stay at one of the B&Bs in scenic Southport, many dating back to the 1800s. These accommodations offer a unique and romantic experience for couples with charming rooms, several furnished with antiques, and amenities such as delicious breakfasts, and bikes to explore the town and waterfront at your leisure! Southport is an idyllic waterside town and a favorite walking area for many, with Victorian-style homes and live oak trees making for a picturesque stroll. Historic walking and tram tours are also available for those wanting to learn more about the area’s past.

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To begin planning your vacation to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit www.NCBrunswick.com. You can also view current Lodging Specials and Packages at www.ncbrunswick.com/specials.

10 Experiences for Your Brunswick Islands Bucket List

north Carolina’s Brunswick Islands offers more than just gorgeous beaches, lovely towns and beautiful coastal scenery. Here is a bucket list of ten fun activities that all visitors should do during their stay.

1. Leave a note in the Kindred Spirit Mailbox

Standing slightly tilted in the shifting sand of undeveloped Bird Island and far down the beach from the nearest public access point, the Kindred Spirit Mailbox draws visitors who want to write their thoughts, prayers, dreams and wishes in the mailbox’s small notebooks. These words are then left there for the next kindred spirit to find and read.

2. Visit the old Sunset Beach Swing Bridge and MuseumIMG_1076

The old wooden Sunset Beach Swing Bridge spanned the Intracoastal Waterway between Sunset Beach and the mainland from 1958-2011 before it was decommissioned and a portion placed on the mainland. The Bridge Tender’s House now serves as a museum and contains artifacts from the a ship called the Vesta, which was set on fire and sunk during the Civil War after attempting to run a northern blockade.

3. Zip Line through a Swamp

Guests to the new Shallotte River Swamp Park & Outdoor Center can soar over the Shallotte River Swamp on one of the park’s zip lines or climb to the treetops on the Aerial Adventure challenge courses. Those who want to stay closer to the ground can set out on a swamp boat eco tour to see the local wildlife and help trap crawdads, fish, turtles and frogs and see where George Washington is believed to have crossed through the area in 1791. The park is set to open in June.

4. Fish oDSC_0167_OIB_Boy Fishing_LRff a Pier

Large fish are known to lurk around piers, and North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands has several piers perfect for reeling in the catch-of-the-day: Ocean Isle Pier, Oak Island Pier, Ocean Crest Pier, Holden Beach PierSunset Beach Pier and Southport Pier.

5. Climb the Oak Island Lighthouse

The Oak Island Lighthouse, built in 1958, is the newest lighthouse in North Carolina, and visitors must climb a series of ship ladders with 131 rungs to reach the top balcony instead of the traditional spiral staircase. Tours can be made by appointment.

6. Kayak on the Intracoastal Waterway

While the beauty of the beaches is the big draw, others prefer the mystery, serenity and solitude of the marshes of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. The colorful marshes meander and curl, hiding secrets and treasures of the coast. A kayak journey through these quiet tributaries reveals birding, photography, fishing, star and moon gazing opportunities. Rent a kayak or put in your own on the Intracoastal Waterway and float along with the gentle current amidst the beautiful coastal ecosystem and deltas.

7. SUP or Skim

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a growing trend among beachgoers, who stand on top of a surfboard-shaped board and propel themselves through the water with a long-handled paddle.  Those who want to stay closer to shore can try their hand at skim boarding, which involves balancing on a thin wooden board thrown across the inch or so of water that climbs up the shore after a wave breaks.

8. Live like a Local

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands offers guests the feeling of small town beach life at its finest. Friendly people, quaint buildings and great food are sure to make visitors feel like theIMG_0028_fb_edited-1y have found their home away from home. Rent a beach house this summer on Oak Island, Caswell Beach, Sunset Beach, Holden BeachOcean Isle Beach, or Bald Head Island, visit the local fish market for some local seafood and cook up your own authentic beach party meal just like a local would.

9. Watch the Sunrise and Sunset

Named one of “10 Incredible Phenomena You Have to See in Fall” by Weather.com, the beaches of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands have the rare distinction of running east-west as they parallel the shore. Beginning in late fall and ending early spring, this orientation means that you can sit on Oak Island, Caswell Beach, Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach or Holden Beach and watch both the sunrise and sunset without having to move your beach chair.

10. Witness a Turtle Hatching

Hatchling There is probably no experience more unforgettable and powerful than watching baby sea turtles “boiling” out of the nest and racing to the water line. Sea turtle conservation is conducted across North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. For example, Ocean Isle Beach’s Sea Turtle Protection Program cares for these gentle giants of the sea, telling their primitive story of mating, nesting, and hatching that has remained essentially unchanged for 200 million years. Headquartered at Museum of Coastal Carolina, the certified program swings into high gear during nesting and hatching season from May through October.Visit oibseaturtles.orgsunsetbeachturtles.org   hbturtlewatch.org,  caswellturtlewatch.org,   bhic.org/sea-turtle-protection-program, and oakislandnc.com/Departments/Parks-Recreation/Sea-Turtle-Program for more information.  View a video of a turtle hatching here.