‘Tis the SEAson in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

The holidays are here again, and it’s time to get in the festive spirit – what better way than with an island getaway? In North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, a white Christmas has a whole new meaning when you get the beaches’ pristine sand between your toes and take in the sound of the ocean waves. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year with both sunrises and sunsets over the blue water.

For a twist on your holiday, head to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands and make new memories and traditions with loved ones. These seasonal events and experiences are a must-add to your holiday wish list.

Replace Gingerbread Houses with Sandcastles

img_6632Forget the messy icing and sticky candy, and create your mansion masterpiece with powdery sand and decorative seashells. Enjoy the mild weather and spend your holiday break on the beach with stress-free access from a beachfront rental home with plenty of space for the extended family.

Shop Coastal

From The Christmas House in Southport to St. Nick Nacks Christmas Shop in Callahan’s of Calabash, you can find Christmas ornaments and mementos for everyone, all while enjoying the scenic coastal towns of the Brunswick Islands.  You can also find countless unique gifts with a coastal theme in the many gift shops and art galleries located throughout the island and inland communities.  Or for the golfer in the family, try the well-stocked pro shops at the over 30 golf courses in the Brunswick Islands.

Upcoming Holiday Events:

Southport Winterfest
Friday, December 2nd – Sunday, December 11th

img_2480-wmHistoric Southport goes big for the holidays with its 10-day Winterfest celebration, featuring a range of events and activities for the whole family. The schedule starts off the weekend of December 2nd with the Christmas in Song event, followed by the Tree Lighting Ceremony in Franklin Square Park on December 3rd. The week’s activities include the Annual Cookie Contest, Costumed Holiday Tour, Winter Craft Festival, Historic Home Tours and much more. For the full schedule, visit http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/644.


Oak Island Christmas by the Sea Parade

Saturday, December 3rd

In a celebration of the wonderful weather and the holidays, the Christmas by the Sea Parade steps off at 2:00 p.m. and invites spectators to enjoy floats with festive decorations traveling 2.4 miles through Oak Island. Awards will be given to the floats based on color, the best theme, overall beauty and originality. http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/202


North Carolina Christmas Festival and Parade

Saturday, December 10th

The 24th annual North Carolina Christmas Festival and Parade will take place at Leland Town Hall Park with the goal of inspiring unity within the local towns and communities, and providing family fun to all! The parade kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with the festival beginning immediately after at 12:00 p.m. The event will feature craft and food vendors, along with children’s entertainment, and music and dance performances to celebrate the season. http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/542


Southport Christmas Flotilla
Saturday, December 10th

img_9316-fb-southport_tonemappedSpectators can cheer on their favorite vessel illuminated in twinkling Christmas lights as the boats travel upriver to Kingsley Park beginning at 7:00 p.m. Boats will illuminate the night all the way “From the North Pole to Southport.” Awards will be given at the end of the evening to vessels with the most creativity and variety of decorations. http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/279

For a complete list of events and to plan your holiday getaway to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit www.NCBrunswick.com.

Find Maritime Merriment Along North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

this holiday season, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands invites you to grab your family, hop in the car and pop in that Beach Boys Christmas album on your way to a coastal yuletide getaway. The holidays may be known for snow, sweaters and stockings, but that doesn’t mean your season can’t also be filled with sun, surf and sand.

While celebrating Christmas around palm trees, the ocean, and aquatic sea life might be unusual for many visitors, the locals of our islands know how to get into the holiday spirit even without the presence of snow. Let the locals be your guide as they bring on the Christmas cheer with an abundance of holiday festivities. Each of our islands and towns ring in the season with its own unique set of celebrations.

Oak Island awaIMG_9316 fb southportits the arrival of Little Saint Nick with the annual Christmas by the Sea Parade, held on the first Saturday in December. The parade travels 2.4 miles from Oak Island Town Hall to McGlamery Street. For a truly maritime take on a Christmas parade, the Ocean Isle Beach Flotilla and Southport Christmas Flotilla illuminate the Intracoastal Waterway and Cape Fear River with a parade of beautifully decorated sailboats and power boats of all shapes and sizes.

Historic Downtown Southport spreads the spirit of the season with Winterfest, a four-day Christmas celebration with a uniquely southern charm. Winterfest features a craft festival along with other exciting holiday events.

With so many events to choose from, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands caters to all ages and beckons you to escape the temptations of typical mainland festivities. This winter, shake up the season and make the coast a must-visit holiday destination!

For a complete list of our Christmas parades, tree lightings and other festivities, please visit the calendar of events.  And if you don’t make it to the Brunswick Islands for Christmas, it’s also a great place to unwind after the holidays and to ring in the new year!

Carving Memories in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Thanksgiving is the oldest American holiday, its roots in celebrating the blessing of the harvest have grown into a national giving of thanks for all of life’s bounty. This national tradition has even sprouted mini-traditions of its own, whether it be inviting family and friends over for an elaborate home-cooked meal, watching your favorite team take on their biggest rival or tuning into the beloved Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This year, add spice to your season and start a new tradition by soaking in the season (and sun!) in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. For the family who loves to travel when the kids are out of school, a fall escape to the beach is an escape from hectic holiday crowds. Let the gentle ocean waves, feel of the soft sand and warmth from the southern sun be the backdrop to a peaceful Thanksgiving retreat, perfect for catching up on some quality R&R before the winter holiday rush. With a variety of vacation specials, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands makes a Thanksgiving beach getaway both family and financially friendly.

DSC_1712A coastal celebration can also put you and your family in touch with the origins of this nation’s oldest holiday, which has come to be marked by stuffed turkeys, mashed potatoes and savory gravy. These items were likely not the only fare at the first Thanksgiving feast. Odds are seafood, available in abundance along and a signature of the New England coast, was also on the menu. Spend your Thanksgiving at North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, and you too can celebrate the season with fresh, traditional coastal fare such as roasted oysters, steamed clams, fish and shrimp.

If shopping is a part of your Thanksgiving tradition, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands has something for you too. Across the islands and towns, you’ll find a large selection of specialty shops, art galleries, local craft boutiques, and antique treasures. In Shallotte, enjoy shopping your favorite brands and finding those Black Friday deals. Whether your tastes are contemporary or old-fashioned, downright fun or reflect a more traditional view, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.

IMG_8979Looking to get in the Christmas spirit on your Thanksgiving beach vacation? The 11th Annual Ocean Isle Beach Flotilla on Saturday, November 28, 2015 takes the term “parade” to an entirely new level. During this free event, the Intracoastal Waterway provides a fluid route for a host of beautifully decorated sailboats and power boats of all shapes and sizes lighting up the waterways.

So this season, treat your family with a trip to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands and experience a new tradition marked by togetherness and many thanks for years past and to come!

Christmas by the Sea

while celebrating Christmas around palm trees, the ocean, and aquatic sea life might be unusual for many visitors, the locals of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands knowIMG_2480 how to get into the holiday spirit even without the presence of snow.  In addition to holiday parades and tree lightings, each town has unique celebrations. For example, Southport shines when the town holds its ten-day Winterfest December 4 -13, which includes a craft festival and other holiday events. The stately homes of Southport’s Historic District are always admired from the street, but on one special Saturday in December you can see some of the beautiful interiors during the Southport Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Homes (December 13).

If you’ve never celebrated the holidays with Santa arriving via schooner, get ready for a different kind of parade with two holiday flotillas – the Ocean Isle Beach Flotilla on November 29 and the Southport Flotilla on December 13. The Intracoastal Waterway and Cape Fear River provide a fluid route for a host of beautifully decorated sailboats and power boats of all shapes and sizes lighting up the waterways.

For a complete list of all Brunswick Islands Christmas parades, tree lightings and other holiday events, please visit our calendar of events.Calabash xmas lights