Spring Break Road Trip: Top 5 Reasons NC’s Brunswick Islands is Guaranteed to Put Some Spring in your Step!

by the time Spring Break rolls around, most of us are suffering from a serious case of Spring Fever and are more than ready to Get. Out. Side!

It is also a perfect time for families, who maybe haven’t seen each other since the Holidays, to reconnect.  If you had to pick a central Spring Break gathering point for relatives spread up and down the east coast, and let’s not forget that uncle in Ohio, you couldn’t do better than North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands!    Centrally located on the East Coast, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands are an easy, almost equidistant drive from population power houses Washington, DC (6 h 37 min) and Atlanta, GA (6 h 1 min).  Ohio clocks in at 9.5 hours, which doesn’t deter folks as every Spring and Summer, SUVs sporting OH plates peak out beneath the beach houses.

Now that you know how easy it is to get here, take a look at these wonderful ways to spend your NC beach vacation once you’ve arrived!

  1. Uncrowded Beaches

DSC_8627_RetouchedForty-five miles of uncrowded beaches on 5 barrier islands await vacationers at North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands.  There’s plenty of room to roam and spread out. While the kids splash around, bask in the sun and crack open that book you’ve been dying to read. Without the commercialism of typical spring break destinations, it is so much easier to truly relax and unwind. You won’t find the partiers or view-blocking high rise hotels here. Instead, enjoy pristine sand and natural rolling dunes for miles and miles.

       2. Outdoor Adventure

Swamp Park IMG_9365Bring out your wild side and experience new adventures. Zip through untouched swamp land at Ocean Isle’s new Shallotte River Swamp Park, which features a sustainable zipline course that navigates through a 300-year-old swamp and cypress canopy. Enjoy water-based action in the ocean, rivers and Intracoastal Waterway including canoeing, kayaking, wind sailing, paddle boarding, surfing and fishing. For those who prefer to stay grounded, enjoy a slow-paced stroll down one of the many piers or beaches, or explore the many parks and nature preserves our area has to offer.

  1. History & Museums

DSC_6132_LIGHTHOUSE COUPLECulture and history buffs alike will have plenty to keep their minds sharp this spring break. The state’s oldest standing lighthouse, Old Baldy, on Bald Head Island has stood over North Carolina’s coast for hundreds of years.  Oak Island Lighthouse on Caswell Beach was once the brightest lighthouse in the country. Now, both lighthouses are landmarks beckoning visitors to enjoy the breathtaking views from the top. This spring, you won’t want to miss the Museum of Coastal Carolina, the Southeast’s largest dry aquarium; or the North Carolina Maritime Museum, which gives families insight into tales of pirates and pillage, blockade running, riverfront archaeology, and other nautical adventures. The fun doesn’t stop there, as our islands offer an abundance of museums and historic sites to explore!

  1. Live Like a Local

Oak Island Vacation Rental HomeDive into the rich and relaxing culture of island life by renting a house for the week and enjoy the perks of being able to walk out the front door and onto the beach. Later, enjoy dinner by sampling the local flavors of the coastal area. Our local fishermen harvest a variety of top-quality seafood, including shrimp, blue crabs, grouper, flounder, oysters and clams. In addition, our picturesque Southern small towns offer family-owned, one-of-a-kind restaurants, galleries and shops to make the area one of the best North Carolina vacation destinations.

  1. Spring and Easter Events

The Spring Art Show kicks off the season on March 1 and runs through March 20 in Southport with paintings, pottery and more by local and other NC artists.  Over Easter Weekend, egg hunts and Easter events will keep you hopping from one end of the Brunswick Islands to the other. Then, in April, celebrate parrot-head-style at Phlock to the Beach with a weekend of Jimmy Buffett inspired high spirited fun and the Oak Island Lighthouse 5K, 10K & Half Marathon.  At the end of April, Days at the Docks features food, fun, arts and music on Holden Beach.

What’s In A Name

beach rentals come in a variety of sizes and styles in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. From cozy, one-bedroom condos to lavish, eight-bedroom homes with multiple beds and bunks, you’re sure to find the perfect rental to accommodate your family, small or large.

One of the main perks to renting a beach house is the fact that you are already on the beach, or within walking distance to a beach access. Grab the umbrella, chairs, cooler and sunscreen and build sandcastles with the family on Oak Island. Or enjoy a sunset walk on the beach on Sunset Beach, a paddle boarding lesson on Ocean Isle Beach , a competitive game of voll1517583_10152016368893155_740315276_neyball on Holden Beach, or climb a lighthouse on Caswell Beach or Bald Head Island.

A fun aspect to renting a vacation property is checking out all the unique house names.  Property owners, like boat owners, often bless their homes with quirky and creative names. These names are often displayed on the house on colorful signs. Here are just a few examples of quirky beach house names. Can you name a few?

  • Isle Be Chillin!
  • 10313957_10152097778308155_1238037711504446404_nA Shore Thing
  • Mullet Over
  • Sea S#arp
  • It’s 5 o’clock Here
  • The Legal Pad
  • Parrot-dise Found
  • You-N-Sea
  • What’s Up Dock
  • Seas The Day
  • Reel Therapy
  • Tipsy Turtle
  • Dune Our Thing
  • Conch Out
  • Cardiac Rest   
  • Just Chill Inn

Next time you’re in the Brunswick Islands be sure to notice the names of the vacation rental homes.

 

Spend More Time at the Beach to Carry Out Your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions

on almost every New Year’s resolution list, individuals make the firm decision to become more active and get in shape. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands offers plenty of ways you can start becoming more active and shed those pesky holiday pounds. Most people flock to the coast for rest and relaxation, but there’s also a contingency that loves to move while they’re on vacation, and there’s no better place to “get your move on” than here. This New Year, take the challenge and add these active beach activities to your bucket list:

Sail – Learn to hoist the mast with sailing lessons.

Surf – Mount a board to ride the waves.Bicycles-2 women.alt HR

Paddle – Tour the waterways via canoes, kayaks and paddle boards.

Putt – Drive your way through more than 30 championship golf courses.

Bike – Cruise the beaches.

Climb – Master the 134 steps to the top of a working lighthouse.

Hike – Lace up for an adventure through one of many nature preserves.

Skate – Strut your moves on skateboards and in-line skates at Oak Island’s skate park.

Volley – Play a match at one of a dozen area parks with tennis facilities.

Bark – Stretch your legs and Fido’s on Brunswick’s dog-friendly beaches.

Birding – View nearly 335 species of birds on birding trail sites, some of which are threatened or endangered.

Reel – Cast a line in the waters of an angler’s dream for saltwater, freshwater, and surf fishing.

DCIM277GOPROAll these activities and more can be found on your next vacation to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. The memories and rewards of a vacation can last a long time after the suitcase is put away. So no matter what you choose to do, the number one resolution should be to spend more time at the beach with family and friends!

Spotlight on Lighthouses in the Brunswick Islands

along the coast of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is a beach activity perfect for any family looking for adventure or an educational experience. This year, why not add an exhilarating item to your bucket list and discover an elevated, 360-degree scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean and inland waters of the Cape Fear River? The Oak Island Lighthouse, standing just over 150 feet, offers the perfect opportunity to see some amazing coastal views. Venture up the unique 131 steps to the observation platform and capture exceptional aerial photos of Oak Island and the seemingly endless ocean of Caswell Beach. But this isn’t your normal lighthouse excursion – within the Oak Island Lighthouse, the steps leading to the observation platform are ships’ ladders, not the typical spiral staircase found in most lighthouses.DSC_7872_LR

The Oak Island Lighthouse, located on Caswell Beach, is the newest of the North Carolina lighthouses, with construction completed in 1958. For the first five years of the lighthouse’s operation, the lights projected to sailors were the brightest in the United States and second brightest in the world. The lighthouse used carbon-arc mercury lamps that generated 70 million candle power. Now, the lighthouse is powered by four 1,000-watt halogen bulbs that produce 2.5 million candle power. The Oak Island Lighthouse light can be seen for 16 miles out to sea and is still one of the most powerful lighthouses in existence.

Tours to the top of the lighthouse are available all year long by appointment for climbers nine years of age and older. Tour appointments must be made through the Oak Island Lighthouse website, at least two weeks in advance.  The Oak Island Lighthouse is located at 300 Caswell Beach Rd, Caswell Beach, NC 28465.

 Just across the waters of the Cape Fear River from the Oak Island Lighthouse stands the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina, Old Baldy. The lighthouse, located on Bald Head Island, was built in 1817 and haIMG_3589 blogs maintained its original form and location for over 187 years. This historic landmark has 108 steps, five landings and is 110 feet tall.

While no longer an active lighthouse, Old Baldy is open for visitors to enjoy and climb to the top for a breathtaking view of the area’s natural beauty. Take an in-depth island tour with a knowledgeable guide or purchase a ticket to climb to the top. Reservations can be made in advance by calling Deep Point Marina at 910-457-5003 or visiting their website.  Old Baldy Lighthouse is located at 101 Lighthouse Wynd, just a short walk from the island’s ferry landing.

Learn more about the Oak Island Lighthouse and Old Baldy by watching this short video on Brunswick Islands’ Lighthouses
.