Enjoy a Labor Day Getaway Without the Crowds in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

escape to the beach vacation of your childhood this Labor Day weekend in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. While other vacation getaways become packed with fellow vacationers, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands remain a laid back retreat with plenty of elbow room along the beaches. Enjoy a quintessential island escape on this long weekend getaway to the Carolina coast.

DSC_7872_LRStroll through charming island towns and reminisce of your childhood seaside vacations. For the quintessential island experience, rent a beach bike to discover the treasures of the Islands for yourself. Meander through the historic tree-lined streets of Southport to admire historic picturesque Southern homes or wind your way through the dozens of specialty shops, art galleries and antique stores. Play one of the area’s 30 plus golf courses or take your adventure to the sky and climb one of the Brunswick Islands’ historic lighthouses for endless views of marsh, beach and water.

Dining HRaltWhat would a Labor Day Weekend be without memorable mouthwatering dining? Experience authentic Calabash seafood in the town that created “Calabash style”. Take advantage of outdoor dining options with gorgeous views along the Intracoastal Waterway. For dessert, sprinkle some extra sweetness on your weekend by testing out the frozen treats at numerous locally-owned creameries and ice cream shops throughout the Islands and the mainland.

kayaks at bridge SBSoak in the warmth of summer while sailing across salt or freshwater. Spend the day aboard a boat gazing out on the crystal blue ocean while deep sea fishing or basking in the sun alongside loved ones. If you’re looking for a more personal experience on the water, rent a paddleboard, kayak or canoe or take a guided tour to explore calm freshwater rivers or saltwater tides.

For an experience unique to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, grab your board and get ready to hang ten in the Oak Island Labor Day Surf Off. All levels and ages are invited to join in the sun, sand and surf at this annual event. Various age and surf categories will compete throughout the day in 15-minute heats. Children and adult surfers alike are welcome to join the Stand-Up Paddle board race later in the afternoon.

DSC_8114_BICYCLEThere is no need to face crowded beaches with a maze of umbrellas and towels this Labor Day Weekend. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is the place to relax into the quintessential beach holiday getaway. And while some might consider Labor Day Weekend the last of summer, summer temperatures linger in the Brunswick Islands throughout all of September.  So even if you miss Labor Day in the Brunswick Islands, you still have time for that last summer vacation to the beach.  But don’t wait too late!

Active Adventures Along the Brunswick Islands

Venture out of your comfort zone and into nature on an active adventure in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Parkside, seaside or riverside, the Brunswick Islands are filled with excursions for all levels of adventurers. Explore freshwater and saltwater activities, such as charter fishing, kayaking, surfing or paddle boarding, or discover the rich history of the islands on a guided tour. From the surf to the sky, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands set the bar higher for adventure seekers in the southeast.

Sand and Surf Adventures

DSC_0407_OIB_Surfing_LR_edited-1Surfing and Scuba Diving

Don’t just dip your toes in the water! Dive straight into the surf with your board or if you’re certified in scuba diving take a saltwater adventure during your visit to the Brunswick Islands. Several factors make the Brunswick Islands the perfect location for surf classes.  Number one, and most important, the gentle sloping beaches allow for waves to break softly, meaning beginner surfers can take their time getting on their feet. The second reason is the relatively smaller waves seen in the area. Waves of 2′-3′ are ideal to start your surfing adventure on. And third, the warm summer waters invite everyone to come experience the beauty of surfing.

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

Feeling landlocked lately? Your next adventure could lie just around the bend balancing on a paddle board or seated in a kayak in a river, tidal creek, or the Intracoastal Waterway. Island adventurers can pick their intensity from a meandering paddle downstream to kayaking on the ocean tide. Visitors are welcome to bring their own gear or rent equipment during their stay.

DSC_4299_DEEP SEA FISHING_LRCharter Fishing

Let our local charter captains help you find the big catch whether it’s out in the Gulf Stream or in-shore fishing. You’ll be sure to have plenty of “fish tales” from your adventure along with the fresh catch of the day.

 

 

Adventure By Land

Parks

Reconnect with nature on a blissful stroll through one of the many Brunswick Islands parks or nature preserves. Explore the environment and native animals on a journey from longleaf pine savannas to cool Carolina marshes and sandy shores, or hit the trails for biking, hiking or horseback riding. Take a break from the surf and trade sandy beaches for unspoiled woodlands, riverwalks and expansive estuaries.

IMG_8138 crop wmTours

From the breezy comfort of a tram or bicycle to a classic walking tour, opportunities abound to explore the rich and unique history of the Brunswick Islands. Tours give visitors opportunities to discover those who have called the island home, from movie crews filming the latest Hollywood hit to pirates of the past. You’re invited to journey back in time strolling past classic Southern architecture or popular waterfront attractions in the charming coastal towns.

Biking

Treat yourself to the quintessential seaside experience by renting a bike and exploring the enchanting island towns for yourself. Discover the hidden gems of the Brunswick Islands as you wind through the quaint seaside towns. Feel like a local as you breeze past scenic ocean views and colorful storefronts searching for your next adventure.

High in the Sky Adventure

DCIM100GOPROG0100475.Zip Lining

Take your coastal excursion to new heights as you soar above a swamp on a zip line at Shallotte River Swamp Park. Swing into adventure while flying through a 300-year-old swamp cypress canopy. Large and small groups alike are welcome to enjoy a bird’s eye view while flying through the lush treetops.

 

Lighthouses

For those looking for a middle ground between a high-flying adventure and grounded escape, climb one of the lighthouses essential to the Carolina coast’s history. These charming lighthouses are filled top to bottom with the history of the seaside towns and boast spectacular sights of the endless beaches and ocean.

Helicopter Tours and Biplane Rides

DSC_0239_BaldHead_Aerial_hiClimb to even greater heights on a biplane or helicopter tour with the clearest view of the Carolina coast. Hop into a helicopter or an open cockpit biplane for perfect marine life and lighthouse spotting opportunities.

Summer weather beckons travelers to find their adventurous side, whether that’s exploring the surf and saltwater or soaring over southern swampland. Soak in the rays of summer in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands where you will find activities to quench anyone’s thirst for adventure.

10 Romantic Things to do in the Brunswick Islands

this Valentine’s Day weekend or for your next anniversary or other special occasion, don’t go for the standard box of chocolates and flowers. Set your sights above the mundane and head for the coast with a romantic getaway to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands!  Whether you are looking for a little adventure or relaxation to go with your romance, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands has unique activities that are guaranteed to craft those signature moments with that special someone. Here are 10 things you can do when you sweep your sweetheart away to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands:

1. Silver Coast Winery – Romantic Picnic and Award-Winning Wine

Located near Ocean Isle Beach, Silver Coast Winery is the perfect romantic spot. Pack a picnic and relax in its picturesque gardens. You can also enjoy wine tastings of their award-winning wines. This winery shines with its unique bottle labels that are designed by local artists, as well as a separate art gallery for local artisans.

2. Fly High over NC’s Brunswick Islands

If you are looking to do something exciting and adventure-packed, you can hop in a helicopter and take a tour over the breathtaking beaches and local sights. Get your adrenaline pumping with helicopter tours starting at $50 per person with High Tide Helicopters that fly over North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse, or dare to take control of the helicopter with the help of the professional flight instructor. You can also go on more than one adventure with Brunswick Air or take a biplane tour with Suncoast Aviation.

IMG_9751 SB sunrise Sept3. Perfect Scenery, Perfect Moment

Nothing is more romantic than walking along the beach at sunrise or sunset. Spend some quality time together as you spot the sun dancing off the ocean waves and create special memories that will last as long as the views are breathtaking.

4. Straight Out of the Movies

Relive moments from the movie Safe Haven, based on the Nicholas Sparks romantic novel, on a self-guided tour of the film’s locations. Maps are available at the Fort Johnston-Southport Museum and Visitors Center where you can also see props and memorabilia from the movie.

5. Adventures in a Swamp

Adrenaline junkies can go on a tree top adventure at Shallotte River Swamp Park. Take a 2 1/2 hour zipline tour that includes 10 lines and three bridges. For couples who want to experience the swamp, but aren’t so crazy about the heights, you can stick to the ground and take 50 minute Swamp Boat Eco Tour.

6. Share with a Kindred Spirit

DSC_9330_Sunset Beach_Kindred Spirit_LRWalk or bike across scenic Bird Island to find a quiet little spot with a mailbox and a bench, secluded from the public eye. The Kindred Spirit Mailbox is the perfect place for you and a loved one to write down your story and deliver it to the mailbox for others to read.

7. Sail into the Sunset

Explore the high seas and learn a new skill with the one you love by enrolling in sailing lessons. Hop aboard the boat and take an adventure as you sail into the sunset together. Or relax and let the crew handle the sailing for you. Make sure to check out the sailing vendors on North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands: Endless Summer SailingPriority Sailing and Sailing Vessel Kelly Allen.

8. Paddle Under the Moonlight

Relish the romance of the full moon or the sunset on the water as you paddle through the salt marsh creeks, black water rivers or the Intracoastal Waterway with The Adventure Kayak Company, Inc. Let a professional tour guide handle all the logistics and you can enjoy your time together under the stars.

DSC_6132_LIGHTHOUSE COUPLE9. Climb a Lighthouse

On your getaway, make sure to visit North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse, Old Baldy, as well as, Oak Island Lighthouse, the last lighthouse built in the state. Each has unique bird’s eye views of wide beaches and lush marshes for you to enjoy with your loved one.

10. Swing the Perfect Date

Maybe your idea of the perfect date is spending it on the fairways sharing a sport you both love. Enjoy the game and nature on courses that wind through marshes and maritime forests and along rivers and creeks and the Intracoastal Waterway. With over 30 courses, there are opportunities for golf throughout North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Look through the Golf Directory to find the perfect location and course for you.

Make Your Plans

Start planning your perfect couples getaway in NC’s Brunswick Islands. There is romantic dining with breathtaking water views and fresh seafood all over North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands as well as a host of other cuisines. There are also a variety of cozy and unique accommodations from historic B&Bs to oceanside inns and cottages to resorts and golf villas.  For more activities and Brunswick Islands attractions visit here.

 

A bird’s eye view

make the climb of a lifetime when you visit the Oak Island Lighthouse, the last lighthouse to be built in the entire state of North Carolina. But make sure you wear your sunglasses! Among its numerous claims to fame, this lighthouse is one of the brightest in the United States with a beacon that reaches about 16 nautical miles offshore. The Oak Island Lighthouse is also one of the only lighthouses in the country that use a series of ship’s ladders instead of the typical spiral staircase. To access the top, you’ll want to trade in your flip flops for some tennis shoes, to climb the 131-step ship’s ladder to the balcony at the top. When you reach the top at 158 feet, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree bird’s eye-view of the Cape Fear River and surrounding barrier islands. Oak Island Lighthouse and Bald Head Island Lighthouse, also known as “Old Baldy,” are both accessible to all adventurous spirits. Tours to the popular top level of the Oak Island Lighthouse are available year round by appointment for climbers 9 years of age or older. You can make an appointment through their website at least two weeks in advance. The lighthouse is also open for tours to the second level Wed. and Sat. from Memorial Day to Labor Day from 10 am – 2 pm for ages 7 or older. Built in 1817, Old Baldy is North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse. Ticket information and hours of operation may be found at http://www.oldbaldy.org/. Insider Tip: Tying the knot anytime soon? Old Baldy towers above the majestic, moss-draped, southern live oaks and is bordered by tidal estuaries and meandering creeks – perfect for special occasions, such as weddings.