FALL in Love with North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

september and October in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands are packed with events attracting everyone from music lovers to runners to anglers to foodies to festival goers. Adults and children alike can enjoy a variety of attractions including fishing tournaments, movie nights on the lawn, grape stomping, sandcastle building, and a surf off. Add these exciting events with mild weather and great rates on accommodations and you have the perfect recipe for a memorable fall getaway. Here’s just a taste of our fall featured events:

Sixth Annual Southport Wooden Boat Show

Southport Wooden Boat ShowThe Southport Wooden Boat Show offers a chance to admire wooden boats, and talk with those who are passionate about making and owning them. The event will feature a contest where judges will be awarding the outstanding boat in a variety of categories, “Nauti-kids” activities for the young sailors, and nautical and maritime demonstrations. Exhibits from the North Carolina Aquarium and The Ft. Fisher Underwater Archaeology Branch will be on display throughout the afternoon. There will also be a Seafood Chowder Cook-off featuring five teams competing to win cash prizes and the title of the 2015 “SWBS Chowder Champion.”

North Carolina Oyster Festival

DSC_1242_Oyster EatersThe biggest food event of the season is the 35th annual North Carolina Oyster Festival that transforms the streets of Ocean Isle Beach into an open-air walking district, and boasts the best local cuisine, arts, crafts and entertainment. An Oyster Shucking Contest features professionals competing for the state title, perhaps dreaming of the national, or even the World Championships in Galway, Ireland. Amateurs are welcome to try their luck at local recognition. An Oyster Stew Cook-off allows attendees to try and rate local chef’s best recipes. More than 15 food and beverage vendors will be there offering everything from seafood and landlubber delights, to healthy or fun festival food.  Live music will be featured throughout the weekend.

NC Festival By The Sea

P1000027This two-day event kicks off with a parade down the Holden Beach causeway –  the one day of each year that locals and guests alike can enjoy the views of the Holden Beach Bridge on foot. Hundreds can enjoy taking pictures and absorbing the sights from the top of the bridge. A horseshoe tournament and sandcastle contest entertains the more competitive while kids can enjoy face painting, kite flying and more. The festival will also feature live music, arts and crafts and food vendors.

Check out our calendar of events for a full list of fun fall events!

Oyster Lovers, This Festival is Just for You!

Love fried and steamed oysters? Then plan to be in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands the weekend of October 18-19, 2014 for the 34th Annual North Carolina Oyster Festival.

This two day event is full of food and fun activities that everyone can enjoy. Popular events at the North Carolina Oyster Festival include the Oyster Shucking Contest (Saturday, October 18), where festival goers can enjoy watching the shuckers compete for the title of 2014 North Carolina Oyster Shucking Champion. At the Oyster Stew Cook-off (Sunday, October 19), competitors are given the chance to show off their culinary skills and draw attention to their delicious oyster stew.   The NC Oyster Festival Road Race (Sunday, October 19) will include a 5K, 10K and 1 Mile Fun Run.

Two new events added this year are an Oyster Eating Contest as well as a Shag Competition, where people can compete for the “Shaggin’ Oyster” titles hosted by the Coastal Shag Club. The festival will also feature live music, arts and crafts vendors, a kid’s area and plenty of other local cuisine, including seafood, BBQ, pizza and crab cakes, desserts and beverages.

The festival will be located adjacent to the Museum of Coastal Carolina on Ocean Isle Beach, which will be open and decorated for Halloween. Admission to the Festival is $5.00; children eight and under, free.

Parking for the festival is on the mainland of Ocean Isle Beach, just across from the airport as well as Causeway Drive.  Handicap drop-off is available, while parking and shuttle service to the festival are complimentary.

If that’s not enough oysters for you, you’re in luck.   The Shallotte Oyster, harvested from the creeks and marshes along the Shallotte River starting in October, is highly-prized for its extra-salty flavor. Distinguished from more well-known single oysters, the Shallotte Oyster is longer and narrower in shape and grows in clumps of four to five, making it best served steamed. During the fall, visitors can find them at area seafood markets and restaurants – if the locals haven’t scooped them all up yet!

North Carolina Oyster Festival

Ocean Isle Beach

Saturday, October 18, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.