Get a Bird’s-Eye View of the Brunswick Islands

Even with the fall weather setting in, travelers can still enjoy outdoor activities in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands with attractions that make the destination a perfect year-round vacation spot.

Find a new perspective on your next visit and get a bird’s-eye view of the Brunswick Islands by zipping, climbing or flying to great heights with spectacular sights.

Zipline Through the Canopies

DCIM100GOPROG0100475.It doesn’t have to be summer to explore the treetops by zipline! Soar through the 100-year-old cypress trees with zipline tours at Shallotte River Swamp Park and spot deer, raccoons, wild boar and more in the natural swamp habitat. Shallotte River Swamp Park is open year-round where you can get your fill of fun with 10 zipline stations including 1.25 miles of zipline cable, along with 53 different challenge elements in the aerial adventure park.

Climb Through History

DSC_7902_LRLooking for a middle ground between a high-flying adventure and grounded escape? The Brunswick Islands are home to both the oldest standing lighthouse and the last lighthouse built in North Carolina, and you can climb to the top of both for 360-degree views of the Carolina coast. Essential to the area’s history, Old Baldy on Bald Head Island is 110 feet tall and turns 200 years old in 2017. Completed in 1958, the Oak Island Lighthouse on Caswell Beach is the state’s newest lighthouse and invites visitors to climb 131 steps to the top with a series of ship ladders – a truly unique experience!

 

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Fly Through the Sky

DSC_0239_BaldHead_Aerial_hiBoost your adrenaline even more and hop into a helicopter or plane for breathtaking views of the Brunswick Islands. Take an amazing aerial tour by helicopter with Ocean Isle Beach Helicopter Tours or High Tide Helicopters. If you’re more into DIY, take adventure into your own hands by learning to pilot a helicopter with High Tide Helicopters’ professional flight instructors on a Discovery Flight. Suncoast Aviation offers open cockpit biplane rides, perfect for a scenic flight for two. Or design a custom tour with Brunswick Air.

To learn more and plan your high-flying adventure in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/attractions.

Island Hop without a Passport in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

with five barrier islands, island hopping is a must when exploring North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands this summer! Located in the southernmost corner of North Carolina, the islands of Brunswick County are strung together with forty-five miles of silken coastline.

Graced with sunny, secluded beaches away from high-rises and crowds, each island provides its own unique character, charm and activities. Here, beaches are perfect for family vacations, reunions, weddings, surfers, nature enthusiasts, and golf getaways, and each island has something different to offer its visitors. It is impossible to pick a favorite, so vacationers should visit them all!

Sunset Beach

Old BridgeStart your island hop on the southernmost island at Sunset Beach for a peaceful and relaxing experience. You will find this island top of the list for a quiet and quintessential beach town as residents are passionate about preservation. Take a mile walk from the last beach access south to Bird Island and the Kindred Spirit Mailbox to learn about sand dune wildlife and experience the habitats of the beautiful coastal preserve. Don’t forget to also tour the Old Sunset Bridge Museum, home to the last pontoon swing bridge on the East Coast!

Ocean Isle

Next hop over to the seven miles of Ocean Isle Beach, where you will find something for every generation! Stroll along the shoreline, scan for signs of sea turtles or catch a wave with private or group surf lessons. To experience sea life with a life-size diorama and touch tank make a visit to The Museum of Coastal Carolina. If you are feeling adventurous, try ziplining through a 300-year-old swamp cypress canopy at The Shallotte River Swamp Park, which is a challenging and thrilling adventure for all ages!

Holden Beach

DSC_7135_HOLDEN BEACH BRIDGENamed one of the best family beaches in the U.S. by National Geographic Traveler magazine and voted one of the top 10 beaches by USA Today readers, Holden Beach is your ideal destination for small town charm. Cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway by kayak and enjoy a day “downtown” with lunch at one of the several restaurant decks overlooking the waterway and the many shrimp boats that call Holden Beach home. In this wildlife haven, your family will enjoy spotting dolphins and playfully chasing ghost crabs with flashlights in the evening.

Oak Island

Ten miles of uncrowded beaches with more than 60 access points, two fishing piers, two marinas and three public boat and canoe ramps makes the town of Oak Island a perfect stop. You will have just as much fun touring the town on bicycles with bells DSC_2743_CASWELL_LRand baskets while eating ice-cream as you will in the water! Include your four-legged family members as Oak Island is one of the top dog friendly beaches in the country according to Dog Fancy magazine.  Sharing the same island, Caswell Beach is a quiet, laid-back beach that is also convenient to the shops and restaurants of Oak Island.  Standing sentinel over its uncrowded mostly residential shores is the Oak Island Lighthouse, a tri-colored beacon reaching about 16 nautical miles offshore. Make an appointment in advance to schedule a climb to the top.

Bald Head Island

Finish off your island hop by secluding yourself from reality at Brunswick’s resort-style, no-cars-allowed, Bald Head Island, only reachable by ferry. Explore the unspoiled natural surroundings hiking, biking or by golf-cart. Bald Head Island is an eco-lover’s paradise with 10,000 acres of nature preserves and extraordinary wildlife. North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse, “Old Baldy,” and Smith Island Museum are favorite attractions for the vacationers!

There are a variety of accommodations for every stop on your island hopping adventure, so start booking your vacation today!

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.

 

Health, Happiness and North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands: #BrunswickIslandsFIT

although the food is plentiful and bathing in the warm sun is tempting, going on vacation doesn’t mean sacrificing your health goals for a period of time. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands has an abundance of activities that are educational, family-friendly and perfect for boosting your activity tracker goals at the same time. Below are a few activities if you’re looking to increase your step count and even boost your heart rate on your next beach vacation.

IMG_6444 b_edited-1A stay here offers a variety of water sports and exhilarating experiences that can get your heart pumping. Go scuba diving with a certified instructor off the Cape Fear’s Frying Pan Shoals with Scuba South Diving Company in Southport. Or go on a kayaking adventure with Lighthouse WaterSports, The Adventure Kayak Company or Summertide Adventure Tours. These guided tours will take explorers on an adventure around the blackwater creeks, marshes, Intracoastal Waterway or swamps, while also providing a great arm and shoulder exercise.

Stoked about surfing but never had the chance to paddle out and pound some waves? Our islands provide visitors with an astounding buffet of aquatic adventures appealing to both beginners and experienced water-goers. Check out three surf schools with programs dedicated to teaching interested patrons of all ages the surfing basics. Not only is surfing a fun activity for beach-goers, it also provides great balance and lower-body strength training.

Swamp Park IMG_9365For a new and unique activity at the beach, don’t forget to zip into the Shallotte River Swamp Park & Outdoor Center in Ocean Isle Beach. 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. This unique challenge is guaranteed to increase your step count and get your heart racing!

Activity doesn’t always mean you have to hustle and exert yourself. People looking for a more leisurely activity can enjoy many of the rental services available on the islands. Anything from bikes and stand-up paddle boards to beach supplies are available for visitor use. Relish your time and take in the sights at your own pace. If biking or paddling isn’t your style, take a relaxing walk on the beach with a friend or significant other, spot a rare species of bird along the Brunswick Islands Birding Trail or take your pup for a jog along the shore.

DSC_6149_INSIDE LIGHTHOUSEWhether you’re set on admiring the sunrises or sunsets, driving your way through more than 30 championship golf courses or climbing 131 ships’ ladders to the Oak Island Lighthouse to see a gorgeous panoramic view, you’re sure to end your vacation feeling happy and healthy while increasing your activity tracker goals at the same time.

How many steps did you take on your trip to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands? #BrunswickIslandsFIT

 

10 Tips for a Carefree Beach Vacation

make your beach vacation even more fun and carefree this year with these 10 tips:

 

Focus on the Here and Now

Leave the phone in your room or at least put the phone aside for awhile. Spending some time away from social media and technology can set the tone for a calming, carefree beach vacation. Focus your attention on being in the moment, reconnecting with loved ones, and enjoying the natural beauty of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands.

Don’t Over-Book Yourself

DSC_8026_OAK ISLAND_CHAIRSVacations are about you and your fellow sojourners. Be sure to leave space in your schedule, entire days even, to wake up, feel the crisp ocean breeze caress your face and let the wind be your guide. Being married to an itinerary has its benefits, but that relationship can quickly become a burden. Hang loose, go with the flow and make North Carolina’s Brunswick Island’s your home away from home.

Connect with the Family

Be sure to plan activities that are memorable for the entire family. Strengthen the bond between your loved ones by using vacation time as not just a distraction for you and your children, but also as a means to grow closer as a family. Activities such as watching baby sea turtles hatch, taking a swamp boat eco-tour, enjoying a boat or ferry ride in the Intercoastal Waterway, or taking a dolphin adventure cruise provide families with the perfect combination of education and fun for all ages. Bring the family together and learn something new too!

Eat Fresh, Eat Local

IMG_0028_fb_edited-1Stressing about your vacation diet (or lack thereof)? You are not alone. Reduce appetite anxiety by eating fresh and local. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands has long been known for it’s bountiful seafood.  A highlight to any visit is sampling the local flavors so recognizable to the coastal area. Our local fishermen harvest a variety of top-quality seafood, including shrimp, blue crabs, grouper, flounder, oysters and clams. Many visitors take advantage of the opportunity to not only select and prepare their own seafood during their stay, but also return home with these fresh delicacies from the sea. For information on local seafood retailers and wholesalers, visit here.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

DSC_0140_OIB Paddlebaord_LRThe signature of a beach holiday may be top-notch R&R, but that doesn’t mean vacationers shouldn’t venture out of their beach chair. Break the mold and instill a little adventure into your next seashore soiree. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands offers a buffet of bold activities that challenge you to try something new such as charter fishing, SUP and surf lessons, scuba diving, zip lining through natural swamp habitat and more.

Don’t Stress Over Packing

For some vacationers, stress can stir before wheels even hit the pavement. The worry over items potentially forgotten or left behind can consume the journey and create an anxious ambiance. The North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands traveler knows to ditch these woes and takes comfort in the abundance of stores and business housed on each island and surrounding mainland. Anything you could need and more can be found at any one of the area’s many shops.

Have a Rain Plan

DSC_0010_OIB_Touch Tank_LRIn every life a little rain must fall. And sometimes that happens while you’re on vacation. Reduce stress and anxiety by having a rain plan ready in case wet weather decides to visit the beach with you. Guests of the Brunswick Islands can find indoor entertainment at a number of intriguing attractions such as the NC Maritime Museum at Southport, Museum of Coastal CarolinaOld Brunswick County Jail MuseumSilver Coast Winery and more. Research opportunities ahead of time to ease your weather woes by guaranteeing a 100 percent chance of fun.

Enjoy The Off-Season

The heat of summer is a hot time to take a trip to the beach, but milder temperatures and fewer people during the spring and fall are also enticing to those looking for a secluded adventure on the beach. For a heightened sense of having the beach to yourself, book your trip before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.  You and your family and friends and can also take advantage of off-season rates during that time.

Feed Your Soul

10299079_10152150216753155_1534309948012022730_nOn your next trip to the beach, make an effort to indulge your soul by seeking out activities that are true to your spirit. Whether you attend an outdoor religious service, watch the sunrise over the ocean, or take a long walk along the beach, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands provides countless opportunities for beach-goers to please their personalities. Relaxation doesn’t merely involve sitting still, but also rejuvenating the soul and getting in touch with who you are.

Keep It Simple

Central to a carefree beach vacation is a commitment to keeping things simple – walks on the beach, eating ice cream or hunting for seashells. The beauty of a beach vacation is in the natural setting’s mystical way of creating an environment brimming with charm and subtle treasures. The seemingly simple days can be the most stunning and leave you with lasting memories and nothing but love for sun and sand.