Best Beach Books: 7 of our Favorite Beach Reads Set or Filmed in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

beach reads

Life is better at the beach, especially when you have a good book! North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is one of the best places to stick your toes in the sand and jump into a classic beach read. With six beautiful beaches and an array of charming coastal communities filled with rich history, literature and romance, it is easy to see why the Brunswick Islands has inspired many authors and film makers alike.

Check out some of the best beach books that were either set in the Brunswick Islands or filmed scenes here for the movie adaptation of the novel:

Safe Haven
An iconic love story by Nicholas Sparks, Safe Haven, was set and filmed in the town of Southport. This dramatic thriller is about a young woman, Katie, who moves to a quaint southern town and begins a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner. Just as their relationship starts to develop, dark secrets from Katie’s past begin to intrude on her new life.

Explore the charming southern town of Southport to see the various filming locations in Safe Haven like West Moore and Bay Streets where the dramatic NC 4th of July Festival was recreated for the movie, Ports of Call where Katie and Alex shared their first romantic dinner or grab a cocktail at Old American Fish Co., known in Safe Haven as Ivan’s, where Katie worked as a waitress. And for a more in depth look at some filming memorabilia, visit Fort Johnston – Southport Museum and Visitors Center.

Safe Haven

The Old Man and the Boy
The Old Man and the Boy, written by Robert Ruark, is a novel created out of a series of columns Ruark wrote for Field and Stream. Based on his own childhood memories of visiting his grandparents’ house in Southport, the book is about a young boy named Bobby who learns the value of hunting, fishing and becoming a gentleman from his grandfather, the Old Man. A perfect place to pick up this novel when visiting Southport, is the Robert Ruark Inn, a Victorian style B&B once owned by Ruark’s grandparents.

Robert Ruark Inn

Every Breath
Nicholas Sparks’ latest romance novel, Every Breath is about Hope Anderson, an ER trauma nurse, taking a break from her worries at her family’s vacation cottage in Sunset Beach, and Tru Walls, a safari guide from Zimbabwe, on a quest to discover his past. The novel is centered around the Kindred Spirit Mailbox, a truly unique landmark awaiting wanderers from far and wide. This one-of-a-kind mailbox sits about 1.5 miles from the nearest public access point on Bird Island, full of notebooks and pens just waiting for explorers to come divulge their secrets and leave messages of hope and inspiration for the next adventurer.

Kindred Spirit Mailbox

I Know What You Did Last Summer
I Know What You Did Last Summer is a spooky tale about four friends that run over a fisherman and dump his body in the water. A year later, they receive a frightening letter telling them that their crime was seen. Throughout the tale, the suspense increases as the killer stalks members of the group. Visitors to Southport will recognize iconic landmarks like the Amuzu Theatre and the Southport Riverwalk that were featured in the film adaptation of the novel.

Amuzu

Under the Dome
Under the Dome, filmed in Southport, is a book by Stephen King that was adapted as a TV series. The novel tells the story of the residents of a fictional small town that are cut off from the rest of the world by an enormous, indestructible dome. If you visit the town of Southport during your trip to the Brunswick Islands, you will be able to recognize the two-story house located on East Bay Street and the pilots tower on the Southport Waterfront, both featured in the series.

Under the Dome

A Walk to Remember
One of Nicholas Sparks’ most iconic novels, A Walk to Remember follows a popular high school senior, Landon Carter, as he falls in love with the local minister’s daughter, Jamie Sullivan. The two develop a powerful and romantic relationship in which they discover deep truths about one another. Visitors can stop by the beautiful church in Southport where Jamie’s dad worked as a minister or for a more romantic experience, visitors can watch the sunset over the Yacht Basin at the Riverwalk Gazebo where Landon told Jamie that he loved her for the first time.

reads

The Longest Ride
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks is a tale of two separate love affairs, intertwined into one fate-driven novel. The first pair of star-crossed lovers is Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback and Sophia, a college student who is about to head to New York City to start her dream job. As fate would have it, they have a chance encounter with Ira, a ninety-one year old man who shares with them the epic story of his relationship with his late wife Ruth. Be sure to pull up a beach chair and break out this novel when visiting the charming seaside town of Caswell Beach that served as the filming location for where Ruth’s family spent the summer in the film adaptation.

caswell beach

The Wedding
The Wedding by Dorothy West is set in the 1950s in a small New England enclave that consists of the finest of the East Coast’s black bourgeoisie. The novel tells the story of a family gathering for their daughter’s wedding to a white jazz musician. The movie adaptation of the novel was turned into a television miniseries by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films that features several Southport’s landmarks including The Brunswick Inn, Bay Street and Southport City Pier.

Brunswick Inn

No matter what book is on your summer reading list, all of the beaches and towns in the Brunswick Islands serve as a serene backdrop for diving into your favorite beach read. Take “A Walk to Remember” through these iconic film and book locations or forge your own path through the Brunswick Islands. Regardless of the itinerary, the Brunswick Islands is a “Safe Haven” for book worms and travelers alike.

For more information on North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands or to plan your next beach vacation, please visit www.ncbrunswick.com.

Seven Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Shell-heart

This Valentine’s Day think beyond a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers and treat your sweetheart to a romantic beach getaway. The beautiful beaches and charming coastal towns of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands make the ideal destination for a relaxing and romantic weekend. While Valentine’s Day weekend is a wonderful time to sweep your sweetheart away, the enticing variety of restaurants and attractions are perfect for planning a romantic getaway year-round.

Whether you are here for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary celebration, or simply a much-needed vacation, here are seven ways to celebrate with your sweetheart in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands:

Savor the Sunset

There is something inherently romantic about a sunset, particularly over the ocean. During this time of year, visitors to the Brunswick Islands can experience a true natural phenomenon. The east-west orientation of the Brunswick Islands means that you can sit on the beach and watch both the sunrise and sunset over the ocean without having to move your beach chair! Another way to capture unbelievable vistas that are sure to have you feeling sparks, is to take a romantic walk or bike ride along the beach.

sunset

Cozy Up at a B&B

Few things are more charming and romantic than a stay at a cozy bed and breakfast. Due to the location of these accommodations, guests can enjoy short walks to friendly coastal communities and white sand beaches. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is currently home to a variety of fabulous B&Bs that are sure to be the perfect setting for your romantic getaway.

For more information about inns, hotels, resorts and vacation home rentals in the Brunswick Islands visit  www.ncbrunswick.com/accommodations.

Enjoy a Romantic Dinner for Two

No getaway would be complete without a romantic dinner for two. The area boasts a variety of waterfront dining options set along the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Fear River, Intracoastal Waterway and more. With an abundance of restaurant choices the Brunswick Islands offer guests a plethora of menu items such as fresh seafood, international cuisine and other fan favorites. Not only is the food top notch, but the waterfront views at many area restaurants are impossible to beat!

waterfront dining

Toast to Romance

For a fun break from the beach, couples can stop by our local winery. Located near Ocean Isle Beach, the Silver Coast Winery is the perfect spot for a romantic outing. Enjoy tastings of their award-winning wines, appreciate local artwork or stroll through their gift shop for some unique souvenirs. Or, if a cold brew is more your style, stop by one of the nearby breweries:

winery

Relax and Unwind

Treat yourself and your sweetheart to a relaxing appointment at one of the many day spas located in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Each spa offers a unique array of specialty services and treatments such as couple’s massages or facials that are sure to leave you and your loved one feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Share a Secret

Take a romantic stroll or bike ride to Bird Island in Sunset Beach and discover a secluded little spot with a secret. Tucked away from the public eye is the Kindred Spirit Mailbox. The mailbox houses journals for locals and travelers alike to share their innermost thoughts. These journals have long held the wishes, thoughts, prayers and dreams of many Brunswick Islands visitors. For a truly unique experience, stop by the mailbox to share your love story, secrets or even plans for your future together.

Kindred Spirit Mailbox

Get Your Heart Racing

The Brunswick Islands are a great place to relax, but they are also perfect for sharing a bit of outdoor adventure. Try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking along the Intracoastal Waterway. Or for a different perspective, soar through the skies at The Swamp Park. The Swamp Park offers miles of zipline tours, a 49 element 7 course adventure park and a Swamp Boat Eco Tour. In the Brunswick Islands there are plenty of ways for you and your sweetheart to try something new and make memories that will last for years to come.

kayaking in Brunswick Islands

For more ways to plan an unforgettable, romantic Valentine’s Day getaway to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit www.ncbrunswick.com.

Take a Romantic Escape to a Bed & Breakfast in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Southport NC Bed & Breakfasts

Looking to relax and refresh this new year with a romantic weekend getaway filled with picturesque views, laid back Southern charm and delicious dining? North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands offers visitors more than 45 miles of unsurpassed beaches that are ideal for a romantic getaway worthy of a Nicholas Sparks novel. To make your visit quainter, choose from one of six enchanting and unique Bed & Breakfasts located in the charming town of Southport.

Lois Janes Riverview Inn B&B

Lois Jane’s Riverview Inn

Located along the historic waterfront of Southport, Lois Jane’s Riverview Inn was built during the 1890’s by Lois Jane’s grandfather, and refurbished by her children in 1995. During your stay, relax and unwind as you experience Southern hospitality at its finest. The historic Inn features four bedrooms in the main home with two additional suites in the guest cottage. All rooms are furnished with period furniture and accessories, many of which are family heirlooms. All guests at Lois Jane’s enjoy a full Southern-style breakfast served daily, with wine and hors d’oeuvres served in the late afternoon. Reserve your stay in Miss Mary’s Room and take in the breath-taking views of the Cape Fear River as you relax with your special someone on the spacious private balcony!

Robert Ruark Inn B&B

Robert Ruark Inn

Couples who desire an intimate and luxurious romantic getaway will enjoy a stay at the Robert Ruark Inn. Once owned by the family of the late world-renowned writer Robert Ruark, this whimsical bed and breakfast is located along the quiet streets of Southport and is nestled amongst beautiful ancient live oak trees, offering a scenic view of the stunning Cape Fear River. The elegant, Victorian-styled home offers lavish bed and breakfast accommodations, along with a scrumptious multi-course Southern-style breakfast and daily afternoon wine and cheese. Couples can relax in one of the four Robert Ruark Inn’s charming bedrooms, professionally decorated in historical antiques. All rooms have private baths with vintage themed wash pieces including granite counters and claw-foot tubs or a spa-like shower. Enjoy the inn’s opulent parlor, one of the two rocking-chair porches or cozy up to a loved one by toasty fire pit in the courtyard with a glass of wine.

Bell Clemmons House B&B

Bell-Clemmons House

Built in 1864 and completely renovated in 2004, the Bell-Clemmons House is located in the heart of historic downtown Southport. Eclectic and delightful, the inn is filled with beachy chic décor complied of locally sourced artwork, furniture and antiques. Each room has its own distinct characteristics and theme. Guests can choose from the Key West, Outer Banks or Savannah rooms each celebrating the bold history of the South. Equipped with a balcony porch, spacious lounge, gourmet kitchen, and a scrumptious three course breakfast, guests will feel right at home. Check out one of the B&B’s beach cruisers to ride around Southport and explore during the day with your loved one.

Southport Inn

Southport Inn

Located in the middle of Historic Downtown Southport, resides a cozy little bed and breakfast. Southport Inn Bed and Breakfast has been updated accordingly to the architectural integrity and historical significance of when the house was first built in 1894. The old-world charm of this Southport Bed and Breakfast combined with modern comforts makes this the perfect romantic getaway location. Accommodations include four bedrooms all with private bathrooms, high speed wireless internet, continental breakfast with healthy food options and a cozy porch perfect for watching the quiet world go by. This wonderful little hideaway is located within walking distance of exceptional dining, shopping and stunning views of the Cape Fear River.

Brunswick Inn

The Brunswick Inn

The Brunswick Inn, which dates back to the mid-1800s, is a beautiful Federal-style mansion that overlooks the Cape Fear River and offers pristine views of Bald Head Island and the Oak Island Lighthouse. The inn has been carefully updated, respecting the historical integrity of this splendid piece of architecture. Accommodations at the Brunswick Inn include three spacious bedrooms with fireplaces and private baths with views of the Cape Fear River which can be seen from every guestroom. Each room is furnished with era furniture and accessories. Couples can enjoy a gourmet, home-cooked breakfast, along with fresh baked goods and in-season fruits, which are included in your stay. Reserve a stay in Lady Brunswick’s Room, the inn’s most spacious and romantic room that will lull you to sleep.

Captain Newtons Inn B&B

Captain Newton’s Inn

Built in 1886 by Captain Walker Newton, a renowned river pilot of his time, and since updated, Captain Newton’s Inn is settled on one of the original one hundred lots laid out by the city founders. The cozy inn’s nautical décor is reminiscent of the quaint historic fishing community it resides in. This three- bedroom B&B offers guests a daily breakfast and a wine and cheese reception. Check out the second- floor porch equipped with several rocking chairs and a swing for two that is the perfect setting for cozying up with your loved one with a good book and your favorite beverage.

To learn more about accommodations in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, and to plan your trip, visit NCBrunswick.com.

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