School’s Out, Summer’s On in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Family Vacation

School is out, which means summer family vacations are in! Relax, soak up the sun and spend quality time together in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Families seeking a summer escape filled with fun experiences and activities need to look no further than these unique islands. With endless coastal adventures, this family vacation spot is the picture-perfect location where everlasting memories are made.

Check out some of our suggestions for planning an exciting, family-friendly summer getaway to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands:

Reach New Heights at The Swamp Park

Experience unparalleled views from breathtaking perspectives at The Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach. Soar through the treetops on an exhilarating 10- line, three bridge zip line tour or test your coordination and agility on the 49 element adventure park. Or if heights aren’t your thing, The Swamp Park also offers an ecological swamp boat tour through the Shallotte River Swamp. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the natural swamp environment, home to many reptiles, birds and other critters. The Swamp Park welcomes all ages of explorers and adrenaline junkies.

Swamp Park

Keep Calm and Paddle On

Set your soul to the current of the water while paddling through the peaceful waterways, marshes and creeks of the Brunswick Islands. Whether stand up paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing, there is a paddle-sporting adventure awaiting every member of the family. The Brunswick Islands are home to miles of the Intracoastal Waterway, salt marshes and brackish creeks and rivers. While paddling through these waterways, the scenic view point allows for the opportunity to witness some of the wildlife that call the Brunswick Islands home like Ospreys, Eagles, Fox Squirrels and White-Tailed Deer. And if you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot a bottleneck dolphin or two! Whether you are a newcomer, an expert or just looking for a tour with a local guide, the Brunswick Islands have many outfitters that offer rentals, lessons and tours.

Paddleboarding

Sail Away to the Maritime Museum of Southport

Dive into the rich maritime history of the Lower Cape Fear River at North Carolina’s Maritime Museum in Southport. With hands on exhibits featuring everything from the first indigenous mariners to commercial fisheries to the Civil War and World War II, this museum is bound to spark the interest of every member of the family. Admission to the museum is free and it’s open year round on Tuesdays through Saturdays.

maritime museum

Hook, Line, Sinker

As the weather heats up so does the fishing in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Whether you’re a novice or a pro-angler, there is a prime fishing spot for everyone. The easiest way to get hooked is to start with surf fishing. All you need is a rod, a reel, some tackle and maybe a cooler and a beach chair. But if you are looking to step up your fishing game, then visit one of the five fishing piers in the Brunswick Islands: the Sunset Beach Pier, Ocean Isle Beach Pier, Holden Beach Pier, Ocean Crest Pier and the recently renovated Oak Island Pier, officially open to anglers on July 2, 2019. Or if boating is more your speed, check out out one of the many charter companies in the Brunswick Islands offering everything from inshore fishing to a deep-sea adventure. No matter where you choose to cast your line, fishing means fun in the Brunswick Islands!

Fishing NC's Brunswick Islands

Ready, Set, Blast off into the Ingram Planetarium

Blast off into infinity and beyond and explore the galaxy all while inside the Ingram Planetarium at Sunset Beach. This state-of-the-art, 85-seat SciDome Sky Theater blends entertainment and education in an exciting way that is fun for all ages. Come for an educational and exciting astronomy program or sit back and rock out to one of the laser, music light shows offered at the planetarium. And if the astronomy program isn’t enough science for you, then check out the Paul Dennis Science Hall, complete with hands-on activities and interactive displays. This is one stop you won’t want to miss!

Ingram Planetarium

Get a Bird’s Eye View of the Brunswick Islands

Climb to new heights with a lighthouse tour in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. The Brunswick Islands are home to the oldest and the newest lighthouses in the state. Start your Brunswick Islands lighthouse tour in Caswell Beach with the Oak Island Lighthouse, the last lighthouse to be built in North Carolina. From the top tier outside balcony, on a clear day, you can see all the way down to Holden Beach and Oak Island on one side and across the way to Bald Head Island on the other. Climb up 131 ship ladder steps and witness the epic view for yourself. Then, hop aboard the Bald Head Island ferry to make your way to the oldest lighthouse in the state, Old Baldy. Built in 1817, Old Baldy has long stood as a beacon to the area, marking the mouth of the Cape Fear River.

Old Baldy and Oak Island Lighthouse

Dive into Ocean Fun at the Museum of Coastal Carolina

On the picturesque barrier island of Ocean Isle Beach sits the Museum of Coastal Carolina. This museum has long been a family favorite, entrancing both the young and young at heart. Home to one of the largest dry aquariums on the East Coast, a fossil pit prime for budding archaeologists and a touch tank full of live sea urchins, sea stars and other creatures, this museum is the perfect spot to bring those inquisitive family members.

museum of coastal carolina

Leave those school year worries in the past because summer is on in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands! With six unique barrier islands and a vast range of activities, there is an island vacation suited for every family.

For more information on activities to enjoy during your summer vacation in the Brunswick Islands, please visit www.ncbrunswick.com.

5 Reasons to Visit North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands this Winter

snowman

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, to visit North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands that is. Winter is one of the best seasons to come to the Brunswick Islands. Escape from the snow, freezing temperatures and frost bite with a winter getaway to these beautiful, pristine, peaceful beaches.

Here are five reasons why you should make the Brunswick Islands your next winter getaway:

1. It feels like you’re on your own private island.

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to have your own private island? With relaxing, serene beaches the Brunswick Islands feel like just that. With enough space for everyone, there is room to spread out and enjoy the company of your family and loved ones without encroaching on someone else’s beach spot.

sunrise on sunset

2. Get more bang for your buck.

In the off-season vacation accommodations, golf courses and other area attractions will often offer special promotions to entice visitors to come and see how wonderful this area is in the winter. And don’t forget about the big holidays that are coming up! A weekend getaway or a round of golf would make an excellent present for anyone who needs a winter vacation.

3. Relaxed pet regulations.

The off-season is the best time to take a dog-friendly vacation! With relaxed beach regulations, your furry friends are bound to have the time of their lives. Rules and regulations vary from beach to beach, but in the winter dogs are allowed all day on every beach in the Brunswick Islands. And if you want to give your dog a chance to be off-leash, take them up to Caswell Beach, Oak Island or out to Bald Head Island for some fetching fun! For tips on how to better prepare for a beach trip with your pup, click the link blog.ncbrunswick.com/dog-friendly-beaches/.

beach dog

4. Watch both the sunrise and sunset over the ocean.

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands are quite unique compared to other beaches in North Carolina. It’s because they have a rare distinction in that they run east to west, parallel with the shore, and generally face south. Because the sun reaches far enough south in the late fall through early spring, you are able to see both the sunrise and sunset over the ocean. This phenomena has been called one of the “10 Incredible Phenomena You Have to See in Fall” by Weather.com.

Sunset Ocean Isle Beach

5. Your new spot.

Make the Brunswick Islands your new winter getaway for years to come! Come and rejuvenate or have some fun by attending an outdoor market, festival or parade. The winter is chock-full of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy! Especially around the holidays, the quaint coastal towns of the Brunswick Islands are in no short supply of fun things to do. Or come after the holidays and spend some time relaxing and unwinding from the holiday hustle and bustle. And who knows, you might even start a new family tradition!

couple on sunset

The average winter temperature in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is around the mid 50s. So ditch that snowman for a sandman and spend this winter on an incredible beach vacation. To learn more about the Brunswick Islands or to start planning your winter getaway, check out ncbrunswick.com.

This Beach Trip Has Gone to the Dogs!

For dog-lovers, a beach vacation without sandy paws and the sweet(ish?) smell of salty, wet dog is a beach vacation lacking. In North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, our dog-friendly beaches couldn’t agree more.  In fact, tripswithpets.com named Caswell Beach and Oak Island numbers 1 and 2 respectively in its list of “Top 5 Dog Friendly Beaches in North Carolina.”

Even the most timid of dogs tend to find joy in chasing the tide as it rolls in and out, biting the white caps of the waves close to shore, and running carefree along the expansive shoreline. Of course, one of the best parts of sharing a day at the beach with your fur baby is witnessing that unmistakable wet-dog shake. You know the one. It starts out at the tail with a distinctive swish, hits the hind end with a jerk, heads up the spine with an aggressive wiggle, and then ends in an epic shake of the head, ears and jowls (if you’re lucky enough to have a dog with jowls).

Ready to Take the Leap?

If you have not yet taken your dog for a beach trip, fall is a great time to do so. With lots of dog-friendly accommodations available and relaxed pet regulations on the beaches, the Brunswick Islands are the perfect seaside destination for your pup. But even the dog-friendliest of spots won’t save you from mishaps if you don’t plan ahead.

Prepare three things for a trip with your dog:

  1. Travel in the car
  2. A stay in a vacation home or hotel
  3. Time on the beach itself

With a little forethought, your beach visit will be as fun for you as it is for Fluffy.

dog-friendly SUPTravel in the Car

Probably more important than preparing your car for the ride to the beach is preparing your car for the ride home! Things to consider stowing in your trunk:

  • A blanket or seat cover for protecting seats from saltwater and sand
  • Several old towels for wiping Ginger down
  • Bottled water and a plastic bowl to quench thirst
  • A brush (doggy, not human)

Vacation Home Prep

Remember that your dog – like your family – is a guest in your vacation accommodations. He will most likely be excited, anxious or just plain curious! Prepare your surroundings with these tips:

  • Establish Fido’s food and water location as soon as you arrive.
  • Immediately leash your dog and take him outside to find a designated place to potty – take waste bags to clean up.
  • If you’re renting a vacation home, walk through the house, making sure anything your dog might get into or knock over is out of reach.
  • If you and Rex are staying in a hotel, check with the front desk to see where on the property it’s best to walk him.

dog with sunglassesTime on the Beach

You prep yourself with sunscreen, a hat and something to read. Max deserves the same. Don’t forget:

  • Keep your dog close to you at all times. Leash regulations may be relaxed during the fall, but you don’t want other beach-goers to be bothered by a searching wet nose.
  • Familiarize yourself with the beach regulations for the Brunswick Islands. All of the beaches welcome dogs in the fall, but the rules vary from beach to beach.
  • Watch your dog carefully in the water. Not all dogs are great swimmers, and even the best should not go into deep water where tidal pull can be strong.
  • Pack a dog toy or two to keep Charlie occupied.
  • Bring waste bags and pick up after your dog immediately if he poops on the sand. Make sure to dispose of the bags properly, leaving the beaches just as pristine for the next family and their four-legged friend.

For more information about North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, go to ncbrunswick.com.

(Edited March 5, 2019)

Pets of NC’s Brunswick Islands Photo Contest Winners

Pets of NC's Brunswick Islands

It’s obvious from the entries in our Pets of NCBI photo contest that our visitors love their pets and their pets love the pet friendly beaches of NC’s Brunswick Islands.  With 125 entries, it wasn’t easy to choose just a few winners but we sure enjoyed looking through all the photos of adorable pets. Thank you to everyone who shared their photos for our contest! And now, here are the winners, along with the inspiration behind their photos and why the Brunswick Islands are their pet-friendly beaches of choice.

1st Place:

Pets of NC's Brunswick Islands

Ava and Gabby, a Jack Russel Terrier and Beagle mix rescued from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Animal Protective Services, enjoy the sunset on Caswell Beach – photo by Instagram user @amy_jeanphotography. “The Brunswick Islands is a great place to bring your pets because of the amount of beaches, there is a dog park in Southport, a great pet shop in Southport, and absolutely beautiful weather year round. The beaches in the area are exceptional, the temperature of the water, the soft sand and friendliness from people.  It is just a very pet friendly area to bring your companion. We love it!!”

2nd Place:

Buttercup enjoying the Marsh Walk in Southport. “In this photo you see my pup, Buttercup really taking in the atmosphere and obviously loving every second of it. She just loves it when we go on walks down in Southport or out on Oak Island.  My husband and I love coming and visiting Southport and Oak Island. It’s a nice escape from reality for us and we love LOVE the fact that our dogs can come and escape with us. In my picture you can really see the happiness in Buttercups face and that pretty much says it all.” Instagram user @j__to_the__ess

3rd Place:

“Moby loves going out for a paddle on our kayaks, taking walks on the beach, hiking in the woods, chasing tennis balls or just simple going on long car rides. I love that the Brunswick Islands is situated in a region that you can appreciate the dynamics of each season, whether it’s the…solitude of the beaches in the winter months, or the crisp air, fishing and festivals in the fall. I love watching the stunning array of birds and wildflowers in the spring and …excitement of the summer.” Instagram user @rosemarybarron

Honorable Mentions:

 

 

 

 

Levi by Instagram User @steveedmonds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orvis – Photo by Joanne Bush

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker – Photo by Melinda Hodge Carroll

 

Our random drawing winners:

 

 

Cookie – Photo by Vivica Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guinness – Photo by Jaime Sansale Pavol

 

 

Congratulations to all our winners!  To learn more about NC’s Brunswick Islands visit www.ncbrunswick.com  For pet friendly accommodations click here.

 

 

 

 

Enter the Brunswick Islands Pets at the Beach Photo Contest

pet friendly beaches

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is excited to announce its spring social media photo contest, #PetsOfNCBI! We invite you to share your best Brunswick Islands photos of your pets enjoying the beach on Instagram and Facebook using #PetsOfNCBI from April 3-17, 2017. When submitting your entry, please also include the Brunswick Islands’ location shown in the photo. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands will choose its favorite photos from the submissions with a first, second and third prize, along with two randomly chosen winners. Prizes include North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands rolling coolers, beach towels and hats, and a $100 Visa® Gift Card! The official contest rules are listed below.

Share your photos and follow us on Instagram: @NCBrunswickIslands

Share your photos and like us on Facebook: @NCBrunswick

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ pet-friendly beaches invite the whole family along on vacation! Beachgoers who don’t want to leave their pets behind can check into a variety of pet-friendly lodging options throughout the Brunswick Islands, including hotels and motels, condos, resorts, vacation home rentals and more. Several pet-friendly lodging options include direct beach access, plenty of amenities all without leaving the property, and lots of space for people and pets.

CONTEST RULES: The following rules will be required for entry.

1.  ENTRY:

a. No purchase necessary to enter or win.

b. Fans may enter by Facebook or Instagram:

    i. If entering by Instagram, using the hashtag #PetsOfNCBI and including the location of where the photo was taken in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. The user account settings must be public to be considered for entry.

    ii. If entering by Facebook, submitting the photo entry directly to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ Facebook account page and including the hashtag #PetsOfNCBI. The user must also identify where the photo was taken in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands.

c. By submitting entries via hashtag on Instagram and Facebook, entrant is agreeing to all contest terms and conditions.

d. By entering the contest, the entrant attests and warrants as follows: (a) I have the right to post the Content; (b) neither the Content nor the use of the Content by the Permitted Parties will infringe upon or violate the intellectual property rights or other rights, including, without limitation, any right of publicity and/or copyright, of any other person or entity or any applicable laws; and (c) the photo was taken in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands.

e. Entries must be submitted within MONDAY, 4/3/2017 at 9 a.m. EST and MONDAY, 4/17/2017 at 4 p.m. EST to be considered for entry.

2. ELIGIBILITY: This contest is open only to legal U.S. residents. Employees of Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority (along with its contractors, affiliates and subsidiaries) and their families are not eligible to win. Void where prohibited by law. Contestants residing in those areas where the contest is void may participate in the contest but may not win any prizes.

3. WINNER SELECTION: Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority will judge the contest. Submissions will be judged based on how much it shows pets enjoying North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. All decisions of the judges are final.

4. PRIZES:

First Place Grand Prize: $100.00 Visa® Gift Card and North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands Beach Towel

Second Place Prize: North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands Beach Towel and Hat

Third Place Prize: North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands Beach Towel

Random Prize Winners: 1 winner North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands Rolling Cooler and 1 winner North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands Beach Towel

Terms and conditions may apply. Incidental expenses and all other costs and expenses which are not specifically listed as part of a prize in these Official Rules and which may be associated with the award, acceptance, receipt and use of all or any portion of the awarded prize are solely the responsibility of the respective prize winner.

5.  WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winners will be notified through Instagram or Facebook within two (2) days after the contest end date. It is the   winners’ responsibility to monitor their Instagram and Facebook accounts for notifications. If a potential prize winner does not respond to the Sponsor within ten (10) days after being notified of winning via the Instagram account or Facebook page used for submission, or if the prize is returned as undeliverable, that potential prize winner shall forfeit the prize.

6.  GENERAL CONDITIONS: Participants hereby grant Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to broadcast, publish, store, reproduce, distribute, syndicate, and otherwise use and exhibit the Submission  (along with  their names, voices, performance and/or likenesses) in all media now known and later come into being for purposes of trade or advertising without further compensation or recognition. Participants represent and warrant that they have full legal right, power and authority to grant Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority the foregoing license and if applicable, have secured all necessary rights from any participants in, and contributors to, their Submission in order to grant such a license.

7.  NOT ENDORSED BY INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK: By participating in this contest, you acknowledge that this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook and release Instagram or Facebook from any and all liability arising from or related to this contest. The information you are providing for this contest is being provided to Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority and not to Instagram or Facebook, and will be used to notify you if you have won.

8.  CONDUCT: All contest participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person it finds to be tampering with the entry process, the operation of its web site or is otherwise in violation of these rules.

LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority is not responsible for late, lost or misdirected email or for any computer, online, telephone or technical malfunctions that may occur. If for any reason, the contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort, Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority may cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest. Entrants further agree to release Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority from any liability resulting from, or related to participation in the contest.

Sponsor’s Address: Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority is located at 712 Village Road SW, Shallotte, NC 28470.