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.

Top Spots to Catch Breathtaking Sunrises and Sunsets in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Boasting more than 45 miles of unspoiled beaches, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is the ultimate beach getaway destination. Few natural phenomena give Brunswick Islands beachgoers a better sense of place than watching the sun paint the sky in signature hues of orange, pink and purple over the ocean or the area’s waterways at sunrise and sunset. Our charming coastal towns and beach communities offer countless ways to witness spectacular sunrises and sunsets during your stay, but check out our suggestions of great spots for scoring a seat to the sun’s daily feat.

On the Beach

No matter what time of year you come to the Brunswick Islands, prepare to be wowed. Not only do the pristine sand and surf create a peaceful atmosphere for sunrise and sunset chasers, but in the fall and winter the uniquely south facing beaches in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands provide a remarkable sunrise/sunset viewing experience. Named one of “10 Incredible Phenomena You Have to See in Fall” by Weather.com, beginning in late fall, 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!

Sunrise on Oak Island

Ocean Piers

Few settings offer a classic beach feel like an oceanfront pier. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is home to five ocean piers, perfect for both starting and ending your day with a front row seat to the sun’s daily pilgrimage across the sky. Ocean pier viewing spots include:

Sunrise Sunset Beach Pier

Seize the Sunset by the Waterway

The stunning Brunswick Islands sunsets can also be seen off-shore with serene sunset kayak trips in the area’s marshes and waterways. Individual kayak rentals and guided tours are available to give visitors the equipment and expertise they need to observe some of the best views of the Brunswick Islands. To make an even bigger splash, boat rentals and sunset cruises are a sure way to enjoy beautiful scenic views.

Dinner and a Show

Who doesn’t love dinner and a show? A nature show that is! In North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands there is an impressive array of waterfront dining options that are guaranteed to not only serve up tasty coastal cuisine, but also a stunning view of the sun making its daily descent. One great spot to grab a bite and watch the summer sun set over the marsh is Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille. Located on Jinks Creek on the Intracoastal Waterway side of Ocean Isle Beach, Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille offers great seafood dishes as well as an amazing view.  Another local hotspot for scrumptious food and scenic views is the Yacht Basin in Southport. With restaurants like the Provision Company, Fishy Fishy Cafe and the Yacht Basin Eatery, it has some of the best outdoor waterfront dining in Southport. Lucky diners may even score a little live music to accompany their dinner and nature show. For more wonderful waterfront dining spots throughout Brunswick Islands, please visit blog.ncbrunswick.com/waterfront-dining-ncs-brunswick-islands/.

Southport Sunset

The Point at Oak Island

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is full of quiet stretches of beach that almost seem like you are on your own private island. The western tip of Oak Island, at the inlet that separates Oak Island from Holden Beach, is just one example. Affectionately known as The Point, this section of beach offers unique sunrise and sunset views over both land and sea. Like many of our pristine beaches, The Point is a tranquil spot for enjoying nature and quality time with family and loved ones.

Other Favorite Spots

There are so many places to find breathtaking sunrises and sunsets in the Brunswick Islands that it can be hard to choose. To make the decision a little harder here are some other amazing viewing spots.

Sunset Holden Beach

We may all watch the same sunrise and sunset each day, but at North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands the view is as grand as the ocean is wide. For more tips and tricks to planning your next spectacular beach vacation, please visit www.ncbrunswick.com.

2017 Brunswick Islands Sunrise/Sunset Photo Contest Winners

sunrise sunset photo contest winner

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is excited to announce the winners of the #BrunswickIslandsSun Sunrise/Sunset photo contest! We invited you to share your best Brunswick Islands sunrise and sunset photographs on Instagram and Facebook using #BrunswickIslandsSun from November 15 through November 29, and we were amazed at the beautiful entries we received!

With over 150 entries, it wasn’t easy to choose just a few winners, but we have chosen our favorite photos from the submissions for a first and second place winner on both platforms as well as two random drawing winners. These lucky winners will receive a variety of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands rolling coolers, beach towels, and hats. Our first place winners will also receive a $100 gift card. We would like to thank everyone who participated in the contest. It was incredible to see folks loving the Brunswick Islands and the beautiful sunrises and sunsets over the ocean as much as we do!

And now, here are the winners, along with the inspiration behind their photos and why the Brunswick Islands are their beaches of choice!

1st Place on Facebook:

sunrise sunset photo contest winner

Mark D. Head takes first place with his breathtaking photo of a sunrise over the marsh at Sunset Beach.  As a Sunset Beach local, Mark has perfected the art of sunrise and sunset photography, he shared with us that he is outside shooting almost every day. “The day I took this picture, the sky just lit up for about 10 minutes, I loved how the sky looked over the marsh! I think that the Brunswick Island sunrises and sunsets are just amazing and living in Sunset Beach you can get sunrises and sunsets over the ocean!”

2nd Place on Facebook:

sunrise sunset photo contest

Beth Clair takes second place with her stunning picture of a fall sunrise at Sunset Beach. Beth was inspired by the sky’s brilliant blue hue. She “first visited southeastern Brunswick County in 2006 and fell in love with the area, particularly the beaches.” Beth considers herself to be “so fortunate to live in such a beautiful area,” and is drawn back to Sunset Beach each winter to see the sunset and sunrise over the ocean.

1st Place on Instagram:

sunrise sunset photo contest

Nick Noble (@nsqr) takes first place on Instagram for his photo of a sunrise on the Cape Fear River in Southport. Nick says that the “clear skies and clouds” create vibrant displays of “thick oranges, reds, yellows, and blues” during the sunrises in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. He also states that the piers in the area “make for great foregrounds” further enhancing the sky’s warm color scheme. For this winning photo, Nick was inspired by the “contrast of the blacks and oranges and the reflections of the sky and pier in the water.”

2nd Place on Facebook:

sunrise sunset photo contest

Mary Bowser (@marybmary55) takes second place for her sunrise over Holden Beach. Mary shared with us that she loves taking her daughters and grandchildren to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands for summer vacations. She thinks that the beaches in the Brunswick Islands, and Holden Beach especially are the best “because they are not spoiled by commercialism.” Beth captured this incredible photograph while on vacation with her family. She says she “got up early every morning to walk so that [she] could see the sunrise. [Her] daughters were always anxious to see the photos each morning.”

Our lucky random drawing winners are:

Scott Webber

sunrise sunset photo contest

Jay N Janet Leonard

sunrise sunset photo contest

Be sure to visit #BrunswickIslandsSun on both platforms to see all the incredible entries. On Facebook look for entries under public posts and in the comments of the contest announcements.  You can follow North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands on social media  https://www.facebook.com/NCBrunswick and https://www.instagram.com/ncbrunswickislands.

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

Enter the NC’s Brunswick Islands Sunrise/Sunset Photo Contest

sunset

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is home to more than forty-five miles of beautiful pristine beaches. Our uniquely south facing beaches allow one to view the sun rise and set over the Atlantic during the fall and winter. In recognition of that phenomenon, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is excited to announce its fall social media photo contest, #BrunswickIslandsSun! We invite you to share your best Brunswick Islands sunrise and sunset photos on Instagram (#BrunswickIslands and #BrunswickIslandsSun) and Facebook (#BrunswickIslandsSun) from November 15-29, 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 first and second place prizes for both Instagram and Facebook winners, 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. Please read all the rules!

Share your photos and follow us on Instagram: @NCBrunswickIslands

Share your photos and like us on Facebook: @NCBrunswick

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, follow @NCBrunswickIslands and use both hashtags #BrunswickIslandsSun and #BrunswickIslands. Include 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, post the photo entry directly to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ Facebook account page and include the hashtag #BrunswickIslandsSun. The user must also identify where the photo was taken in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Be sure you have liked North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ Facebook page.

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 WEDNESDAY, 11/15/2017 at 9 a.m. EST and WEDNESDAY, 11/29/2017 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 well the photo depicts the natural beauty of the sunrises and sunsets in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. All decisions of the judges are final.

4. PRIZES: First and Second Place winners will be selected from Facebook entries and First and Second Place winners will be selected from Instagram entries.

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

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 five (5) 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.

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

You can follow North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands on social media at https://www.facebook.com/NCBrunswick and https://www.instagram.com/ncbrunswickislands.

Fall in Love with Nature in the Brunswick Islands

February is the month of love, but visitors and locals can fall in love with North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands year-round, including its stunning nature and coastal beauty. Whether spotting dolphins from the sand or birdwatching in the marshes, the nature of the Brunswick Islands is sure to take your breath away. Plan your next date with the outdoors with one of these scenic adventures.

Sun, Sand and Surf
The Brunswick Islands’ 45 miles of beaches are filled with opportunities for amazing nature sightings. Take a morning stroll and spot sand dollars and other unique shells along the shore, or go for a bike ride at low tide and watch for dolphins playing in the waves. In the fall and winter months, watching the sun rise and set over the ocean is an incredible view on the Brunswick Islands’ south-facing beaches. No matter the time of year, beachgoers in search of natural beauty won’t be disappointed.

treasure

Walk (or float!) on the Wild Side
Discover a different side of the barrier islands with the Intracoastal Waterway and the area’s vast ecosystem of salt marshes, creeks and estuaries. Find some of the best kayaking, paddle boarding and more in the region where salt water meets fresh, home to crabs, oysters, fish, shrimp, skates and even dolphins. Nature preserves and parks throughout the Brunswick Islands provide additional outdoor spaces to spot wildlife and unique plants. Or try a swamp boat eco-tour for an up close look at a cypress swamp.

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Shell-ebrate Miracles
For a truly heartwarming experience from July through October, watch baby sea turtles make their way to the ocean in their first moments of life outside their eggs. Thanks to an abundance of trained volunteers and the sanctuaries throughout the Brunswick Islands, the nests are observed and tended to so the community can be educated on the importance of the protection of this endangered species. Visitors along the beach at night can see this natural miracle for themselves, and watch as volunteers monitor the hatching process and guide the baby turtles to the ocean, where they can live for up to 50 years or more.

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Birds of a Feather
NC’s Brunswick Islands is home to eight sites along the North Carolina Birding Trail. The Islands’ prime location and varied ecosystems make it a haven for birds, and over 330 species have been spotted in Brunswick County. From the majestic bald eagle to the spectacular painted bunting, nature lovers are in for a treat. For a full list of the NC Birding Trail sites in the Brunswick Islands and the species often seen at each site, visit http://www.ncbrunswick.com/activity/brunswick-bird-watching-mainland.

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Out of This World
For a unique take on some other-worldly nature, visit the Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach. The state-of-the-art planetarium has an 85-seat SciDome Sky Theater with high definition digital protection and surround-sound system where visitors can learn about the universe around them. The theater shows educational programs about space exploration and astronomy, along with laser music shows. Explore the interactive exhibits in the Paul Dennis Science Hall for fun, hands-on learning.

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To learn more about nature exploration in the Brunswick Islands, and to plan your trip, visit www.NCBrunswick.com.