Did you know you can travel the world without ever leaving Brunswick County, NC? Your taste buds can take you there. It’s quite amazing when you think about it. American cuisine abounds in the county but you can easily go to Italy, Thailand, Japan, Greece Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Jamaica and Turkey. That’s a good portion of the world. Need a map? Check this out.

You can find Italy in Southport, NC at Bella Cucina, in Oak Island, NC at Joseph’s Italian Bistro, in Ocean Isle Beach, NC at Roberto’s Ristorante, in Calabash, NC at Grapevine Restaurant & Lounge and in Leland, NC at Eddie Romanelli’s.


A bit of Thailand can be found in Southport, NC at Thai Peppers Restaurant and in Oak Island, NC at Thai by the Sea. You can visit Greece, Spain, Morocco and Portugal all in one place – in Southport, NC at Ports of Call Bistro & Market. You can also visit Greece and Turkey in Leland, NC at Gusto Grill.

The tastes of Mexico can be found in Southport, NC and Leland, NC at San Felipe Restaurante Mexicano. Your Jamaican adventure can be found in Ocean Isle Beach, NC at Sugar Shack. The closest you will get to Japan can be found in Southport, NC at Southport Gourmet and Sushi Bar.

Bon voyage!


I was recently privy to a conversation of little ones wondering if the ship on the horizon was a pirate ship and saying that the mermaids live in the deep water. One little girl even believed that her mommy could grow up to be a mermaid mommy. The sea was serene that day – blue satin to the horizon – with just enough breeze to fill the sails of the boats taking advantage of its promise. What a day to be on the water! What a day to dream away your cares – to cast them to the wind and sail away. If you are lucky enough to live in Brunswick County, NC – or even lucky enough to be visiting – your dreams of sailing away don’t have to be just dreams. There are so many ways to spend time on the water – from surfboards to Ski Dos, paddle boards to Jon boats to kayaks. But nothing can beat a sunrise sail, or a sunset sail, or a whole day on the water with nothing but the wind carrying you to deep water where, if you believe, you might even see those mermaids.

No, you don’t need to own a boat. Check out these lovers of sailing who will take you out on theirs:

Priority Sailing

S/V Kelly Allen Cruises


In 1789 an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouses was approved by Congress. On the 200th Anniversary of the signing of the Act, Congress passed a resolution which designated August 7, 1989 as National Lighthouse Day in recognition and remembrance of how lighthouses protected our coasts and guided sailors to safe passage. Since the development of technology, the lighthouses are mostly obsolete for their original purpose, but we still find them intriguing emblems of times past. We who live in Brunswick County, NC are quite familiar with Old Baldy, on Bald Head Island, and the Oak Island Lighthouse, in Caswell Beach, on Oak Island. Less known is the Price’s Creek Light which can be seen from the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry. The Price’s Creek Light is the only remaining light of the eight lights that once lined the 25 miles of the Cape Fear River between Southport, NC and Wilmington, NC. It served as a Confederate signal aiding blockade runners during the Civil War.

The Price’s Creek light now stands on private land and cannot be toured, however, both Old Baldy and the Oak Island Lighthouse offer tours to the public. This weekend, August 5, 6 & 7, you can also enjoy the National Lighthouse Weekend celebration at Old Baldy on Bald Head Island. The celebration includes a Maritime Classic Run for the Light starting at 7:30 PM on Sunday.

The Oak Island Lighthouse and Coast Guard Station


Summers in Brunswick County, NC are full of sun, sand and sea. This summer has been an exceptionally hot one and you likely have been careful to wear sunscreen when you were out and about. While that’s the smart thing to do, your hair, your skin, your whole body will have suffered the effects of that environment. The sun and wind have drying effects. Your summer activities have likely used muscles you are not used to using, and while that is also good, it can result in a tight feeling in your body. The kids will be heading back to school soon and your summer guests will be going home. You may want to start thinking about is treating yourself to a full spa treatment.

There are many salons and spas in Brunswick County, NC that offer services like conditioning hair treatments, facials, massages and so much more. These treatments can get you back to feeling like yourself. Go ahead – you deserve it. Here is a list of just some of the spas and salons you will find in the area.

PURE hair studio
Watertown Hair
Serenity by the Sea

Bald Head Island:
Island Retreat Spa and Salon 

Oak Island:
Beachin’ Day Spa

Kozo Hair Designs & Spa

Ocean Isle Beach:
Hi-Lites Salon

Totally Chic Salon & Spa

Kelly’s Hair Design
Magnolia Salon and Spa
Salon D’Vin


If you prefer to bring your pets with you when you and your family travel to Southport, Oak Island or Bald Head Island, NC you will find that most rental companies offer at least some properties that are pet friendly. Before you book your accommodation, make sure to ask for that company’s specific pet policy and whether or not the property you are looking to book is indeed pet friendly. Each company will have clearly spelled out policies, and rest assured these policies are strictly enforced.

Among the concerns with pets, yours and others who may have stayed in the rental property, is the issue of fleas, as they present a major problem during the warms months. Fumigation and pest control will take a chunk out of your deposit, so please be conscious of your pet’s condition. If you decide to roll the dice and ignore pet policies, some agencies will demand your immediate dismissal.


If leaving your pet at home isn’t a possibility and you can’t find a property where pets are allowed, local kennels and “doggie daycare” services will look after your cherished companion and the rental agencies may be able to help you with contact information for these services.






Brunswick County, NC was made for summer. It’s miles of beaches beckon to those nearby as well as those from far away. The sand, sun and water offer so many opportunities for relaxing and enjoying life. Their versatility offers respite for the soul as well as opportunity for exciting adventure. If fishing is your passion, you can cast net for bait in the Intracoastal Waterway or purchase it from any of several bait & tackle shops, surf fish from any of the many beaches, charter a fishing excursion, take a small boat into the salt marshes, creeks or lakes or drop your line from a pier. Golfers will find a plethora of golf courses from which to choose from one end of the county to the other. Really good restaurants are waiting to serve their delicious food and ice cream shops will cool you off with their sweet treats.Nature adventures can be had by solitary wanderings in parks and natural spaces – on foot, by kayak, on horseback or bicycle. Nature tours are also available, combining the wonders of exploring with learning.

Ed explains the changes in the ecology that exist on Bird Island

Yes, it rains in Brunswick County, NC, and we are thankful for those days that bring so much abundance to our natural spaces. There is plenty to do on rainy days here as well. There are movie theaters, bowling allies, museums, art galleries, shops, libraries, theaters, music venues in the restaurants and so much more.