PAMPER YOURSELF

The frantic hustle and bustle and the parties and visits of the Christmas and New Year season are over. The quiet time of the year has begun in Brunswick County, NC. Time to take a break and relax. Why not pamper yourself with a weekend in a Bed and Breakfast. What, you say, I live here. Ummm, yeah, but you don’t live in a Bed and Breakfast. Why not take a weekend away from home and let someone else do the cooking and cleaning

The quaint waterfront town of Southport, NC offers several bed and breakfast options all of which are located in picturesque homes with interesting histories. They are all located on shady live oak lined streets and two of them face the Cape Fear River as it rolls out to meet the sea. Lovely views of Bald Head Island, NC and Oak Island,NC, their lighthouses and the varied water traffic can be had from the porches of the inns facing the water. All are within easy walking distance of Southport’s restaurants, river walk, shops and museums.read more

At circa 1800, The Brunswick Inn, at 301 E. Bay Street, is the oldest Bed & Breakfast in Southport. A Federal style mansion, it was originally built as the summer residence of the 28th Governor of North Carolina. The Brunswick Inn has a whimsical resident ghost who sometimes makes his presence known by playing practical jokes. Tony was a harpist who played at the inn when balls were common occurrences. He drowned in a boating accident off Bald Head Island, NC in 1882 and has made the inn his home since! Each room in this inn has a private bath and a working fireplace. The Brunswick Inn was used in the making of several movies, including Summer Catch with Freddie Printz, Jr., The Wedding with Halle Berry and Pirate Kids.

Lois Jane’s Riverview Inn (circa 1882) is located at 106 W. Bay Street and is owned and operated by fourth-generation descendants of the original owner. The inn is across the street from the old harbor pilot’s tower and, like The Brunswick Inn, overlooks the water. The inn includes four rooms and the front rooms have access to the second floor balcony. Those interested in a bit more privacy might inquire about the Queen Deluxe Suite.

Robert Ruark Inn Bed & Breakfast at 119 N. Lord Street was once the home of Robert Ruark’s grandfather. Robert Ruark was a writer from Wilmington, NC who grew up visiting his grandparents in this home. You may be familiar with his book, The Old Man and the Boy, which details his adventures spent in the Southport, NC area during his visits here. He was known as well for his African adventures which were made into a movie years ago. All of the rooms in this inn have names and the Robert Ruark Room is decorated to reflect his adventures.

The newest kid in town is the Bell-Clemmons House and you might also check out The Southport Inn.

Image result for Bell-Clemmons House southport nc images

The more adventurous among you might enjoy taking the Bald Head Island Ferry to Marsh Harbour Inn at 21 Keelson Row, Harbour Village, the one small inn on Bald Head Island. Since it overlooks the Bald Head Island Marina, you can easily walk from the ferry to the inn. The inn includes three premium suites with views of the Atlantic Ocean. There are individual guest rooms as well as a meeting room for conferences or weddings.

units - The Marsh Harbour Inn, Bald Head Island, NC

NATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE DAY

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

FISHY, FISHY, FISHY

Alice - Shrimp Boat

(Photo courtesy Alice Paul Gray)

This time of year in Brunswick County, NC you will see wooden shrimp boats, a dying breed, plying the waters of the Atlantic, reapers lowered, trailing an entourage of seagulls like so may white kites. The shrimping is great and so is the fishing. Surf fishermen abound along the shores of all of the South Brunswick Beaches, sitting or standing in the sun, their lines in the water, the soft breezes blowing. They also line the fishing piers including the City Pier in Southport, NC where you can fish the confluence of the Cape Fear River and the Intracoastal Waterway mixed with a bit of the Atlantic Ocean. On Oak Island, NC, you will find two piers from which to choose: Oak Island Pier and Ocean Crest Pier. Each of the three southernmost beaches has it’s own fishing pier: Holden Beach PierOcean Isle Pier and  Sunset Beach Pier.

There is nothing like fish fresh from the ocean and if you are lucky enough to own you own boat and be your own captain, you likely have a favorite water access and your favorite fishing spot. If you don’t own a boat, there are many head boats and charter boats available to take you out to their special spots. You can find a few here: Head Boats and Charters.

Then there are the fishing tournaments which run through the fall on the Brunswick County, NC coast where fish are still plentiful. Beginning this Friday you can participate in the Sudan Daredevils Shallotte Point Flounder Tournament in Shallotte, NC. On Wednesday, June 15, the Jolly Mon King Classic will start and will run through Sunday, June 19. There are no excuses – the fish are there – catch ’em!

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Many years ago T. S. Eliot wrote: “April is the cruellest month” in his poem The Waste Land. He was not referring to income tax time, but for those of us who are required to pay into the IRS, he may as well have been. Luckily we live in Brunswick County, NC where there are so many interesting places and events available to us that can take our minds off of our tax troubles. Many of these events are free and those that are not usually serve worthy causes that benefit all of us. The water offers so much, be it the ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway, the Cape Fear River, the lakes – it is all there for us to enjoy and we are blessed with the kind of weather that allows us to enjoy these things. We can walk on the beach, sit by the water and meditate, fish, go sailing, ride a ferry, swim, take out a kayak, sunbathe – whatever helps us be happy. We are also lucky in the events that are available to us to enjoy. They are as varied as the ways there are to enjoy water. Here are a few that are coming up this month.

You can take the kids or the grands to the Kids’ Art Day in Franklin Square Park:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/april/kids-art-day/profile/)

You can dress up (or not) and dance the night away at the Black-Tie-Optional-Gala in Southport, NC:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/april/black-tie-optional-gala/profile/)

You can test your endurance in the Oak Island Lighthouse 1/2 Marathon 10K/5K Run/Walk:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/april/oak-island-lighthouse-1-2-marathon-10k-5k-run-walk/profile/)

THANKFULNESS

There are many words that describe thankfulness, many ways to show thankfulness, and many things to be thankful for – especially in the NC Brunswick Islands. Water is everywhere here. From the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape Fear River to the Intracoastal Waterway to the many lakes – it surrounds us. It contributes to the saline scent of the maritime environment – something we miss when we travel. It provides venues for entertainment including; sailing, surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, boating, canoeing and fishing. It’s a virtual playground. It’s also exceedingly beautiful to contemplate. The towns are bird sanctuaries. We can hear the birds singing as well as the breezes singing through the trees – even with our windows closed – instead of the sound of traffic roaring past. The climate allows us to spend an inordinate amount of time outdoors walking, biking, hiking, running, on the water, by the water, on the beach, in a hammock. Even when the temperature dips, there is always the wonderful sunshine. What’s more, our towns, the county, the state have had the foresight to set aside large amounts of natural spaces for our enjoyment. Parks abound in Brunswick County, NC. Whether they are small, with a few trees and a bench or two, or hundreds of acres, they are here for our enjoyment. Here are a few for you to explore – and while you are at it, remember to be thankful for the air you breathe; for the fact that you woke up this morning; for your legs that allow you to walk; for your eyes that allow you to take in the beauty around you; for your lungs that allow you to breathe; for smiles and hugs and even for setbacks that eventually lead you to better things.

Brunswick Nature Park (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/sports-fitness-parks/parks/brunswick-nature-park/profile/)

Waccamaw Park (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/sports-fitness-parks/parks/waccamaw-park/profile/)

Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve (http://leland.insiderinfo.us/sports-fitness-parks/parks/ev-henwood-nature-preserve/profile/)