PUMPKINS N HAY N OYSTERS, OH MY!

Ahhhhhhhhhh. Fall has arrived to Brunswick County, NC. Sunny days, cool breezes, open window nights with the sounds of crickets and night birds, glorious sunrises and sunsets, sparkling ocean waters, sandy beaches for walking, family oriented festivals – we have the best of it all. The upcoming weekend promises to be beautiful and is filled with outdoor events for adults and families. What adult among us does not recall the fun of fall hayrides? You can relive them this weekend – and in Boiling Spring Lakes, NC, you can experience a hayride with a twist:  Boiling Spring Lakes Haunted Hayride

Fall and oysters go together like – well – fall and oysters. Add to that a festival and you couldn’t ask for anything better –  especially when it is happening in Ocean Isle Beach, NC and includes an oyster shucking contest and a road race.

North Carolina Oyster Festival

Fall is harvest time at the farms – a time to celebrate another successful harvest. What better way than to have a day filled with pumpkins, hayrides, good food and fun events for kids and adults alike. One such working farm near Calabash, NC, invites you to take part in just such a day:  Indigo Farms Pumpkin Day

Ahhhhh, Love

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Valentine’s Day will soon be here. It’s a time to celebrate those we love in ways that we often forget throughout the rest of the year. We get caught up in the tasks of our everyday lives and don’t seem to be able to find the time for the small gestures that mean so much. Roses and Valentines and candy are sweet and are definitely appreciated, however, time is the key. Time to talk about hopes and dreams and long term plans. To say thank you for all that you do. The one Valentine tradition that gives us the opportunity to share that time is a quiet dinner together away from everyday distractions. A time during which we can look at each other – tell each other – I know you. I love you for all that you are.

There are many fine restaurants in Brunswick County, NC where you can enjoy a scrumptious meal for Valentine’s Day and enjoy that bit of time together – just the two of you. I have listed some of them below, but remember to make reservations. Even those restaurants that don’t require them usually do on Valentine’s Day.

On Bald Head Island, NC try Mojo’s on the Harbour. Here, you can have a steampot – and in addition to shrimp, crab, and other shellfish, you will find steak, pork and chicken as well as fish like flounder, tuna and salmon on the eclectic menu. Ask about Italian specials and their gluten-free menu. Mojo’s has a full bar, offers wine by the bottle or the glass, serves cocktails and has Guinness draught.

Live Oak Cafe is an excellent choice for an intimate dinner in Southport, NC.  American nouveau cuisine using only the freshest ingredients is the basis for their eclectic menu. From starters to entrees, you will be pleased with dishes such as crab dip, Cajun-marinated fried alligator bites, low-country gumbo, shrimp pasta, grilled rib eyes, marinated pork tenderloin and more. In addition, there is an excellent wine list with selections from Australia, California and Argentina, among others.

Perched on the South Harbour Village Marina on the mainland portion of Oak Island, NC you will find Joseph’s Italian Bistro. Since 2003, Joseph’s has been providing Italian style meals using recipes handed down from his mama. Everything is homemade including the breads and desserts From antipasta to pasta to seafood to chicken and veal, the food is scrumptious – and the desserts are to die for.

For a more casual atmosphere and ocean views you can choose Paradise Cafe on Holden Beach, NC. Sit among the palm trees, tropical birds and local artwork hanging on melon-colored walls and enjoy appetizers, burgers, pizza and hot subs. You will also find local seafood and Caribbean and Greek Island dishes. Be sure not to leave until you have enjoyed a Paradise Sunset, the house drink.

Sugar Shack in Ocean Isle Beach, NC features authentic Jamaican home cooking. The house specialty is a huge steak, marinated, slowly grilled and richly flavored. Other offerings include award winning baby back ribs, a grilled mango tuna, spiced-just-right crab fritters, homemade soups, great burgers and nightly specials, such as lightly fried coconut shrimp served with mango-pepper marmalade. Then you just need to top it all off with a luscious slice of homemade Key lime pie. Guinness and Red Stripe beer are served.

Many tables at Twin Lakes Seafood Restaurant in Sunset Beach, NC offer a panoramic view of the region’s most picturesque watercourse. The Twin Lakes menu features many different seafood, beef and poultry combinations and preparations, such as fried, sauteed, grilled, broiled or blackened. The seafood is never long out of the water and everything is prepared by an award winning chef. Irresistible desserts are available as well.

Calabash style seafood restaurants abound in Calabash, NC but for a change of pace you may want to try the Grapevine Restaurant & Lounge. At the Grapevine, the motto is “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and us together.”  You will find yourself in a comfortable old world atmosphere with a menu to match. For example, you may choose Seafood Prosciutto Pasta, Mediterranean Pasta or Mediterranean Grouper. You will also find Original Calabash Style Seafood Platters and there are more than 30 wines from which to choose.

Eddie Roamanelli’s, in Leland, NC, serves some of the best American Italian fare in the region. The menu offers a variety of salads topped with dressings made in-house as well as Italian appetizers like Toasted Ravioli and Mama Romanelli’s Calamari topped with pepperoncinis sauteed in oregano butter and diced tomatoes.  Entrées include Eggplant Rollatini, meaty housemade Lasagna and flavorful Rigatoni Ala Vodka. You may also choose sandwiches including American favorites like Prime Rib Dip and Smoked Turkey Club and Italian classics like the hot Italian Sandwich.

It’s Never Too Early…..

…to make your resolutions for the New Year. Here are some suggestions for you:

1.  Watch the sun rise…

(Photo taken by Jus Messin Round Fotographie)

2.  Walk on a beach…

3.  Visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport…

4.  Jump for joy…

5. Visit the Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach, NC…

 

6. Dance beneath the moon…

7.  Visit the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach, NC…

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8.  Breathe…

9.  Go to sea with the Hurricane Fleet in Calabash, NC…

10. Watch the sun set…

(Photo by Peggy Kirk)