ATTRACTIONS, TOURS & FUN

The Oak Island Lighthouse and Coast Guard Station

This post is for locals and visitors alike. Many times when you live in a pace for a long time you tend to get into a routine and forget about all the good things available in the area. Let this serve as a reminder to you as a local and to you as a visitor to get out and enjoy the many offerings available in Brunswick County, NC.

TOURS
Golf cart tours are a great introduction to the area history and attractions. Two offered in Southport, NC are: Southport Fun Tours and Southport Tours. Bald Head Island, NC offers the Bald Head Island Historic Tour. If you prefer walking around Southport, NC, you might consider Historic Southport: A Self Guided Tour, using a brochure provided by the Southport Museum and Visitors’ Center or take part in a Historical Southport Walking Tour. The Adventure Kayak Company also offers bicycle and kayak tours. If you love old cemeteries, you might want to wander around the Old Smithville Burying Ground. If you like them scary, you can take part in the Ghost Walk Tour provided by the Old South Tour Company. Do you love flying? You can tour the area by air with Brunswick Air and High Tide Helicopters.

Fishing at Bald Head Inlet

ATTRACTIONS:
When was the last time you had an old fashioned Picnic? You can have one with a blanket on the ground in Franklin Square Park, at a picnic table in Waterfront Park or in the gazebo in Keziah Park – all in Southport, NC. Oak Island, NC is filled with parks as well, as is Boiling Spring Lakes, NC. You can also visit Fort Johnston, the Maritime Museum, the Old Brunswick County Jail, Franklin Square Gallery or go sky diving at the Cape Fear Regional Jetport. These are only a few of the many fun things you can do. Take your pick.

Image courtesy Jason Vittorio

EASTER EGGS, CASH MOB AND ‘UNFORGETTABLE’ MUSIC

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Easter, as you know, is early this year – and so are the Easter Egg Hunts. Several of them will be taking place this Saturday, March 24. These include events in Southport, NC, Boiling Spring Lakes, NC, Shallotte, NC and Calabash, NC. The Southport Parks & Receration Easter Egg Hunt is actually two hunts – one at 10 AM in Franklin Square Park for ages 6 – 12, and the second will follow immediately at the  Fort Johnston Garrison lawn for ages 5 and younger at . In Shallotte, NC the egg hunt will be included in the BunnyDayze event in Mulberry Park beginning at 10 AM. This event will include Easter Egg dyeing and you will have a chance to meet the Easter Bunny. The Calabash Easter Egg Hunt will begin at 11 AM in the Calabash Community Park (868 Persimmon Rd.). Bring your own basket and meet the Easter Bunny.

Do you enjoy shopping? Why not take part in the March Cash Mob on Saturday? It is open to the public but you must agree to spend $20 in the shop. What shop? Ahh, that remains secret until the day of the event. The meet-up location for this event will be South Harbour Village Marina at 11 AM. After the event you can lunch with other participants at a local restaurant if you like.

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On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the Sea Notes Choral Society will be singing their hearts out at Brunswick Community College Odell Williamson Auditorium in Bolivia, NC. Their Spring Concert this year is entitled ‘Unforgettable’ and will include Bridge Over Troubled Water, Rainy Days and Mondays, Feelin’ Groovy, and more Broadway and movie numbers. Doors will open at 2:15 PM and the show will begin at 3 PM. The program is free and no tickets are required.

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SUMMER

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.

SOUTHPORT ATTRACTIONS PRIMER

Interesting attractions, including some annual events and a host of amazing history can be found in the Southport, NC area. The Southport Visitors Center located in the Fort Johnston Garrison House on Davis Street is a great place to begin. You will find a fascinating wall display of the history of the area, historical artifacts and playbills from the films that were made in Southport, NC. A free brochure for the Southport Trail, a self-guided tour, is available as is information from one of the friendly and knowledgeable volunteers who will be happy to answer your questions.

Adjacent to the visitors’ center is the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport. You can wander through the museum on your own or take a guided tour through the exhibits of maritime life from the time of the American Indians to the present, including a pirate exhibit and interactive exhibits such as a deep diving research periscope and a nautical knot board. You can purchase souvenirs including pirate memorabilia from the gift shop as well.

If you are interested in chartering a sailing cruise you may want to check out Priority Sailing. S/V Kelly Allen Cruises offers cruises aboard the Kelly Allen, a 37-foot O’Day center cockpit sloop.

Landlubbers can participate in a lantern lit Ghost Walk. Historical Southport Bicycle Tours are available as well. Just contact Emma at The Adventure Kayak Company in the 800 block of N. Howe Street. If you prefer to stroll the tree lined streets there are a number of sites you will not want to miss. Southport’s oldest churches, The Chapel of Cross at St. Philip’s on E. Moore Street and Trinity United Methodist Church on E. Nash Street are lovely to behold yet distinctly different. You can visit The Grove at Franklin Square Park on Howe Street where the low walls were constructed of ballast stones used in ships more than 100 years ago. Stroll to Keziah Memorial Park on W. Moore Street where the main attraction is the Indian Trail Tree estimated to be more than 800 years old. At the corner of Nash and Rhett Streets you will find the Old Brunswick County Jail and across Rhett Street, the Old Smithville Burying Ground. Then head back to Waterfront Park at Bay and Howe Streets and relax on the swings while taking in the gorgeous water views.

 

 

EASTER WEEK

Spring has sprung! The Bradford Pear Trees have burst into their blooming glory. Daffodils are up. The Forsythia is budding out. The days are warmer and Easter is almost here – yes, it’s early this year. And the events that usually take place around Easter time are early, too. On Bald Head Island, NC the BHI Conservancy’s Easter Turtle Trot family fun run and 5K race will take place on Saturday, March 26, with registration beginning at 8:30 AM. This race will begin a full day of events on the island. Then from 10 AM until 5 Pm you can check out the BHI Artisans Show & Sale at the Association. The BHI Easter Egg Hunt will be held from 3 PM until 5 PM at the Common at Cape Fear Station.

In Southport, NC, you won’t want to miss the Southport Spring Festival & Azalea Sale held in the lovely Franklin Square Park on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, from 10 AM until 5 PM.

Spring also signifies the opening of some of our favorite restaurants that have been closed for the winter and we definitely welcome them back. We also welcome the visitors that Easter seems to awaken to the fact of our beautiful area. Because many schools are closed for spring break during Easter week, visitors with families tend to start arriving around that time. Here are a few ideas for some fun things to do with your children during Easter week (besides going to the beach!).

Have fun at a park – you will find many from which to choose.

Take a tour in a golf cart, on a bicycle or in the air.

Visit the Maritime Museum, the Museum of Coastal Carolina and the Ingram Planetarium.

And don’t forget the ice cream!

 

DOGS, HOMES, GARDENS & A GOLF BALL

Dogs, homes, gardens and a golf ball (not that kind of a golf ball!) are all part of the events happening in Brunswick County, NC this Saturday, March 12. If you plan well, it will actually be possible for you to take part in all three events. With beautiful spring weather finally here we are motivated to begin spring cleaning and that inevitably leads to ideas for rearranging our homes inside – possibly adding some new touches. At the same time, the weather lures us outside where there is likely cleaning up to do from the winter events. We also are motivated to beautify our outdoor living spaces by weeding and planting new flowers, adding hanging baskets, maybe even adding a patio.  You can get some great ideas and advice by attending the Brunswick County Home & Garden Show in Shallotte, NC.

Dogs are a big part of the lives of people who live in Brunswick County, NC. Most any time of day you can see dogs walking their people at the beach or along the sidewalks of towns. There are several dog rescue sites in the county where you can find big dogs, small dogs, medium sized dogs, friendly dogs timid dogs and a host of others from which to choose. Dogs love being outdoors in lovely weather, too, and, as social animals, they love interacting with other dogs. Why not take your dog(s) to A Bark in the Park in Leland, NC on Saturday?

Music, dancing and food make for a lovely evening out and The Golf Ball in Supply, Nc is a great place to enjoy all three. What’s even better is that at the same time you will be supporting a worthy cause that benefits the children of Brunswick County, NC.

OUTSIDE FUN

 

The weather has been extremely fickle recently and here is March – the most fickle month of the year. But I do believe we are finished with the days of extreme cold and are headed for weather suitable to spending time outdoors. I am well aware that many of today’s kids are absorbed with electronic devices, however, it really is good for them (and for us) to get them interested in enjoying the outdoors. There are so many opportunities for this in Brunswick County, NC. The first thought that comes to mind is the ocean. It is always there faithfully providing so many opportunities for enjoyment. In fact, Brunswick County, NC is filled with bodies of water in the form of lakes and rivers and streams as well as the Intracoastal Waterway. Opportunities abound for swimming, fishing, cast netting, boating, sailing, water skiing, surfing, kayaking and more.

There are wonderful parks all over the county. Some of these provide opportunities for watersports and most of them offer walking trails, hiking, horseback riding, exploring nature, having picnics, sports fields and more fun.

There are many team sports available for kids as well. These are provided by the Brunswick County Parks and Recreation Department and include football and baseball as well as tennis lessons. Team sports are also offered by individual town recreation departments. Do you have an avid swimmer in the family? Check out the Marlin’s Swim Team. Do you have a child interested in golf? Why not contact First Tee of Brunswick County?  There is so much to enjoy outdoors – get outside!