STAY, EAT, CAR SHOW


(Image  interior of Robert Ruark Inn)

If you are one of the many visitors expected in the coastal Carolina area as the day of the eclipse approaches, you may be interested in this information about places to stay in the area. There are hotels, motels and bed & breakfast establishments for your convenience, but reservations would likely be a good idea. Here are some you might want to check out:

Southport, NC

Hampton Inn Southport

Riverside Motel

Southport Comfort Suites

Wingate by Wyndham Southport

Oak Island, NC

Captain’s Cove Motel

Island Resort

Ocean Crest Motel

Southport, NC Bed & Breakfasts

Bell-Clemmons House

The Brunswick Inn

Lois Jane’s Riverview Inn

Robert Ruark Inn Bed & Breakfast

Bald Head Island, NC Bed  & Breakfasts

Marsh Harbour Inn

While you are here, you will need to eat as well, of course. Here is a list of some of the really good restaurants in the area:

Southport, NC

Atlantic Seafood & Steaks

Bella Cucina

Dry Street Pub & Pizza

Fishy Fishy Cafe

Frying Pan

Joseph’s Italian Bistro

Mr. P’s Bistro

Ports of Call Bistro & Market

San Felipe Restaurante Mexicano

Oak Island, NC
Bald Head Island, NC

If you are looking for something fun to do on Saturday afternoon, Leland, NC is just a short drive away and you can enjoy the Leland under the Lights car show and cruise-in. Admission is free.

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TOE TAPPIN’ TIME

Music-images

Throughout the season, Brunswick County, NC fills the air with music. You will find music emanating from the stage in Franklin Square Park in Southport, NC. You can enjoy the music of the Brunswick Concert Band and Brunswick Big Band or the  Sea Notes Choral Society at the Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College in Supply, NC – or – at the Town of St. James Community Center. You can attend music shows at the Amuzu Theater or musical productions at Brunswick Little Theater, both in Southport, NC. You can find music at restaurants most any night of the week. But during the off season, it all stops – or does it?

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Music never stops in Brunswick County, NC., folks. There is a core of really good local musicians who perform on weekends at a number of local restaurants and night spots. There are restaurants that provide karaoke as well. Some of the places in Southport, NC where you might find live music on the weekends include: Fishy Fishy CafeYacht Basin Eatery, Tiki Tavern, Check Six Brewing Company, Dead End Saloon and Slainte. In Oak Island, NC, check out the Moose Lodge and The Lazy Turtle.

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Music

It is said that music soothes the savage beast. If that is so, there is a whole of of soothing going on in Brunswick County, NC. We are lucky to have all kinds of musicians living, working and volunteering here. We have an excellent music venue in the Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick County Community College in Bolivia, NC. This auditorium provides a space for our local musical groups to perform as well as bringing in musical entertainment from outside the area. Performances are held there by our own Sea Notes Choral Society and the Brunswick Concert Band and Big Band.

We have all recently been through months of political stress. Some of us are rejoicing at the outcome. Some of us are grieving. On weekend nights, local musicians perform at some of our restaurants. Why not go out this weekend and celebrate or ‘cry in your beer’ with music to help you through. The restaurants and nightspots in Southport, NC and Oak Island, NC where you can enjoy music are listed below. Why not give them a call to find out who is playing when – choose your poison – and enjoy your weekend.

Check Six Brewing Company

Dead End Saloon

Slainte

Yacht Basin Eatery

Tiki Tavern

Fishy Fishy Cafe

Lazy Turtle Oceanfront Grille

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.

FATHERS DAY WEEKEND

It’s already the middle of 2016. The year has flown by like a flock of ibis flies over the islands. Fathers Day weekend is nearly here and it is expected to be a beautiful one. Why not plan to get dad outside where you can all enjoy it together? There is so much beauty in Brunswick County, NC – don’t miss it. Spend the day at the beach. Have a picnic by a lake – maybe in Boiling Spring Lakes, NC or at Lake Waccamaw. Rent kayaks and head to one of the many bodies of water for peaceful water gliding.

Load up your bicycles – or rent some – and head north a bit to Town Creek, NC where you can ride the bicycle trails at Brunswick Nature Park, with more than 900 acres to explore. Take a fishing excursion and grill your catch for an outdoor dinner. Take dad scuba diving and discover the wonders beneath the waters. Take dad to dinner at one of the many great restaurants in Brunswick County, NC. Eat at one of them that has music on the weekends and dance the night away. Walk hand in hand on the beach at sunrise. Walk hand in hand on the beach at sunset. Simple pleasures are the best.

FRIDAY, FINS N FUN

Yes, It’s Friday the 13th – but at least it’s Friday – and the beginning of a weekend of fun. You may know that there is a number of really good local bands who play at local venues every weekend. If not – be sure to begin your weekend by checking them out. Restaurants and bars where you can relax and enjoy – or even participate in karaoke – include the following: Fishy Fishy Cafe, Oasis Bar & Grill, Ports of Call Bistro & Market, Yacht Basin EateryCheck Six Brewing Company, Old American Fish Company, Dead End Saloon and Duffer’s Pub & Grille.

Saturday, and the fish are jumpin’ at the Ocean Crest Pier. Saturday is the start of the Rebel King Mackerel Tournament and you might not want to stay out too late tonight if you plan to be there for the 6 AM ball drop. You can fill your weekend with fishing in this event.


Image courtesy of Tripadvisor.com

If fishing is not your thing, or if you are looking for family fun, look no further than Boiling Spring Lakes, NC. Their Spring Fling can fill your Saturday with fun things to do.

 

THINK OUTSIDE THE (VALENTINE) BOX

Valentine’s Day is nearly here and all the traditions prevail. The florists in Brunswick County, NC are swamped with orders for red roses and are frantically trying to fulfill them all. Restaurant reservations are nearly filled and a number of restaurants are offering special Valentine’s Day menus. The jewelry stores have seen an upswing in sales recently. Many of these sales include hearts on the necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings. The shops are full of Valentine’s Day cards and candy in heart shaped boxes. This is all wonderful. However, if you are considering doing something special to celebrate, here are a few ideas:

Why not take to the air? High Tide Helicopters and Brunswick Air, both located at the Cape Fear Regional Jetport in Oak Island, NC, offer tours of the area with a different – and beautiful – perspective. What a fun way to celebrate!

Instead of heading home after the festivities, why not book one of the historic and lovely Bed & Breakfasts. You can spend a cozy evening together and wake up to a scrumptious prepared breakfast the next morning. Even better, book it for the weekend!

If the ocean is your passion, you might consider booking a house on the beach. The winter rates are still in effect, and this is the time of the year when you can watch the sun rise and set over the ocean. Just imagine going to sleep with the sound of the sea as your lullaby!

(Photo courtesy of Keith Green)

BEACH VACATIONS

It’s never too soon to plan your beach vacation. We are thankful for the mild winter we are experiencing in Brunswick County, NC, especially after the last two unusually cold ones. It’s lovely, and we are lucky, to be able to walk on the beach (even if bundled up) throughout the year. Most folks, however – especially those from colder climes – prefer summer at the beach. During the season, we share our beaches with folks from far and wide. These visitors need places to stay. Yes, we have many nice hotels, motels and B & Bs, but sometimes it works better to rent a house – even for locals who may be getting too many visitors to accommodate in their homes. This is where beach rental agencies come in handy. Renting a house on the beach is almost like living at the beach, however temporarily. You can walk out your door right onto the beach. You can sleep to the sound of the surf at night. You can choose to eat at one of the many fine restaurants in the area, or stop at the grocery store and pick up ingredients for you own special dishes. You can bring your whole family with you, have a family reunion, or invite all your friends to stay. There are some great beach rental agencies in the area – here are just a few:

In Southport, NC,  Southport Realty Rentals and Property Management :
The Landing At Sp Real Estate - 6129 River Sound Circle, Southport, NC - 28

In the Town of Oak Island, NC,  Oak Island Accommodations:

On Bald Head Island, NC,  Bald Head Island Rentals, LLC:

OAK ISLAND EATERIES

You can begin your day on Oak Island, NC with breakfast at Russells’ Place Restaurant – open year round for breakfast and lunch. It’s extremely popular and during the season you will find long lines of people waiting to experience the delisciousness. For a light lunch you can choose from among several restaurants including: Bob’s Dogs, with a variety of choices; Little Bits, for great hamburgers; Pepperoni Grill, where you can munch on pizza while overlooking the ocean;  Oak Island Sub Shop, for great sandwiches, soups and salads.

Some restaurants serve lunch and dinner: Don’t miss the Flying Fish Cafe, adjacent to the Oak Island Pier, where the eclectic menu will surprise you with things like a Grilled Cheese Sandwich made with brie, bacon, caramelized onions and grilled pear that you can enjoy while watching the ocean scene. If you are hungry for Asian style eats, try Thai by the Sea; for Bar-B-Que – the Bar-B-Que House, of course. At Shagger Jack’s, you can dine inside or outside on their patio. Restaurants that serve dinner only include: Jones Seafood House, for southern fried delicacies; Turtle Island Restaurant and Catering, for luscious food in a Caribbean ambiance with a beautiful presentation.

And for delightful food and excellent service while dining next to the ocean, you can choose Island Way.

This is by no means a total list of the Oak Island restaurants – but a sampling for you to consider.

BEACH MOTELS in OAK ISLAND, NC

Myrtle Beach Motels

Oak Island, NC has several motels that you may want to consider as alternatives to renting a beach house. This is especially helpful for couples or small groups and most of these motels are locally owned and operated. Though only one of the motels is actually located on the beach, all of them are within walking distance of the water. Fishermen might prefer to stay at a motel that is located right next to a fishing pier. Boaters may prefer to stay at a motel with it’s own marina and public boat access. Those who like to shop may want to stay in a motel that is close to the downtown shops and restaurants. Those who prefer to swim in fresh water rather than in the ocean might like to stay in a motel with a swimming pool. You will find all of these in Oak Island, NC. You will also find motels that offer efficiency apartments, are pet friendly, have sunset views, have a tackle shop and kayak and personal watercraft rentals, are located next to a restaurant, have special rates, have charcoal grills and picnic tables available to guests, and so much more. The next time you decide to visit Oak Island, NC, check out the local motels. You will be pleasantly surprised. Here are a few to consider:

Captain’s Cove Motel: (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/hotel-motel/oak-island/captains-cove-motel/profile/)

Ocean Crest Motel: (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/hotel-motel/oak-island/ocean-crest-motel/profile/)

Blue Water Point Motel: (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/hotel-motel/oak-island/blue-water-point-marina-resort/profile/)