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.
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.
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.
The eastern boundaries of Brunswick County, NC are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the interior is rife with lakes and rivers making it the perfect place to spend time on, in and under the water. Whether you prefer boating, swimming, scuba diving, surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, fishing – whatever your idea of fun and relaxation, you can do it here. Here are just a few ideas:
The Christmas season is the season of lights. You see them everywhere – on houses – strung across the streets of towns – in the windows – even wrapped around trees. Those of us who live near water, and particulary in the warmer climates, are lucky to have our own sort of lighted Christmas parades in the form of flotillas. If you have never been to a flotilla I recommend it highly. Yes, it is a parade on the water, however, it always takes place at night – in cold weather – in warm weather – not likely to be rained out – but it can be fogged out like it was in Southport, NC last year. There is something very special about viewing a flotilla – about the boats slipping across the water in the night with lights gleaming from stem to stern and up and down the masts. There may be music, though it is often muted and you can hear the music of the water lapping against the shore.
If you have a chance to see a flotilla this year – don’t miss it. There are two in Brunswick County. The first is on Saturday, November 30 in Ocean Isle Beach and it takes place in the Intracoastal Waterway where it starts at the Inlet View Bar and Grill at 5 PM and ends at Sharky’s Restaurant. You can also attend the party there with music beginning at 9 PM after the flotilla each year.
The second flotilla, the Southport Christmas Flotilla, begins at 7 PM and can be viewed from Waterfront Park in Southport, NC on December 14. This flotilla starts and ends in the Old Yacht Basin. The creative winners of this flotilla are judged by Southport Elementary School art students. Flotillas are family friendly activities, so bring the kids with you for a lovely family event. In fact, make it a tradition.