"Tour of the Islands"
Brunswick Island! Inviting blue-green
waters, white sandy beaches, and quaint fishing villages, make this a dream vacation just waiting to happen!
Located in the
southeastern corner of North Carolina between Wilmington and Myrtle
Beach is a band of narrow barrier islands called Brunswick
Five islands make up the area - Holden Beach, Oak
Island, Sunset beach, Ocean Isle Beach, and Bald Head Island.
The perfect place for a family vacation, fishing trip, or romantic
Brunswick Island is 45 miles of quiet upspoiled sandy beaches, with a delightful
slower, laid-back atmospere is separated from the mainland by the
Other coastal towns of the
islands include Caswell Beach and Southport. The two mainland
towns are Calabash and Shallotte.
Calabash is at the southern end
of the area and Shallotte is located in the center.
Brunswick Island is perfect for a family vacation or special romantic getaway.
Kick your shoes off,
crank up the beach music --
and take a drive along
the ocean as we explore the islands!
Starting from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and
driving 25 miles
north on Highway 17, we will reach the North
border. This is the southern point of the beautiful
Just past the "Welcome to North Carolina" sign is the small fishing village of Calabash.
It is situated along the banks
of the Calabash River which links to the Intracoastal Waterway and is
best known as the "Seafood Capitol of
battered Calabash-Style deep fried seafood with famous southern
hushpuppies is served in the waterfront seafood restaurants along the
The fishing boats deliver catches of the day to over 30
restaurants. If you love great seafood, you have to try it
on, a quick drive straight through Calabash takes us to the junction of
Highway 179 and 904 where we will turn right. Traveling one mile
to the traffic light, we will turn right and cross over the
Intracoastal Waterway bridge.
This will take us onto the barrier
island of Sunset Beach, North
It is the smallest of
Brunswick Island. Even though the island is only 3 miles
it is a wonderful quiet, secluded beach for a great family vacation or
For the fishermen, you can enjoy the full-service Sunset
Beach fishing Pier.
It is 900 feet long and you don't even need a
fishing license to fish from the pier!
few miles south of the
Sunset Beach Pier on Brunswick Island is a special place called Bird Island Coastal
Reserve. It is a 1300 acre, uninhabited State Preserve
island that connects with Sunset Beach.
Actually, because the
inlet is now filled with sand due to hurricanes, it is no longer an
island. It is home to the Loggerhead Turtles and nesting areas
for various species of birds.
With good walking shoes, you can
explore Bird Island about two miles south of the pier! On your
way, look for the "Kindred Spirits"
mailbox. If you like, open
the mailbox to find notebooks and pens to write down your own thoughts
and messages. Bird Island is a beautiful place to see, and most
definitely worth the walk!
Ocean Isle Beach
Next stop on our Brunswick Island tour is Ocean
Isle Beach, North Carolina!
Leaving Sunset Beach on Sunset Boulevard N and driving about 4 miles to
Causeway Drive, we will turn right.
This will take us to Ocean
Isle Beach Pier and Arcade, one of the oldest fishing piers along the
North Carolina coast.
Seven miles of gentle surf and white sandy
beaches make this a perfect vacation spot any time of the year.
Ocean Isle has a small airport and
the only place on the island with a
high rise hotel. Just a block from the pier is a great family fun
activity, the Museum
of Coastal Carolina. The museum offers natural
history of the coast with a touch tank, reef gallery, and the Carolina
Shells and Fossils exhibits. And, you can even see an American Bald
Eagle up close!
Just behind the Museum of Coastal Carolina, the
31st annual North
Carolina Oyster Festival will be held on October
15-16, 2011! Mark your calendars to join us in the fall for this
on the road, heading to Holden Beach, North Carolina!
We will take NC Hwy 179 out of Ocean Isle Beach and drive about 7 miles
to Highway 17. This will take us into the mainland town of
Shallotte serves as a commercial hub for Brunswick Island
because it is in a central location and is easily accessible. Shallotte has
major department stores, shopping malls, movie theatres, great
restaurants, and most anything you would need!
we will take Highway 17 to NC-130 and drive about 8 miles to Holden
You are going to love this beach! By the
way, Holden Beach
was voted one of the top 10 beaches
in the United States by USA Today,
Geographic Traveler magazine voted it as one of the best
This spectacular beach offer year round moderate
weather and over 8 miles of wide, sandy beaches.
In October every
year, you can enjoy the Festival by the Sea,
where you will find
treasures and displays by local artists and vendors and lots of great
A great place to find that one of a kind souvenirs of Brunswick Island!
Beach is also a nesting beach from May through August each year for the
protected species, the Loggerhead Sea
You may be
fortunate enough to see some of the babies hatching!
is very simple, laid-back, and family oriented with everything you need
for a vacation to remember forever!
check out a hidden treasure - Oak Island! Heading out of
Holden Beach we will take Stone Chimney Road SW about 6 miles to NC Hwy
211 South, and drive about 9 miles to Midway Road SE and turn
Oak Island is just 4 miles
ahead! Oak Island is the largest
and most populated of the
Brunswick Islands. It is about 13 miles long and 1 mile across.
This beachfront community
offers recreation trails, 52 beach accesses, landings for canoes and
kayaks, two public boat launches, and the 893 foot Ocean Crest Fishing
The pier was voted the #1 fishing
pier in North Carolina by the
Also, for the golfer, Oak Island has 15 area
Next stop, Caswell Beach! Leaving Oak Island we will drive 5
Oak Island Drive and take a right on Country Club Drive.
Caswell Beach is aproximately 1 mile ahead. This 4 mile long
beach, and the least populated of the islands, is just perfect if
you're looking to enjoy a quiet and simple
Caswell Beach is home
to the Coast Guard Station, and also the brightest lighthouse in the
country, the Oak Island Lighthouse
It is one of the few lighthouses built by the United States Coast Guard
stands 148 feet tall.
The amazing views of the Intracoastal
and the magnificent Atlantic Ocean make this a place to
visit over and over again!
One of my favorite things to do is to walk the beach at night carrying
flashlight. This is a fun way to catch crabs and also watch the
baby turtles hatch
After dark, during the summer months, May
through August, the female turtles come out of the ocean and lay their
Starting in July, the baby turtles
begin to hatch and head
for the ocean
. Watching the turtles hatch is absolutely
8 miles away is the charming town of
the place where movies
made! From Caswell Beach, we will head west on Caswell Beach
Road, continue onto Country Club Road and follow NC 133 North to NC 211
South for 3 miles into Southport.
This is a very popular place used by
movie studios as primary settings for movie scenes. Some of the movies
recall are Crimes of the Heart;
Weekend at Bernies; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Summer Catch; and
A Walk To Remember.
is located at the mouth of the Cape
just south of
Wilmington, and is considered part of the Wilmington metropolitan
You will see beautiful tree-lined streets and unique shops
as you walk along the Southport
near the marina.
sure to visit the Maritime Museum
where you can
soak up the interesting
history of the area!
Every October they are host to the United
States Open King Mackerel Tournament
. People come from all
Don't miss this absolutely charming little
fishing village that is sure to steal your heart!
Bald Head Island
The last stop on our Brunswick Island tour is Bald Head Island
Unlike the other islands Bald Head Island is only accessable by private
boat or ferry
. In Southport we will head to Deep Point Marina
to board the
To get to the ferry we will take NC 211 South to East
Moore Street and turn left. We will follow E Moore Street and
turn right onto Ferry Road.
The entrance to the ferry terminal at
Deep Point Marina is about 1/2 mile ahead. It is a good idea to
call the ferry and make a reservation, especially during the summer
Your vehicle is left on the mainland and the trip on the
ferry is about a 25 minute ride to the island. No cars are
allowed on the island, but you can rent a golf cart or bicycle
around. For a peaceful, quiet vacation without the crowds, Bald
Head Island is the perfect vacation spot!
from Brunswick Island back to Carolina Coast home page