Coastal NC

VOL12ISS2 2016

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24 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — CAPE FEAR NC | VOLUME 12—ISSUE 2 BRUNSWICK COUNTY Brunswick County BY LYNNE BRANDON The flow of water throughout the state (one acre out of 10 is water) and particularly the east is a balm to those who have lived here for generations. Sounds, rivers, barrier islands and beaches entice those who must leave each year to hurry back. The very names of the towns and islands in Brunswick County are enough to evoke curiosity and exploration — Bald Head Island, Holden Beach, Oak Island, Southport, Ocean Isle, Sunset Beach Calabash and others. The Brunswick Islands are North Carolina's Golf Coast with 35 world class destination courses. Get on the green on a secluded island (Bald Head) or play on one of the newest courses, Leopard's Chase in Sunset Beach, which was selected among "The Top 10 Courses You Can Play in America" by Golf Digest. Outfitters, tour guides, zipline and other adventure guides stand ready to show visitors a day of fun and relaxation on land and water. Kayak, canoe or spend the day fishing in salt or fresh waters. Take a ferry ride and explore an island. Connect with nature or bask in the sun. Boating, birding and fishing help you while away the day in the region with six beaches on five barrier islands. Southport is a favorite mainland destination. The postcard pretty town is widely known for its picturesque scenery that is a favorite with filmmakers and photographers. It was the scene of television series Under the Dome and movie Safe Haven. It's easy to understand the allure. With dramatic views of the Cape Fear River, ancient live oaks draped with Spanish moss, grand Victorian homes and proximity to some of North Carolina's best beaches and barrier islands, Southport is a traveler's dream. Pedestrian-friendly streets lined with antique stores, art galleries, and cafes offering locally caught seafood in waterfront restaurants entice visitors off the water for a relaxing day on land. Part-time residents Stephanie Frazier and Ruth Heyd enjoy the superior restaurant choices but admit to having a few favorites — Live Oak Café, Oliver's, Yacht Basin Provision Company (called Provision by local) and Thai Peppers (a local favorite since 1992) among others. "What we love the most about Southport is its small town charm and the warmth of the people there that make you feel like you're back to a time when life was simpler and the biggest decision of the day was "what time is dinner and whose house are we going to tonight," said Frazier. "Whether it's a card game on Thursday night at someone's house or brunch on Sunday, there's always a gathering somewhere on somebody's front porch." Heyd added, "Being able to park your car for the weekend and literally ride, walk or take the golf cart just marks the box 'easy' for us every time." Nearby Oak Island has 10 miles of beaches and more than 60 public beach-access points. The iconic black, white and gray colored Oak Island lighthouse is the second to last lighthouse built in the U.S. and the only one with ship ladders from the base to the top. The Oak Island Lighthouse is located in Caswell Beach, one of the two incorporated areas on Oak Island. To see North Carolina's oldest lighthouse, take a ferry to Bald Head Island and spend the day exploring the beach, salt marsh and maritime forest. Climb Old Baldy lighthouse, celebrating its 200th birthday in 2017. Travel to the largely undeveloped island is only by ferry. Once on the island, explore on foot, bike or golf cart. Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach, all offer the perfect North Carolina beach vacation with mini- golf, ice cream stores, restaurants and shops, bike rentals, and plenty of oceanfront, Intracoastal Waterway and mid- island vacation spots. Holden Beach, named the number one family beach in the U.S. according to Dr. Beach, is known for a laid back beaches, beach music, and memories

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