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Bald Head Island

Do you ever stare at the horizon, or look down the beach and wonder; what is over the horizon? Ocean Isle is not only a great place to vacation, it’s a wonderful place to indulge your explorer spirit. The North Carolina coast has many quaint small islands within easy reach of Williamson Realty Vacation’s Ocean Isle Beach rentals. One such island you simply must see is Bald Head Island.

Just like there is no such thing as bad ice cream, there is no such thing as a bad day island hoping along the North Carolina coast. Grab a beach bag, throw in some essentials,and take up a northern heading for Bald Head Island. This daytrip is sure to make memories.


A Little Bald Head Island History

Bald Head Island, historically Smith Island, is located on the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. A twenty-minute ferry ride from Southport, this island, steeped in history, seems purpose build for summer fun. A breathtaking shore line, combined with a laid-back island vibe makes for a wonderful place to spend a day. The island is perhaps best known for Old Baldy light house and nationally recognized for its prime sea turtle nesting grounds. With few full-time residents, no cars, and the beautiful Atlantic coast, it is no wonder this is a favorite place to visit while visiting the North Carolina coast. Visiting Old Baldy this summer is especially exciting as the lighthouse celebrates its 200th birthday.

Get There

image source: Bald Head Island Ferry

How to Get There from Ocean Isle

Bald Head Island is approximately an hour and forty-five-minute trip from Ocean Isle (including the twenty-minute ferry ride). Head north on highway 17 to highway 211 S (Southport-Supply Rd SE) follow the signs for the ferry terminal/marina. Your trip begins in this quaint port town. Southport is another great day trip, but stay focused, we are headed offshore for this adventure. Pick up the ferry at Deep Point Marina. Tickets are all roundtrip and cost $22.00 for adults and $11.00 for kids (3-12). No cars are allowed on Bald Head Island so feel free to bring along a bike. Parking is available at the marina for an additional $10.00. Reservations are recommended. Click here forFerry Information.

Get Around

How to Get Around the Island

Since Bald Head Island doesn’t allow cars, once on the island you will need to find alternative transportation. There are two main options for getting around the island, bikes and golf carts. It’s hard not to have fun on a bike or golf cart! Bike rentals are easy with several rental options. The friendly staff at Coastal Urge can help you with all your bike rental needs.

Not in the mood for tour de Bald Head? Another option is to rent a golf cart. Rentals are available hourly, daily or weekly. Golf carts are a great way to get around the island particularly if you are planning on a long day, need assistance for a handicap member of your group, or just enjoy the cool breeze in your hair as you zip around the island like a local. Even the police and EMTs ride golf carts! The islands roads are specifically designed for golf cart traffic. Cary Golf Carts has locations in Ocean Isle and Bald Head Island. Their website is a great resource for more information. Reservations can be made in advance and strongly recommended during the summer months.

Finally feel free to wander the island on foot. Many attractions, such as the light house are within easy walking distance from the ferry terminal.


image source:Bald Head Island Ferry

Time to Explore

Bald Head Island offers the day tripper plenty of different opportunities to explore and enjoy this majestic island. History, food, and outdoor activities abound. Here is a fun way to spend a day on the island.

  1. Old Baldy is a must see. North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse offers you the opportunity to travel back in time. Built in 1817 this year is a special time to visit Old Baldy on her 200th Admission to the lighthouse is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children. The climb to the top is up a steep and narrow staircase the view is worth the hike. Make sure to take some time to explore the Keeper’s Cottage which includes the Smith Island Museum of History. (Bald Head Island was originally named Smith Island). For more information about Old Baldy Click here.

  1. Delphina Coastal Cuisine: No adventure is a success on an empty stomach. After hiking all those stairs at Old Baldy, it’s time to take on some calories. Delphina Coastal Cuisine offers a delicious blend of entrees and appetizers. This is a place where the ocean collides with the spices and flare of the Southwest. Favorite dishes include the Mashed Avocado Toast, Blackened Mahi Burritos and Soft Shell Crab Tacos. Remember this is island life so things do move a little slower here. Sit back, soak in the local atmosphere, you’ll need that energy.
  1. The Sail Shop: Now that you are fully provisioned and have some calories to burn, head over to The Sail Shop for a wide variety of adventures. Kayaking, (guided or rental), sailing lessons, surf lessons and much more are all available. The adventure loving staff will be glad to introduce you to the wonderful variety of adventure this island offers. Guided Kayak tours are a great way to get out into the salt marshes and explore the beauty of area. Sailing is a great adventure for the whole family.Click herefor tour information, rates and reservations.

With the sun setting, it’s time to head back to Southport. Take a few moments to enjoy a stroll around the beautiful downtown. Pick up that last gift, and make a final quick stop at the historic post office. Pick out a couple of your favorite postcards. Send them to friends and loved ones. Have your party sign one and mail it to yourself. When you get home, you’ll have a souvenir of what is sure to be an unforgettable day spent on Bald Head Island. You may recognize this town as the setting of Nicholas Sparks’ novel and movie Safe Haven. Grab an ice cream at Flava’s Ice Cream Shop before heading back to Ocean Isle Beach.

Remember, great summer adventures begin by booking your dream vacation home with Williamson Realty Vacations. Click the link below to see our selection of rentals. Summer isn’t over! There is still time for one more adventure!

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