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North Carolina - Coastal region tips

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I am seeking the wisdom of the Fodor community! My partner and I are planning a 2 week holiday next year coming to North Carolina (from the UK) in the last 2 weeks of June 2012. We are looking for a mixture of rest (because we will have just had our civil partnership ceremony and the associated party!) and golf and exploration. Neither of us has been to NC before. Originally we were thinking about going to OBX - one of my dream locations - and while we will definitley visit over there I am slightly concerned that it might feel too out on a limb as the base for our 2 weeks. We plan to rent a villa, look for a short golf school (I am a rank beginner and need to remember which end of the stick is which, and my partner is a great player with a single figure handicap and is always looking to enhance her skills),do a bit of shopping and generally explore the coastal area.

Do you have any tips on good places to make our base for the holiday? We would like to be near water if not on the OBX and so I am thinking of somewhere around one of the Sounds but would welcome any of your great advice. (We will probably fly into New York and then take a local flight down to Raleigh or thereabouts, and pick up a hire car).

Many thanks in advance for your time and thoughts.

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