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beentheretwice Mar 21st, 2004 10:49 AM

bald head island
We are considering a trip to Bald Head the first week in August. I am not looking for an Ocean City type vacation, so the quiet is a plus for me. Any one have thoughts on spending a week on Bald Head with two kids, 8 & 10? Location? Weather (should I expect 7 days of rain?)? Activities? I will appreciate any information.

ncgrrl Mar 21st, 2004 11:31 AM

If your kids could handle a week on an island without mini-golf and other 'beachy' stuff, sure.

However, if there is a hurricane (and August is near peak time) you would have to evacuate early because you are on an island.

If the idea of 'island' is too much for the kids, you might want to look into some beaches nearby like Sunset or Holden.

Brandon77 Mar 22nd, 2004 04:48 PM

Bald Head Island is great. My wife and I stopped off there on our way back home from our honeymoon last summer. We stayed at a very nice Victorian style B&B on the island called Theodosias. ( I would certainly recommend it to anyone in search of a relaxing stay in a very nice setting. Our room was upstairs in the back and had its own private entrance, with a great view of the lighthouse from the balcony.

Since there are no bridges out to the island, all transportation is by foot or by golf cart, which is fine. I'm not sure how much there would be (other than the beach) for the kids, but we had a blast taking in all the sights around the island. The lighthouse (Old Baldy) is there, and is open for climbing. The view from the top is amazing, but one should be in decent physical condition before attempting such an endeavor. Getting to the island (unless you have your own boat) is a little like going through an airport. You will park your car at the BHI "terminal" in Southport (which has lots of neat little antique and specialty shops). They will have people who will take your bags and load them for you (they also unload them for you on the island). From what I remember, the ferry ride is about 20 minutes each way.

If you go, be sure to check out Frying Pan Shoals...also known as Cape Fear. It is the southernmost of NC's 3 capes. You can walk out onto the cape (where the land forms a point and juts out into the ocean)and the waves come in from two sides. Really a neat experience.
I don't know how your financial situation is, but you should expect an expensive vacation. Overall, I would say it is worth the experience.
Have a great time!

Billee Mar 23rd, 2004 09:52 AM

We were there several years ago with an 8yr. old son and loved it. He had a great time exploring, playing on the beach and riding in the golf cart. Teenagers from other families looked bored. I would advice staying on the beach as opposed to inland. The mosquitoes were unbearable at times.

soccr Mar 23rd, 2004 10:56 AM

First, August can be severely hot, so I'd strongly recommend looking for lodging in the woods, even though they are back from the beach. (Most have AC but still...) The heat is far more likely than a hurricane.

About the beach: when I was there, most of it was off-limits for swimming because of strong rip-tides. The island is situated beyond the outflow of the Cape Fear river, and therefore 1) there can be complicated currents and 2) the water isn't particularly pleasant or pretty when churned up with river effluent.

About what there is to do for the kids: they do manage to find stuff to do -- there's a swimming pool (although I can't say it was very appetizingly clean -- full of sunblock grease when I was there) and lots and LOTS of paths and roads around the woods. The boys particularly seem to love driving the golf carts, but you should be aware that children are not supposed to drive rental carts (forgot the age cut-off but certain 10 is too young).

Finally, Bald Head is quiet, for sure, and there do seem to be lots of families. But it's built around golfing with some country-club like rules about dress in the restaurant -- and esp. the croquet "sward" where everyone must wear white top to toe. Hours for church services are prominently posted -- which will be a plus for some people and worrisome for others.

If I had 2 kids that age, I might look to Emerald Isle or Wrightsville.

soccr Mar 23rd, 2004 11:00 AM

Woops, missed the comment about mosquitoes around houses in the woods. 2/3 of the island is a woodland/wetland preserve -- again, good news and bad news.

beentheretwice Mar 23rd, 2004 01:57 PM

Good information from everyone. Thank you for your time and input.

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