Bald Head Island NC Trip Report

Old Oct 28th, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Bald Head Island NC Trip Report

Just back last week from Bald Head Island.

Here's some of our pictures
http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&h=1&y=-rherly

Went there as a getaway for my 50th. Absolutely LOVED it as we have everywhere in NC we have visited so far.

We rented a house from VRBO which turned out to be even better than the website looked. One of our favorite things was to sit out on the porch in the rocking chairs and drink our coffee, listening to the sound of the waves, and sit out again at night with a glass of wine watching the incredible sunsets.

We were amazed by the beaches, as this was our first trip to the NC coast. Wide, beautiful stretches of sand, we had the beaches just about to ourselves. I'm an avid shell collector, and we loved walking the beach before sunset, or in the morning, hunting for shells.

I will say that Bald Head is NOT an island for people looking for alot to do, but what it had suited us just fine. We wanted a place not built up, that was serene and peaceful, and that was just what we got. We loved that the island allows no cars, and traveling around in the golf cart was great fun.

Before we left, I had read some posts about the North Carolina coast, and someone had mentioned the "water bugs" and how one place he rented had them stuck all over the wall INSIDE the living room. I was freaked out, since I hate bugs, when the first morning I came downstairs and found 3 large brown bugs dead (thank God!) on the dining room floor. But my only other interaction with these creatures was when one flew or jumped (I don't 'want to know from where) onto the kitchen counter one night.

Dining options are a bit limited - we arrived late due to a flight delay on a Sunday night, and went to the Shoals Club to try and get a bite to eat. We had a temporary membership arranged, but because the office was closed, they wouldn't let us in, and everywhere else - even the grocery store - was closed, so we ate popcorn for dinner! The next morning we were famished, and had a great, inexpensive breakfast inside the cafe at the grocery store.

Our meals were mostly at home at night, as we didn't want to be driving in the dark - it's not well lit, and if you don't know the island, all the roads look the same. I'm sure on our second trip we could manage it. Lunch a couple times at Ebb & Flos as the River Pilot was closed for renovations. Nothing great, but I might be biased since the first lunch there I bit into my fish sandwich and it was completely raw - gross! They were very nice about it though. I only told them afterward, since I could eat a small piece of it, and they didn't charge me.

Our best lunch was at the Bald Head Island Club. We asked to eat outside, and were the only ones - think people though we were crazy - but we loved it, overlooking the driving range.

We saw Old Baldy - my husband climbed it. Not me - too afraid of heights. Took a Historic Tour on the tram, which was fun. Funny for us too listening to an older Gentleman talk about the "Dirty Yankees", since we are from the North!! Visted the Village and Museum, wanted to do a Turtle Walk, but it was past season for that.

Went into Southport one day, to see it, and also check it out for possible retirement. Not exactly what we are looking for - too small - but it was cute. Had lunch at Fishy Fishy which was very good.

We had planned to spend a day in Wilmington, but liked Bald Head so much that we didn't want to leave. We also didn't leave to explore any of the other islands. We did, however, get in ahead of our flight, and had lunch in Wilmington. It was alot cuter (at least on the waterfront) than I thought it would be, smaller feel, which was nice, but unlike Southport, felt way too big to live for us.

Mostly just read, slept, relaxed, walked the beaches, rode around in the gold cart.

We loved the water - so pretty - especially at East Beach - and it being warm! Here, if you go into the ocean, your legs turn numb, which helps you walk on the sand, because that is piping hot, which we didn't find here.

On our last day, we were shelling on South Beach which was a 2 minuted walk down the hill from our house, and I noticed a plastic bag in the surf. My husband told me not to pick up trash, but I'm glad I did, because it wasn't trash, it was a ziplock bag with @$400 cash, credit cards, a license, etc in it.

Because we were leaving the next morning early, we called the police and asked them to pick it up. I'm a bit sorry I didn't try and locate the man at home first, but I figured he was staying on the island and would need his licnese to fly home, and we didn't have time to try and find him. I thought the police might be better equipped. I jotted down the license name and address and found him phone # online when I got home and called him to make sure that he had received it. He was so nice and thankful, told me he had been fishing in a tournament, and when he got home, found his wallet contents were gone. His brother was going to pick it up and return it to him. I just hope it all gets back to him - cash included. He told us if we were ever in the area (Holly Springs) to call and he'd take us out to dinner, and he was going to take out a story in the paper about "you nice people".

We just love the NC people!! Driving around Bald Head everyone waved to us, smiled and said Hi. That just doesn't happen here, and we really like that. We've been to CA many times, and love the diversity of that state, and how much it has to offer. I have to say I think NC is every bit as pretty and offers just as much in the way of mountains, ocean, piedmont. We're hoping someday that we get to make it our home!
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Enjoyed your trip report and pictures. Love details. I have a friend who went there this summer and loved it, but I have a much better understanding of the area from your report. Hope to get there someday soon.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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Marvelous report about a beautiful part of my home state. Come back soon.
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 10:37 AM
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If Southport is too small, Wilmington may well fit the bill. Out of season, most any of the Brunswick Islands are exactly as you describe, btw. Glad you enjoyed your trip.
 
Old Oct 29th, 2007, 06:07 PM
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From the short time we were there, I think Wilmington is too "city-like" for us.

We're looking for a happy medium - small town with lots to do, good servies, and compact to walk. @20K population would be ideal.

So far, Fearrington in Pittsboro, NC fits the bill - small but a larger community nearby. Safe, and lots of activities. Durham and Raleigh close if we want more action. If we can keep up with the prices here we will be all set.

Someone tell me, are "water bugs" the same as Palmetto bugs?

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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 06:57 AM
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Yes on the bugs. Where I come from, they are all just various forms of roaches. We Yankees don't feel the need to pretty up the name of an obnoxious pest...
 
Old Oct 30th, 2007, 07:22 AM
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Love Bald Head Island and it is beautiful!

We southerners do feel the need to pretty up the name: Palmetto Bugs. They fly and they suck.

They also have nothing to do with how clean or dirty a house is. They are everywhere.

Glad you had a good time and lovely pictures!
 
Old Oct 30th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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Just curious, but a bit afraid to ask....

Will Piedmont area - Chapel Hill/Pittsboro NC have "Palmetto Bugs"? Snakes? Poisonous snakes? Alligators?

The night the police came to the door and picked up the wallet we found, it was pitch dark, and he told us there was a snake on the front porch.

As I said, I'm not a bug or creature person, but as my husband says, that's the price you pay for having warmer weather. It's a trade-off!
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 03:26 PM
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Don't worry about alligators. Every place I know has some kind of bug, though it is buggier where it's warmer and drier. You will have poisonous snakes at certain times of the year in North Carolina. But you just take precautions ... don't walk in the yard at night in barefeet or flip-flops.We see a dead Copperhead on the road now and then, very rarely, someone will see one on their porch. Relax ... we have no more varmints than any other area!
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Old Oct 31st, 2007, 07:00 AM
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I think Chapel Hill is too cold for gators but they are indigenous to the coast of SC.
 
Old Oct 31st, 2007, 01:14 PM
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You need to go coastal to find any gators (there are a few in NC around the golf courses). Snakes are mainly harmless except for copperheads (which still aren't all that poisonous). Cottonmouths perhaps on the coast or rattlers maybe in the Mts. Truth be told I saw more of both in Ohio. If you have snakes around, you won't have vermin. Fire ants, now those are fun.
 
Old Nov 1st, 2007, 03:44 PM
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Fire ants? What are those???
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 07:59 PM
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Ok, I live in Raleigh, NC and want to clarify about bugs and snakes etc. lol. Seriously, though, waterbugs are the same as palmetto bugs which have also been called Wood Roaches, but these are not cockroaches per se in that the do not come in packs or infestations. If you see a 'palmetto' bug as we tend to call them, they are a bit large and scary looking but harmless and never in large numbers, only 'one offs' and they only like dark, warm and wet places. I see about 1 per year and I have been living here for over 20 years. Snakes are not ever a problem in NC, but in the case of Bald Head Island, since it is a true nature preserve (no gas vehicles allowed), then you might see one in the off chance. If you do ever happen to see one, it is probably a harmless black garden snake which is not poisonouss and is small. Just don't wander around in the woods at night and you'll never see one, I promise. Bald Head has more bugs (mostly mosquitos) in the summer months than any other nearby beach (all of which are beautiful), but this is only because it is still a wild nature island with minimal development. If you want to get away, it's a wonderful, if not posh place. I'm headed there this weekend and will post a trip report.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Also, there are not any alligators or crocs in NC that I have ever heard of.
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 08:02 PM
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Lastly, Fire ants are tiny little ants, just like regular ants that can sting slightly if you step on their home. Again, very rare and nothing that a cool compress won't cure if you happen to step in there home. I've lived in NC all my life and I have never been stung by fire ants.
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Old Sep 25th, 2013, 08:00 AM
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This is a 6 year old thread--the second one revived this morning. Whassup!!
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Old Sep 25th, 2013, 08:53 AM
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There are alligators in the swamps and marshes.
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