North Carolina Advice

Feb 7th, 2009, 09:35 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,960
With all due respect to our NC beaches, I don't think the beach at Wilmington is nearly as nice as some further south--like Ocean Isle, and not as nice as the beaches south of Myrtle. Wrightsville Beach has a sort of odd design in the the streets of houses run toward the ocean, rather than parallel.
And I don't understand a halfway place for a night to any of the beaches, NC or SC. It is no more than 4 hours of easy driving.
The arena is just north of Charlotte on route 29. What do you need to know? I have been by it but not in it. Big!
And I agree that at that time there should be some rentals available, although it will be spring break for public schools in NC. don't know about SC. That could complicate some rentals.
You do know that Wilmington is not really the beach--Wrightsville is the beach area of Wilmington.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 10:58 AM
  #23  
HKP
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,601
Not sure what your complaint is, Gretchen. Wrightsville Beach is so narrow that there's only room for the "spine" street (Lumina Ave.) going north-south, parallel to the beach, with little lanes running from Lumina to the beach - no more than about a block or so at the widest part.

Sure, there are nicer beaches elsewhere (for that matter, Gulfside Florida's better than all of this.) They're asking about WIlmington/Wrightsville and have already decided to go there. Ocean Isle is a lonnnnng way from there.
HKP is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 12:58 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,960
Whoa. I'm just reporting something I found interesting and a bit different from most other NC beaches. Wrightsville is VERY old, and therefore has that historic character and the difference in how it was originally built. When we went with friends we found it very charming, but that feature of the main part was just different, making it possible for you to be be 2 blocks from the ocean on one of those perpendicular streets.
On many other beaches you could be on the second row, and have an ocean view.
And there are a lot of beaches with the "spine" you describe, so it isn't all that unique. Might get a few rows out of it.
It depends on how you go to Ocean Isle as to whether it is further--as we discussed ad nauseum already. You can be at OIB, Wrightsville,MB, Litchfield, etc. ALL in the same 4 hours.

I also thought it was important to point out to the OP that Wilmington is not the beach. They might make a huge mistake in taking a hotel/motel in Wilmington thinking they would be at the beach and finding themselves 20+ minutes away.
They have the pet which is complicating. Otherwise they could stay (and maybe can) at the resorts that are right on the (Wrightsville) Beach.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 01:07 PM
  #25  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 68
HKP - thanks so much for the links.

I'm pretty much letting hubby plan this portion of the trip, since he's being such a good sport about sitting through three days straight of agility (not an easy thing to do for non-agility folks, lol!). I know he wants to do fun stuff like kayak, etc, so I'm sure he's planning this carefully. We'd also like to be reasonably close to decent restaurants, museums, etc.

The reason for the halfway stop is his idea - our flight home leaves Charlotte at 6:10 pm. He's thinking that instead of driving all the way to Charlotte & staying overnight the day before, that we would drive halfway to break up the drive. If there's no decent place halfway, we'll just drive the whole way the day before. Not a huge detail, whatever works is fine with me.

Gretchen - Do you know if the arena's bleacher seats have backs? Just wondering if we need to bring our stadium seats (will be spending a lot of time sitting).
Also - is there a Walmart or sporting goods store close to Concord? We'll need to purchase 2 really cheap camp chairs for the crating area. Don't want to pay the excess baggage fee to take the ones we have here.
One more - are there any good pet supply stores near Concord? Not your normal Pet Smart type, but the ones with the better brands of dog food, etc.

Thanks!
Serendipity42
Serendipity42 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 02:20 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 951
Just adding a non-pet related tip:

If you like or want to try fabulous Carolina-style bbq and/or you appreciate amazing fried chicken, see if any of your travels will take you by a Smithfields. Nothing fancy but WOW- chicken, bbq, cracklins, nana pudding- calorie heaven.

http://www.smithfieldschicken.com/
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 02:44 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,960
Why would you not spend your final night at the beach and leave at 11 when the normal checkout is and drive to the airport? Arrive at 3PM, turn in the car, and have 2 hours before your flight leaves. PLEASe do something approxiamating this. Surely you can drive 4 hours at a time. Think about the time you would spend checking into a hotel and out. This makes no sense--honest. I have delivered someone TO the airport from the beach and driven back.
I take it he will have a wet suit if he wants to kayak. There are lots of rental places at Wrightsville, I'm sure, and I know there are at Ocean Isle. Our kids did it this summer. Not sure about wet suit rental, but I would guess the surf shops at Wrightsville (probably more than further south because the beach is steeper and there is more surfing) might have them.
I'm sure there are plenty of WalMarts there. As for your need for a higher end pet store, I doubt it. It is usually PetSmart around here but you could look up a veterinarian who would probablysell you some high end food.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 05:22 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
G has it right + there is nothing halfway. It is only 3.5 -4 hours.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 05:25 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
Ocean Isle is a long way from Wilmington ??!! When did they move it ?? S42 - Many places WILL rent to you RIGHT NOW for partial weeks. However, if someone should want it for the entire week, you would be moved to another property.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 05:50 AM
  #30  
HKP
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,601
Ocean Isle is another hour from Wilmington, which for Serendity42 - already concerned about the 4 hr. trip back to Charlotte - might be just too far.
HKP is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 05:56 AM
  #31  
HKP
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,601
But everyone's in agreement that there's no likely in-between place at all, as you'll see.
HKP is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 07:37 AM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 68
No, 4 hrs is not to far for us (have driven 13 hours a day in the past no problem). It was just an idea hubby had, that's all. Apparently not a good one, lol! So now we're either going to stay the last night at the beach or drive all the way to Charlotte, still thinking about that.

So, which really is the nicer area, Ocean Isle or Wrightsville beach? Hubby really wants to kayak some inland waterways (not ocean kayaking), wants to get his running workout in on the beach, we'd like decent restaurants (nothing extremely fancy/pricey) and a few "touristy" things to do, not necessarily shopping. I'd like areas to walk the dog, doesn't have to be on the beach but would be nice. Basically I'll just need a comfortable place to unwind after the busy weekend.

Serendipity42

Serendipity42 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 07:51 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,934
The Intercoastal runs down the entire East Coast of NC/SCc & would provide many opportunities to kayak. That being said, the area around Wilmington would likely be better for that...
SAnParis2 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 08:45 AM
  #34  
HKP
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,601
What constitutes "nice" for you?

Wrightsville is an older resort area (as mentioned earlier), with a variety of types of houses, cottages, etc. Some very upscale large houses and some very modest cottages, a couple of restaurants, a couple of moderate to small hotels, a small retailing area with a few resort-y shops, and a nice beach. It has a kind of lived-in, comfortable-shoe -neighborhood-y feel (although by NO means run down), and it's easy to get across the causeway (with a couple of neat cafes and a store or two) back toward Wilmington if you want more choice in restaurants, stores, or a movie or some such.

I will leave it to Ocean Isle fans to describe it, but since it's newer, I'd guess it's a bit more manicured with newer, more upscale real estate.
HKP is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 08:50 AM
  #35  
HKP
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,601
(Also, it may make absolutely NO difference to you but just as a point of information: Wrightsville Beach faces east; Ocean Isle faces south. Main issues - if any at all - are where the sun hits you (at vernal equinox) and what the winds do at what time of day.)
HKP is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 09:46 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,960
HKP, guess what. If you go to Ocean Isle from Charlotte you don't go through Wilmington. There are a couple of other roads to get there that get you there in the 4 hours we have talked about!!

The inland waterway is VERY close at Ocean Isle 3 blocks from the beach. and there are several shops to rent kayaks, ski-doos, etc. There are also houses and places to rent on canals where he could launch from his own dock to get to the waterway.
Ocean Isle was where we used to go when the children were young. It had maybe 3 rows of houses--they had just started to develop the back/canal side. It is quite amazing now--VERY developed. However since it was controlled by basically one family there is VERY limited commercial development ON the beach--a couple of rental places, a grocery, a couple of burger places, miniature golf.. NO fast food. Don't get the wrong idea, there are PLENTY of supermarkets and restaurants available. There are very good restaurants in the area--across the bridge. Calabash, the "seafood capital" is nearby. You will be there during a time that some places may be closed.
If you are interested in looking for a house Cooke REalty, Williamson Realty are some names.
There are a few motels and condos.

I find it interesting that you are not at all interested in the SC beaches. They are beautiful with great accomodations.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 10:56 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 177
Holden Beach is one of my favorite beaches in NC - it is between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. Quiet, layed back kind of beach, mostly rental houses, condos. I believe we used Alan Holden Rentals the few times we've been.
jfawp is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 10:59 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 321
Wilmington, NC is just fine for four days. Tons of great restaurants. History to tour.

Wrightsville is so close as well. Again a great choice.

Next heading south would be Sunset. Very small and quiet. Close to Myrtle Beach.

Charleston is great. From past posts on here you will find what an advocate I am of the area. However, in this case if you are looking for a beach trip, don't waste the extra time to drive that far. Charleston to Charlotte is a drive. I'd stick to NC for the beach.

Do Charleston when you can fly into CHS directly.
frenchtoile is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 11:09 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,491
I prefer Wrightsville for all kinds of reasons. Not sure why people are so excited about Ocean Isle - it's a little too slick and same-same for me.

Much more interested in what your little dog is and what it does.
soccr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:23 PM.