Earlier this month, my family and co. spent a week down in Bald Head Island, NC. This little island getaway is the perfect place to unplug and relax. I didn’t know much about this spot before we went down so I wanted to share some tips and recs for anyone looking to head to this charming spot!
Bald Head Island is just about as far south in North Carolina but has a very exotic vibe. It’s the quitenssqal beach town with a twist – the island is overgrown with nature and wildlife. The tropical scene will instantly get you in vacation mode.
To get to the island, you are going to have to plan ahead. The island is car-free (which was WONDERFUL and I’ll talk more about this later) so there are a few hoops you’ll need to jump through before you are lounging on the beach.
Your first stop will be to the Deep Point Marina in Southport, NC. When you arrive, be prepared to go, go, go! The Marina is a well-oiled machine and staff will be ready to help you unload you car the second you pull up. They will help keep your groups’ bags together and load it all on the ferry for you. Once on board, it’s a short 20 min trip to the Bald Head Marina.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Make sure all your belongings are in closed containers. If you are packing food, drinks, or have any open bags, use a Rubbermaid container to keep everything together and covered. Every person is allowed 6 “bags,” but one bin counts as 1 bag #loopholes.
While there is plenty of beer and wine sold on the island, there is NO hard liquor sold at the market so make sure to bring along your own if you like crafting your own cocktails.
My mom printed out luggage labels with our names and BHI address ahead of time which made the boarding process MUCH easier.
Once you are off the ferry and you have all your belongings, you’ll be directed to a tram that will take you directly to your home for the week. Again, my mother is a travel queen and had made sure to call ahead to reserve a tram time so that might be something to look into if you have a large group. They immediately took us to our house for the week – no waiting to get house keys or for a check-in time – and, since most rental homes come with golf carts and bikes, your transportation for the week is already ready for you. However, if you are in need of transportation, Carry Cart Co. has everything you’ll need!
The island is very small and you can get around very easily so there isn’t a “hot spot” area to stay while your in Bald Head. We stayed in a house on South Beach which was equidistant from the market and the marina and that was definitely convenient. Most of the properties are newly renovated and have multiple bedrooms, but there are a few smaller properties on the island. Our home, Fandango, was just gorgeous and the perfect “modern” beach house.
Aside from relaxing on the beach, there are also two Beach Clubs on the island: The Shoals Club and the Bald Head Island Club. There is an extra fee to have access to these clubs, but very well worth it! The Shoals Club was my favorite because it had both a pool deck and beach access. There’s also bocce ball, a kid’s pool. ping pong, etc.
If you need a break from all things water, there are plenty of other activities!
THINGS TO DO:
The island is all kinds of green and looks like a little jungle. This is mainly due to the Conservatory on the island. Hike through the Bald Head Island Conservatory, schedule a guided tour, or sign up for one of their many events here.
Old Baldy Lighthouse
Tour the historic “Old Baldy,” the oldest standing lighthouse in NC!
There are plenty of water activities and rental on the island! From surfboards, kayaks, and sailing. You can everything you need at The Sail Shop.
Biking, Golfing, Fishing
Oh my! The island is so beautiful, I highly recommend taking a bike ride or two around the island. There’s also great fishing and golfing throughout BHI – I’m not a big golfer but the views at Bald Head Island Club were beautiful enough to tag along!
There are a bunch of weekly events that you can join in on! From Bingo to Trivia, there’s always an event going on down by the marina at Will O’ The Wisps.
Our favorite spot on the island (we ate here twice for dinner!) was at Aqua. The menu had a great variety of options and everything was delicious. This restaurant is at the Shoals Club so walking down to the beach after dinner was the perfect way to end the evening.
Delphina is one of the nicer restaurants on the island and does require a dress code for dinner – aka guys gotta wear pants. The food is killer, but doesn’t have a ton of options (which can be a no-go when you are traveling with a vegetarian and someone with my allergies). Definitely make reservations if you want to visit this spot!
P.S. They also have Marina Pizza to-go if you want to stay in one evening.
This casual spot near the Marina is definitely the place to be on the weekends. Mojo’s waterfront deck and bar was the perfect place to hang out before catching a bite to eat.
Sandpiper Coffee and Ice Cream
Sandpiper is where you’ll find the goo coffee on the island. They also have breakfast sandwiches, small bites, and some pretty unique ice cream flavor combos.
All in all – Bald Head Island was the perfect place for a quiet family getaway. It was easy for all us siblings to drive from our various locations and still get a tropical vacation. It’s hard to make everyone happy when you travel in large groups, but BHI really does have something for everyone.