Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bald Head Island

Where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean, there is a treacherous area of shoals known as the Frying Pan Shoals.  Set close to these shoals is a barrier island, Bald Head Island.
Formerly home to Native Americans, pirates, lighthouse keepers, coast guard crew and camping boy scouts, 19 families set up house on Bald Head Island in the 1970's. There was no electricity, no marina, no ferry, no phones and no restaurants or stores. They made do on this beautiful island. And they lived in harmony with nature. 

Even today, the only way to get to Bald Head Island is by ferry or private boat. Development has been limited. There are houses, an inn, a marina, a few stores and restaurants. But no mini-golf. No high rises. And no cars. Golf carts are the only transportation allowed. It's  a throwback to a simpler time.







Of course, you pay for it to be simpler. You pay to park your car at the ferry lot. You pay to ride the ferry. You pay to either be picked up by your innkeeper or  to rent a golf cart. And you pay to rent a house or room at the inn. It all costs a pretty penny. But man. I really love this island. 




My visit was only as a day tripper. I took the ferry over to the island, walked about a block to the golf cart rentals, rented one and was off. It was a midweek, off-season visit and I saw only a few other visitors - with the exception of employees. Tooled around the island on the cart checking out the lighthouse - Old Baldy, the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina that is still standing - the chapel, a few stores and gaping at the gorgeous island homes.










The next stop was to check out the beach. It was the widest, most untouched piece of sand I've ever seen. I could've stayed all day!







A day definitely wasn't long enough. And I still haven't made it back. But I hope to. I can't forget Bald Head Island.

Things to know about visiting Bald Head Island, North Carolina-
- The ferry is a 20 minute ride and takes only foot passengers, bicycles or golf carts. Round trip tickets are $22 for adults and $11 for kids 3 -12. (No charge for 2 and under)
- You can add an extra charge for tram service to your destination (golf cart pick up and drop off)
- There is a no frills ticket that is for same day round trip with no tram service.
Ferries depart from Ferry Road at DeepPoint Marina in Southport, North Carolina. There is overnight parking available for a fee.
- You can drop off passengers and luggage at the ferry building. All luggage is put on a conveyer belt and loaded by ferry workers. Some items are considered oversized and you will need to purchase an extra ticket for those items.
-There is one inn on Bald Head - The Marsh Harbour - which is located within walking distance of the ferry dock.
-There are several restaurants and a grocery store, The Maritime Market. One thing to be brought from home is liquor. There are no liquor stores on island.
-Golf cart rentals are available within walking distance from the ferry. If you are going in season at a particularly busy time, reservations are highly recommended.
-Most visitors stay in vacation home rentals. There are several rentals companies available.


How about you? Have you ever traveled somewhere and immediately loved it? Are there places you need to get back to?


This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and Weekend Wanderlust Travel Blog Party!






10 comments:

  1. I would love to live in one of those beach houses. They look so romantic to me - so different to tropical north queensland.

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    1. The island definitely has a nautical, more New England feel to it than tropical - and I would love to live in one of them, also! Thanks for visiting, Jan!

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  2. I couldn't help to notice the awesome name of places in this post. Bald Head, Cape Fear, Frying Pan, aren't those cool? A day on an island has to be one of my favorite things to do. First time I hear about this place but would love to visit. Keep saying I have to explore more of the East Coast (some areas are completely unknown to me). #TPThursday

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    1. The East Coast definitely has alot to explore! And I didn't think about it, but they are really cool names! Thanks for stopping by, Ruth!

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  3. Some great inspiration for summer months to come! Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration, see you next week!

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    1. I'm looking forward to those summer months :)! Thanks for visiting, Jim!

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  4. I wonder how the restaurants and grocery store get their deliveries. Surely, not merely by golf cart? I don't think I would have lasted very long in the 1970's, but I can see myself spending a few idyllic days now in one of the beach houses you photographed. #WkendTravelInspiration

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    1. I did see a small pickup truck - public works I think - so I'm guessing that's how they get their deliveries. Though I have no idea how that pickup truck arrived there. The ferry isn't large enough for a truck and the only other way there is by private boat. I think I could've made it a few days in the 1970's but certainly not lived there. But oh how I'd love to stay there now! Thanks for stopping by, Michele!

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  5. This place looks amazing. Looks like somewhere I would like to live even. I like these type of houses, the secluded part of it and the beach is just like a cherry on top. Absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks! And thanks for visiting!

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