TRAVEL JOURNAL

Explore our travel journal to learn more about the visitor experience in NC’s Brunswick Islands.

Southport, NC, Named Best Beach Town in America for the Fourth of July

Jul 3, 2017 - Coastal Living by Lauren Phillips

Southport boasts a particularly lively Fourth of July celebration: It plays host to North Carolina’s official celebration with more than a week of festivities, including an art show, a horseshoe tournament, and a naturalization ceremony in addition to the classic parade and fireworks.  Read More

13 Offbeat Beach Towns You Need to Visit

Jun 11, 2017 - Red Tricycle by Gabby Cullen

Holden Beach in the Brunswick Islands of North Carolina has small-town charm, but plenty of activities (check out the North Carolina Festival by the Sea) to keep your family busy.  Read More

15 Best Summer Weekend Getaways You'll Want to Book This Second

May 30, 2017 - Reader's Digest by Erin Gifford

For an alternative to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, look no further than North Carolina's Brunswick Islands. Climb the Oak Island Lighthouse on Caswell Beach, kayak the Intracoastal Waterway and dig in to batter-fried shrimp, clams, and oysters in Calabash, the "Seafood Capital of the World."  Read More

The Best US Cities for Weekend Breaks This Summer

May 30, 2017 - DK Eyewitness Travel

Looking for a weekend beach escape? With around 45 miles (72 km) of beautiful beaches, Brunswick Islands are the perfect place.  Read More

The 46 Best Beach Towns in America

Apr 21, 2017 - Good Housekeeping by Brie Dyas

Bald Head Island - Don't let the funny name fool you: This village is gorgeous. Caswell Beach - Golf Courses and quiet beaches lend a peaceful air to this town. Southport - Pinterest dreams start with Southport, another town on the scenic Brunswick Islands. [See slides 34, 35, 36]  Read More

The 20 Most Magical Island Getaways in America

Mar 2, 2017 - Country Living by Perri O. Blumberg

Relaxation is the name of the game at this low-key string of islands with gorgeous beachfront rental homes waiting for you to swoop in for your sun-filled adventure  Read More

A sweet secret on North Carolina's Sunset Beach

Feb 18, 2017 - USA Today by Dayvee M Sutton

Located in the Brunswick Islands, a barrier island chain on the Atlantic Ocean, the Bird Island Reserve sports 1,200 acres protected by sand dunes. The marsh area is habitat for many bird species, turtles and other wildlife. Just on the other side of the dunes sit beautiful white sand beaches. Sunset Beach is a quiet, less populated strand which allows visitors to enjoy the serene and natural sanctuary.  Read More

The 10 Most Romantic Beaches in America

Feb 13, 2017 - Coastal Living by Bob Curley

Lovers can walk a mile along Sunset Beach to the Kindred Spirits Mailbox to drop a note with their romantic intentions and other prayers and wishes. Overwater sunrises and sunsets are a daily ritual on this unique, south-facing beach in the Brunswick Islands.  Read More

21 Best Beaches in the World

Jan 19, 2017 - National Geographic by Kimberley Lovato

At the west end of this remote beach, a mile from the access point, a solitary mailbox stands, planted by local Frank Nesmith in the ’70s, and continually replenished with notebooks inviting visitors to jot thoughts, dreams, wishes, and whatever else moves the spirit.  Read More

History of Calabash Seafood

Aug 4, 2016 - UNC TV by Jeff Smith

When it comes to seafood, one name stands out - Calabash! But what has gotten lost in the *name* is the small fishing village where the Calabash Style emerged.  Read More

Escape to Oak Island, N.C.

Aug 1, 2016 - Southern Living

With 10 miles of south-facing beaches; two fishing piers; plenty of kayaking, boating, and swimming options; and easy access to Bald Head Island and Southport on the mainland, this barrier island is a great spot for a trip that can be as active or as laid-back as you like.  Read More

Brunswick Islands, N.C., is a perfect family vacation spot

Jul 1, 2016 - Upstate Parent by Karen Gamble

What makes this area special — and a great vacation spot? I heard the same sentiment over and over: Family memories are built here. People return for a reason. The leisurely pace is just right.  Read More

Bird Island's Mailbox Holds Letters to the Sea

May 17, 2016 - Our State by Philip Gerard

The letter writers come to give thanks, to grieve, and to confess. To leave their most private thoughts, and to read what others have written, in this most public of places: a mailbox, a mile and a half down the beach from the town of Sunset Beach, flanked by two benches and tucked away in a sandy alcove. The address on the mailbox is spelled out in black-and-silver stick-on letters: KINDRED SPIRIT.  Read More

Our State Great Eight: Our New(ish) Lighthouse

Apr 27, 2016 - Our State by Jeremy Markovich

Even though it’s decades old, the Oak Island Lighthouse is coastal nostalgia at its youngest.  Read More

Thousands of People Are Leaving Their Innermost Thoughts in This 'Mailbox to Nowhere'

Apr 26, 2016 - CountryLiving.com by Maria Carter

Walk a mile-and-a-half from Sunset Beach pier on Bird Island, North Carolina, and you'll see a mailbox you might mistake for a mirage. It's nowhere near a house or any path a postal truck can travel. In fact, the mailbox was a mirage of sorts more than 40 years ago, when a woman known as Claudia began daydreaming of it.  Read More

Inspiration and Adventure Await Families in Coastal Brunswick County

Mar 25, 2016 - CharlotteParent.com by Micki Bare

From central NC, the coast’s Brunswick County offers conveniently located, family-friendly venues sans the overly commercialized congestion of the bigger tourist spots up and down the Atlantic Seaboard.  Read More

7 Coastal Adventures for the Whole Family

Feb 12, 2016 - by Sara Kendall

North Carolina's Brunswick Islands is the perfect playground for families. Oak Island, Caswell Beach, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, and Bald Head Island offer ideal outdoor activities for quality family time, each with their own unique fun.  Read More

Beach Housin' in the Brunswick Islands North Carolina

Jan 24, 2016 - lizventures.com by Liz

The Brunswick Islands in North Carolina are like a secret you want to tell because it’s sooooo good, but you’re afraid to tell too many people for fear of spoiling the magic. Lucky for you, I can’t keep secrets very well.. and this one deserves to be shared.  Read More

Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash

Jan 6, 2016 - Southern Foodways by Besha Rodell

When I’m far away from this part of the world, as I usually am, three things tug at my heart the hardest. There are the beaches themselves, their old fishing piers and warm water and periwinkle-strewn sand. There’s the thrumming, intense greenness of the marshes, a kind of green that doesn’t exist anywhere else, that hits you when you cross the Intracoastal Waterway to the beach islands, an almost mossy green that’s different from the green of a forest or field or pasture, a green that is basically the color of my soul. And there are the hushpuppies and fried seafood of Calabash, North Carolina.  Read More

An Adventurer's Guide to the Brunswick Islands of North Carolina

Oct 12, 2015 - RootsRated.com by Rob Glover

Luckily, fall comes late to North Carolina's Brunswick Islands. Warm days tempered by ocean breezes continue long after the first frost on Grandfather Mountain. These five narrow barrier islands, tucked between Wilmington, NC, and North Myrtle Beach, SC, are filled with enough dramatic sunsets and seaside charm for a dozen Nicholas Sparks novels.  Read More

Life's just a laid-back beach in Brunswick County, NC

Aug 12, 2015 - Recreation News

When the Provision Company restaurant opened in Holden Beach, NC, in 2002, the manager stuck a few old license plates up on the walls as impromptu decorations. Thirteen years later, tags from every state but Rhode Island adorn the walls of this laid-back bar and restaurant.  Read More

Kindred Spirit Mailbox Serves as Symbol of Hope on Bird Island

Jun 1, 2015 - OurState.com by Katie Quine

Over the span of decades, thousands have made pilgrimage to the Kindred Spirit. All different walks of life have penned heartfelt notes in the mailbox’s journals, but one message rings clearest above all else: Love endures.  Read More

America's Happiest Seaside Towns 2015

Jun 1, 2015 - CoastalLiving.com by Tracey Minkin

Meet the winners of our annual search for the best coastal places to call home—for a weekend or a lifetime.  Read More

Peace for the soul: The Brunswick Islands welcome generations of travelers

Apr 1, 2015 - CarolinaCountry.com by Renee C. Gannon

Situated in Bird Island, a 1,200-acre state coastal preserve at the end of Sunset Beach, the Kindred Spirit Mystery Mailbox has offered pen and paper to anyone willing to venture a stretch down the beach.  Read More

Craving the Coast

Feb 20, 2015 - Go Magazine by Debbie Selinsky

Spring and summer are just around the corner, and for thousands of North and South Carolinians, it’s time to head for the water. Some say, “We’re off to the beach!” while others say they’re going to the “coast.”  Read More

Coastal Golf

Sep 1, 2014 - Soar Halifax Magazine by Tom Peters

In North Carolina’s Brunswick County and Brunswick Islands you can play 18 holes during a multi-activity vacation. Or the region fills the bill for golfers who only have one thing in mind–and that’s golf!  Read More

Southport, NC - Historic Seaport Emerges as Hip Dining Hotspot

Jul 7, 2014 - Go Magazine

There’s a reason more than 40 movies and television productions have chosen the charming coastal town of Southport, NC as their backdrop. With its dramatic views of the Cape Fear River, ancient live oaks draped with Spanish moss, grand Victorian homes...  Read More

Sunset Beach

Apr 17, 2014 - Go Magazine by Sheree Nielsen

Sensory overload from the fresh sea air and the fragrant smell of magnolia beckoned my Australian Shepherd and me to cross the road lined with rental properties, to the Fifth Street Beach Access.  Read More

Weekend in Southport, North Carolina

Feb 1, 2013 - CoastalLiving.com by Jennifer Brunnemer Slaton

Sprawling oak trees and three bodies of water make this humble, Southern town feel like home—even to the Hollywood stars who often film here.  Read More

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