Everyone loves a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, but it is no secret that coordinating the annual feast can be one massive feat. This year step away from the pressure of holiday cooking and create new traditions with family and friends in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands! Replace the roasted turkey with fresh seafood and celebrate Thanksgiving at the beach. Families can switch up their travel plans with a little bit of sun, sand and surf to enjoy the ultimate Turkey Day getaway in the privacy of their own beach vacation rental home. From one-of-a kind experiences to remarkable waterfront dining, there are many reasons to celebrate Thanksgiving with all the trimmings in NC’s Brunswick Islands.

1. Giving Thanks for Nature’s Beauty

Beginning in the fall, NC’s Brunswick Islands invites visitors to experience a unique, natural phenomenon. Due to a combination of the Earth’s rotation and the Brunswick Islands’ east-west orientation, the phenomenon allows beachgoers to experience the sunset and sunrise over the ocean without ever moving their beach chairs. With fall in full swing, there is no better time to witness an awe-inspiring sunrise in the morning and absorb the last glimpse of daylight as the sun sets into the vibrant horizon.

Oak Island Sunset

2. Spacious Beaches 

With the family gathered, you’ll need plenty of room on the beach for football and sandcastles. Trade in the changing foliage for changing tides and experience more beach for your blanket. The daytime temperatures in NC’s Brunswick Islands average in the high 60°s in November, so it is still mild enough for beaching. Visitors can enjoy building sandcastles, reeling in the catch of the day, searching for washed up shells or just sitting and relaxing on an uncrowded beach, all without breaking a sweat. 

Sunset Beach

3. Home Away from Home

Thanksgiving is all about family! Fall is one of the best times to take advantage of the seasonally discounted rates on vacation rentals, inns and bed and breakfasts. Visitors can choose from a range of private beachfront rental homes, ideal for families of all sizes, with spacious kitchens and plenty of room to celebrate the holiday with stunning coastal views.

Accommodations_Sunset Beach

4. Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving

Don’t leave your dog at home this holiday! Dogs love the feel of sand on their paws and the joy of splashing around in the waves just as much as humans do. Luckily, during the fall and winter months, Brunswick Islands’ beaches pet laws are more relaxed - with some beaches even allowing dogs off leash time. Visitors can book a special pet-friendly rental home, so their furry friends can tag along and enjoy the holiday by their side. Who’s going to eat the left-over table scraps, anyways? Be sure to check the applicable regulations before heading to the waves to assure yourself, and others, the best beach experience possible. 

Dog

5. Have a Beach Feast You’ll Never Forget

This Thanksgiving, try something unique and different by trading in that traditional turkey for a delicious seafood dinner. With a wide range of local seafood markets, it has never been easier to cook a coastal Thanksgiving meal! And if you are looking for local recipes that range from seafood dishes to traditional Turkey Day sides, click here for some amazing dishes provided by Brunswick Islands eateries. Or if you would prefer to order in, the Brunswick Islands are home to many amazing restaurants. From traditional Calabash seafood to international cuisine to casual American fare, there are numerous restaurants around the area that will please everyone’s palate. Still want to take a holiday beach vacation but eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal? Not a problem! Many restaurants in the Brunswick Islands, like The Boundary House, Ports of CallCauseway Gourmet, The Purple OnionJinks Creek Waterfront Grille and The Oyster Rock, either serve or offer to-go a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. 

From sunrise to sunset, there are plenty of reasons to be thankful when visiting North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands this holiday season. For more information on what to do, where to stay and how to plan your trip to the Brunswick Islands, please visit www.ncbrunswick.com.

Find the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' Thanksgiving COVID-19 guidance here.