Seriously, this place was awesome!
It's a small island off the coast of North Carolina, about 45 minutes south of Wilmington, or about a 3 hour drive from where we live. Which meant that on the way there, we got to visit Wilmington for the first time. We walked down the Riverwalk and back, which was pretty deserted for mid-day on a Saturday.
We spent about 2 hours in Wilmington checking out the historic downtown area and eating lunch on the river before it was time to drive down to catch the ferry to Bald Head Island. That's right, the only way to get to the island is by ferry, which is just part of the fun!
The husband on the ferry before it left the dock:
The ferry ride was about 20-25 minutes long, and we got our first glimpse of both the Old Baldy Lighthouse (far right in the below picture) and our beach cottage from the boat (center of the below picture).
Let me just talk about this beach cottage for a minute. Because it was totally awesome! Not only was it one of only a few of the small houses on the island (most are like 4+ bedroom mansions meant to be rented by families), but it was right on the beach and the cost per night before taxes and fees was only $20 more than we paid last summer to stay at an inn several blocks off of a pretty crowded beach further down the coast.
This was the beautiful Tijuca Tower:
Three stories tall, with almost 360 degrees of windows in the master bedroom on the top floor (which also had a huge jacuzzi tub in the adjoining bath.
And the architecture was pretty cool too. I love the ceiling!
The cozy second floor was the main living space with the living room, dining room and a small but well equipped kitchen.
And of course, it had a balcony with a gorgeous view.
And easy beach access right out the bottom level (which had another bedroom, second bathroom and screened in porch).
Another really cool thing about this island is that there are no cars. Everyone drives golf carts or rides bikes. Our cottage came with a golf cart, which we had a lot of fun exploring around in. Not long after we got there, we had to go make a grocery run, followed by dinner at the marina.
Swordfish to die for
Luckily we made it back in time from dinner to go down to the beach to catch the sunset. I am obsessed with sunset stalking on vacations, and I'm really glad we got to see this one our first night because it was amazing, and the best one all weekend.
These photos are straight out of the camera--it was really that pretty!
The next day was beach day. Which meant just posting up on the beach in front of our house. It was amazingly pretty secluded, with maybe 20 people visible in either direction at the most crowded part of the day.
I get way too bored just sitting around all day, so instead I stalked cute little crabs with my camera. They were only about the size of a quarter.
We also took a stroll down around the end of the beach, to where a river feeds out to sea from a marsh.
In the afternoon a thunderstorm rolled in across the mainland. We didn't get any rain, but it was neat to watch the lightening and clouds from several miles away.
That evening things cleared up a little, and we BBQ'd some mahi on the grill on our patio.
Mmmm, mahi mahi and noodle salad at sunset. Yes, I ate some carbs on vacation, but only in moderation!
The sunset the second night couldn't compare to the previous night, but was still pretty from the patio while we ate dinner.
The next morning it was time to do some exploring of the island, in the gold cart, of course. I love how you can see our reflection in the rear view mirror in this picture.
We did a short hike in the maritime forest. Bald Head Island has a really unique ecosystem, with marshes, forested sand dunes and in the center of the island you'll find large trees, like oaks, right next to palms.
So excited to get his picture taken
After hiking in the forest a bit, we decided to check out the other side of the island, that faces out to the Atlantic. You don't get as much of the sunsets on this side, but the beaches are wider, with more waves.
We both agreed that we liked our calmer, less crowded beach better though. Especially since our house was a lot closer to the beach, with easier access, than on the other side.
Then, on our way back across the island, we stopped for a short walk out along the salt marsh.
Crabs! These ones were really cool too, with one claw a lot bigger than the other (I think they might have been fiddler crabs).
There are also gators on the island, but sadly we didn't get to see any. You know with my love of wildlife that we looked though!
Old Baldy was closed, so we didn't get to climb to the top of it, but at least we stopped by for a quick photo.
That afternoon it was back to the beach. Where we acted like the kids that we are by playing in the sand. I was surprised my husband was interested, because usually he just shakes his head at me while I play and he drinks a beer!
My sandcastle kept falling apart, so instead I used a bucket to write in the sand.
Ahhh, perfect spot, perfect afternoon, perfect everything.
That evening was our last on the island, and again we fired up the grill to BBQ some kebabs while we had a drink on the patio. You can see our souvenirs in the below photo, Bald Head Island beer koozies!
I was classy and drinking riesling out of my Bubba Keg mug though. :)
Another pretty sunset, but still nowhere near as good as the first night.
After dinner we took a blanket and drinks down to the beach, but first took a little stroll before settling in to watch the stars come out and the lighthouse blink at us.
Cheers to a lovely little getaway weekend!
This was our first vacation together this year and SO needed after spending pretty much every weekend since March working on the house. We will definitely be back to this place again in the future!
Did you getaway anywhere special over Labor Day weekend? Or ever driven a golf cart around? This was only the second time I'd ridden in one, and they were so much fun to drive!