Random Facts about North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Sandwiched between larger, more populated Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC is serene and scenic North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. One of the main attractions of the Brunswick Islands is its quiet, laid-back style that reminds people of the beach vacations of their childhood. Five barrier islands – Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach, Oak Island and Bald Head Island – provide 45 miles of wide, sandy beaches. Picturesque Southern towns like Southport, Calabash, and Shallotte draw visitors with independently-owned, one-of-a-kind restaurants, galleries and shops. A temperate climate makes the area ideal for year-round sports, dining, tournaments and festivals.

Sunrise 1 on Sunset Beach, NC

Residents and visitors alike may be be familiar with the charm of Brunswick Islands, but did you know these interesting facts?

1) Leave a note in the Kindred Spirit Mailbox – On a secluded stretch of beach far from the nearest public access point and nestled between sand dunes is an unlikely sight – a mailbox…with a bench next to it. The bench is where you sit to pen your innermost thoughts; the mailbox is where you place the journal when you are done. More than just a receptacle for pieces of paper, the Kindred Spirit Mailbox on Bird Island holds the wishes, thoughts, prayers and dreams of those who walk the 30 minutes to share and bare their soul and draw comfort from the act of doing so while enjoying the soothing sounds and sights of undeveloped beach, ocean and horizon.

Kindred Spirit_lady_writing

2) Seafood Capital of the World – Calabash became known as the “Seafood Capital of the World” in the 1940s, when local captains brought their catch to the docks to be flash-fried in a unique light cornmeal-flour batter. Word spread, lines grew and the town’s signature Calabash-seafood preparation transformed North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands into a summer tourist destination. This is Calabash-style seafood. Restaurants from coast to coast have tried to replicate the style, but there is nothing like the experience of enjoying it in its home town of Calabash.

3) Southport Voted Happiest Seaside Town – Readers of Coastal Living Magazine have named the picturesque village of Southport, NC as “America’s Happiest Seaside Town for 2015,” the only town in the Carolinas nominated. Southport’s allure has already been recognized by Hollywood and the television industry, with more than 40 productions having filmed there, including the recent film “Safe Haven” and television series “Under the Dome.”


4) Play 120 Miles of Fairways to Heaven – Just a chip shot north of the South Carolina border from more well-known and well-traveled golf destinations, North Carolina’s Golf Coast features more than 30 highly-rated courses boasting all the pedigree but none of the crowds. Designed by Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones, Fred Couples, Dan Maples, Tim Cate and other golf greats, courses with magnificent coastal scenery and challenging play come with easy availability of tee-times.
See the Sunrise and Sunset on the Same Beach

5) Named one of “10 Incredible Phenomena You Have to See –  Weather.com has discovered that the beaches of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands have the rare distinction of running east-west as they parallel the shore. Beginning in late fall and ending early spring, this orientation means that you can sit on Oak Island, Caswell Beach, Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach or Holden Beach and watch both the sunrise and sunset without having to move your beach chair! What’s the reason for the natural phenomenon and why does it only occur late fall through early spring? The short answer, according to Ingram Planetarium manager Edward Ovsenik, is that, “Because our beaches are generally oriented to face south and since the sun is far enough south in the late fall through early spring, the sun appears to both rise and set over the ocean off our shoreline.”


If you know of any other interesting facts about North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, please post a comment below.

Click the following link to read about other Random Factoid Friday destinations.

Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.


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