An island off the coast of North Carolina boasts inns and beach front homes, golf and environmental programs, pizza parties and gourmet cuisine.
If you’re looking for fun along the Atlantic seaboard, you’ll be interested in learning about an island resort off the coast whose variety of housing choices and children’s programs make it a family favorite. Due to the moderate weather, guests are welcomed year-round, but families prefer the summer months to be able to enjoy the full range of activities and childcare programs.
Where is this special place? Hint: North Carolina’s southernmost point is home to a chain of exquisite barrier islands and this is one of them. Two miles off the coast, where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean, Bald Head Island offers a fantastic natural setting. Accessible only by ferry, this no-vehicle island offers visitors a relaxed, slow-paced getaway and a chance to explore a unique environment with 14 miles of pristine beaches.
The Bald Head Island Club (1 Saltmeadow Trail, Bald Head Island, NC 28461, 866/657-7311) provides a great variety of island activities for the entire family, many of which are ideal for children. There’s biking and hiking, fishing and crabbing, clamming, canoeing or sailing, surfing, golf, tennis, croquet and more. The resorts’ restaurants are known for their fine dining style and excellent cuisine. They also have a Kid’s Camp on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-3pm with prices ranging from $30-$60, depending on the duration of your stay. In addition, if parents need some alone time, they offer a Parents Night Out on Thursday’s from 5:30-8:30pm at a rate of $20-$25. As part of their Family Programs, the Club hosts a Summer Family Craft Night with admission costing $15/pp.
The local Shoals Club Recreation Center (11 Live Oak Trail, Bald Head Island, NC, 28461 910/454-4888) also organizes many programs at the Harbor Island Tent Site between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Youth activities include the Koastal Kids camps which run two mornings and one afternoon, for a fee of $11/hour. These provide everything from nature hikes to water balloon contests, to clamming and environmental studies, from beach trips to arts’n’ crafts, for school age kids from kindergarten to 12th grade. On Saturday nights, the Kids Night Out program offers nighttime activities for kids, while parents get the chance to enjoy some time off. Private babysitting is also available for a fee, through guest services. For more information, or to reserve your child’s place at these programs, call ahead to (910/457-3701).
Bald Head Island is also one of the East Coast’s most prominent nesting grounds for the endangered loggerhead turtle. The Bald Head’s Island Conservancy’s Sea Turtle Protection Project (7000 Federal Road, P.O. Box 3109, Bald Head Island, NC 28461, 910/457-0089) sponsors a number of environmentally – oriented programs for youngsters, including the popular nightly Turtle Walks and the Conservancy Camp and the Envirolab for grades 2-12. While kids are happily engaged, mom and dad can play the 18-hole championship golf course, enjoy Atlantic Ocean views from the tennis courts, play croquet, swim or relax.
Accommodations are available at the 11-room waterfront Marsh Harbour Inn (21 Keelson Row, Bald Head Island, NC 28461, 910/457-1702) which combines New England-style rooms with Southern hospitality. Families renting a privately-owned property receive membership privileges during their stay. Other amenities are arranged well by Guest Services; they can coordinate boat, bicycle and cart rentals, teens and children’s activities, plus dining, croquet and tennis court reservations prior to your arrival. Golf tee times may be reserved no more than a week in advance.
Resort Report Card
|Name:||Bald Head Island Resort|
|Address:||5079 Southport-Supply Rd.
|Seasonal Rates:||$$ – $$$|
|Choice of Activities:||B|
|Quality of Amenities:||B+|
|Bonus:||Natural environment inspires quiet family together time.|
|Note:||The annual ‘Island Family & Friends Getaway’ includes ferry tickets, parking, one dinner and Club Membership.|
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.