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North Carolina is rich with a fascinating history and Bald Head Island is no exception. You might have heard about the miles of pristine beaches but there’s more to the island than just beautiful scenery. Digging into its history can make you fall even more in love with this charming place. Check out some interesting facts about the island as well as some exciting events coming up soon!
Bald Head Island, which is part of Smith Island, is a unique coastal island located in the mouth of Cape Fear River. It got its name from the dunes on South Beach becoming worn down to resemble a bald head. Before lighthouses, mariners navigated into the river looking for the “bald head.”
The Old Baldy Foundation is a non-profit organization established for the preservation of Old Baldy Lighthouse on Bald Head Island, NC, and for the promotion of and education about the man-made histories of Smith Island. The Old Baldy Foundation offers several programs designed to foster their mission. Old Baldy Programs.
Historic Happy Hour
Enjoy beer and wine on the Old Baldy grounds while learning. Offered May 16th, June 9th, July 11th, August 29th, September, and October dates to be announced. The series includes intriguing stories about the island’s history including The Generator Society. Each month, a new topic of Bald Head Island history will be explored, and the public is invited to enjoy the Historic Happy Hour. 910-457-7481. Old Baldy Events.
North Carolina Treasures Weekend
North Carolina Treasures Weekend is an annual celebration to savor the best of the state's cuisine, spirits, art, and history. Farm to table experiences, live music and more. Purchase tickets before the event which takes place June 9th-June 11th. 910-457-7481.
4th of July Golf Cart Parade
Bald Head Island is home to various historical markers. Celebrating Independence Day is fitting for an island steeped in service to our nation. The beloved Bald Head tradition of decorating your own cart or enjoying the parade as a spectator from one of the picturesque wynds takes place on Jul 4th, 10:00 AM. 910-457-7481.
National Lighthouse Weekend featuring Run for the Light 5k & 10k
Honor Old Baldy's maritime history during a weekend featuring fun for all ages, including food, spirits, a 5k, 10k race and more! The weekend will feature a roster of activities, including cocktail parties, living history reenactments, a family-friendly festival, and more. It will culminate with a 5k/10k race at dusk that finishes under the light of Old Baldy. Tickets are available by calling 910-457-7481.
Old Baldy is North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse. It was first illuminated in 1817! Old Baldy marked the Cape Fear River entrance for maritime sailors. This historic landmark stands 110 feet high. The best view of the island is from the top of the lighthouse, but you’ll have to climb the 108 steps to get there. The awesome views are worth it!
Smith Museum is located near the base of the lighthouse and resembles a lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Here you will learn what life was like for the mid-1800s keepers as well as local facts and legends of Bald Head Island. The small museum also holds a gift shop with admission fees and proceeds set aside for maintenance and long-term preservation work of Old Baldy.
When planning your Bald Head Island Vacation, be sure to add a tour or climb of Old Baldy to your itinerary. The lighthouse is just a 5-minute walk from the ferry landing if you’re just visiting for the day. Once you see the panoramic views from the top, you won’t be disappointed! Vacations, 1-800-432-RENT (7368).
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