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Close-To-Home Summer Vacation Spot Lauded for What’s Been Left Undone
In this country’s fast-paced culture of 60-hour workweeks and wireless email devices, “down time” has become a dwindling commodity. And with more than half of all travelers reporting they will take shorter vacations in 2008, the need for a genuinely relaxing and rejuvenating vacation destination has become imperative.
Bald Head Island, located just off the coast of Southeastern North Carolina, is just such a place. With no bridge connecting the island to the mainland, and no cars allowed on the island, families slow down their pace and truly get to “leave it all behind.” Visitors to Bald Head Island say that what makes it such a special place is not what has been done but what has been left undone. On Bald Head Island, families find the perfect environment in which to reconnect with nature, as well as with one another.
In short, in a society where manufactured, overly-commercialized experiences have become the standard for family vacations, a trip to Bald Head Island is quite literally a breath of fresh air.
Vacations on Bald Head Island allow families direct access to the natural wonders of the island, and encourage them to engage in authentic experiences. The adventure starts with the ride aboard the ferry, where passengers feel the salt air on their faces while they study the unique topography of the Cape Fear region. Once on the island, visitors hop into electric carts rather than cars, which allow them to engage with the flora and fauna as they venture through the distinct environments.
Families looking to make their own on-island adventures have an endless array of outdoor activities to choose from. Whether taking a hike through the ancient maritime forest, biking along the island’s paths and wynds, or trekking to the top of the state’s oldest lighthouse, Old Baldy, everyone will enjoy experiencing the unique history and nature of Bald Head Island.
Families who want more structured activities won’t be disappointed either. On July 4, the Annual Golf Cart Parade sees visitors and residents decorating their golf carts to compete for a coveted spot among best in show. Carts are transformed into elaborate floats, complete with papier mache, flashing lights and other accoutrements. In August, celebrate National Lighthouse Day with pirate-themed festivities—a tip of the three-cornered hat to the island’s infamous history as a favorite hideout for Blackbeard.
The Bald Head Island Conservancy offers a range of educational programming for kids as well as adults. In addition to guided kayak tours of the marshes and creeks surrounding the island and the ever-popular Turtle Walks, where families can watch sea turtles nesting on the shores, the newest addition is a program called “Bald Head After Dark.” Participants get a brief overview on the island’s active nightlife—including bats, frogs, alligators, fireflies and bioluminescent plankton—before heading out to find some of it for themselves.
At just under a two-hour flight from New York City a 90-minute flight from D.C., Bald Head Island combines the convenience of a close-to-home vacation with the remoteness of an exotic island location. Families who experience the exceptional nature of Bald Head Island say they leave feeling rejuvenated because they’ve spent their time taking part of a unique, fully-engaging experience that no amusement park can offer.
Bald Head Island is a vacation and second-home destination located two miles off the southeastern coast of North Carolina. Open to the public, the island also includes a 10-acre marina and a championship golf course in one of the East Coast’s most pristine cape island environments. Of the island’s 12,000 acres, 10,000 acres of beaches, salt marsh and maritime forest are protected and will remain undeveloped. For more information, visit www.baldheadisland.com.
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