Bald Head Island is known for being a peaceful getaway from all sorts of everyday stressors. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do here, no matter the time of the year. In that spirit, Bald Head Island businesses and organizations have planned a number of festive events to help you celebrate the holidays, island-style.
December 12, 4-6 p.m.: Howl at the Moon
Come on out to Access 39 for this monthly toast to the full moon. Chef Marc will provide a huge pot of soup, so BYOB and an appetizer to share. The sun will set at 5:03 p.m. as the bagpiper plays ancient Celtic melodies, and the full moon will rise over the ocean at 5:40 p.m. Cheers!
December 24, 5 and 7 p.m.: Christmas Eve Services
All are welcome for our traditional Christmas Eve Services at The Village Chapel.
December 24, 2-5 p.m.: Christmas Eve Dinner at the Bald Head Island Club
Gather with family and friends for a festive holiday buffet in the Ocean Room. Adults: $32. Children (4-11): $15, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 910.457.7300.
December 31, 6:30-10 p.m.: Starry Night New Year’s Eve Party at the Bald Head Island Club
Enjoy multiple courses through a special tribute to Michelin Star chefs, and musical entertainment by Adrian Duke. Held in the Palm Room and Ocean Room, the evening is $95 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 910.457.7300 for reservations.
December 31, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.: New Year’s Eve Party at Mojo’s
Ring in 2020 at Mojo’s on the Harbor. The fun includes the music of Big Head Dog, delicious food stations and a Champagne toast at midnight. The evening is all-inclusive for $95 per person, including tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 910.457.7217.
January 1, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.: College Bowl Game Day at Horizons
Come take in some of college football’s best games on the big screen. Our chef is creating football-inspired dishes and drinks to keep you fortified as you cheer on your favorite teams in the Bald Head Island Club’s newest venue, Horizons.
Throughout December: Bald Head Island Conservancy Programs
The Bald Head Island Conservancy is active this time of year, as well. Check into Birding BHI on December 17, as well as Tidal Explorations and Island Nature Tours that run December 27-31. Visit bhic.org for more information.
We at Bald Head Island Limited wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and hope 2020 brings us together more often. Happy 2020!
Stretching from May through September, Bald Head Island’s 2019 sea turtle season was more of a sprint than a crawl. According to Paul Hillbrand, Sea Turtle Program Coordinator for the Bald Head Island Conservancy, the record-breaking activity had the program’s staff, interns and volunteers on their toes all summer.
During a typical year on the island, the program expects an average of 75 nests. In 2019, 170 loggerhead nests resulted from 437 nesting activities. “It was definitely the largest number of sea turtle nests documented in our patrol area since the program began in 1983,” said Hillbrand.
The season also saw an unusually high number of females who were new to Bald Head Island. In an average year, the Conservancy documents 15-35 females in total. In 2019, they identified 83 unique individual females (including both nesting females and false crawls), with approximately 73% of those new to Bald Head Island’s beaches. After all excavations were completed, these mothers gave life to 9,579 hatchlings.
Asked about possible reasons for such a banner year, Hillbrand explained that nesting activity varies, often significantly, from year to year. Activity was below normal in the two previous years (52 nests in 2018 and 39 in 2017), but above average in 2016 with 102 nests.
“There are a few theories in the turtle community as to why the number was so high this year,” said Hillbrand, adding that activity was up all along the East Coast. “Some say it is due to the conservation efforts, while others point to the number of natural disasters we have had— at least three category 5 hurricanes— with Mother Nature responding appropriately.”
Hillbrand said he thinks hormones hitting at the same time played a role, as well. “I think it’s a combination of all three of those theories,” he concluded.
A seasoned sea turtle expert, Hillbrand began working with the Bald Head Island Sea Turtle Program on April 8 of this year. The program had six interns this summer, “all of whom were incredibly exhausted by season’s end,” he said. “We had everyone working all hours of the night for more than 100 days to keep up with all the activity and to keep predators at bay.”
The sheer amount of activity also provided a lot of opportunities for the public to encounter sea turtles and to interact with Conservancy staff.
“It was nice to talk to people about the turtles, and to educate them about things like the need to prohibit white lights on the beach,” said Hillbrand. “Hatchlings are attracted to the light and will move toward land instead of out to sea. Many people didn’t know there is an ordinance against white lights, and most were cooperative once they were educated about it.”
In reflecting on the incredible joys and challenges of Bald Head Island’s 2019 sea turtle season, Hillbrand concluded by saying, “I have never worked with a more passionate, dedicated, hard-working group of people than I have on this island. The interns had the time of their lives, and I’m sure none of us will ever forget this remarkable season.”
Cheers to An Annual Autumn Tradition
Well into fall and just ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays, Bald Head Island Limited and Southern Living magazine are co-hosting our fifth annual Roast and Toast on the Coast.
The family-friendly weekend begins and ends at the newly renovated Bald Head Island Club. Join us Friday night, Nov. 8, for an oyster roast with all the trimmings, and wrap up the weekend there with an elegant Sunday brunch on Nov. 10.
Saturday, Nov. 9 brings a gourmet cookout on The Common at Cape Fear Station, featuring Southern Smoke BBQ, a North Carolina institution that has gained national fame, as well as live music by local favorite Massive Grass, playing classic bluegrass tunes.
In between all the festive food, fine wine and craft beers, you’ll have ample opportunity to visit the new Southern Living Inspired Home in Cape Fear Station, located at 803 Federal Road.
For Roast and Toast weekend only, you can enjoy three nights on the island for the price of two. Don’t wait, because the event has sold out in previous years and we expect the same this year.
To learn more about the event, accommodation specials, or to purchase tickets, visit www.RoastToastCoast.com.
A man walks into a bar.
Those words, or infinite variations on them, provide the setup for countless jokes. While this story does provide many smiles and the remembrance of countless laughs, it evokes a whole range of emotions, from happiness to heartbreak to hope.
A Simple Act
John and Andrea Pitera, proprietors of MoJo’s on the Harbor, tell the story of Brooke Williams, a Bald Head Island resident and friend who stopped by with his wife soon after the restaurant opened nearly a decade ago. He said he wanted to see the place thrive, so he tacked a dollar bill on the wall for good luck.
The simple, casual gesture soon took on a life of its own, with an unending string of patrons adding their own dollars to the wall. Many were personalized with names, messages and artistic flourishes, and the Piteras began to see the wall of dollars as an ever-evolving art installation.
After Brooke was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the Piteras expanded the space where customers were able to add dollars (which had become known as Brooke’s Wall) because so many people wanted to add tributes to their own loved ones who had battled cancer.
Brooke passed away in September of 2012, but his legacy lived on. And on. And on.
A Tremendous Impact
By the autumn of 2019, as the Piteras prepared to sell the business, MoJo’s had nearly twenty thousand dollars tacked to nearly every vertical space in the bar and restaurant, several deep in many places. They decided to honor their friend, the man who started it all, and donate the $19,461 to Duke Hospital for pancreatic cancer research in memory of Brooke Williams.
John and Andrea describe Brooke as a special person, a man who was quick to laugh and loved to tell stories. How fitting, then, that his own story packs quite a punch, and then leaves you with a smile.
View a multiple award-winning video about Brooke’s Wall here:
Picture yourself in the most stunning and iconic spots on Bald Head Island. Literally.
We’ve compiled our top ten most selfie-worthy locations for you, but there are others around every corner. Check out these and add your own. We’d love to see your shots, so please share them on social media using the hashtag: #bhiselfie. You’re sure to rack up the likes, starting with ours.
Old Baldy Lighthouse
The best long view of the 1817 sentinel is from the bridge that crosses the marsh near the marina. Pose along the railing and get both the stately structure and the majestic marsh in the background. If you’d rather get the up-close-and-personal angle, stand right in front of the lighthouse holding the camera low to capture her height.
Cape Fear Point
It’s not easy to capture the beauty of this geographic phenomenon. Stand ankle deep at the point where the ocean rolls in from two different directions. Be aware of the tide and the sea spray, and try taking shots at various times of the day. The position of the point, as well as the dramatic lighting, will shift considerably as the hours pass.
The Timmons Oak
Park your golf cart or bike at the entrance to the trail and take a very short hike to visit one of the island’s oldest residents. Estimated to be several hundred years old, the Timmons Oak has a large hollow area at its base, making for a cozy spot to tuck inside for a unique photo setting.
The Harbor Entrance
Talk about making a great first impression. The Bald Head Island Harbor is extremely photogenic, from the entrance to the marina to the boats bobbing in their slips. Take a selfie just as the ferry is arriving, with its flags flying and passengers waving. Or get a group together for a pic in front of the giant BHI emblem at the marina entrance.
The Common at Cape Fear Station
It’s a sprawling public green at the east end of the island, anchoring the signature neighborhoods of Cape Fear Station and its Southern Living Inspired Community. There are numerous spots here worthy of posting, including in the gazebo and on top of the tower. Or just spread out a picnic blanket and capture your toast to simple pleasures.
The north side of Bald Head Island is comprised largely of a vast salt marsh with serpentine creeks winding through golden grasses. Consider a selfie in a kayak or, if you’re especially sure-footed, on a standup paddleboard. If you prefer terra firma, walk out on the long pier that extends from the M. Kent Mitchell Nature Trail. You can get a gorgeous shot in almost any direction.
The Golf Course
If you’re a golfer, be sure to pose at the tee box of the 16th hole, the most picturesque of all. Capture the course and the ocean in the background, all in one shot. Not a golfer? Not to worry. You can still stop along Stede Bonnet Wynd and snap a shot with the fairway in the background.
The Maritime Forest/Federal Road
A cozy canopy of ancient trees creates a tunnel-like passageway down a long stretch of Federal Road, the island’s main interior byway. The opening at the end of the road feels very much like the light at the end of a tunnel. It’s not the easiest shot to capture, but when you do, it’s magical.
The Bald Head Island Club
The new aquatics park at the BHI Club is impressive. There are so many places to play in the water, including fountains that shoot into the air. That backdrop will convey the fun, but you’ll want a water-resistant camera to be safe.
The Shoals Club
Once you have taken a picture at the point of Cape Fear, go on up to the Shoals Club, provided you are a member or temporary member. The gazebo on the East Beach side of the club frames a spectacular, elevated view of the ocean, including the point. It’s simply picture perfect.
So, are you ready for your close up? These iconic places on Bald Head Island are so spectacular, no one will have to tell you to smile!
From a vast protected maritime forest to a sprawling tidal marsh, Bald Head Island offers visitors a rich diversity of environments. Scenic vistas and recreational opportunities abound in all areas of the island, but the island’s crowning glory is, undoubtedly, her beaches.
Because the strand is made up entirely of handsome coastal cottages, there are no high-rise buildings or commercial structures to spoil the view. Beaches remain uncrowded, even during summer holiday weekends, giving sunbathers, swimmers, surfers and shell collectors a wide stretch of sand and sea to enjoy.
And because Bald Head Island has beaches that face west, south and east, you can nearly always find one where the breeze and water conditions are just right.
The only way to get here is by passenger ferry or private boat, so your first impression of Bald Head Island will undoubtedly be West Beach as your vessel passes through the breakwaters that mark the entrance to the harbor.
West Beach is at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. From here, you can celebrate gorgeous nightly sunsets and get up-close-and-personal views of all types of boats, including huge container ships that are making their way upriver to the Port of Wilmington. The fishing is almost always good on West Beach, and it’s usually an excellent spot for finding driftwood.
The longest stretch of shoreline on Bald Head Island faces south.
South Beach runs from where the river turns into the sea, all the way down to the majestic point of Cape Fear. You’ll share this wide expanse with families building sandcastles and jumping waves, as well as those who just want to sit on the sand with a good book or stare out at the ocean in peaceful meditation.
Because dogs are allowed on the beach, and leashes are not required, you may find Spot and Fido living it up along the water’s edge, as well. Owners are simply charged with making sure their dogs are not disruptive to others, or to the environment.
One of the East Coast’s most recognizable landmarks, the point of Cape Fear is as picturesque as it is powerful.
Venture out ankle-deep and watch the waters merge from two directions, kicking up salt spray and foam that feels as exhilarating as it looks.
Anglers have a lot of success, as well as a blast, surfcasting in these waters, and shell collectors can have a field day at low tide, both along the shore and in the tidal pools that emerge in the area.
Rounding the cape, you find yourself on East Beach, another expansive strand that is popular with all types of beach lovers.
Here, early birds savor the uninterrupted view of the sun rising over the ocean, and surfers can often ride a nice little break just offshore. East Beach often offers a fresh breeze that beachgoers find delightful, and water sports of all sorts are in play.
So when you’re on Bald Head Island, don’t just go to one beach, try them all. Each will have its charms at various times of the day, depending on conditions, and you are sure to find your perfect place in the sun.
It’s hard to believe Labor Day is almost here. On Bald Head Island, we have any number of ways to celebrate summer’s last hurrah. From Fun Sails to Birding Trips, Scavenger Hunts to Sunset Celebrations, the list of family-friendly events is endless. Download a brochure showcasing the entire weekend of activities.
If you haven’t already heard, the Bald Head Island Conservancy is celebrating a record-breaking sea turtle nesting season, with 169 nests laid to date. This beats the previous record by more than 25 nests! Be a part of this exciting season by going on a Conservancy Beach Patrol Ride Along or a Turtle Walk, where you might just get to witness a nest hatching.
Kids’ events are a given on the island, but grownups need their playtime, too, and there are plenty of ways to get it. The Bald Head Island Club offers a Tennis Round Robin, All About Art hosts a Jewelry Trunk Show, and MoJo’s on the Harbor lets you belt it out with Adult Karaoke.
There’s also yummy food and drink to be found at every turn. Come hungry to Nye’s Cream Sandwiches and enter their Ice Cream Eating Contest. Enjoy a lavish Side Porch Oyster Roast at the Maritime Market or bring the whole family to the Pool Party & Buffet Bash at the BHI Club.
Make plans to drop by the Bald Head Island Limited Real Estate Sales Office near the island ferry landing to learn more about Open Houses throughout the island. It’s been a busy summer, and we’d love to share what’s for sale and catch you up on market conditions. Several new homes are available in the Southern Living Inspired Community in Cape Fear Station, too. Download our brochure that includes detailed descriptions, floorplans and renderings. For more information, including pricing, call us at 800-888-3707, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or better yet, stop by our office at 4 Marina Way the next time you’re on the island—we’re open seven days a week.
Whether you’ll be celebrating Labor Day Weekend with us on Bald Head Island, or in some other neck of the woods, we hope you and your family have a safe, fun and relaxing holiday.
Planning your Bald Head Island vacation and wondering what to pack? You may want to bring your basics and favorites, but be sure to leave room in your luggage to take back some fashionable finds from the island’s boutiques and shops. They carry an excellent assortment of clothing and accessories, and you’ll be wardrobe ready in no time.
BOHO BEACH BABE
If you’re a fan of ‘60s and ‘70s fashion, you can channel your inner flower child with some cutoff jeans over a retro one-piece suit, plus some well-chosen groovy accessories. You’ll want a big, floppy hat and cool shades to help ward off the sun, and a bit of fringe somewhere… or everywhere! Slide into some comfortable shoes and bring along a cotton blanket for the beach.
WILD AT HEART
Just because you’re the outdoorsy type doesn’t mean you throw fashion out the window. Your natural beauty will shine through with a simply chic camisole, drawstring shorts and quick-drying sneaks. Of course, you’ll want your gear bag to be both practical and pretty, and you’ll need a few choice accessories to complete your ready-for-adventure look.
Whether you actually set sail or not, you can’t go wrong with a nautical look on Bald Head Island. Classic navy and white stripes are a go-to in island attire, and red accents really make the combination pop. Why not add a touch of gold, such as a square knot bracelet, and be sure your shoes won’t scuff up the deck. The anchor-themed sailcloth tote will quickly become a favorite carryall, even when you head back home.
With no mini-golf outlets, movie theaters or trampoline parks, what’s a kid to do on Bald Head Island? Plenty, and Bald Head Island expert Megan Kelly is host of a video series that shows kids of all ages the ropes.
This video is a compilation of all five episodes, which feature her kid’s-eye-view of the island, with a dab of history and some fun facts thrown in.
She covers some of the island’s favorite traditions and pastimes, including the annual 4th of July golf cart parade and seasonal sunset celebrations, and takes viewers to the various island environments to explore, and engage with, the natural surroundings.
Whether you’re young in years or just young at heart, you’re sure to be inspired by the ideas and images in the videos.
While visiting Bald Head Island, you'll discover the island has a vibrant community, with plenty to offer. From restaurants in the harbor, shops in the forest, and activities island-wide, there are loads of things to do, or not do.
Check out this video to see all the island amenities.
In the final episode, host Megan winds down the season and the Kid Bits series, the way Bald Head Islanders like to wind down the day: by celebrating the sunset.
Megan invites you to join all the frivolity, from face painting to piñatas, from mermaids to pirates. There’s hula hoops and shooting hoops, live music for dancing, and a fun ghost walk for those who dare!
Don’t miss the festivities! See you around the bonfire at beach access 5 on the river!
If you’re lucky enough to be on Bald Head Island for the 4th of July, don’t miss the annual golf cart parade. To be honest, it would be nearly impossible to miss it!
Check out the full week of 2019 events here.
Red, white and blue are definitely prominent, but they make room for chartreuse, magenta and fluorescent orange as islanders and visitors decorate their golf carts according to fun and fanciful themes, from earnestly patriotic to wonderfully wacky.
Kid Bits host Megan and guest co-host Caroline give you a glimpse of the shenanigans in this video, but there’s much more to the 4th on BHI than the parade. Be sure to look into all of the activities for islanders of all ages, and join us. May the 4th be with you!
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