Fredericksburg Parent

May 2013

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Escape to Bald Head Island by debby girvan W ho knew a subtropical island just south of Cape Fear, North Carolina, once a hideout for bootleggers and the notorious pirate Blackbeard would become our family's favorite destination to relax and reconnect? Accessible only by ferry, Bald Head Island's remote, natural beaches, salt marsh and maritime forest provide a haven where families downshift to enjoy picturesque surroundings on what locals affectionately call "island time." At first, maybe it was the thrill of ditching their car seats as we cruised the island, untethered on a golf cart, but now, 12 years later, our kids still look forward to falling asleep to the sounds of crashing waves and cicadas, the intoxicating sun, sand and cool shade of the maritime forest and of course our family's crazy, annual spoons tournament. Architecturally meticulous, unpretentious but often luxurious, homes and other buildings on the island are designed to complement the natural environment, carefully tucked and clustered among the dunes and maritime forest. This eco-island resort includes club houses, tennis courts, a golf course, grocery store and small shops so subtle, their presence blends seamlessly with the more than 10,000 acres protected under a permanent conservation easement. Explore the marsh on a paddleboard, canoe or kayak, patrol loggerhead turtle nests with the BHI Conservancy interns, geocache, run or bike the 15 Quick Facts About Bald Head Island u Transportation to and from BHI is only available by passenger ferry or private boat. u Located just off the coast of Southport, NC at the tip of the Cape Fear River, Bald Head is a three-mile long, subtropical island. 14 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • May 2013 u There are no major hotels on the island. The majority of accommodations are private home rentals managed by rental management companies or private owners. u No cars are allowed on the island. Electric golf carts and bicycles are the primary form of transportation. u An island landmark built in 1817 and decommissioned in 1935, Old Baldy is the oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina.

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