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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Brunswick’s Best Beaches

A look at what makes each Brunswick beach special.
Photo by Engin Akjurt on Unsplash

Reprinted with permission from West Brunswick High School’s The West Wind



Summer is coming, and with that comes the influx of vacationers in Brunswick County. With our several beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise why tourists choose Brunswick County as their vacation destination, but what makes each beach unique from each other?


Holden Beach

Holden Beach is recognized as one of the best family beaches in the country by National Geographic Traveler. While Holden Beach does not have many commercial establishments, many consider that part of its charm. It’s not as much of a tourist attraction as it is a small community where travelers can come to relax and enjoy the beach without the usual crowds of other beaches. If you are looking for other things to do besides relaxing, there are still plenty of things to do that are only a short drive away, and there is no shortage of ice cream shops nearby.

“I like Holden Beach because there’s not as many people there and I can actually have a good, relaxing time,” said senior Alanna Brown.


Ocean Isle Beach

Possibly the most well-known beach on this list, Ocean Isle Beach offers more entertainment options than Holden Beach. There are places to go ziplininggo karting, shopping,  mini golfing, design and make your own art pieces, and more. With so many things to do, Ocean Isle is perfect for vacationers who want an adventure. However, Ocean Isle is not without some downsides. For example, Ocean Isle is typically more crowded than the other beaches because of its free parking, so it may not be the best place for relaxation.

“My favorite beach is Ocean Isle,” said junior Kaylie Vernon. “I feel like it’s very well kept compared to all of the other beaches, and there’s a lot more stuff to do around Ocean Isle too.”


Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is on National Geographic’s list of the twenty-one best beaches in the world and is filled with natural beauty and stunning sunsets. If you stay up long enough, you can even see the sun set over the water, which is a truly magical experience. At the west end of Sunset Beach lies a mailbox with a notebook inside. Visitors can write whatever they want in the notebook, including dreams, stories, random thoughts, etc.

“You should go to Sunset Beach because it is one of the prettiest beaches and also one of the cleanest and most maintained,” said Khale Cartrette.


Oak Island 

Oak Island has almost 10 miles of beachfront with 60 public access points, two fishing piers, a marina, and some public boat and kayak ramps. This makes it the perfect place for people who want to explore and enjoy nature while on vacation. Travelers can visit the historic Oak Island Lighthouse, which was the last lighthouse to be built in North Carolina. Guided tours to the top of the lighthouse are offered year-round. There are also museums to visit, helicopter tours, spasantique shops, and even a farmer’s market.

“Oak Island is a great beach to go to because of the amount of entertainment there is,” said junior Izabelle Hammonds. “Every Fourth of July is a great time to go to Oak Island because of the amazing fireworks shows. Oak Island also has great restaurants near the beach as well.”


Bald Head Island

Last, but certainly not least, is Bald Head Island. Bald Head Island can only be reached by ferry or boat, and cars are not allowed on the island, making it more eco-friendly than the other beaches on this list. Bald Head Island is also one of the largest sea turtle nesting sites in North Carolina, and Bald Head Island has a sea turtle protection program. Like Oak Island, Bald Head Island has a lighthouse. This lighthouse is named Old Baldy and is the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina.

“Bald Head Island has several great amenities as well as beaches, an aquarium, a peaceful atmosphere, and an overall nice and calm area to be in,” said senior Dustin Lamb.

No matter which of these beaches you go to, you are sure to have a great time. So which beach will you visit this summer?

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