North Carolina’s Secret Beach Mailbox

July 5, 2012 | By | Comments (3)

Kindred Spirit MBPhoto courtesy North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Like a barbecue joint on a back road, some of the best things in the South are well-kept secrets. On a beach tucked between busy Wilmington, North Carolina, and bustling Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, stands another little-known treasure: a lone mailbox stuffed full of hopes and wishes from people all around the world.

The mailbox’s hazy origins date back 30 years when a woman thought she spied a mailbox on the beach during her walk on Bird Island. It was a figment of her imagination, but the Brunswick Islands resident was taken by the idea. She planted a mailbox securely in the sand and left a notebook and pencils inside.

Over the years, the secluded spot on the uninhabited, 1,300-acre barrier island gained a quiet following. Visitors are drawn to the site and the chance to spill their thoughts to the universe. They sit scribbling their secrets, dreams, and stories in notebooks with nothing around but a blue sky above and endless miles of sand dunes. When each visitor is done, they put the notebook and pencil back in the box for the next person looking for a little comfort.

With the nearest public parking lot 30 minutes away on Sunset Beach, Bird Island is reachable by boat, bike, or on foot. Make the journey and you might be lucky enough to see loggerhead turtles and the purple sandpiper, a species found only on the island. Just like that barbecue joint, if you can find it, there’s something special waiting. But the mailbox’s rewards aren’t ribs or collards—instead, think of it as food for the soul.

By: Jessica Stringer


  1. Annie

    Joan, why don’t you reach out to There are people that monitor that site. I just happened to come across this when I was searching Southern Living.

    May 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm
  2. Joan Smith

    I want very much to move to Wilmington. I have Stage lll Ovarian Cancer & right now my cancer is ” stable.” Can anyone who may be reading this help me achieve my wish? I’m born and raised in a small sea coastal town in RI. I’m a widow and will be 63 this May. I’ve had Ovarian Cancer since 2003. I’m a woman living with cancer, I’m not dying of it. I love the ocean and I so need the peace & quiet Wilmington has. I’m looking into Senior Housing applications and hope something comes along. It’s my time now… I want to do all the things I haven’t been able to in a very long time. I hope someone reads this and writes to me. Thank-you kindly, Joan Smith

    March 20, 2017 at 11:36 am

    […] Did you know about the Secret Beach mailbox? Stuffed full of hopes and wishes from people all around the world! Visitors are drawn to the site located between Wilmington, NC & Myrtle Beach, SC. READ MORE HERE […]

    February 1, 2016 at 9:18 am

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