Dreaming of a remote getaway? We have one for you: Bald Head Island, North Carolina.
I was there earlier this month, and couldn’t wait to share. Located on the Cape Fear River, Bald Head Island can only be reached by ferry. There are no private vehicles on the island, no high rises, no chain restaurants.
There are charming cottages, like this one, once occupied by a lighthouse keeper, and now for rent for vacationers:
The 12,000 acre island has 14 miles of beach. (Once a hideaway for pirates like Blackbeard, it’s now much quieter.)
And since cars aren’t allowed, the preferred method of transportation is bike. (Though there are golf carts too.)
You can ride your bike to The Bald Head Island Conservancy, where scientists from around the world come to study this barrier island. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the non-profit was founded by residents, who take great measures to protect the island’s eco-system, and all the creatures that call it home (including sea turtles and dolphins). In fact, the sea turtle eggs they helped protect 30 years resulted in mature turtles now returning to lay their own eggs. Now that’s cool.
This island is about tradition. Case in point: the Old Baldy Lighthouse, the oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina. (North Carolina seriously loves its lighthouses.) 196 years old and looking good.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, Bald Head offers sailing, even for the beginner. Case in point: This editor, who wouldn’t know a bow sprit from a tiller (looked that one up) had a marvelous time learning how to sail from Harper Peterson, a long-time resident of the island (and former mayor of Wilmington).
It’s a lovely place. We’ll be back.
Tell us: where are you traveling this spring?