Southeastern North Carolina's Coastal Communities
When it comes to real estate and lifestyle options, the counties that comprise the Southeastern North Carolina coastline offer an unparalleled richness and diversity. No wonder Money magazine, named Wilmington, NC one of The Best Places to Live (Times) and one of The Top Ten Cities in Which to Buy Real Estate.
But the accolades don’t stop there! Wilmington and its surrounding areas have also been ranked #13 on Forbes Magazine’s Best Places for Business and Careers; #14 in Fortune Small Business Magazine’s Best Places to Launch a Business (CNN); and as the #17th Healthiest Housing Market by Builder Magazine.
The southern coastline of North Carolina boasts mild weather, natural beauty, a reasonable cost of living, and wide variety of leisure activities like golf, boating, and kayaking. These important features (and many more) are what make this area so popular with year-round residents, retirees, and second-home vacationers.
Maybe you want to work and live in the heart of the city; perhaps you prefer to be close to the action but even closer to the beach; or, maybe you prefer the quiet of a smaller coastal community with the proximity and convenience of being just a short drive away from work, recreational, and cultural facilities. Whatever your preference, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re seeking in one of the four counties that comprise this charming coastal region:
New Hanover County
Located on the Southeastern tip of North Carolina, historic New Hanover County is bordered by 31 miles of Atlantic shoreline on one side and the tranquil waters of the Cape Fear River on the other. Home to nearly 200,000 residents, this fast-growing county marries 275 years of rich history with the appeal of a thriving, contemporary small city.
Just minutes from the beautiful surrounding beaches, Wilmington boasts one of the state’s largest historic districts with 230 blocks of homes and a downtown business district has a thriving arts community, independently owned restaurants and shops, museums and tourist attractions. Historic downtown continues to grow with the recent expansion of the business district as well as a new convention center and marina.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Cape Fear Community College and Miller-Motte Technical College are all located in the county. Additionally, New Hanover County boasts state-of-the-art medical facilities and a growing list of corporate entities officially headquartered within the county.
Island communities like Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Fort Fisher, and Wrightsville Beach, surround the City of Wilmington, offering pristine sandy beaches and a wide variety of leisure activities for nature lovers, anglers, mariners, and water sports enthusiasts. With boardwalks, piers, and marinas these communities embody the spirit of coastal Americana.
New Hanover County is also home to many established golfing neighborhoods such as Porter’s Neck Plantation, Echo Farms, Cape Fear Country Club, and Landfall. There are also multiple new home communities such as Marsh Oaks, Parkside at Mayfaire, Seagrove, and Tanbridge Park.
Learn more about work, travel, education, medical facilities, lifestyle, leisure, retirement and real estate in New Hanover County.
Famous for its seafood stew, rich maritime history, and superlative golf courses, Brunswick County is conveniently located between historic Wilmington, NC and lively Myrtle Beach, SC. It is an area that is both “out of the way” and close to everything. And, with a low cost of living and a high rate for home appreciation, Brunswick County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation.
Despite being a hot spot for growth and development (recent residential communities include: Brunswick Forest, Magnolia Greens, Waterford, Winding River Plantation and St. James Plantation ), Brunswick County has held fast to the down-home country charm and a laid-back coastal lifestyle that define the area.
Properties and communities spread along both the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic coastline. Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach, Oak Island, Caswell Beach, Bald Head Island and Southport are just a few of Brunswick County’s renowned island and beach communities. Inland, you’ll find small, yet progressive towns like Belville, Leland, Navassa, Boiling Spring Lakes, Bolivia, and Shallotte.
Historically, the Pender County area was comprised of large Southern plantations and rich farmland. Today, it is a gateway between Wilmington, NC, Jacksonville, NC and Raleigh, NC since both Highway 17 and Interstate 40 run through Pender County. Off the main highways, you’ll find smaller country roads that lead through charming small towns like historic Burgaw, Watha, St. Helena, and Atkinson. Pender County is also home to friendly coastal hamlets such as Hampstead, Surf City and Topsail Beach.
Like all of Southeastern North Carolina, Pender County is growing. Crown Pointe, Swan Plantations, Highsmith Estates, Patriots Watch, Oxbow Landing, Riverview, Alligator Lake Estates, Grand Oaks, Morgan Cove Plantations are just a few of the recently developed communities in Pender County. Unincorporated communities include Charity, Currie, Montague, Murphey, Register, Rocky Point, Sloop Point, and Yamacraw.
Pender County's beautiful beaches, unspoiled rivers, bountiful woodlands, and friendly communities make it a desirable area for permanent residents, families with children, and retirees seeking a quiet lifestyle of shopping for antiques, dining on fresh seafood cuisine, camping, boating, fishing, or bird watching.
Lovers of nature and of small-town Americana may want to explore Columbus County. The crown jewel of Columbus County’s seven incorporated towns is Lake Waccamaw, a community built on a unique oval-shaped fresh water lake with a total surface area of 8,936 acres. The Lake is estimated to be 250,000 years old and is said to be the second largest, natural fresh water lake this side of the Mississippi River.
The Lake Waccamaw community is a perfect blend of location and lifestyle. Residents enjoy the serene natural beauty of the lake and the water-sports-oriented lifestyle that it provides. Because the town is in close proximity to Whiteville, Wilmington, and the North Carolina beaches, Lake Waccamaw has become a popular residential and second-home community.
Other towns in Columbus County include Chadbourn, Fair Bluff, Tabor City, and Whiteville. Within Columbus County you’ll also find scenic rivers and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation including: kayaking, canoeing, sailing, fishing, and golf.
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Other Local Areas
Bald Head Island | Brunswick County | Brunswick Forest | Carolina Beach | Figure Eight Island | Forest Hills | Hampstead | Kure Beach | Lake Waccamaw | Landfall | Leland | Magnolia Greens | New Hanover County | Oak Island | Ocean Isle | Pender County | Porter's Neck | Shallotte | Southport | St James Plantation | Surf City | Topsail Beach | Waterford | Wilmington | Wrightsville Beach