5 Ways to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Whether you’re a newcomer to coastal North Carolina or a long-time local, preparing for the region’s annual hurricane season is an imperative part of living here comfortably. As a general rule, the Atlantic hurricane season begins in early June and carries through November, but the majority of our state’s storms tend to hit shores in August and September.

Are you ready? If not, don’t worry! Intracoastal Realty is well-versed in battening down the hatches and making sure homes are fortified against the incoming storms.

Start with a little insurance  

When you’re busy gearing up for a summer storm, one of the last things you’ll want to have to keep on your mind will be what your insurance policy says about flood damage. But some homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover damage or loss from flooding, which means you and your home are at risk of sustaining wreckage that will cost a small fortune and a lot of your time in order to fix it. Contact your agent ahead of time to review your policy and its limitations, and ensure you’re adequately covered.

Evaluate your home

You should always look out for the health of your home, regardless of the season. But when you know a storm is on the horizon, make sure you’ve had your place of residence recently inspected and evaluated for major structural weak spots or existing damage that could be exacerbated with the pressure of heavy winds and rain. The last thing you want to have to worry about in the wake of a hurricane is seeing to the repairs that might have been avoided.

Put in some elbow grease ahead of time

After you’ve had your home looked at to identify potential issues, go ahead and repair or fortify what you can so that the likelihood of having to manage large amounts of storm damage in the aftermath is minimal. Just make sure that you clean up all of your tools and materials afterward, so as not to add to the debris that hurricane winds can easily stir up and circulate.

Call for back-up

In the event that your home does sustain a significant amount of damage, you’ll want to be certain that you’re ready to work with insurance companies, contractors, and any other service specialist to put your house back to rights. To do this with as little fanfare as possible, back up all of the necessary documentation – deeds, records of previous repairs or home modifications, insurance – to a secure server. You could even invest in an account with something as easy to use as Google Docs.

Keep tools of the trade handy

Regardless of whether or not you’ll be at home or elsewhere during the worst of a hurricane, there are certain items that it never hurts to have on hand and at the ready in case of an emergency. Having them all together and easily accessible makes it that much easier for you to address concerns as they come. So, before any hurricane warnings even come through on your local weather channel, have a backpack or duffel bag full of essentials like flashlights, extra batteries, first aid supplies, and universal tools within reach.

When you and the rest of your household are prepared for inclement weather, it’s easier than ever to enjoy the rest of late summer in coastal North Carolina. Hurricane season can vary in terms of severity, but being prepared means that you don’t have to scramble if a storm does roll in off the water. Stay tuned to our blog for more helpful tips on acclimating yourself to our region!


How to Make the Most of the Off-Season

For any local in a beach town, the slightest reprieve afforded by cooler weather can be refreshing, even if it does mark a lull in tourist season. And though North Carolina’s coast never truly suffers from persistent chills, January is a slower time of year for visitors.

So while traffic doesn’t lengthen your commute quite as much, and the breezes on the beach pick up, what is a local to do? The experts here at Intracoastal Realty have a few tips for how to spend the quieter months!

Home improvement

With the weather being less intense than it can get in the summer months, now is a great time to take advantage and tackle a few pet projects. The main thing you’ll have to keep in mind as you plan your next task for the house’s exterior is whether or not the necessary materials will stand up to the chance of rain. If not, make the necessary preparations for fixing something indoors or reorganizing your space to make being inside that much more enjoyable.

Take in the scenery

In the summer, many of our wonderful tourist attractions are crowded hotspots that any good local knows how to navigate around on his or her daily commute. While this might be a less popular time for vacations, you can always play tourist for a day and see the sights you might not get to enjoy at other times of year. There are plenty of places right in your backyard, and we have a few favorite suggestions that you might appreciate!

Play in the sand

Despite the realities of the typical winter season, our area can enjoy some fairly mild weather until spring returns. While the beaches are less populated and the temperatures aren’t keeping you away, take the opportunity to enjoy them! Be mindful of seasonal parking and other local limitations, and bring an extra jacket just in case of an unexpected chill. If nothing else, it’s a great way to cut the monotony of a routine and get your toes in the sand, even for just a little while.

Don’t let wintertime paces get you down – there’s so much to enjoy about North Carolina’s coast at all times of the year! For more information or suggestions for passing the time until the summer sun reappears, stay tuned to our blog and local happenings. And if you or a loved one is considering relocating to our coastal communities, contact us to get started and experience the exceptional!


Spreading the Feeling of Thanksgiving Along the Coast

Traditionally, the Thanksgiving holiday introduces a time of reflection and gratitude, as well as charitable goodwill. Here on the North Carolina coast, there are tons of ways for community members to express their thanks and to spread holiday cheer. If you’re already a resident, or think you might want to be, here are some fun ways you can get out with family and friends while contributing to the seasonal spirit.

Living Shoreline Monitoring at Carolina Beach
Nov. 17
Carolina Beach
www.ncparks.gov

Thanks to the milder fall weather here, environmental events and volunteering can continue well into November. This means that the locals can extend a feeling of gratitude to the beautiful beaches and natural areas, including Carolina Beach State Park. Volunteers and federation staff will be doing just that as they take on salt marsh and reef restoration projects to better improve water quality, decrease erosion, and fortify natural habitats. But don’t let that deter you – no special skills are required. Just bring clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, closed-toe shoes, and a willing attitude. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, and anyone 12 and older is welcome to participate. The one hard and fast rule? No single-use plastic bottles.

Stay Forever Young – Dancing Through the Decades Gala
Nov. 18
Wilmington
www.familypromiselcf.org 

Family Promise of the Lower Cape Fear presents an evening of cocktails, dinner and dancing at Cape Fear Community College Union Station. All proceeds from the event and hosted auctions will go toward the families in Family Promise’s housing and shelter programs. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. and last until approximately 11:30 p.m. Ticket prices start at $125 and increase with levels of pop culture-inspired sponsorship, or you can submit a donation by visiting this site.

These aren’t the only ways to pitch in for your community and local charitable foundations, of course. But no matter what you choose to do this holiday season or even after, Intracoastal Realty is a regional resource you can trust. If you have questions about a certain area or neighborhood, contact us and see if we can help you find a home and community for which you can be thankful!


September 2017 Area Events

9/1, 15: Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series – Airlie Gardens 

9/1: Downtown Sundown Concert Series – Riverfront Park

9/1: Fireworks by the Sea & Boardwalk Blast: – Cape Fear Blvd & Carolina Beach Ave N

9/1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11: The Sunshine Boys – Thalian Hall: Ruth and Bucky Stein Theatre

9/2: Oak Island Labor Day Surf Off – Ocean Crest Pier, Oak Island Oak Island’s Ocean Crest Pier

9/3: New Hanover County Resident Free Admission – Airlie Gardens

9/3, 17: Kure Beach: Boogie in the Park Concert Series Kure Beach Ocean Front Park

9/3: Nelly – The Shell Wilmington

9/5: Willie Nelson – The Shell Wilmington

9/5-10: Annual Pooch Plunge – Legion Stadium pool

9/7-24: The Hermit of Fort Fisher Cape Fear Playhouse / Big Dawg Productions

9/7: Pints for Preservation with Good Hops – Bellamy Mansion Museum

9/8-10: Wilmington Boat Show – Wilmington Convention Center, Port City Marina, Pier 33 & Battleship NC

9/9: Run Holden Beach – Under the Bridge on Jordan Blvd

9/9: Purple Feet FestivalSilver Coast WineryOcean Isle Beach

9/9: 5th Annual Heart of Hope Run – Main Stage Gazebo, Carolina Beach Boardwalk

9/9: 10th CBPD Bike Rodeo – Carolina Beach Rec Center

9/13, 20, 27: Hops & Talks – Wednesday’s at Airlie Gardens

  • 9/13: Butterfly Talk & Wilmington Brewing Company
  • 9/20: Plant Talk & Flytrap Brewing
  • 9/27: Imagine Exhibit Walk & Waterman’s Brewing Company

9/14: Jazz at the Mansion Concert Series – Bellamy Mansion\

9/16: Guided Architectural Walking Tours Temple Baptist Church

9/16: UNCW MarineQuest Youth Weekend Programs – UNCW Center for Marine Science

9/16-17: NC Shell Show – Cape Fear Museum

9/16: Wilmington Symphony Orchestra Presents: Ifetayo Ali-Landing, cello (2017 Sphinx Competition Winner) – CFCC Wilson Center

9/16 – 2/11: Created by Light – Cameron Art Museum

9/16-17: Carolina Beach Dragon Boat Regatta & Festival Carolina Beach Yacht Basin and Marina

9/16: Pier-2-Pier Open Water Swim Race Johnnie Mercer’s Pier

9/16-17: Summer Harvest Festival – Poplar Grove Plantation

9/16: WDFL East National Championship Game & Benefit Concert Event by World Developmental Football League  Legion Stadium

9/17: The Doobie Brothers – CFCC Wilson Center

9/17: Oakdale Cemetery Music & Mausoleums Tour – Oakdale Cemetery

9/18: UB40 Legends Ali, Astro & Mickey – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

9/21-24: ARTfall Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center

9/22: Fourth Friday Gallery Nights – Downtown Wilmington

9/22: Paramount’s Laser Spectacular-Music of Pink Floyd – Thalian Hall

9/23: American Craft Walk Downtown Wilmington

9/23-24: North Carolina Spot Festival – 14221 US-17, Hampstead, NC 28443

9/23: YMCA Wrightsville Beach Sprint Triathlon 2017 – Wrightsville Beach, NC

9/23: Cape Fear Roller Girls Season Finale Double Header – Jellybeans Family Skate Center

9/25: 6th Annual Brunswick County Golf Tournament – Cape Fear National

9/29-10/31: Carnevil in the Woods / Phobia Haunted Trail Cardinal Lanes Parking

9/30: 5th Annual Pleasure Island Day of Hope “Toes in the Sand” – CB Boardwalk Gazebo

9/30: Cape Fear Highland Games – 3400 Randall Parkway


Our History Here: Wrightsville Beach

By Judy Royal

Soon after crossing the drawbridge from the mainland, you’ll reach a fork in the road and face your first decision at Wrightsville Beach. Bearing left will take you to the famous Johnnie Mercer’s Fishing Pier and near the site where a giant sperm whale named Trouble once washed ashore and refused to leave. Bearing right will take you to the classic downtown and points south, including the Coast Guard station and the site of the late, great Lumina Pavilion. 

Either way, you can’t go wrong. 

Either way, you’ll find a vibrant mixture of old and new.

Either way, amid landscape-altering attacks by both nature and developers, you’ll find the constancy of waves against sand.

So begins the synopsis of Wrightsville Beach: The Luminous Island by Ray McAllister, a 2007 book that explores the history and heart of this wildly popular vacation destination near Wilmington. With a year-round population of 2,604 that expands to 45,000-50,000 in the summer months, people have been flocking to Wrightsville Beach for fun in the sun for years through various periods of development.

The seaside town occupies one of the numerous barrier islands along North Carolina’s coast, which is 1,000-5,000 feet in width and stretches almost 4 miles from Masonboro Inlet to the south to Mason’s Inlet to the north (it lies between Figure Eight Island and Masonboro Island). This island containing Wrightsville Beach was once owned by the State of North Carolina and known as New Hanover Banks. It was transferred into private hands in three separate grants between 1791 and 1881. Development would have to wait, however, because distance and lack of transportation other than boats impeded accessibility. From the late 1700s until near the end of the 1800s, there were no residents and very few visitors except for some fishermen and hunters. Sailing soon became popular, and frequent races led to the founding of the Carolina Yacht Club in April 1853. Its members built a clubhouse, the first structure on what was now being called Wrightsville Beach after the Wright family who owned land on the nearby mainland. The Carolina Yacht Club held dozens of races every year and is now recognized as the third oldest yacht club in the country.

More development followed: another yacht club, two hotels, and several beach cottages. Wrightsville Beach was incorporated on March 6, 1899, with about 40-50 mostly seasonal residents. Just prior to that, accessibility to the beach began to improve when Shell Road, a passage for horse-drawn carts topped by oyster shells and following the route of current Wrightsville Avenue, was completed. Just a few months later, Wilmington Seacoast Railroad Co. built rail transportation, known as the open-air Beach Car, from downtown Wilmington to the Hammocks (present-day Harbor Island, a sizeable land mass formed as a result of dredging spoils from the Intracoastal Waterway in the early 20th century) with a footbridge to the beach. During the same year as incorporation, the rail line was extended across the Hammocks and onto the barrier island and then southward along what is now South Lumina Avenue. The Beach Car served as the lifeline to Wrightsville Beach, transporting thousands of visitors every summer until the trolley era began to give way to the automobile in 1935, when a two-lane bridge was built across the Intracoastal Waterway to Harbor Island and then over Banks Channel to the beach.

At the end of the Beach Car line was the sprawling and magnificent Lumina Pavilion, built in 1905 and offering 12,500 square foot of games and activities – including a dance hall, bowling alley, snack shop, shooting gallery, and movie screen in the surf – on three levels. Virtually every Big Band era band played there until the last, Vaughn Monroe, took the stage in early 1952. By then, times were changing and the Lumina’s popularity was waning. Crowds diminished as the trolley line came to an end in 1940, and the building deteriorated to the point of being condemned in 1972. It was demolished in 1973.

While the Lumina is no longer physically present, those who yearn for a simpler time when Big Bands played and people danced the night away can relive that era during Lumina Daze. The 21st annual event, chock full of nostalgia and reminiscing, will be 5-9 p.m. Aug. 27 at Blockade Runner Beach Resort, 275 Waynick Blvd. in Wrightsville Beach. Lumina Daze features live music, dancing, an inflatable movie screen showing a film on the lawn, a cash bar, food, a silent auction, and history displays. Tickets are $20 in advance at the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, 303 W. Salisbury St. in Wrightsville Beach, or Blockade Runner, and they will also be available at the door. For more information, visit http://www.wbmuseumofhistory.com/events/lumina-daze, email wbmuseum@bizec.rr.com, or call 910-256- 2569.

Over the years, Wrightsville Beach’s year-round population grew as the area weathered and survived hurricanes, including Category 4 Hazel in October 1954, and a 1934 fire that destroyed hundreds of buildings on the north end of the island. Although the Beach Cars and Big Bands are gone, visitors still jam the streets as they make their way to the salt and sand at one of the nation’s most popular beaches.

For more about Wrightsville Beach’s history, including a timeline of events, visit the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History website or, better yet, make plans to stop by to browse the exhibits, discover how life was lived in a typical summer cottage, and check out the museum’s centerpiece, a 12-foot model of Wrightsville Beach as it looked circa 1910.

Now that you know Wrightsville Beach’s past, let Intracoastal Realty help you make the storied area part of your future. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 13 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.


New Restaurants Are Popping Up All Over New Hanover County

By Judy Royal

“Want to grab breakfast?” “What are you doing for lunch?” “What’s for dinner tonight?” These questions are almost as pervasive in everyday conversation as, “How are you today?” The Wilmington area, known for having a high number of restaurants relative to the size and population of the region, has plenty of options for those seeking a good meal with no effort or mess to clean up afterward. While there are many tried-and-true establishments that have stood the test of time around here, the nature of the industry also lends itself to many newcomers who are ready to give it a go and offer their cuisine to the hungry masses. The following are a few recently opened establishments you might want to consider the next time you dine out:***

Blackfinn Ameripub, 18 Harnett St., Wilmington

This spot in the Pier 33 northern riverfront section of downtown Wilmington has a prime waterfront location with lots of indoor and outdoor seating for all seasons. Catch your favorite sports games on plenty of TV screens, or just sit and enjoy the view for lunch, dinner, or late night. There are plenty of beer, wine, and cocktail selections, including the refreshing Cucumber Cooler and the Blackfinn Bacon Mary. Food runs the gamut from appetizers and small plates such as Fried Deviled Eggs, Southern Nachos, and Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes to salads, sandwiches, and large main dishes, including Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf, Shrimp N Grits, and Chicken Fried Chicken. There is also a weekday happy hour menu with $5 noshes and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Cruz, 7205 Wrightsville Ave., Wilmington

The newest creation from the folks who brought the area K38 Baja Grill and Tower 7 is now open in the bottom floor of the Grand View Luxury Apartments building just west of the drawbridge to Wrightsville Beach. Enjoy lunch and dinner daily, with tasty bites such as Truffle Fries, Florets of Fire (cauliflower), and Mexican Street Corn as well as salads, sandwiches, tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, and main dishes, including Tuna Sedona, Cruz Spring Chicken, and Masonboro Shrimp Bake. Wash it all down with selections from the full bar. The crisp-looking décor includes light colors in a beachy theme.

Far from France, 1474 Barclay Pointe Blvd. #204, Wilmington

Pastries, bread, gourmet chocolate, macarons, and imported French goods line the shelves at this bakery in The Pointe at Barclay, a mixed-use development at the corner of South 17th Street and Independence Boulevard that also features a brand-new movie theater and a number of other shops and businesses. Grab some sweet souvenirs or other goodies and sit outdoors with some coffee, or take them with you. Recent selections included croissants, baguettes, crepe cake, wheat bread, and madeleines, which are French tea cakes. The café is open every day except Monday.

Nollie’s Taco Joint, 3 Pelican Lane, Carolina Beach

Located just a few steps off the beach yet hidden on a side street just off the town’s bustling Boardwalk area, this spot is open daily for lunch and dinner. Tacos on corn or flour tortillas, chips with various salsas and guacamole, burritos, salads, and quesadillas make up the menu, including some vegetarian selections. There is also a lineup of drinks such as micheladas, margaritas, and cold beer. Sit indoors or outdoors on the deck, or take your food with you to enjoy on the sand. Just watch out for the seagulls!

Pho Café, 3926 Market St. #201, Wilmington

Owners of the former Saigon Bistro are back with a smaller-scale operation serving many of the Vietnamese street food items previous customers have been missing. The menu includes a variety of pho, a soup made from a complex broth paired with meat, rice noodles, white onion, green onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, basil, lime, jalapeños, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha sauce on the side. Banh mi, a traditional Vietnamese sandwich served on homemade baguettes, and boba tea are also among the offerings. Service is mostly takeout with limited dine-in seating. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Southeastern North Carolina has you covered when you’re hungry for a good meal, and Intracoastal Realty is here to satisfy your Wilmington NC real estate needs. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 13 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.

***This list is informational only and does not serve as a review or any other endorsement for these establishments.


What to Know When Buying on the Water

By Judy Royal

Many people dream their whole lives of living on the water. Who wouldn’t want the serenity of looking out your window to enjoy the ultimate view, not to mention having a body of water and its recreational opportunities right outside your door? Buying waterfront property is not only an investment; it’s a lifestyle. Especially in Southeastern North Carolina where the ocean calls so many to its edge, waterfront living is the pinnacle of real estate goals for lots of buyers. But there are many special considerations that go along with owning a waterfront piece of paradise. Educate yourself so you know exactly what to expect as you embark on acquiring your own waterfront property in the Wilmington NC real estate market.

Look into loans

It’s no secret that you will likely pay a premium to have the waterfront lifestyle that you’ve been working toward for many years. Because a home on the water is typically more expensive than a similar home in a standard neighborhood, you will probably need a bigger loan. Jumbo mortgages, which take longer to obtain than a regular home loan and are given by lenders to only the most qualified buyers, are one of the routes you may expect to go when buying a waterfront home. Start loan shopping early to be sure you can qualify and to allow plenty of time for the process.

Calculate hidden costs

The price you pay for your waterfront home is just the beginning. Perhaps more than any other type of property, there are many hidden costs associated with ownership of this type. In addition to the possibility of a homeowners association, which you will find in many other standard neighborhoods, a waterfront home is likely to come with much higher insurance and maintenance expenses. Especially in a coastal environment where hurricanes and flooding are common threats, waterfront homes often come with hefty insurance premiums due to the increased risk of damage from natural disasters. Maintenance costs are also likely to be more than what you’d pay for a similar home in another environment due to increased wear and tear and the need for special features such as storm shutters. Be sure to calculate all of these costs well into the future so you can protect your investment.

Talk to neighbors

Getting to know people who live in a community where you are thinking about buying is a good idea regardless of the type of neighborhood you are considering, but when it comes to waterfront this is a crucial thing to do. Potential neighbors can give you insight about safety, privacy, erosion, what to expect during hurricane season, how crowded the area will be during various seasons of the year, and more. A few conversations may help you decide whether a community will be the right one for you. Doing a little homework now can save you from experiencing some unwelcome surprises down the line when you’re already locked into a loan.

Examine the property

No matter how much you love a home, when you’re buying on the waterfront be sure you consider the land just as much as or more than the structure. After all, you can change a house but not the location. What’s water access like? Are you near a public walkway that might create lots of pedestrian traffic and noise? Where does your land end and public property begin? Is the area good for swimming? How do the tides affect your property? The latter is especially important if you live in a boating community where low water levels restrict the times in which you can use your watercraft. It’s a good idea to look at a survey of the land and a plot map, and talk to your real estate agent and possibly a real estate attorney to be completely clear about what you are actually buying.

Know the rules

If you’re planning to add a dock, seawall, or other feature to your waterfront property, find out what that will entail. You may have to deal with government agencies that have strict rules about what can be done, especially if there are any wetlands on your property. Also find out if there are any restrictions on the use of jet skis and other watercraft if that’s something you plan to enjoy on a regular basis.

Consider a waterfront specialist

Some real estate agents have special qualifications that make them a great choice for those looking to buy on the waterfront. It may be a good idea to look for those who specialize in waterfront transactions so they can share their expertise about the ins and outs of the process.

Are you ready for a waterfront home of your own? If you want to stop dreaming and find out if life really is better on the water, Intracoastal Realty is here to meet your Wilmington NC real estate needs. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 13 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.


10 Parks to Visit in Southeastern North Carolina

By Judy Royal

A public parks system is a vital component of a successful community. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, parks and recreation have three values that make them essential services to an area: economic value, health and environmental benefits, and social importance.

While the health, environmental, and social ramifications are somewhat clear, many people don’t realize that parks can have a direct effect on real estate. A Texas A&M review of 25 studies investigating whether parks and open space contributed positively to the values of surrounding properties found that 20 of the 25 studies determined the values of properties closer to parks were higher. “The real estate market consistently demonstrates that many people are willing to pay a larger amount for property located close to parks and open space areas than for a home that does not offer this amenity,” according to the review. In addition, quality parks and recreation are one of the top three reasons that businesses cite in relocation decisions in a number of studies.

If you’re in the market for Wilmington NC real estate, you’ll be glad to know there is no shortage of public recreation space in Southeastern North Carolina. No matter which county or community you’re in, you’ll find plenty of spots to get out and get active. Below you’ll see one example of a great park to visit in each place where Intracoastal Realty has a location.

Hugh MacRae Park, 314 Pine Grove Drive, Wilmington

Offering 98 acres of walking/jogging trails, an all-inclusive playground, a splash pad, a dog park, baseball fields, tennis courts, picnic areas, and a horse ring, Hugh MacRae Park is a popular spot for events and festivals throughout the year.

Wrightsville Beach Park, 1 Bob Sawyer Drive, Wrightsville Beach

Located along the John Nesbitt Loop that circles the town’s heart, Wrightsville Beach Park has 13 acres of tennis courts, basketball courts, athletic fields, sand volleyball courts, playground equipment, and a fitness trail.

Carolina Beach Lake Park, 400 S. Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach

Once noted in the The Guinness Book of World Records as the freshwater lake closest to salt water, Carolina Beach Lake is the focal point of its namesake 11-acre park that includes a sheltered picnic area, a playground, four gazebos overlooking the water, kayaks and paddle boats available for rent, and a walking path. In the summer, it serves as the location for a weekly farmers’ market and outdoor movies shown on an inflatable screen, and during the holiday Island of Lights celebration it is decorated in seasonal splendor.

Joe Eakes Park, K Avenue and South 7th Avenue, Kure Beach

You’ll find a children’s playground, a picnic area, a full basketball court, a regulation baseball field, two bocce ball courts, two tennis courts with a practice backboard, and a disc golf course at Joe Eakes Park. There are also picnic tables and the Gurney Hood Barking Lot dog park.

Lowe-White Memorial Park, East Leonard Street and Willis Drive, Southport

Facilities at Lowe-White Memorial Park include a pair of enclosed tennis courts, playground equipment, picnic tables, and the enclosed basketball half-court. There are also walking trails and an overlook structure.

William S. “Bill” Smith Park, 4410 Fish Factory Road SE, Oak Island

Experience 24 acres of athletic fields, a disc golf course, a kayak launch, a picnic shelter, a community use building, and two dog parks, one for small dogs and one for large dogs, at William S. “Bill” Smith Park.

Ocean Isle Beach Park, 6483 Old Georgetown Road SW, Ocean Isle Beach

Ocean Isle Beach Park features 58 acres of tennis courts, two playgrounds, a covered picnic area, a large multipurpose athletic field, and a 300-seat amphitheater.

Leland Community Park, 1490 Village Rd NE, Leland

Come to Leland Community Park to enjoy two baseball fields, two batting cages, three picnic shelters, a playground, two community buildings, and a paved walking path.

Hampstead Kiwanis Park, 586 Sloop Point Loop Road, Hampstead

You’ll find 82 acres of athletic fields, fitness trails, and a picnic area at Hampstead Kiwanis Park, and it’s also the site of events throughout the year, including the annual Easter egg hunt.

Soundside Park, 517 Roland Ave., Surf City

Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, Soundside Park has a playground, boardwalk’s around the sound’s edge, viewing decks, a fishing pier, picnic shelters, and an amphitheater.

Are you ready to call Southeastern North Carolina home so you and your family can explore all of the parks it has to offer? Intracoastal Realty is here to meet your Wilmington NC real estate needs. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 12 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.


May Area Events

5/1 – 7: 2017 Wells Fargo Championship (PGA Tour Event) – Eagle Point Golf Club

  • 5/1-2: PGA TOUR Professional Practice Rounds
  • 5/4: First Round of Competition & Television Coverage
  • 5/5: Second Round of Competition & Television Coverage
  • 5/6: Third Round of Competition & Television Coverage
  • 5/7: Final Round of Competition & Closing Award Ceremony

5/1 – 9/11: Waterfront Market – Ocean Isle Beach

5/1-6: Paint Out Wilmington – Various Locations in Wilmington

5/2,3: Dirty Dancing LIVE – CFCC Wilson Center

5/4: It’s A Gimmie Movie Night (Happy Gilmore) – Pleasure Island Riverfront Park

5/5, 6: Caddy Shack Concerts – Pleasure Island Riverfront Park

5/6: New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players Presents: HMS Pinafore – CFCC Wilson Center

5/6, 13, 20, 27: Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace – Riverfront Park/ 5 N Water St.

5/7, 21: Kure Beach: Boogie in the Park Concert Series – Kure Beach Ocean Front Park

5/11: Arsenio Hall – Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

5/11-20: The Nina & Pinta Visit Wilmington – Port City Marina

5/12: Cape Fear Disabled Fishing Tournament – Kure Beach Fishing Pier

5/13: BBQ Cook-Off on BBQ Road – Ocean Isle Beach

5/13: 1st Annual Wine & Swine BBQ Cook-Off – BBQ Road, Ocean Isle Beach

5/18 – 28: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

5/19-21: Wilmington Greek Festival – St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

5/19: Inaugural Pleasure Island Team Surf Fishing Challenge – Lazy Pirate, Carolina Beach

5/19: Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series – Airlie Gardens

5/19, 20: USA Beach Wrestling Nationals – Carolina Beach

5/20 – Summer: Oakdale Cemetery WWI Historical Tour – Oakdale Cemetery

5/20: Carolina Beach Arts Festival – Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach

5/20: Beach Wrestling Nationals – Carolina Beach, NC

5/20: 24th Annual Seaside Soccer Classic – Various Soccer Fields Wilmington

5/20, 21: Seaside Soccer Classic – Various Soccer Fields

5/24: Brit Floyd – Immersion World Tour 2017 – CFCC Wilson Center

5/24: Sunset Beach Concert Series – The Village Park on Queen Anne, Sunset Beach

5/26: Fireworks by the Sea & Boardwalk Blast: Jack Jack 180 – Cape Fear Blvd & Carolina Beach Ave N

5/26: Ocean Isle Summer Concert Series – Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot – across from the Museum of Coastal Carolina

5/26: Fourth Friday Gallery Nights – Downtown Wilmington

5/27, 28: Orange Street Artfest – Orange Street between Front and Third & the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center

5/27 – 10/7: Carolina Beach Farmers Market – Carolina Beach Lake Park

5/28: Free Movie Night (Trolls) – Carolina Beach Lake Park

5/29: Memorial Day Observance – Battleship North Carolina (FREE)


Enjoy Southeastern North Carolina’s Nature at No Charge

By Judy Royal

Anyone sitting on the sand at any of our beach strands would likely agree that many of the best things in life are free. But other than the sea, what can you enjoy without a fee? Plenty! If you’re looking for a way to commune with nature without breaking the bank, you’re definitely in luck in this region.

John Nesbitt Loop

Hours: Always open
Contact: Causeway Drive, North Lumina Avenue and Salisbury Street, Wrightsville Beach, (910) 256-7925, www.towb.org

Why do you always see so many people out exercising in Wrightsville Beach? They’re taking advantage of the John Nesbitt Loop, known to locals simply as “The Loop,” a popular 2.45-mile stretch of sidewalk that circles the town’s heart. The route offers coastal views, scenic parks and gardens, water fountains, and pit stops for thirsty dogs. When the weather is nice, you’ll see plenty of locals and visitors – along with their four-legged friends – walking, biking, jogging, and skating.

Carolina Beach State Park

Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily
Contact: 1010 State Park Road, Carolina Beach, (910) 458-8206, www.ncparks.gov/carolina-beach-state-park

You’ll find a marina, secluded camping area, cabins, visitors center, and walking trails that traverse various habitats at Carolina Beach State Park, home to the Venus’ flytrap, one of the world’s most carnivorous plants and a native of Southeastern North Carolina. Have fun and learn at the same time, as rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about the park. It’s also a great place for a picnic along the bank of Snow’s Cut, with tables, grills, and plenty of shade from large oak trees.

Summer Rest Trail

Hours: 8 a.m.-sunset daily
Contact: 1981 Eastwood Road, Wilmington, and 423 Summer Rest Road, Wilmington, (910) 798-7629, www.parks.nhcgov.com

Explore one of the area’s hidden gems by taking a stroll or bike ride along Summer Rest Trail, a 0.7-mile asphalt path that begins at Port City Chop House on Eastwood Road and winds through a wooded route to Summer Rest Road, which overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway near Wrightsville Beach. It’s the perfect place for a short run, quiet walk, or scenic getaway from your regular surroundings.

Oakdale Cemetery

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
Contact: 520 N. 15th St., Wilmington, (910) 762-5682, www.oakdalecemetery.org

Part outdoor museum and part arboretum, Oakdale Cemetery boasts 100 acres and is North Carolina’s oldest rural cemetery. Its native vegetation is punctuated with blooming plants all year long but especially so in the spring, so it’s a great spot for a self-guided tour to stroll through the beauty and history.

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily; the pedestrian beach is always open
Contact: 1000 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, (910) 458-5798, www.ncparks.gov/fort-fisher-state-recreation-area

Enjoy 6 miles of unspoiled beaches and trails at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, located at the southernmost part of Pleasure Island. Explore the salt marsh and its wildlife, including loggerhead sea turtles, piping plovers, and other rare species. Enjoy surf fishing as well as a boat ramp and padding launch.

New Hanover County Arboretum

Hours: Open daily during daylight hours
Contact: 6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, (910) 798-7660, www.arboretum.nhcgov.com

Explore 7 acres of plants that grow in the coastal area as well as emerging trends in plant material, proper horticultural techniques, aesthetic design, environmental stewardship, and research at the New Hanover County Arboretum, which bills itself as “where nature and knowledge grow.” During your visit, enjoy numerous gardens, a plant clinic, a picnic area, a gift shop, a children’s area, and an interactive chalk wall.

Brunswick Nature Park

Hours: 8 a.m.-dusk daily
Contact: 2601 River Road (N.C. Highway 133), Winnabow, (910) 253-2670, bcparks.recdesk.com

Brunswick Nature Park offers 911 acres of undeveloped wilderness featuring a dynamic mix of vegetation, wildlife, ecosystems, vistas, wetlands, and waterways for exploration. Enjoy a kayak/canoe launch site and a large picnic pavilion as well as walking, biking, and horse trails. Take a ride out to the country to please your senses with the primitive and unspoiled views and serene atmosphere.

Airlie Gardens

Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
Contact: 300 Airlie Road, Wilmington, (910) 798-7700, www.airliegardens.org
*Admission charge typically applies, with exceptions noted below.

*If you live in New Hanover County and have a valid ID to prove it, you get in free on the first Sunday of each month. Experience 67 acres of formal gardens, wildlife, historic structures, walking trails, sculptures, views of Bradley Creek, 10 acres of freshwater lakes, more than 100,000 azaleas, and the grandeur of the 472-year-old Airlie Oak at Airlie Gardens. While you’re there, meet Reilly, a rescued border collie that was “hired” to help manage Canada geese on the property, or explore the 2,700-square-foot butterfly house, which is home to 11 native species of butterflies and open May 15-October 15.

Cape Fear Museum

Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday
Contact: 814 Market St., Wilmington, (910) 798-4370, www.capefearmuseum.com
*Admission charge typically applies, with exceptions noted below.

*If you live in New Hanover County and have a valid ID to prove it, you get in free on the first Sunday of each month. Cape Fear Museum, the oldest history museum in North Carolina, offers various exhibits and programs focusing on the area’s history and science. It draws on a collection of more than 52,000 items to help visitors explore a wide range of topics related to the Lower Cape Fear region.

N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
Contact: 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, (910) 772-0500, www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher
*Admission charge typically applies, with exceptions noted below.

*Admission is free on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January and Veterans Day in November. The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher offers a variety of exhibits for all ages that have everything from an albino alligator and a rescued bald eagle to sharks and loggerhead turtles as well as an interactive touch tank. Visitors journey down the Cape Fear River – from freshwater streams and swamps to coastline habitats, reefs, and the open ocean – discovering unique habitats and wildlife.

 

Are you ready to take advantage of all Southeastern North Carolina has to offer? Intracoastal Realty is here to meet your Wilmington NC real estate needs, whether you want to stay for a weekend or a lifetime. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 12 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.