Local Carolina Beaches

One of the best aspects of living at Pine Forest Plantation is being surrounded by beach communities.

Living in this part of North Carolina comes with a variety of beaches to visit. From family oriented to nearly-private beaches, you can find it all on the North Carolina coast. The cities surrounding the beaches offer shopping and great seafood. Many of these beaches are close enough to Pine Forest Plantation for a simple day trip.


Oak Island

One of the closest beaches to the plantation is Oak Island. Oak Island is a fairly un-crowded, family-oriented beach with over 60 public beach-access points. In the city of Oak Island, you’ll find mini golf, ice cream, and bicycles to cruise around town. The island offers endless dining options, from pizzas shacks to Thai food, and of course the freshest seafood available. The town is a shopper’s paradise with dozens of antique shops lining the streets. Don’t forget to visit the many gift shops to find a little something special for your kids/grand-kids.
Here are some resources to help plan your visit:


About fifteen minutes east of Pine Forest Plantation you can visit Southport beach. This historic beach town is the perfect place for relaxation and great seafood. Southport has been a haven for sea captains for nearly 300 years. Coastal Living Magazine recently named this city as “America’s Happiest Seaside Town”. Explore the town and recognize sets of popular movies such as “Safe Haven”, “A Walk To Remember”, and “The Secret Lives of Bees”. Dine on seafood while sitting right above the water. Go outside your comfort zone and try skydiving or sailing!
Here are some resources to help plan your visit:


Caswell Beach is part of Oak Island, but you will feel like you are on your own private beach. Caswell is the least populated of all the island beaches. Even though you feel so far away, you are still only a mile away from shops and restaurants. Spend the day visiting the lighthouse, which is one of the brightest in the United States. Some days you may find that you have the entire beach to yourself. Spend the day surf-casting and shell hunting, and then head a couple of miles to all conveniences.

Bald Head Island

Bald Head Island is an area only accessible by ferry, where all transportation is via golf carts, bikes, or foot. There are 14 miles of beaches to explore, and some of the best vacation rental spots on the east coast. Each unit gets unlimited movie rentals, so if you’d like to relax with a good flick after a long day at the beach, you’ll be all set. If you’re still wanting more at the end of the day, then you could take a tour of the Ghost Walk, which is a journey through 400 years of history and paranormal legends.


Calabash is the seafood capital of the east coast, with a plethora of opportunities to excite your palate with freshly caught fish. The Calabash style shrimp is named after the town, but the recipe differs from family restaurant to restaurant. No one knows who has the definitive recipe, but in turn you get to decide for yourself. Calabash is in close proximity to Myrtle Beach, and offers many fishing tours throughout the area. Try your hand at catching a fish and cooking it Calabash style.


Holden Beach was voted the best family beach in the United States. Holden Beach captivates visitors with its small town charm and “unspoiled beauty.” There is a wildlife haven home to dolphins, ghost crabs, and more. Shrimp boats sail through the waters often, due to the rich wildlife populating the area’s pristine waters, and the well kept natural state of the beach. Be sure to check out the North Carolina Festival by the Sea, a celebration with arts, crafts, and seafood that draws people from all over.


Another charming small town destination in the surrounding area is Leland, between Wilmington and beaches of Brunswick County. Kayaking and paddle-boarding are popular in the area, bringing together the small town charm with the beauty of the calming nature of the area.

Ocean Isle

Ocean Isle is a very low-key and calming beach. It’s a great destination for a family vacation. There are many species of wildlife that can be seen just by walking along the shore. Turtles and hatchlings have been witnessed journeying back to the ocean from the beach, and the locals celebrate the animals and make they are safe from harm. The North Carolina Oyster Festival takes place in Ocean Isle, where you can judge your favorite stew. If you want a little wine with your oysters, there is an award-winning winery as well, called the Silver Coast Winery. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try ziplining, surfing, or an eco-boat tour through the swamp areas of Ocean Isle. Truly, there is something for everyone here.


Shallotte is located in the center of the Brunswick County area, making it the hub of the vacation area. It has the familiar brand name stores that you might need for a shopping trip, and a plethora of golf courses available in the 20 mile radius. Shallote Point has magnificently twisted and ancient looking Live Oaks that give the area a 19th century feel. Shallotte is one of the more lively areas on the list, and can be a great weekend destination.

Sunset Beach

On the chain of the Brunswick Islands, Sunset Beach is at the end. However, it doesn’t mean it’s bottom of the list. If you want a traditional spot to enjoy walking on a beach untouched by beach houses for over a mile, then this is the spot for you. It’s a wonderful place to reconnect with nature and experience the great outdoors with your family. By far the calmest and quietest destination on the list, Sunset Beach is a spot for relaxation and recuperation.

The Mainland

The Brunswick Islands are truly a fantastic place, and one of the best places in the country to have a beach vacation, due to the variety and charm. However, the mainland just across the Cape Fear River from downtown Wilmington and stretching south and west to the South Carolina state line has 9 incorporated mainland towns. Varnamtown is a great place to walk around the docks and watch fisherman enjoying their time. The Civil War post, Fort Anderson, and Winnabow are great places to learn a lot about the history of the Brunswick Islands and mainland.