Clary Coastal Realty Serving Coastal Carolina

"SNAP SHOTS" OF AREA TOWNS/CITIES


baldhead2.jpgBALD HEAD ISLAND

     Pirates such as Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet once favored Bald Head Island as a safe haven but now it is a refuge for those who want to enjoy the true meaning of "getting away from it all!"

     Bald Head Island is a magical experience.  As your passenger ferry departs the mainland from Southport, so do all your worries and cares.  It is a breathtakingly beautiful island with its 14 miles of unspoiled beaches, 12,000 acres of salt marshes, tidal creeks and maritime forest preserve.

     A secluded resort community with first class accommodations and amenities including a George Cobb designed golf course with clubhouse, croquet greensward, swimming complexes, restaurants, snack bars, marina, full service grocery store, fitness facilities and large pavilion clubhouse with planned activities and events for every age.

     Homes on Bald Head give you a sense of Cape Cod but in a warmer year-round climate.  Since automobiles are prohibited on the island, transportation options include bicycles, electric golf carts or walking.

     Currently, the Bald Head Island mainland ferry landing is located at Indigo Plantation Marina at the end of 9th Street in downtown Southport.  Plans, however, are underway to move the mainland ferry location in late 2008 to Deep Point Marina (adjacent to the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry) off East Moore Street in Southport.

 

CASWELL BEACH  oakislandlighthouse.jpg

    Caswell Beach takes its name from Fort Caswell, which was built by the Army in 1826 on the eastern tip of the island at the mouth of the Cape Fear River.  The Fort itself is now owned by the NC Baptist Assembly and welcomes thousands of visitors of all denominations each year.  The town is is a unique blend of year-round and summer homes -- a great environment for family vacationers. 

     The US Coast Guard Station and Oak Island Light house are also at the eastern tip of the beach.  The USCG station has been in operation here since the 1930's, prior to that it was the US Life Saving Station.  In 2004, the lighthouse and surrounding property and adjacent beachfront property were deeded to the Town of Caswell Beach.  The USCG retained responsibility for upkeep of the lights, but the town is now responsible for the maintenance and grounds upkeep.  Tours of the lighthouse are available on a limited basis.  (Tours of the 2nd level of tower -- 12 steps up -- are available without appointment on Wednesdays & Saturdays -- May 28th thru September 3rd.  Children must be 7 years of age to enter and all climbers must wear toed rubber sole shoes.  Tours of the observation balcony at the top of the lighthouse must be arranged 2 weeks prior on their website -- www.oakislandlighthouse.org.) 

     Caswell Beach shares the Oak Island Golf & CC with its neighbor Oak Island.  Exceptionally beautiful building lots with spectacular views of the ocean, marsh, fairways and wooded areas definitely make this lovely town so appealing to all who live and visit here! 

   

caswellbeach.jpgOAK ISLAND

     When the Towns of Long Beach & Yaupon Beach merged, the Town of Oak Island was created, becoming the most populated town in Brunswick County.  OI is a family-oriented community with a year-round population and a robust business district both on and off the island including quick access to the Brunswick County Airport.  Growth prompted the Town of OI to expand its town limits to include the mainland approaching the Oak Island Bridge on Highway 133.   

     Oak Island is not a barrier island -- it was once connected to the mainland until the Corps of Engineers cut the Intracoastal Waterway. Thus the reason you will find a different variety and quantity of trees on the island such as the majestic live oak and yaupon trees.  With 10 miles of beach on one side, the Intracoastal Waterway on the other and the Davis Creek winding its way up the middle, exceptional waterviews are plentiful.  Because the island is positioned east to west, the beach strand faces south making for gentle surf, moderate tides and spectacular sunrises and sunsets. 

     Oak Island retains more than 60 public beach accesses, two ocean piers, two waterway piers, three marinas, five public boat/canoe ramps, numerous picnic areas, bike paths, walking and canoe trails and an extensive sidewalk system with raised walkways over the creeks and marsh. 

     Construction has begun on the long awaited 2nd bridge to Oak Island.  It will span the Intracoastal Waterway at Middleton Avenue on the island and the connecting road will intersect with Highway 211 at Midway Road in Bolivia.     

ST. JAMES   stjames.jpg

    Incorporated July 1, 1999, the Town of St. James is located on the mainland off Highway 211.  St. James is an upscale community of about 2000 residents nestled against the Intracoastal Waterway and the second bridge to Oak Island, which is currently under construction.  It is in a prime location convenient to schools, local shopping, restaurants, entertainment, beaches and golf courses. 

     St. James' residents enjoy a 160-slip marina with dry stack storage, restaurant, 81 holes of golf with three clubhouses, chapel and a tennis, athletic and swimming complex.  If you are looking for a home for your retirement, a weekend getaway, a rental property or a home site for the future, you're in good company.  Low taxes, low cost of living and affordable homes and home sites attract resident from across the United States.  Link for Three Rivers virtual tour of St. James.  http://www.visualtour.com/shownp.asp?SK=13&T=1817206

ShrimpingInSouthport.jpgSOUTHPORT 

     From the pirate ships of yesterday to the shrimping boats, transatlantic ships and recreational vessels of today, Southport's protected harbor has long been noted for its salubrious breezes and warm hospitality.  Located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Southport's waterfront view is extraordinary. 

     Step back in time as you take a walk beneath the huge sprawling live oak trees that line the quaint streets leading to striking historic homes.  But, don't let the laid-back, sleepy facade fool you.  Southport is a bustling city with a thriving commercial district of cafes, specialty shops, restaurants, professional offices, marinas, motels, bed and breakfast inns, churches, art galleries, museums and meeting facilties. 

     Waterfront Park is the heart of the city.  The Riverwalk begins here and winds around the riverfront through the Old Yacht Basin to the Southport Marina with opportunities along the way to sit on a bench or swing and take in the sights and sounds of the area.  It is truly a photographer's paradise.   

     Southport has become a very popular area for the motion picture and TV industries.  Productions filmed in the area include Matlock, Dawson's Creek, Summer Catch, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Wedding, Crimes of the Heart and most recently, The Secret Lives of Bees

     Southport is a highly desirable place to live.  Because the climate is moderate virtually all year round,  golf, boating and fishing are very popular.  There is always something going on in Southport so be sure to check out the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce Calendar of Events at www.southport-oakisland.com for community events throughout the year. 

     Folklore declares that anyone who drinks from the old water pump located in Franklin Square Park is destined to return.  So, drink in the heritage and hospitality of Southport and return, if not for just a visit, perhaps for a lifetime.

 

SUNSET HARBOR    sunsetharbor.jpg

    Sunset Harbor is a serene wildlife-friendly community tucked away on the Lockwood Folly River.  Deer and fox live beside their human neighbors in complete harmony.  An angler can cast a line over oyster beds and catch their limit of drum and trout.  The country store has everything from a small arcade to homegrown vegetables and fuel.  The peacefulness of this area is appealing to those that love the country and the sunsets. 

     A number of new housing developments have increased the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the tidal creeks, salt marshes and Lockwood Folly River in Sunset Harbor.  Check out SeaWatch at Sunset Harbor, River Run Plantation and Mill Creek Cove.

 

 

Jim Clary, ABR, SFR, SPS
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