Perched out off the coast of North Carolina, Bald Head Island is one of the region’s best locations for a quiet summertime getaway. The island is one of the few places in the United States where cars are not allowed, so the vibe here is very tranquil and relaxed. With under 200 permanent residents, there isn’t much in the way of a “downtown,” but the nature here is stunning. Sand dunes, pristine beaches, salt marshes, and maritime forests all teem with wildlife. Bald Head Island is only a 20-minute ferry ride from mainland North Carolina, but it can feel almost worlds away.
Visiting the island, one of the best things to do is the Old Baldy Historic Island Tour. The island was involved in both the revolutionary and Civil War, so it’s rich in military history. It also had its fair share of encounters with pirates and shipwrecks. Visit some of the historic lighthouses, or go on any of the amazing nature tours to spot some of the endemic birds and mammals. Another great way to explore Bald Head is by bike. You can rent one or bring your own and traverse as much of the island as you’d like. Otherwise, feel free to stroll the 14 miles of pristine beaches to reconnect with nature.
Locals commonly say the fall -- specifically between the months of September and October -- are the best time to visit the island. There are fewer crowds, it's not quite as hot, and the prices tend to fall on everything including housing and activities.
As the southernmost of North Carolina’s Cape Islands, Bald Head Island offers visitors a unique blend of nature, coastal views, relaxation, and history. Located at the union of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, a mere 20-minute ferry ride from Deep Point Marina, Bald Head Island is the ideal remote getaway.
For a magnificent outdoor experience on the coast of North Carolina, grab some clubs and head to the Bald Head Island Club Golf Course. Even if you’re a beginner, spending an afternoon strolling the 18 holes is an excellent way to get outdoors.
Bald Head Island is truly a secluded wonder that has something to offer any traveler. Beyond the beaches, 10,000 of the 12,000 acres on Bald Head Island are protected, including Bald Head Woods Maritime Forest Preserve -- a coastal area boasting lush greenery. Visitors can also soak up the island’s history with a trip to Old Brady, the oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina. As far as viewing wildlife, we recommend sailing with Riverside Adventures, Kayaking in the creeks, and hiking on the Kent Mitchell Nature Trail. For a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, did you know that scores of loggerhead sea turtles return to Bald Head Island each summer to lay their eggs? Head to the Bald Head Island Conservancy for a chance to interact with newborn sea turtles and watch their first venture into the sea.