The Daily Gamecock

Road trip towns: Bald Head Island, NC

<p>This is the view of the rivers and marshes of Bald Head Island in North Carolina.&nbsp;</p>

This is the view of the rivers and marshes of Bald Head Island in North Carolina. 

The only way onto the small island of Bald Head is by private boat or 20-minute ferry ride, and once you’re there you won't be sorry you left your car behind.

Upon arrival, golf cart and bicycle rentals are available as the only modes of transportation, so you can start exploring the island right away. This truly gets visitors into the slow, carefree pace of life that locals live by. Packing into a golf cart and setting off without a destination in mind and discovering beaches, shops, walking trails and historical landmarks is great fun.

What separates Bald Head Island beaches from other tourist destinations is its absolute serenity. Unlike places such as Myrtle Beach, where a quiet place is difficult to find, it is almost too easy to find a large expanse of beach for just you and your friends at Bald Head. For those who don’t like the salt water, the island also has luxurious pools with lounge chairs and a bar that serves drinks, seafood and burgers. Visitors can spend hours laying by the pool or throwing a football on the beach.

If visitors want to take a break from the beach or pool, they can explore the historical aspects of the island. Parts of Bald Head Island served as forts in two American wars: Fort George was a British fort in the Revolutionary War and Fort Holmes a Confederate fort in the Civil War. Authentic uniforms and weapons are kept on display in the many historical buildings on the island.

Probably the most iconic landmark of Bald Head Island is its lighthouse — properly named Old Baldy. Built in 1817, Old Baldy is the oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina, surviving wars and countless hurricanes. Visitors can climb up to the top of the lighthouse and see the entire island. The view of the marshes, beaches and ocean from the top of Old Baldy is beautiful and a wonderful spot for pictures.

Bald Head Island also offers a wide range of group activities including fishing, sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding, biking and simply relaxing. For golfers, the island has a course overlooking the ocean that was designed by George Cobb, designer of the par-3 course at the Augusta National Golf Club, which hosts The Masters. With all of the activities available on the island, visitors can do something new every day of their trip.

If you’re looking for seafood, visit Mojo’s. Mojo’s has a variety of fresh seafood, such as (if you're up for it) a steampot of crab and shrimp. Plus the restaurant overlooks the island's marina where the combination of the food, the lights from the boats and the moonlight on the water makes for an excellent dinner. Another eating option is the Maritime Market Cafe. At the cafe, visitors can order a stack of pancakes or buy some fresh food and have a cookout.