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Old 09-03-2007, 02:43 AM
 
190 posts, read 769,166 times
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My husband and I will be visiting Bald Head Island for a week in October, to celebrate my birthday.

We thought it might be the perfect opportunity to check out some of the surrounding area, as we are considering a relocation in a few years to NC. Right now we like Chapel Hill, but we live on the coast of MA now, and the water has always held a special place in our hearts. We would be in heaven if we could find a "reasonable" coastal town (houses in the 300s) that doesn't roll up the sidewalks in the winter and has a population of more than 1K, and a hospital nearby.

Can anyone suggest other towns to visit? We are thinking New Bern. We're going to go to Wilmington just to see it, but I wouldn't want to live there - too big and too much crime.

I've heard mention of Swansboro, Washington, Beaufort. Worth seeing? What about Southport?
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:32 AM
 
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Southport seems to fit your bill, and it's right there at Bald Head.
New Bern is a couple of hours from Bald Head (as others you've mentioned), and it's a really nice area, too, but bigger than Southport. You would definitely take at least a day to get there, visit, and get back to Bald Head and catch your ferry on time.
Chapel Hill is a great town, but a lot different feel than these coastal towns you've mentioned. It's not "just" a college town so much as in years past (others may disagree), but UNC does make it what it is. Also, close to Raleigh and Durham, and all they have to offer.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
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You might want to check this thread: A visit to Southport and Orton Gardens
Liz
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:45 AM
 
197 posts, read 876,272 times
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Also, Beaufort is a nice, quaint town, and is nice to visit, but I don't think it's what you're looking for in terms of relocation. I know a couple in their 30s who moved there but left after a couple of years, it was just too small and really, really quiet in the winter. Plus, from what I've heard, real estate prices have skyrocketed there. But, of course, everyone has their own opinion.

I'm guessing it would probably take at least 4 hours to get to Washington from Bald Head, but I'm not familiar with that town or Swansboro, which would be closer.
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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Default Too Quiet?

That's the fear I have - much too small and quiet. Most of these towns. New Bern not so much, but I don't like the crime rate there.

We live in a small "city" of 20K now, and it is perfect, plus alot of surrounding nice towns to visit.

I wonder if Southport, though even smaller than Beaufort, might be more to our liking, since we would be close (1/2 hour or so??) from Wilmington whereas I don't think there is that much bigger near Beaufort, is there?
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:51 PM
 
197 posts, read 876,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macdebbie View Post
That's the fear I have - much too small and quiet. Most of these towns. New Bern not so much, but I don't like the crime rate there.

We live in a small "city" of 20K now, and it is perfect, plus alot of surrounding nice towns to visit.

I wonder if Southport, though even smaller than Beaufort, might be more to our liking, since we would be close (1/2 hour or so??) from Wilmington whereas I don't think there is that much bigger near Beaufort, is there?

Personally, I would prefer Southport to Beaufort.
You have Wilmington within 30 minutes or so and Myrtle Beach metro within an hour.
However, Beaufort and the "Crystal Coast" are very nice. You might like Morehead City --- very close to Beaufort but a little larger. You are right, nothing as large as Wilmington near Beaufort and Morehead. Closest is probably Wilmington itself.
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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Also, I was surprised the Southport population is less than Beaufort.
There is so much development around Southport (from Southport to Supply), plus Oak Island is nearby, so Southport seems much larger than it's "official" population would indicate.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:40 PM
 
419 posts, read 1,242,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macdebbie View Post
My husband and I will be visiting Bald Head Island for a week in October, to celebrate my birthday.

We thought it might be the perfect opportunity to check out some of the surrounding area, as we are considering a relocation in a few years to NC. Right now we like Chapel Hill, but we live on the coast of MA now, and the water has always held a special place in our hearts. We would be in heaven if we could find a "reasonable" coastal town (houses in the 300s) that doesn't roll up the sidewalks in the winter and has a population of more than 1K, and a hospital nearby.

Can anyone suggest other towns to visit? We are thinking New Bern. We're going to go to Wilmington just to see it, but I wouldn't want to live there - too big and too much crime.

I've heard mention of Swansboro, Washington, Beaufort. Worth seeing? What about Southport?
Washington is nice but very rural. Swansboro is a little too close to the military base. Southport would get my vote but you'd be hard pressed to find a home in the downtown area for 300k. New Bern is another nice choice. Have you considered South Carolina? Pawley's Island is about 1.5 hours south of Bald Head. Another nice one is Beufort (pronounced differently from the NC counterpart). It's a bit too far for a day trip
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
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Quote:
Another nice one is Beufort (pronounced differently from the NC counterpart). It's a bit too far for a day trip
Beaufort, SC is between Charleston and Savannah.
Beaufort, South Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
Beaufort (pronounced "byew-furt" [ IPA: /ˈbjuʷ.fɚt/] unlike its counterpart in North Carolina) is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands and Lowcountry.
Beaufort, North Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
Beaufort (pronounced "BO-furt" / IPA: ˈbo.fɚt) is a town in Carteret County, North Carolina, United States.
Liz
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:32 PM
 
190 posts, read 769,166 times
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Default Beaufort, etc.

Yes, we have been to Beaufort, SC, albeit only for lunch on a drive through from Savannah to Charleston. The town itself was cute, but we didn't like all the stip malls, etc. getting into it. Perhaps we came in the wrong way. It might deserve another look.

New Bern was on our list for awhile, but given the crime rate, I don't think it is a consideration. I realize from what people say that the crime is not throughout the town, but it still bothers us coming from an area with so little crime. As an aside, Beaufort, SC seems to have a very high crime rate also (??)

I think we will most likely stick to seeing Southport this trip and Wilmington just to see it - again Wilmington is not somewhere we would consider living due to size and crime.

I'm just curious, as I don't want to spend our time driving out there, why people like Southport better than Beaufort, NC? I assumed Southport downtown area would be out of our price range. Are there any nice developments that we could see while there that are not all "cookie cutter"? We generally really dislike subdivisions, but would consider a development done in the tone of Fearrington, NC which shows some respect for the land (they kept the trees, have acres of parks, a pond, etc.) and diverse housing.

Thanks everyone for your help!!!
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