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Old 04-03-2012, 08:53 PM
 
16 posts, read 41,901 times
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My boyfriend and I are wanting to spend our vacation at the beach this year. The only problem with this is I've gotten stuck planning most of it... and I've only been to one beach in my life (Wilmington, and it just made my head spin), and I know zilch about that side of North Carolina.

Maybe some of you kind people could assist me? Here's some info that may help with making suggestions:

We're wanting to take about 4-5 days in late May for this trip.

We're both okay with more "nature-y" things to do as opposed to "touristy" things. We both tend to feel easily overcrowded, have bad road rage sometimes, and just don't do well in packed crowds in general. I doubt it happens that early in the season, but the idea of being packed on a beach like sardines is awful to me.

It'd be nice to find somewhere that was a good mix of beach/nature and some simple, fun things to do other than just laying on the beach (that could be something like hiking, or something like museums and sightseeing, or whatever a specific area is really "known" for).

We're both 24 years old, we don't like clubbing or anything like that, we tend to spend our nights in or with friends, and enjoy having our days outside. This vacation is primarily for relaxation and time together after a long year of school and work; it isn't meant for partying or anything like that.

Also, somewhere that's not super expensive (lodging, food, attractions) would be great. I realize that anything on or pretty near a beach will likely be a bit pricy, but if it's an area that's a bit more lenient or has good pricing options, that'd be great.

Thanks so much to anyone that can offer any suggestions or help!!
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zwietracht View Post
We're wanting to take about 4-5 days in late May for this trip.

We're both okay with more "nature-y" things to do as opposed to "touristy" things. We both tend to feel easily overcrowded, have bad road rage sometimes, and just don't do well in packed crowds in general. I doubt it happens that early in the season, but the idea of being packed on a beach like sardines is awful to me.
North Topsail is mostly houses, so it is not very crowded early in the season. You may have to rent for a full week though, as rentals generally run Saturday afternoon to Saturday morning. A good resource is VRBO® is Vacation Rentals By Owner (http://www.vrbo.com - broken link) to search for houses. There are a couple of motels though, and campgrounds if you have a camper.

Topsail Beach and Surf City have the tourist attractions, and a turtle rescue place, and a World war II museum. There are public access areas with some rec facilities, maybe some nature paths. There is also a fishing pier in North Topsail, where you can just watch the fishermen, if you don't fish.

Last edited by goldenage1; 04-04-2012 at 06:05 AM..
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
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Default Topsail Island

I'd say anywhere on Topsail Island.

Not sure what super expensive is but you can rent second row houses that sleep 8 at Topsail Beach up through May 25 for $700 for a week. Some will also offer rentals for three to six nights. You can check with Topsail Realty for that.

Then you can spend as much or as little as you want on food if you decide to stock up at one of the nearby grocery stores. Short drive to Wilmington if you want to spend a day there.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Kansas City
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Default Oak Island

We've stayed on Oak Island for over 10 years and love it. It sounds like you may too. We've visited many beaches in North Carolina and elsewhere, they just don't have the peaceful feel of Oak Island. At that time of the year, you will have the beach almost to yourselves. You should be able to find a reasonably priced house right on the beach. There are many vacation rental companies on the island. We've used Margaret Rudd at Rudd.com for many years with no complaints. Now for suggestions of activities. Here are some we have enjoyed.

Town of Southport-quaint small town to shop and explore.

Ferry over to Fort Fisher Recreation Area where you can visit the aquarium and the fort.

Carolina Beach State Park-hiking trails

Carolina Jeep Rentals in Carolina Beach-rent a jeep and explore the beaches at Freeman Park or Fort Fisher Recreation Area.

If you want an assortment of activities, you can make a day trip to Myrtle Beach.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:28 PM
 
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Thank ya'll so much! I really do appreciate the input and help! I'm looking into all these. I've had a friend suggest Outer Banks, so if anyone has anything to say about that I'd love to have more than one opinion (I don't trust the friends, haha).
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Originally Posted by zwietracht View Post
I've had a friend suggest Outer Banks, so if anyone has anything to say about that I'd love to have more than one opinion (I don't trust the friends, haha).
Unless you like surfing, I think the Outer Banks is over-rated. The water is colder, and the beaches are washing away in places. Depending on where you are coming from, it could be a longer distance.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:18 AM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
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Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
Unless you like surfing, I think the Outer Banks is over-rated. The water is colder, and the beaches are washing away in places. Depending on where you are coming from, it could be a longer distance.
But the OBX does have a lot of choices in nature and history based activities. At Jockey's Ridge, you can learn to hang glide more safely than just about anywhere else, if that's appealing. Hiking? Between the state parks and national park, there are probably more miles of trails there than the rest of the coast combined and doubled. If you include Manteo in the mix, you will find even more history and other non beach activities. And the OP said that the beach at Wilmington (I assume meaning Wrightsville) made her head spin. Topsail is a step down in hustle and bustle, but the OBX is a lot more laid back. For most trips, I would prefer Topsail or Bogue Banks (Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach - no way would I recommend that for our solitude seeking friend ) for myself. But based on the OP's priorities, I would say the OBX are a definite possibility. But I would suggest that if it is 4-5 days, make it 5.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Originally Posted by CarvedTones View Post
But based on the OP's priorities, I would say the OBX are a definite possibility.
CarvedTones-- How is traffic getting into the OBX on 64? I thought it would be awful for someone who experiences road-rage. I was assuming they would come in on 64 on the change-over day.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:15 AM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
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Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
CarvedTones-- How is traffic getting into the OBX on 64? I thought it would be awful for someone who experiences road-rage. I was assuming they would come in on 64 on the change-over day.
Good question. I haven't experienced a major backup, but I have been in traffic that was moving along at or barely above the speed limit and heavy enough that you need to go with the flow. I am okay with that. I guess that is back to the OP - do you get road rage just because traffic is heavy, even if it is moving? It is physically further away if you are coming from the South or West, so it takes longer to get there. the Google estimate from Raleigh is 2:40 to Topsail, 3:18 to Nags Head and 4:40 to Hatteras. Keep that in mind - driving along the OBX is slow going.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
CarvedTones-- How is traffic getting into the OBX on 64? I thought it would be awful for someone who experiences road-rage. I was assuming they would come in on 64 on the change-over day.
It's never that heavy. There's the occasional line of cars if there's a tractor or something in the road between Mann's Harbor and Columbia or if the Alligator River bridge is up, but that's about it.

All the tourons who stay on the beach come down through VA and clog up the Currituck bridge.
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