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The Perfect Day Trip to Bald Head Island

Faith Teasley

Posted on June 17 2020

The Perfect Day Trip to Bald Head Island

Bald Head Island is a 14 mile stretch of paradise right off the North Carolina coast.


It's luscious maritime forest, marshes, and pristine beaches make it a perfect place to explore for a day or the ultimate relaxation spot for a vacation!  Whether you visit for the day or 14 days, you'll find that Bald Head Island is one magical place and truly a hidden gem of North Carolina.

Take the Ferry


The ferry is an adventure in itself!  You can check the ferry schedule on the Bald Head Island Ferry website.  No need to purchase a ticket in advance - you can buy your ferry ticket right at Deep Point Marina's departure gate.  

Once you are on the ferry, you can choose to sit inside or outside.  I recommend sitting outside if possible for the view!  Enjoy sights of the Southport waterfront and Oak Island Lighthouse, and look out for dolphins!  Occasionally, you can spot them swimming close by.

Arriving to BHI


When you arrive to the island, you can make your way to the bicycle and golf cart rental area.  I recommend making a reservation online in advance through Cary Cart Company or Riverside Adventure Company, as carts and bikes book up quickly - especially during the summer season!


If you prefer, you can choose to walk on foot and enjoy visiting Old Baldy Lighthouse, the restaurants within the marina, and perhaps a beach access point.  However, to really see the island and all it has to offer, we highly recommend renting a golf cart!


Before you begin your adventure on BHI, be sure to stop by Sandpiper Coffee to grab an iced latte and some water for the day!  While you're there, pick up a complimentary map of Bald Head Island, too!  


Old Baldy Lighthouse


You can see Old Baldy - the oldest standing lighthouse in NC - from the rental companies!  Simply make your way over the iconic bridge over the marsh or follow the paved roads until you reach the base of the lighthouse.  To enter, you'll need to stop by the gift shop and Smith Island Museum first!  Season permitting of course, you can climb all 108 steps to the very top of Old Baldy Lighthouse.  The 360-degree panoramic view of the island is simply breathtaking!  It's definitely worth the workout.  


Bald Head Island Chapel 


Right beside Old Baldy are two iconic Bald Head Island landmarks: The Village Chapel of Bald Head Island and Post Office!  The BHI Chapel is straight out of a fairytale!  You can walk around and even take a step inside.  Behind the chapel, you'll find a breathtaking view of the marsh!  The adorable island post office is across the street and makes a great photo op!


    Lunch at Jule's


    Enjoy lunch on the water at Jule's!  The food is incredible and you can't beat the outdoor dining views of the marina!  Plan to stay for an hour or two for max relaxation.


    Explore the Island


    Drive through the Bald Head Island Maritime Forest Preserve and enjoy the cool breeze as you drive (or bike!) through the tunnel of oak trees.  There are plenty of areas you can explore.  When you're ready to be indoors for a bit, visit the Turtle Conservatory.  They have a museum, gift shop and rest area you can visit!  

    After that, choose any of the 20+ beach access points and relax by the ocean as long as you'd like.  Just be sure to check the ferry and rental return schedule to be sure you don't miss the cut off times!

      Interested in a Bald Head Island Coastal Wall Art Print?  Visit the Saltwater Collection Print Shop!  

      Want to plan your Bald Head Island Vacation?  Visit BaldHeadIsland.com!

      Follow Saltwater Collection on Instagram 

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      6 comments

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      • Stephanie Pelton : July 10, 2020

        Wonderful guide! Thank you so much for the gorgeous photos and for putting this together! Perfect to share with friends, family and especially my out of town buyer clients moving this way.

      • Stephanie Pelton : July 10, 2020

        Wonderful guide! Thank you so much for the gorgeous photos and for putting this together! Perfect to share with friends, family and especially my out of town buyer clients moving this way.

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