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Bald Head Island a perfect family paradise SOUTHERN USA It took a plane, a rental car and a ferry to reach it, but we did.
What we found is a family worthy paradise an island off the coast of North Carolina. Bald Head Island is a windswept and sandy slip of luxurious land at the infamous spot where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Cape Fear River. It was on this island that, back in the 1700s, pirates took refuge while awaiting merchant ships. Their plan: To plunder the boats that inevitably ran pandora charm bracelet sale aground on the outlying Frying Pan Shoals one where to purchase pandora bracelets of the Atlantic coast's most treacherous spots to navigate. Happily, we accessed Bald Head much more easily: A Porter flight direct from Toronto dropped us at Myrtle Beach International Airport. "Have you ever been to Bald Head before?" a golf shirted man with a Southern accent inquired during the ferry ride. When I replied I hadn't, he said: "I've visited nearly every beach up and down the Atlantic coast, from here down to Florida, and nothing compares to Bald Head." High praise. I wonder if the island is worthy? The moment the ferry pulled up to the pier, however, I knew it was something special. There are no cars allowed on Bald Head, only bicycles and golf carts. The speed limit is a sedate 18 mph. This feature alone instantly slows you in your tracks. It's amazing how completely you can calm down without the roar of traffic. We boarded our own electric powered golf cart and were offered a tour by Trisha Howarth, Bald Head's hospitality sales and marketing director. The island, Howarth explained, was purchased in 1983 by the Mitchell family, private developers intent on maintaining its natural integrity. Only 2,000 of the island's 4,900 hectare will ever be developed, leaving 4,000 hectares as sand and dune, and intense natural maritime forest. Indeed, the island is dense with live oaks, dogwoods, sabal palms, junipers and wax myrtles all types of trees able to thrive in the constant salty on shore breezes. Cart paths instead of roads weave in and out of the forest, past cedar clad houses with names like Driftwood, Irish Mist, Summer House and The Rose Cottage. Dunes and sea grass form barriers, but the paths do offer astounding glimpses of Bald Head's 22 km of high rise free beach. During the tour, the only traffic we met were families darting to and fro in four seater carts, or on brightly painted bicycles with baskets. The houses, Howarth says, are part of a rental pool. Families can rent anything from studios to five bedroom cottages, at rates anywhere from $1,300 to $13,000 per week depending on the time of year. High season falls between June and August, but the months of April, May and September and October can be cooler and more affordable. Most houses come equipped with bicycles and a golf cart. There's a grocery charm bracelet pandora price store, shops, a museum, a lighthouse, a chapel and a spa on Bald Head. There's also some golf links: An 18 hole oceanside course recently ranked in the top 10 in the Myrtle Beach area by Golf Digest. And there's a marina which rents almost everything outdoorsy, from kayaks and bikes, to fishing gear and tennis racquets. Plus the Shoal's Club a cedar sided club house with massive decks and pools is open at no extra charge to all house owners and renters. But it's Bald Head's environmental aspects that, for vacationing families, are most intriguing. The Bald Head Island Conservancy has been established to manage those 4,000 hectarse of untouched land mostly beach, forest, salt marshes and tidal creeks. The Conservancy's centre operates daily programs for both kids and adults: Hikes through the forest, walks on the beaches, kayaks through the salt marshes. It also manages sea turtle protection programs the island is one of the East Coast's most prevalent spots for nesting loggerheads. Conservancy staff guide tours out to the nests, demonstrate how they are protected, and sell pandora beads offer viewing of hatching and nesting.
As for the pirates well, they're still on Bald Head, too. The island hosts an annual Pirate Weekend (Aug. 6 this year) during which you can learn to walk like a pirate, talk like a pirate, and more.
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