Visit North Carolina – A Love Story

Memories of a Child

My family would visit North Carolina every summer, as my mother was born & raised here.  Emerald Isle was our vacation destination; Holiday Trav-L-Park Resort campground was our spot.  Every summer for as long as I can remember, my younger brother & I were always on the beach.  We were a pair of happy little sand bugs pretending to be mermaids (& mermen), jumping & splashing in big tumbling waves.  Standing with my toes in the Emerald Isle surf, I felt so small while the Big Blue seemed so BIG… ocean swells looked like tidal waves!  It’s funny how those memories of my childhood on the coast are as vibrant and clear now as they were when I first lived them.

Southern Charm, My First Love

I was born & raised on the wide, shell-strewn beaches of the Jersey Shore… and no, not the fake MTV version.  I’m talking about the real Jersey Shore, the place I thought I adored until we moved down South.

Visit North Carolina
View of the Crystal Coast

My beloved northern stomping grounds seemed so different compared to the gorgeous emerald-green waters and narrow coastline hugging Bogue Banks.  North Carolina is where I fell in love for the first time, although not with a person but with a lifestyle… an entire culture.  This is where I fell in love with the South.

My mother moved us to Cape Carteret a month before I started my junior year of high school.  All I can say is “Culture Shock!”  At the time I was devastated but had no idea about the amazing life that would unfold before me.  Moving to the South afforded me the opportunities to learn about a lifestyle of which I had not yet encountered.  The “softness” of the Southern culture appealed to me and brought me out of my rigid “Jersey Girl” shell. It was the first time in my life when strangers treated me kindly, for the sake of being kind… something I was very unaccustomed to experiencing. You know that Southern Hospitality thing you keep hearing about? Well let me tell you, it’s real and in ample supply around here!

Visit North Carolina This Year!

North Carolina has been good for my soul, good for my life.  The fact that my son was born & will be raised here in the South brings me joy.  Folks who visit North Carolina find themselves falling in love with the sight, sounds, flavors & flair of Southern charm at its finest!  Generations make memories to pass along and share with their little ones.  Little ones create their own memories to keep for lifetimes.  Memories are very powerful, transporting us back to the places that make us feel warm inside.  Nothing warms better than the summer sun, & nothing lasts longer than memories of good times with family & friends.  Visit North Carolina this year and make it your own!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

Off-Season Vacation Rental Rates

Spring & Autumn on the Isle

Bogue Banks is a happening place in the summer, coupled with the beautiful sights & sounds available all year!  Beat the summer crowds by taking advantage of off-season vacation rental rates offered by Shorewood Real Estate.  These wallet-friendly lower rates are in effect from January to May, and early to mid August right into the fall & winter. It is a particularly perfect time for fishing trips and family vacations alike!  If you’ve only been here in the summer, now is the time to treat yourself to a spring or fall vacation on the Isle!

Off-Season Vacation Rental Rates… We’ve got them!!

off-season vacation rental rates
Sunset on Emerald Isle

Benefits of vacationing on Emerald Isle in the off season are abundant. Beginning in March & April, the Southern Outer Banks plays host to those who enjoy the spring weather on Bogue Banks. Rain or shine, these very happy visitors are excited to be here taking in ocean air from the comfort of deck chairs.  Many seasonal guests choose to stay in duplexes with friends.  Others stay in oceanfront or 2nd row single family homes, surely taking advantage of those amazing spring rental rates!

Similarly, autumn is a great time to enjoy the sand and surf.  Fishing is booming and the weather is wonderful, not to mention all the festivals and events occurring during September & October including the North Carolina Seafood Festival!  Hundreds of vendors gather at this much-anticipated event offering food, drinks, treats, crafts & much more!  Be here to take part in this exciting three-day party!  The Swansboro Mullet Festival also takes place in autumn when fishing in this area is prime!

Visitors Wanted, Inquire Within!

Call or email us anytime to inquire about vacationing here on Emerald Isle.  Everyone deserves to feel soft sand under their feet & warm sun on their shoulders.  Salt air & ocean water feed our souls.  Moreover, we want you to experience those awesomely peaceful moments as well!  May you come often &  leave happy!

Until next time, stay salty!

Christine B

The Best Family Beaches in North Carolina

Best Vacation Ever!

In need of the perfect family beach getaway?  Consider spending summer vacation with Shorewood Real Estate on the best family beaches in NC.  Notably, several of the most beautiful beaches in the world make up Bogue Banks.  Moreover, it is still one of the best kept secrets on the Eastern Seaboard.  Vacationing here is an absolute treat; living here is even better.  Visitors and locals alike share rich memories of sunny days spent laying in the warm sand and jumping waves to cool off.  Relive those warm summer nights listening to the ocean tumble while you drift off to sleep.  Families and friends have been creating memories on the Crystal Coast for many years, now it’s time to create yours!

Yes, They Are the Best Family Beaches!

Far apart from commercialized beach towns, Bogue Banks seems to be almost timeless.  Emerald Isle, Salter Path, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, and Atlantic Beach have changed a little over time but not to the point of being unrecognizable.  Residents and developers together strive to preserve the abundant natural beauty that holds the island together.  Growing the area in a way that will positively impact the island and its people is the goal.

Best family beaches in NC
Birds Eye View of Emerald Isle, NC.

Several positive additions have been beneficial, specifically the Emerald Isle Bike Path. Extending 11 miles from The Point at Bogue Inlet to Indian Beach, this bike path has made the Isle very accessible without the use of gas powered vehicles.  Most of the vacation rental properties offered by Shorewood are conveniently located near the path for your enjoyment.  Furthermore, it is wide enough to accommodate bikes pulling trailers being perfect for families with children.  Speaking of children, the island has several parks and playgrounds available for the kiddies to run around in between beach time!

Family Time?  We Got You!

Families treasure their time on Emerald Isle, returning year after year to create new memories.  If you have not yet vacationed on Bogue Banks, it’s time to start; you may not want to leave once you’re here!  Shorewood offers many properties along Emerald Isle into Salter Path.  Our reservationists are happy to help you chose the perfect property for your group!  Call or email us to find out more!  We look forward to hearing from you!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B


Emerald Isle Property Management

All Those Extra Properties

Real estate ownership can be quite a blessing, although it does pose its own set of challenges.  Homeowners with multiple properties commonly ask themselves, “Now, what to do with that other house?”  Consider putting it on the rental market!  Properties can become real investments with the right management team behind you!  Allow us to show you why we are the best Emerald Isle property management company on Bogue Banks!

Emerald Isle Property Management at its Finest

Emerald Isle property management
Beautiful Emerald Isle

Shorewood Real Estate has been handling real estate sales and vacation rentals since 1996.  Now three generations strong, the experience and passion among the Shorewood team is unmatched.  Our smaller size allows us to interact with our homeowners and guests on a personal level, thus creating a bond of trust.  Moreover, we remember names, faces, special occasions… anything to show we truly appreciate your business.  Homeowners are known by name and recognized for their individual wants and needs regarding their rental homes. Striving to reach goals is a team effort, therefore Shorewood stands behind our clients.

Full Service, Full Satisfaction

Shorewood has over 21 years of experience and we are here to be your guides.  Full services are available for homeowners, including housekeeping, maintenance, reservations, décor/design, and inspections.  Professional and friendly staff members are available to discuss all vacation rental needs and requests.  Furthermore, we offer our services to you, proudly backed by the values of kindness, compassion, humility, and grace.  Allow us to help open the doors to potential, as we look forward to working with you!

Contact us today for more information about our property management program.  When it comes to real estate & vacation rentals, we have the experience and knowledge to guide you through the sometimes precarious terrain.  We are happy to answer questions and are eager to welcome you into our Shorewood family!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.


Bogue Sound Distillery

In Good Spirits with Bogue Sound Distillery

Bogue Sound Distillery will soon be complete and ready for action!! Excitingly, this will be yet another fine addition to tourism and commerce here on the Crystal Coast.  Richard Chapman, businessman and booze enthusiast, decided after an already successful career to change things up.  With a vision to bring something new and lucrative to the town he loves, his life-long dream will finally come true.

Art + Science = Liquor

Bogue Sound Distillery will bottle on siteDistillation is the ancient art and science of vaporizing liquid to extract its purest form. Used for both medicinal and recreational purposes, craftsmen distill a wide variety of assorted grains, herbs, and fruits.  Richard and his wife/business partner Margaret, are aiming to distill high-quality products, selling them to both the general public and ABC stores around the area.  Gluten-free vodka, moonshine, and rye whiskey will be produced grain-to-bottle, on premises. Furthermore, the museum area will highlight how distilling was done, dating back to the late 1700’s, into the 1800’s.  A 1912 grist mill, along with a 1923 Model T Ford loaded with old whiskey barrels will be just a couple of relics to grace this new distillery.

Bringing the Past to Life

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about and view the distillation process from a viewing area within the museum, while also learning the history behind the names of the Chapman’s products.  Most notably, Richard’s 85-proof vodka will be called Vitzellen, named for the Union Army nurse who saved the life of his great-grandfather, John A.P. Conoley.  Conoley served in Jeb Stuart’s Confederate cavalry during the Civil War.  Naturally very grateful for his life, John vowed to name his first daughter after Nurse Vitzellen, and he did.  Richard’s grandmother was named Alice Vitzellen Conoley.  Without the kindness and compassion of the brave nurse, Richard would not exist (funny how things like that happen.)  Fittingly, Richard’s rye whiskey will be named “John A.P. Conoley”, after his Irish great-grandfather.

Let the Moon Shine

Moonshine has an quite the reputation, both in American history and, of course, Nascar… It’s really just a misunderstood brew.  This clandestine liquor has its roots in the Appalachian Mountain area, dating back to the 1800’s.  Scot-Irish immigrants brought their recipe for uisce beatha, Gaeilge for “water of life.”  These immigrants made their whiskey without aging it, and the recipe continues hold true to tradition.  Richard will make moonshine the same way, legally of course, and not hiding on a mountain top.  “Bogue Sound Oyster Cracker Shine” is its name, after the area that has been so good to him.

Coming Soon!

We are looking forward to the debut of Bogue Sound Distillery, this much anticipated addition to Carteret County.  Surely, Richard and Margaret will breath life into their new venture and it should prove to be very successful!  We will keep you posted on opening dates, as they are planning to open mid-2017.

Until next time, stay salty!

Christine B.

Restaurants Off The Beaten Path

Hidden Gems of the Crystal Coast

Discovering new restaurants that entice and delight is one of the most exciting aspects of vacationing.  Naturally, eating good food is one of the great joys in life!  Indulging in new dishes, delightful flavors, and diverse atmosphere’s is what it’s all about.  Certainly, the hidden “hole-in-the-wall” eateries are often the most charming.  These clandestine gems hold delicious secrets that, most times, only locals know where to find.  Well, we are here to let you in on a few of our own favorite local foodie destinations!

Restaurants Around the Corner

Hwy 55 in Emerald Isle & Swansboro

Circle Pizza is conveniently located on Emerald Isle, directly across the street from Shorewood Real Estate.  Circle Pizza is one of our favorite local restaurants for great pizzas, sandwiches, and more.  They deliver too!  Prices are great and the food is always good.  Let them do the cooking for you on those lazy days!

Hwy 55 is the nostalgic, 50’s-themed burger joint sitting in the Emerald Plantation.  Burgers, cheesesteaks, chicken, fries & more, all served up hot, will fill up the hungriest bellies.  The frozen custard is the best!  Allow your taste buds to be captivate if you’ve not yet experienced this creamy cousin of ice cream.  Easy on the wallet and pleasing to the tummies, Hwy 55 is great for families!

Explore off the Isle

Head towards Swansboro for the tastiest Coney Island dogs, burgers, and more at Seaside Coney Island.  Staff members are super friendly, welcoming each guest with warm hospitality.  Food is served up hot and drinks are ice cold.  Prices are easy on the wallet, making it another perfect family destination.  Seaside Coney Island has weekly specials ranging from “Slider Tuesday” (so good!), to their scratch-made cinnamon rolls on Sunday!  Be sure to check them out!

Olea Mediterranean Kitchen is the place for you, if you love fresh, authentic Mediterranean food.  Everything from the spanakopita to the tabouli to the baklava are made in-house.  Feel free to gorge, you’ll still walk out feeling like a million dollars… it’s that fresh.  Every dish is incredibly flavorful!  You will not be disappointed with one of the best restaurants around!

A Little Sweet Treat

Fuzzy Peach in Cape Carteret

Flip Flops Donut Shop is located on Bogue Inlet Drive.  The folks at this friendly little donut stand serves the freshest yeast donuts in the area.  Yeast donuts are different from cake donuts in the way that they are softer, and much more “melt-in-your-mouth.”  Get their early to get the best of the best!

Fuzzy Peach is a self-serve, frozen yogurt bar in Cape Carteret, serving an assortment of fun flavors everyone will enjoy.  Yogurt is better for the body that ice cream, so indulge (almost guilt-free!)  Grab your cup, mix and match flavors, and top it off with goodies from the Toppings Bar.  There are dairy-free options as well.  You can’t go wrong and moreover, the kids will love it!!!

Go Explore!

The Crystal Coast offers so much more than what meets the eye.  Furthermore, the sight, sounds, experiences, and flavors will open new horizons while you create great memories with friends and family.  So, get out there and explore just beyond what you think you see.  A world of tasty hidden treasures await!  We look forward to seeing you here on Emerald Isle!

Until next time, stay salty!

Christine B.


Local Churches Around Emerald Isle

Our Local Churches – Open to All!!

First and foremost, vacationing is about spending time together as a family.  Furthermore, it’s about finding out what locals enjoy doing, and getting out there to make memories.  Surely, folks around here enjoy great food, quality fun and good fellowship.  Simply put, these are the things that make our time on earth worth it.local churches

Good food is plentiful here and fun is everywhere you look.  Likewise, fellowship can be found all throughout the week at any of our local churches on and around Emerald Isle.  Moreover, we encourage vacationers to visit our local churches to experience some good, downhome spiritual food.

Fun & Fellowship

Emerald Isle’s Chapel by the Sea has been for over 40 years, a spiritual beacon to the residents and guests who are drawn to Crystal Coast.  Come for sound Bible teaching, stay for wonderful fellowship!  Sunday School begins at 9am, followed by Worship at 10am.  Youth Group is held on Sunday evenings at 5:30pm.

Emerald Isle Baptist Church is comprised of a diverse and eclectic group of people all sharing one common thing… faith.  Join this group for Sunday School at 8:45am, Worship service at 10am, and Wednesday Bible Study at 6:30pm.

St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church is an active, committed parish of about 100 parishioners, which grows to over 150 in the summer.  Many of the parishioners are vacationers & “cottagers” whose permanent residence is elsewhere.  Join this beautiful group on Sundays at 9am for the Adult Forum, followed by 10am Eucharist Service & Children’s Sunday School.  The Celtic Eucharist Service is causally held on Wednesdays at 12pm.

Swansboro Services

St. Mildred Catholic Church is located in Swansboro, just a hop & skip from Emerald Isle.  Join them for Liturgy on Saturday evenings at 5:30pm or Sunday mornings at 9am.  Additional Mass is held at 11am during July & August.

One Harbor Church is also located in Swansboro and is as casual as the beach life itself.  Visitors can enjoy a Gospel-centered service surrounded by a passionate, loving community of people.  Sunday services are held at 9am & 11am, including worship through music, a message based on Scripture, communion, opportunities to pray with others, and fellowship with refreshments before and after service.  Everyone is welcome!

Day Trip Destination Services

Temple B’ Nai Sholem is located in New Bern’s beautiful Historic District.  This 100 year old congregation welcomes Shabbat with an Erev Shabbat service beginning at 7:30pm each week, except the first Saturday of each month when Shabbat service is held at 10:30am. They do not hold a service on the Friday evening before the Shabbat service.

B’ Nai Israel is located on Chestnut Street in Wilmington.  Friday evening Shabbat services are at 8pm, followed by an oneg.  Once a month, they hold an early service at 6:30pm, followed by a Shabbat dinner. Be sure to check the times for specific shabbatot.  Shabbat morning services begin at 9pm and are followed by a Kiddush luncheon.

Feeding your Spirit

Sun & surf fill the body & mind with relaxation, while spiritual food fills the soul.  Basically, no matter your beliefs or affiliations, the bottom line is this… home is where the heart is.  Therefore, you will always be at home among the locals here on Emerald Isle.  We will see you when you get here!

Until next time, stay salty!

Christine B.


Summer Vacation Rentals on The Isle

Spring Has Sprung

…And there is no better time to take a look at some of the summer vacation rentals offered by Shorewood Real Estate!  Although choosing the right rental property for your family may be tough, we make reserving easy.  Whether its an oceanfront Isle Treasure or a cozy 2nd or 3rd row Acottage, we have your back.  We offer our guests the best customer service from the first moment you make contact!

With the beautiful, comfortable  rental homes we offer, how could our guests not leave Emerald Isle completely content?  As a matter of fact, one of our favorite beach rentals is actually called Contentment, and the name couldn’t be more perfect!

Blissful Summer Vacation Rentals

summer vacation rentals
Beautiful view of Contentment from the beach.

Among the many oceanfront beach homes available, Contentment is a guest favorite!  This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath cottage offers a wide open living area, perfect for those memorable family gatherings on Emerald Isle.  A king-sized bed, 3 queens, one double-sized and 6 twins make perfect sleeping arrangements for larger groups with children (kids love bunk beds!) Easy beach access takes away the worry of getting a good spot on the sand for a day of fun in the sun!  An enclosed outdoor shower allows guests to bath with privacy while still enjoying the fresh air and warmth of those summer days and nights.

All the Creature Comforts of Home

Light the grill, grab a drink and cook up some of our fresh local seafood or a few juicy steaks out on the spacious deck.  By the way, did I mention the oceanfront hot tub?  Sit back, relax and allow the serene sights and sounds of the Crystal Coast to lull you into total euphoria.  Central air and heat, ceiling fans, washer and dryer, dishwasher, microwave and dual ovens provide all the comforts of home.  Additionally, 3 TV’s, 2 VCR’s, DVD player, telephones, and WIFI provide the entertainment after the long day on the beach.  Additionally, Contentment is pet-friendly!  Bring the entire family to Emerald Isle, including the pooch.  This cozy, spacious oceanfront cottage will have every tail wagging!

It’s true that our guests leave happier and more rested than when first they arrive.  This is a fact we can take pride in!  Furthermore, they are excited and thrilled to return to their favorite Shorewood properties, year after year.  We look forward to having you and your family stay with us too!

Until next time, stay salty!

Christine B.


Emerald Isle’s Best Kept Secret Local Spots

Secret Local Spots “Off the Beaten Path”

Emerald Isle is, surprisingly, a bit of a secret in the vacation world.  It is considered a treasure to its the locals, and to the lucky ones who have found their way to its gem-colored waters and beautiful beaches.   Quietly attracting people with its family-friendly vibe, Emerald Isle has offered a pleasant, peaceful alternative to the crowds in busy commercial resort towns.  Generally as most places go, Emerald Isle and the surrounding Crystal Coast has hidden gems all throughout.  Luckily, we are happy to share a few secret local spots of our very own.  (You have some very good insider friends!)  Hence, here are a few secret local spots “just off the beaten path”!

Food is top priority! Check out these stand-alone secret hot spots…

El’s Drive-In is one of those quintessential burger joints every town wishes they had.  Therefore, El’s has been a well-kept secret Crystal Coast favorite for generations, serving mouth-watering comfort food for the fairest prices.   Located in Morehead City, about a 20-minute drive from Emerald Isle, El’s is worth taking a trip to visit… check out their menu and get the family down there to enjoy a local classic! (Remember, they only accept cash!)

Big Oak Drive-In, located in Salter Path, is another “off the beaten path” secret places serving up fresh, delicious fare for prices that will make you smile.  Consequently, their  reputation speaks for itself, drawing in repeat customers time and time again.  All their food is great, the most popular item being the shrimp burger.  Just a hop and a skip from Emerald Isle, you won’t even have to leave Bogue Banks!

Now, to walk off that meal…

Cedar Point Tideland Trail is located about three minutes from the Emerald Isle bridge.  Without a doubt, it is one of the best places to commune with nature..  On two loop trails, visitors travel boardwalks over the salt marsh and smooth gravel paths through the coastal forest. The short loop is level and wide enough for wheelchairs, with benches along the way providing rest stops. The 1.3-mile loop skirts the edge of the White Oak River winding over the marsh and through the woods, reconnecting with the short loop towards the end.  Many species of wildlife and plant life call this place home, therefore, please remember to leave only your footprints!

Best Kept Secret Local Spots: Cedar Point Tideland Trail
Cedar Point Tideland Trail

Bicentennial Park in Swansboro is an interesting historic spot with a small trail leading from the park, under the Swansboro bridge and over to Downtown Swansboro.  Without a doubt, adults and children both get a kick out of being able to walk under the bridge. (Fondly, I can still remember what it smelled like under there as a child… salty, with a hint of fennel, ahhh.)  Downtown Swansboro is a great place to walk, shop, grab a snack and relax. Also, its conveniently located about ten minutes from Emerald Isle.  Furthermore, Swansboro has several playgrounds to let the little ones play. Swansboro Municipal Park, Pirates Den Park, in addition to the playgrounds located on Emerald Isle, just to mention a few.

Emerald Isle’s humble beginnings set the tone to become one of the best family vacation spots on the eastern seaboard.  Of course, we are happy to share anything to make your visit here better.   Stay tuned, there are more secrets to come…!

Until next time, stay salty!

Christine B

Waterfront Restaurants Near Emerald Isle

How about this weather…?

Dining at waterfront restaurants is a novelty and a treat, but also a vacation destination. Of course, the thought of enjoying a waterfront meal in February would seem a little bone-chilling, right?  In reality, winter on the Crystal Coast is as unpredictable as the Atlantic Ocean.  Due to Mother Nature having been so kind, Emerald Isle has seen an unusually mild winter.  As a result, people have been lured out of hibernation and onto the decks of some of their favorite local waterfront restaurants.  In light of the fortunate weather, go catch a warm breeze and a cool drink at one of these fantastic local spots!

Let’s Eat… Waterfront Restaurants at their finest!

View from Waterfront Restaurants: Amos Mosquito's
View from Waterfront Restaurants: Amos Mosquito’s

Amos Mosquito’s sits on the edge of Intra Coastal Waterway, serving a southern-inspired menu.   Featuring dishes ranging from seafood to steak to sushi and more, Amos Mosquito’s provides a great dining experience.  The décor creates a fun “down in the bayou” ambiance and, equally comforting, the food tastes like it came straight from grandma’s kitchen (if grandma were a culinary institute graduate.)  Dine waterfront for a sound side experience and remember, Sushi & Karaoke Night is every Thursday!

Spouter Inn is located in Beaufort and is a favorite among local waterfront restaurants.  Spouter Inn’s lunch menu offers a wonderful variety of delicious sandwiches, salads and soups.  Dinner showcases fresh seafood, steak & chicken, and tapas-style appetizers, all prepared to perfection.  If you do nothing else, try their desserts from the on-site bakery! The éclairs, napoleons, creampuffs, cakes, and cookies are ALL to die for!!!

From Chef to Table…

View from Saltwater Grill
View from Saltwater Grill

Saltwater Grill is in Downtown Swansboro, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.  The cuisine offered here reflects the expertise in which Chef Martin Berndt uses. He highlights the freshest seafood, along with lamb, beef, chicken, and beyond.  As a result, Saltwater Grill offers so many wonderful flavors- it takes more than one trip to enjoy it all!  The 2-story deck and waterfront patio area provides a relaxing setting to eat, drink, and socialize.

Ruddy Duck sits on the beautiful Morehead City Waterfront. Asian, Caribbean, and traditional Southern influences are blended together to offer some of the most palate-pleasing dishes around!  Frog Legs, Asian-style duck, burgers, seafood, and pastas are just a few fabulous meals that keep people coming back!  Considering the lovely views, delicious food, and cold drinks, it’s no wonder Ruddy Duck is a local favorite.

Now for something a bit more casual…

Finz Grill is located in Beaufort, across the street from the North Carolina Maritime Museum.  The menu is fun and casual with a great variety of sandwiches, burgers, seafood, and more.   Finz offers views of Shackleford Island directly across the way from their a shaded waterfront deck.  You might even catch a glimpse of the wild horses on Shackleford!

Emerald Isle provides everything you need to have a great family vacation, in addition to having the entire Crystal Coast to explore.  Furthermore, there is a big wide world out there surrounding our little town.  Above all, no matter where you are, a scrumptious meal on the table, cold drinks in hand, and family together makes life good.

Until next time, stay salty!

Christine B