Sun Protection 101

Sunshine, it’s what we live for here on Emerald Isle! Unfortunately these days, its damaging effects on our fragile skin & eyes are all too known. The sun’s intensity seems to grow more powerful as each year passes, making it all the more important to protect yourself and family. I understand you may not want to hear my lecture about sun safety, but seriously, heed my words people, this is no joke! You will get burned, it will hurt, there will probably be some tears…

Take it from me, nothing will ruin your vacation quicker than catching a wicked sunburn on the second day of your trip. (A bad burn put me in the E.R. a few years back… I know about these things!) The pain you’ll suffer with during the rest of the week will be a reminder of every bad choice you’ve ever made in your life. Yes, of course there are topical products to help cool the burn, but those won’t change your ghastly new lobster look. Oh, and all that peeling skin… sign me up, not! Seriously folks, we’re adults now. Let’s practice some self-care!

Sun Babies, Not Sunburned Babies

Anyone excited for a few sleepless nights? That’s another joy of sunburn you’ll enjoy, especially if you allow the little ones to get crispy. Kids don’t know anything besides sandcastles and waves, so make absolutely sure to cover them well. They want to enjoy their vacation pain-free, too. When I say protection, I really mean it. I’m talking UV clothing, hats, and lotion on any exposed body parts, including their ears and tops of their little feet (remember to do yourself, too.) Avoid the anguish of it all and take simple precautions to keep that skin safe!

Your children are not sea lion pups… cover them up!

The Burn: It’s not even cute…

…Neither is a smear of lotion across your nose. There are, however, modern & more sufficient methods of sun protection. Consider the options! What exactly are the options? Well, that brings us to the most important question of your beach vacation. How exactly do you protect yourself and still enjoy your fun in the sun? Let’s explore the options, shall we?

Yea, it is that serious…

Clothing is your friend on a sunny day. Period. Nowadays, there are fashionable and effective UV blocking clothes to keep you covered while still looking beach-savvy. Sun-related skin damage is completely preventable, and you can look great while protecting yourself. UV Skins has taken sun protection to the next level, offering 50+UPF apparel for the entire family. Swim shirts, cover-ups, and clothing for the kids are just a snippet of their selection. There are many companies offering UV protective clothing, so take a look and gear up!

Remember to protect the tops of your feet and ears also!

It Puts the Lotion on the Skin…

So, anyone who knows that reference knows that you’d better put the lotion on the skin… but with so many products out on the store shelves, it’s hard to know which are the best (and safest) sunscreens for your family. Let’s start with reading some labels and avoiding sunscreens containing the following:
oxybenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octinoxate, octocrylene, avobenzone, dimethicone, parabens, BHT, nanoparticles, propylene glycol, synthetic fragrances, retinyl palmitate, cocamide dea, & phenoxyethanol.

Yes, it is a long list… but do you realize some of these chemicals and preservatives are hormone disruptors and carcinogens?! People cover themselves with whatever they grab off the shelf, with little or no regard to the toxins being absorbed into their skin. Let’s be safe, and smart… Look for products containing non-nano zinc oxide (or titanium dioxide)! And for goodness sake, apply your products evenly…

Word to the Wise

I bet he did’t say that after 5 hours in the sun…

I’m finished preaching. It is now your responsibility to keep yourselves safe from the hot, hot sun. Whether you chose safe sunscreens, UV protective clothing, or a combination, you’re doing something good for yourself and your family. Just like the ocean, the sun makes no promises to anyone. Have respect for these awesomely powerful natural forces and your next trip to Emerald Isle should be fantastic! Have fun, be safe, and as always…

Stay Salty!

Christine B.

The Perfect Cooler: A Vacation Essential

Choosing the Perfect Cooler for You

What do coolers and people have in common? Well for one, they come in every shape, color, and size imaginable. They can be found everywhere, in every walk of life. They might be rugged, tough, soft, or pretty. I’ve seen them plain and I’ve seen them very colorful. Some are huge while others are tiny. And, as the saying goes, there’s someone for everyone. Ok, that’s a stretch, but you better believe the perfect cooler exists out there just for you!

the perfect cooler

So, where does one begin when selecting the perfect cooler?  Consider the function and purpose you intend for your cooler. Will you use it frequently throughout the year or just a few times during family trips and whatnot? Will you have help carrying it or do you need something portable and hands-free? These are all things to consider before driving yourself insane blindly shopping around or grabbing the cheapest thing off the nearest shelf.

“You Get What You Pay For”

Naturally, the price tag is usually where most people begin with any purchase.  That being said, I’m a big believer in “You get what you pay for,” and I refuse to pay for poor quality. Yes, I know how that sounds but I urge you to adopt the same attitude towards your beach gear. Items that can be used for a lifetime are an investment in your vacation arsenal. This goes for chairs, sun shelters, and, of course, coolers. If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time. Am I right or am I right? These coolers are not your ordinary cold plastic boxes, because, well, you’re more than the ordinary beach-goer. Let’s explore & find you the perfect cooler, shall we?!

Yeti

the perfect coolerOh my goodness, the Yeti. This company is all the rage, and for good reason. The products they make are of superb quality and functionality. I seriously doubt you’ll find  coolers and hoppers built to take more hard-knocks than these! Although the sticker shock may cause purchase hesitation, it’s like I said before, you get what you pay for in quality.

Now, size DOES matter when you’re purchasing a Yeti. There is a variety of sizes available including hard coolers, soft hoppers & an assortment of other goodies. Yeti even makes a backpack cooler called the Backflip.  Did you get that? Hand-free Yeti… yaaassss!!!

the perfect cooler

Although the Yeti hard coolers are amazing, I personally  prefer the hoppers and backpack-style coolers, only because I’m all about going hands-free when possible.  Ice stays cold for about a million years, keeping everything in the coolers fresh all day long.  The zippers on these hoppers are designed like a water-proof wet suit zipper, creating a watertight seal with no leakage if the hopper tips over accidentally. Oh, and let us not forget about the incredible insulation built into these fantastic coolers. As far as I’m concerned, Yeti’s are worth their weight in gold doubloons.

Tommy Bahama

the perfect cooler

Now, this is cute… and functional. Perfect for a smaller sized family to enjoy a picnic on the beach! I like this Tommy Bahama’s Insulated Backpack Cooler because it is a breeze to carry, freeing up your hands for the more important things (like holding onto your toddler, for example.) Although this cooler isn’t monster-sized, it has plenty of room for all of your beach day edibles.  The top portion even has a spacious dry compartment and pockets galore to stash snacks, valuables and beach treasures! When you pack this baby full of cold food, your goodies will stay cold and sand-free (I’ll teach you all about cooler packing in my next post!)

IceMule

I stumbled upon IceMule in my research and this brand has me completely impressed! These soft-pack, wearable coolers seem to be up to par with the quality of a Yeti but with an innovative design not seen on most coolers.

the perfect cooler

The exterior is highly durable, with a foam insulation layer and an air valve that allows you to add or remove air within the insulation layer. (Adding air thickens the insulation layer, keeping the interior colder even longer!) Best feature of all, it rolls up and stashes for easy storage! This means you can pack it in your suitcase and bring it out when your ready for your day on the sand!

The IceMule line is appealing to me, especially with their built-tough quality, watertight seals, and easy-to-carry designs. Not only is it far less bulky than a standard hard cooler, but it is also much easier to transport! You know I’m all about that!

Get the Perfect Cooler, ‘Cause You’ll Need It!

I truly care about your vacation happiness, which is why I happily do what I do! You need, and deserve (yes, you do!) to be here on Emerald Isle, relaxing with your friends and family. I’m simply here to nudge you in the direction of things that will make your vacation life much easier. When you have what you need, from the perfect cooler to the comfiest chair, it makes the entire experience that much more pleasant. Take it from me, investing in your vacation arsenal is an investment in your sanity and peace of mind. Having a wonderful time is the main focus, not worrying about if the ice is melting. In the next post, I’ll let you in on some clever tips and tricks to packing an awesome picnic suited for a sunny day on the Crystal Coast!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

 

Coastal Living: The Real Experience

Variety is the Spice of Life

Choices… that’s what life is all about. When it comes to the coastal living experience, Shorewood is the right choice for your beach vacation needs. Having a wide variety of vacation rentals to choose from can make life simple.  Most often, guests contacts us with a punch list of amenities the group just can’t live without. That’s actually not a bad way to approach the rental world!  Knowing what you want makes the selection process easy for both you and the reservationist working with you. We can help select the property you’ll fall in love with when we know exactly what you have in mind!

Coastal Living Experience

Shorewood has a few new additions to our rental offerings this year! Being a big fan of sound front vacation rentals, I’m thrilled to announce the addition of the lovely sound front home named Panacea.  This rental, named for the Greek goddess of universal remedy (aka cure-all),  is an absolute gem! Located in a quiet neighborhood on the mainland, Panacea is the perfect retreat for the avid water lovers seeking the coastal living experience.  The private dock comes complete with a 10,000 lb boat lift and two jet ski slips! I highly recommend Panacea to anyone who love coastal living, but doesn’t want to mess with the busy island during the summer.

coastal living
Bogue Sound at Sunset

New Year’s Discount

The new year is rolling right along, and just over a month remains to take advantage of the New Year’s Discount!  If you weren’t aware, surely I’m here to tell you… booking early has its benefits! Many of Shorewood’s beach rentals are offering a discount when you make your reservation before March 31st.  This is just one way Shorewood homeowners can say ‘Thank You’ for choosing their homes! Quite a few  homes, duplexes, and condos are still available for this summer, so let us help find the one that’s right for you. Choose the best, leave the rest 🙂 and as always…

Stay Salty!

Christine B

Rental Homes on Emerald Isle

Getting the Worm

The early bird gets the worm… a wise statement, indeed.  As far as I can tell, this rule of thumb holds true for most things in life.  Hence, consider the rental homes on Emerald Isle as the proverbial “worms.”  From the large Isle Treasures to cozy little condos, rental homes on Emerald Isle are some of the most popular in the world.  Early vacation planning ensures you are able to select from a wide variety of properties.  Planning ahead also allows for ample preparation time, especially important when renting a vacation property.  If it sounds like the pressure is on, fear not.  I’m here to guide you, my dear vacationer friends.  Here are a few tips to help you plan the best beach vacation yet!

Rental Homes on Emerald Isle: Choosing the Right One for You

Begin searching for your ideal rental property as soon as you decide to visit the Crystal Coast.  During the course of the year, most rental properties on the Isle fill up with reservations quickly.  Therefore, planning a year ahead of time isn’t a bad idea!  Each of the rental homes on Emerald Isle have unique personalities.  Take time to view pictures and descriptions of the ones that may work for your group.  Doing this will give you a better idea of what you will be walking into.  Room layout, kitchen size and dining arrangements, and accessibility all play a factor into what works best for your group.  Of course, we know our properties best so allow us to help when the planning process gets a bit overwhelming.

Plan Your Activities

Learning the lay of the land is the best way to maximize your coastal experience.  Whether you’re an avid angler, a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, there is something here to peek your interest.  While planning your trip, read about everything the area offers.  Ask members of your group what they are interested in experiencing.  This will help determine what activities your group will enjoy best.  Consider the charter fishing tours that leave out of Swansboro, Morehead City, and Beaufort.  These towns are not only beautifully historic, they also offer excellent waterfront shopping, dining, and sightseeing for all those who don’t quite have their sea legs.

rental homes on emerald isle
Cedar Point Nature Trail

For all you nature lovers, this coastal area provides many opportunities to enjoy serene beauty.  Popular natural areas include the Cedar Point Tideland Trail and the Emerald Isle Woods Path.  The Elliot Coues Trail at Fort Macon is another local favorite.  Additionally, Fort Macon is just one of the many historical sites worth visiting on Bogue Banks, along with the Historical Society in Morehead City.  Young people will enjoy the hands-on historical experience along with many other activities tailored to the youth.  We are always happy to offer many other suggestions for everyone in your group, including the young people!

Plan Your Meals

Most travelers wait until they are on the Isle to go grocery shopping.  As I’ve witnesses a thousand times, fighting crowds of hungry road warriors is rarely pleasant.  Regardless, people have to eat!  If you didn’t know already, groceries can be ordered online and delivered to rental homes on Emerald Isle!  Can you imagine the stress and confusion this can save, especially when travelling in with a large group?  Lowes Foods To Go offers the option to shop online and either pick up or have your food delivered.  Having the members of your group specify what they would like in the refrigerator can help avoid a lot of hassle.  Island Dawn Errands is another excellent resource when you need to handle personal and business errands.  Friendly and reputable, Dawn will get it done!  Plan to use these services and save yourself a major headache.

Of course, being on vacation also means dining at some of the best local restaurants in the area.  From fine dining to casual family meals, you’ll find the best of everything on the Crystal Coast.  The fishing industry on  our coast supplies restaurants with the freshest seafood available.  The creative chefs cook it up to reflect their own artistry.  Take time to look at menus, read reviews, and plan where you would really like to dine.  When the question finally comes up of “Where do you want to eat tonight?,” you’ll already know!

Items to Bring to Rental Homes on Emerald Isle

Many newcomers and first-time renters are under the impression that rental homes on Emerald Isle are like hotels.  They are indeed alike in many ways, and also different in many ways.  Hotels offer the convenience of turn-down service and mini bottles of shampoo and lotion.  Beach rental houses offer the privacy and room to accommodate an entire family with room to spare… try that in a single hotel room.  Rental homes on Emerald Isle provide a home away from home, a place to cozy up and relax.

Before you relax though, there are a few things you will need to pack.  At least begin making your list ahead of time.  Be sure to include things like paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, and dish soap.  All of our properties have either coffee makers, a Keurig, or both.  Be sure to bring filters and your favorite hot beverages!  Also, bring shampoo & conditioner, bath & hand soaps, and all other toiletries.  Many properties include linens with weekly rentals, so double check if you will need to bring linens as well.  If so, be sure to have a correct bed count and know the sizes to bring!  We can help answer any questions about the properties and amenities.

See You Soon!

With all of that being said, I hope you start planning your trip to the Crystal Coast today!  Rental homes on Emerald Isle are available for families and groups of every size and vacation budget.  Let us help guide you to the one that will work best for you.  If you have any questions about the area, activities, and anything else, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email.  We know the Crystal Coast and welcome you to it with open arms.  We’ll see you next summer!!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B

 

Winter Rentals on Emerald Isle

Bye Bye Summer

Winter on the Crystal Coast is that special time of the year filled with festivities, great food, amazing fishing and, of course, available winter rentals!  Summer crowds have dwindled, yet the gorgeous coastal scenery flourishes.  Weather on the Isle during the autumn and winter months is very mild, with average temperatures ranging anywhere between the mid-40’s to the mid-60’s.  Beach-combers and fishermen alike enjoy the serene beauty of the Crystal Coast in winter.  One visit during the off-season will certainly enlighten you as to why the Crystal Coast attracts visitors all year long!

Reel ‘Em In

Anglers know that autumn fishing on the Crystal Coast is prime!  With it’s recent remodel, Bogue Inlet Pier provides an exceptional fishing experience.

winter rentals
Bogue Inlet Pier

Folks from around the state come to cast their lines and reel in the wide variety that runs up the coast.  Ask the locals about recent seasonal catches along with where to pull them in!  So far this year, we’ve fried up sea mullet, pompano, spot, & trout, just to name a few.  Not only is it rewarding, it’s a lot of fun for the whole family.  Replace smart phones with fishing poles and see a whole new side of your family!  Your kids might even thank you for an amazing experience!

Yum Yum!

Searching for your next scrumptious meal in the off-season take little to no effort!  Local restaurants stay open year-round serving hot, fresh and delicious meals.  When cold breezes and snow flurries head your way, you head our way!  Grab a bowl of steaming Seafood Bisque at Flipperz, served with amazing homemade bread.  Visit Marty down at Captain’s Kitchen food truck for the best fried seafood anywhere.  Of course, you can always grab takeout from our fabulous local eateries to bring back to one of our winter rentals!  All in all, dine in comfort while watching the waves roll in!

Winter Rentals Just for You

Emerald Isle winter rentals are available now, and are priced to fit any vacation budget.  Enjoy the tranquility of “Island Living” during the off-season months by resting easy in one of our cozy Shorewood properties.  Altogether, our wide variety of beach homes are sure to delight!   By all means, take part in the many festivals and event happening during the winter months.  In essence, we encourage you to live like a local during your visit!  Call us today to plan your next vacation to the Isle!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

 

Emerald Isle, NC: Family Reunions

Landlocked in the Lone Star

After years of a landlocked life, Great-Grandmother Louise chose to spend her 95th birthday on Emerald Isle, NC this year.  Raised in Oklahoma and having spent much of her life in Texas, our beloved matriarch was well deserving of some salty air in her lungs!  Making her way from the Lone Star state to the Crystal Coast, she eagerly anticipated an amazing birthday celebration on the coast.  With her heart full of adventure and a rental van full of kin, she made the long journey to the beach.  Clear skies and gorgeous weather were waiting, just in time for the extraordinary week to come!

Birthday on Emerald Isle, NC

Pulling up to the enormous oceanfront treasure on Emerald Isle, NC,  she already knew it would be a memorable occasion.  Gathering to honor her were sons, daughters, grandchildren, and a great-great grandson. Days were spent resting, relaxing, eating, and laughing.  The men surf fished and pulled in a delicious variety, including pompano, sea mullet, spot and drum!  Undoubtedly, the haul was promptly fried up and devoured.  The ladies went sightseeing, taking in the glorious views surrounding the Isle.  Great-Grandma Louise watched as her line of descendants relished in the joyous treasures of the Crystal Coast.

It’s Not a Goodbye, It’s a ‘See You Later’

Throughout 95 years of living, can you imagine what a person experiences, sees, & feels?  It’s almost impossible for a thirty-something to fathom that kind of longevity.  Although Great-Grandma Louise has lived several lifetimes, she is as radiant now as when she was a spry young woman.  Love and light pour from her, and her affectionate regard is enough to melt your heart. Looking into her lovely eyes is to look into the eyes of an earth angel!  At the week’s end, saying good-bye was the last thing I wanted to do.  Showering her with hugs and kisses did not pacify the longing for her to stay.  My heart ached as I pulled away from our final hug.  Goodbye was too final.  Through tearful eyes, we said, “See you later!”

Special Occasions On the Isle

Emerald Isle, NC
Great-Grandma Louise with Granddaughter Danielle & Great-great grandson Daniel

We can only appreciate the journeys of our elders after spending those precious moments with them.  Wisdom is passed along when we slow down and listen to their memories and experiences.  It is of the utmost importance to take advantage of the time we have with our family members.  Days are long but years are so short, therefore now is the time!  Beach houses serve as the perfect venue for reunions and special occasions, providing ample space and glorious scenery.  The off-season rates make beach rentals very affordable for large groups, especially if the party decides to split the bill.  Holidays at the beach are also a great opportunity to get everyone together!  Think Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Years!!

A Lifetime of Love

Time with our loved ones is priceless.  No one can tell their stories the way they do.  No one can replace them once they leave us behind.  So, take ten minutes, an hour, a week, to bask in the company of your family members.  Feel their experiences, see the expressions on their faces, hear the emotions in their voices as they tell their tales.  After all, they’ve spent their lives loving us!  Therefore, lend an ear and pass down the stories to the next generations!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

 

Kindness at the North Carolina Aquarium

Trick or Treat Under the Sea

Halloween & the North Carolina Aquarium go hand-in-hand for many children on the Crystal Coast!  The exciting Trick or Treat Under the Sea is a special event hosted by the Aquarium every year to provide a safe place for children to collect their sweet treats.  Goodies are passed out by local businesses that participate, not only advertise, but also to partake in this favorite community happening.

Over the course of two days, the event brought in around 2,700 people this year.  Decorated to suite, the Aquarium featured spooky inflatable tunnels, haunted pirate scenes, and a headless horseman on the nature walk.  Spider webs clung to the walls, an old witch lurked in the corner… there was even a skeleton inside the Caribsea Wreck display, sporting beach wear with a fishing pole in its bony hand!  To say they did a great job with the decor would be a gross understatement!

Kindness At Its Finest

North Carolina Aquarium
Face to Face with The Sea Turtle

My own little boy, Daniel, had his first Halloween experience this year at the North Carolina Aquarium, and what an experience it was indeed!  I would personally like to extend a monumental “Thank You” to the Aquarium staff for reinforcing my faith in humanity.  My deepest gratitude is especially owed to the Assistant Special Events Coordinator, Kerri.  Yesterday evening, I experienced an overwhelming level of altruism that filled my heart and moved me to tears.

This is what happened…

I purchased tickets online for the event and was ready and raring to go!  I rushed home from work to get Daniel into his Bee costume which, by the way, I had been waiting two years for him to be able to wear.  Eagerly dressing myself as well, I just knew we were in for a wonderful evening! Quickly ushering my mom and him out the front door, we made our way to Pine Knoll Shores.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of cars.  The only people I could see were dressed in very fancy evening attire, although all the Halloween decorations still adorned the Aquarium.   Attempting to rationalize what I was seeing, I told myself that perhaps the hoards had come the night before.  Not the case at all.

Mishap Turned Miracle

We tentatively entered the front door and looked around, quite confused.  The security guard walked towards us and asked, “May I help you?”  Bewildered, I pulled out my tickets and told him we were here for Trick or Treat Under the Sea.  My heart shattered to the floor when he informed us that the event had already taken place on Thursday and Friday night, not Saturday.  My facial expression must have screamed a thousand words because he asked us to stay put while this sweet man quickly ran off to gather the coordinator of the event taking place that evening.

A kind young woman approached us, introducing herself as Kerri.  She gently explained that the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher was holding their Trick or Treat that night, not Pine Knoll Shores.  We were at the wrong aquarium!!  To say the least, I was dumbfounded.  My ticket didn’t specify the location of the event, only the date therefore I assumed it was at PKS.  (Had I checked my email, I would have known that… duh!)  I noticed Kerri wracking her brain for about half a second before decidedly stating that since we were already there, she was going to make it worth our time.  Again, but in much better spirits, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!  Daniel was going to have his own private Trick or Treat session!

Having a Ball at the North Carolina Aquarium

The Aquarium was actually hosting a private masquerade ball that evening, and guests were slowly trickling in.  We had arrived just before the event truly kicked off.  Early guests were dressed in gowns, tuxedos, and fancy masks.  The girls at the front desk were also dressed for the occasion and looked magnificent!  It sure looked like Halloween to me!  Kerri swept the three of us through the inflatable tunnel and toured Daniel through the unoccupied areas of the Aquarium.  Using her walkie-talkie, she strategically arranged for other staff members to be in place when Daniel entered the various exhibits.  He was awestruck, shyly walking through the corridors, that is, until his bucket began filling up!  Two elegantly dressed women placed beads around his little neck.  Everyone he encountered filled his pumpkin bucket with goodies.  Even the spooky mannequin hanging from the ceiling dispersed treats!

Heroes of My Heart at the North Carolina Aquarium

By the end of the tour, he could barely carry it on his own!  Tears pricked my eyes throughout the entire experience.  The kindness and generosity shown to my two and a half year old bumblebee was overwhelming.  Kerri was incredibly warm, not at all rushing us through, although she was busy preparing for the masquerade that evening.  She even happily offered to take our picture with a few displays.  Her gracious compassion absolutely floored me.

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

North Carolina Aquarium
Happy Halloween at the Aquarium

We only spent about 20 minutes or so in the Aquarium that night.  That was all it took to fill Daniel’s little pumpkin, and my heart with joy.  This amazing group of people treated my little boy like a true VIP, making right of every wrong in the world in those few minutes.  I can’t express my appreciation enough for the fine folks at the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores.

All in all, be sure to visit these amazing people and fantastic animals at the Aquarium next time you visit the Crystal Coast!  Many Shorewood properties are just a short drive to Pine Knoll Shores.  The Aquarium itself is an awesome place to take your family, and the staff are there because they love what they do.  Your inner child will surely feel nurtured after encountering tenderness and joy offered by these wonderful individuals.  Thank you again, Kerri and staff, from the bottom of my heart.  You are true humanitarians!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

 

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