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Visiting Sunset Beach next month

Tucson, AZ
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200 posts
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Visiting Sunset Beach next month

We are renting a home in Sunset Beach for a week. Our daughters will be three and 10 months. We will also have family visiting from inland and south. We are looking forward to lots of beach time and maybe a ady trip or two.

Just a few questions:

What are your favorite family-friendly things to do in the area?

We will need to do a "big" grocery run as soon as we arrive. We fly into Wilmington. Should we do it there?

Is there an ABC store in Sunset Beach? ;)

Where would you recommend for a great seafood meal (kid friendly)? We will probably go out for lunches.

Where is the best place to buy fresh seafood for grilling in the area?

Any recommendations for things to do in the area (an hour drive or less) are appreciated! We would love to hear about places we can walk in Sunset Beach (if any). I am just trying to get an idea of how things are laid out in the area.

Thanks so much.

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Wilmington
Wilmington
North Carolina Coast, NC
Louisville, Kentucky
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1. Re: Visiting Sunset Beach next month

Most attractions will be in North Myrtle & Myrtle Beaches. Sunset Beach is off the beaten path. If you want peace and quiet, and a safe place for your kids, this is the place for you. Thete isnt much on the island in regards to structured activites. Across from the pier, is Juiles Rentals. You can rent bikes, to bassinets and a lot in between. Most of the regular visitors like my family rent bikes for the entire week. You can also arrange to have them delivered to your house prior to arriving. There us a Food Lion grocery store on the island be sure to get the MVP card for the best deals. No need to get food in Wilmington and have to bring it here. An ABC store is in the same plaza as the grocery. At the bottom of the bridge to get on/off the island is a browb wooden building called ""Bills Seafood" to get fresh seafood. Ir the same building is "Crabby Oddwaters" it is a resturant and a little market. I have never eaten inside, but their steamed shrimp is to die for·· They come peeled, seasoned and deviened or in the shell if you desire· At low tide you can walk to "Kindred Spirit" on Bird Island. ((Do a Google search for more details) It ia simply a mailbox filled with notebooks of people pouring out their hearts. It is very moving and heartouching, Just read, or contribute if you like. Calabash is a stones throw from Sunset Beach. It's called the "Seafood Capitol of the World" "Calabash Style" simply means, "Fried" You can't get fresher seafood. It literally comes from the Atlantic Ocean to your plate. I have eaten at both Capt Johns and Nance and also Becks. They were all good, but my favorite is The Boundary House. Reservations are suggested, and I have yet to get a meal I didnt enjoy! My wife and I are going the try the Grapevine this time. In terms of activites for families, we have done Ripleys Aquarium, Alligator Adventure and the Sea Screamer, and the Hurricane Fleet for fishing trips. There is a planetarium on the island too, but I havent visited yet. Sunset Beach is NOT a party beach! They have very strict rules to mantain it's family friendly culture. Just to give you an idea, no house parties are allowed, no driving on the beach, no fireworks, pets have to on a leash and are permitted on the beach during certain hours.Violators are fined, and in some cases required to leave the island. I hope the info helps? Im sure you will enjoy your stay. Im now on my 9th one!

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North Myrtle Beach
North Myrtle Beach
Coastal South Carolina, SC
Wilmington
Wilmington
North Carolina Coast, NC
Chapel Hill, North...
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2. Re: Visiting Sunset Beach next month

I don't know that you really want to go out for lunch every day. I'd consider scratching that plan. That would mean driving off the island every day since there's not a restaurant on the island. I mean, you could, but not my idea of fun. A lot of the area restaurants are not open for lunch, either. If you do decide to do it, try the Seafood Hut in Calabash.

There are good grocery stores at on the mainland at Sunset. Google Maps will show them if you zoom in. There's a little shopping center at 179/94 and Sunset Blvd about midway between Sunset and Ocean Isle. No need to shop in Wilmington and try to keep food cold that long. There's a good Food Lion there and either a Lowes or a Piggly Wiggly or both further up 179/94 N.

I usually shop at the Food Lion. It's one of the nicest I've ever been in, but it is not ON the island. I think kestp is a little confused. There is no big grocery store on the island. There is a small island market but it's more of a convenience store type grocery. The planetarium is not on the island, either. Nor is Bill's but they do have great fresh seafood. We really like Crabby Oddwaters, but read the reviews. People have mixed feelings about it. Twin Lakes is great, too, and very family friendly. Every place down there is family friendly. It's all family beaches in South Brunswick.

Calabash could be a great choice, too, but it is not all fresh. Ask first. I have seen the Inland Seafood trucks pulling up to make deliveries of frozen seafood. There is fresh seafood there, though. You can buy shrimp fresh off the docks at at Calabash, though, and we do that sometimes, too.

My kids love the ferry ride from Southport to Ft Fisher. The NC Aquarium is there and it's great (http://www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher). If you go up this way you can explore Ft Fisher, too, and the USS North Carolina at Wilmington if that interests you. http://www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher/ and http://www.battleshipnc.com .

For a smaller adventure, though, there is a sweet little museum at Ocean Isle that has a touch tank. My kids still like that at 12 and 9. It would be perfect for your 3 yr old: oceanislebeach.com/museum-of-coastal-carolin… .

We don't go to Myrtle. Too much sensory overload for us parents, but a lot of people do and there's more stuff to do there than you can shake a stick at.

Mostly we just hang out on the beach. It's a great beach for little kids. The surf is gentle and at low tide little tide pools often form which are great for toddlers to play in. …blogspot.com/2008/07/sunset-beach-ncs-best-…

Edited: 19 June 2013, 00:59
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Seafood Hut
Seafood Hut
490 Reviews
Calabash, NC
Ocean Isle Beach
Ocean Isle Beach
North Carolina
Wilmington
Wilmington
North Carolina Coast, NC
Brunswick
Brunswick
Golden Isles of Georgia, GA
North Carolina
North Carolina
United States
Chapel Hill, North...
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3. Re: Visiting Sunset Beach next month

Forgot to answer your question about places you can walk. You can only walk to get ice cream or check out the arcade or souvenir shops. Sunset is very non-commercial on the island. There's a mini golf place on the mainland side of the bridge and the aforementioned planetarium and shopping center, but that's about it.

Tucson, AZ
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4. Re: Visiting Sunset Beach next month

Thanks so much for the great input! We are definitely looking forward to as mellow of a vacation as we can have with a preschooler and an infant. I will do a little Googling to see what I can figure out about locations of groceries, etc., but I am glad to hear that there are places relatively near. Walking for ice cream is all that we need. I can't wait!

Chapel Hill, North...
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5. Re: Visiting Sunset Beach next month

If you have any more specific questions ask away. I've been going to Sunset for more than 40 years. We're heading down in mid July this year. We've also been to Ocean Isle quite a bit since we have a friend who has a relative with a condo there = free place to stay.

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Ocean Isle Beach
Ocean Isle Beach
North Carolina
Louisville, Kentucky
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6. Re: Visiting Sunset Beach next month

Thanks Panchopup. for your corrections. It's still called Sunset Beach once you cross the overpass, but technically is not on the island

7. Re: Visiting Sunset Beach next month

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