This Summer marked 12-years since I moved to North Carolina and during that time I have seen a lot of the state.
From the beaches to the mountains, to the wine country, I have really tried to enjoy everything that this region has to offer.
So, of course, when someone recently told me about Bald Head Island, I knew I had to see it and mark it off my list.
Knowing that my niece was coming to visit for a few weeks, and that we were going to celebrate our birthdays together(they're 3-days apart), I suggested to my parents that we plan a day trip to Bald Head Island on my actual birthday.
Shelby's school was closed but Brad had to work, so I trekked over to my parents house by myself with Shelbs.
Bald Head sits off the coast of NC and is only accessible by ferry boat, and is a golf cart only island.
The passenger ferry leaves from Southport, a 2-hour drive from my parents house.
From there it takes 20-minutes to get to the island.
The ferry ride was great and the weather was a little warm, but other than that, could not have been more perfect.
Expect to pay around $25 per person to ride, kids under 2 are free.
I knew this was an ambitious day trip with a toddler, but that didn't stop us.
I had heard that the island is pretty exclusive and it is.
The homes are gorgeous, and pretty steep to rent, even in the off season.
After picking up our golf cart we decided to have lunch on the water.
There are a couple of restaurants in the harbor area, but other than that, nothing.
It's pretty obvious, that people hang out in their homes and/or enjoy the amenities of the two private clubs on the property.
The island is all that I hoped for, very picturesque!
We chose Mo Jo's and I would recommend it to any of you that visit the area.
Great food, service and view.
I ordered the fish tacos with sweet potato fries and a Natty Green wheat beer to wash it down.
The only group shot we got and Shelby isn't looking.
After lunch we hopped on our golf cart and took off to check out the island and the beach.
One of our first stops was the shops and island market.
Such cute stuff!!
They also had several shops chalked full of Lilly and Vineyard Vines.
After stocking up at the shops we headed out to see the houses and the beach!!
I would love to come back and spend a 4-day weekend on the island with a group of friends.
There are several public beach access points around the island, but I came to the realization, that we weren't going to be hanging out on the beach all day, doing just a day there.
I'm glad, we didn't tote all of our stuff over after all, because while there is public access, there are no public bathrooms or places to rinse off.
The beach was nice and not crowded.
There were people out renting umbrellas and chairs.
We enjoyed a walk on the beach to take it all in.
Then headed onto the turtle conservancy.
They had a great education room where they host programs for kids as young as Shelby, to learn about sea life.
They even had shaved ice on site.
After that, back out for more sightseeing on the island.
It's just fun to look at the amazing homes.
At this point, Shelby was fading.
We woke up at 6am to make our way to Bald Head and by 2pm she crashed hard for about an hour and half.
While Shelbs slept on the golf cart(my parents put down a beach towel and laid her down), Holly and I checked out Old Baldy Lighthouse.
They had a museum you could tour before climbing the steps.
This was the keeper's kitchen.
Then, time to climb the 108 steps up and then 108 back down.
Great views at the top!!
We just had to take a selfie up there!
Shelby was still sleeping by the time we were done, so Holly and I walked back to Mojo's for a cocktail.
I felt, I deserved it since it was my birthday and because I made it up that lighthouse despite having to climb ladders in Jack Rogers sandals!
My parents eventually met up with us and Shelby had another sweet treat compliments of Poppi.
She wasn't a fan of the shaved ice, but loves soft serve!
Then, a few last pictures before we caught the 5:30pm ferry back to Southport.
A fun day indeed!
Bald Head Island is definitely a North Carolina gem!
A place everyone should see at least once.
Would I suggest you take your toddler there on a day trip???
I think it's more of a couples day trip but even more I would suggest trying to stay on the island for a few days.
There aren't traditional hotels or B&B's or anything like that but there are dozens of homes for rent.
Thanks to my parents for being such great sports and signing up for such a long day!
A memory for the books for sure!
We ended with dinner in Southport on the water then headed home.
A perfect end to what is the end of my 30's!
Thanks again to my parents for making my birthday something super special to remember!!