P1170635EMy favorite place and time to be in North Carolina has to be the beach on weekends. And I’ll tell you why. We’re there in less than 3 hours, 4 if it’s the Outer Banks. Each time we go, we explore a different coastline. You can see a terrific sunrise and a stellar sunset both on the same day, sometimes just by turning to face the other direction. And there are no crowds. Even the busiest Carolina beaches have fewer sunbathers than a NJ beach in May. The Jersey shore is where I spent weeks of my childhood summers; it has a special place in my heart. But the North Carolina coast is my current catharsis.

We took a long weekend on the north end of Carolina Beach, and its wide, flat beaches and deep red sunrises won my heart yet again.

First off, our VRBO rental was about 100 steps from the sand. The view, the breeze, the view. Did I mention the view? We rented chairs and umbrellas for our two long beach days from Pleasure Island Rentals, and boy was it worthwhile. The chairs were comfortable, the umbrella a savior, and both were waiting in our designated lounging spot when we arrived. No need to cart away, either; they just show up on the beach in golf carts and pick them right up!

Our patio view.

Next on the list, the weather. We had perfect days- sunshine, mid 80s, gentle breezes. A blood-red moon one night, followed by a blood red sunrise in the morning, which transformed into cotton candy pinks and blues as more sunlight seeped in.

From blood red moon…
To bright red sunrise…
To cotton candy waves.

Our beach evenings were spent primarily in relaxation mode, but on our last night we took a short drive to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, grabbed a bite to eat and a drink along the Carolina Beach Harbor at Gibby’s Dock and Dine, and watched as the kids rode a few rides at the fair. P1170690E

I got a few great beach runs in, and some seashell hunting, too. But mostly we enjoyed each others’ company, played and laughed and ate and drank, and made seaside memories along the way.

My beach run from the ground up.
Our beach- even midday there were only a handful of beach goers.


The long weekend ended too soon, as they always do.