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Journal

Travel | Best NC Beach Towns

Travel | Best NC Beach Towns

California dreamin'? We know the hype is there, but the North Carolina coast is one of the best in the US...not everyone knows about the long-as-can-be beaches with soft white sand, body surfing worthy waves and fantastic culinary stops. Plus the region boasts a retro vibe many other seaside towns have scrubbed away to the detriment of people who crave that yesteryear boardwalk flair. While the Outer Banks towns are more famous, our favorite area is near Wilmington; the best part is, if you stay in one of these hamlets, you can get to the rest very easily! Here’s the breakdown of our musts and if you're looking for the perfect bathing suit coverup, check out our made in NC tunics here...

Stay
VRBO.com for weekly rentals
Blockade Runner
Hampton Inn and Suites Oceanfront Carolina Beach Hotel

Carolina Beach
Britt's Donuts
Flaming Amy's
Cape Fear Boil Company
Ida Thai Cuisine
Ocean Grill & Tiki Bar
Shuckin' Shack
Blackburn Brothers Seafood Market

Wrightsville Beach
Tower 7
SUNday's Cafe
South End Surf Shop
Masonboro Island Day Trip with Captain Joe 
Airlie Gardens 

Kure Beach
Freddies Restaurant
Fort Fisher Aquarium
Kure Beach Pier
Hi-Tech Arcade

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Must Read | A Circle Unbroken in Newton

Must Read | A Circle Unbroken in Newton

For the last few years our superb photographer, Sara Coffin has bundled up and headed to a tiny, clapboard church in her small town on Christmas Eve. There’s no heat in this old church, no elaborate choir, or grand organ, just a community of people sitting closer together than you would’ve ever expect, hungry for a taste of Christmas past. They soak in a simple sermon, some clear, poignant hymns and a chorus of stringed instruments, strumming the joy of the season. This meaningful place is Old St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Newton, NC; she had the opportunity to photograph their service last year and we’re proud to report her beautiful images are featured in Our State Magazine's December issue. Congrats Sara! xo

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Visit | Living in the Moment

Visit | Living in the Moment

With holiday decorating, menu prepping, parties and shopping, it’s easy to forget the splendor of the fall season is still with us. There is nothing more beautiful in North Carolina than getting to see the leaves change from stunning greens to gorgeous orange hues in the fall. Driving down the highway doesn’t seem like a chore anymore due to the scenic views our trees have created for us. The best way to enjoy these views and the autumn color? The mountains.

My home state boasts more hiking trails than I can count, and I’m sure I’ve hiked at least half of them. One of my favorite places to hike is Grandfather Mountain State Park in Linville. There’s a great array of short and easy, but still view-rewarding trail hikes, as well as long and strenuous hikes that allow you to scale up the sides of the mountain via ladders and rope line. Another tremendously beautiful hiking area is the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville. If you want to see a canvas of colors, I highly suggest heading here - I’ve never experienced a leaf-change like this anywhere else. If you're more of a scenic driver than a hiker, this region is home to more than 20 tunnels on the famed Parkway, so there's fun for everyone.

Consider putting your holiday prep on hold for a few hours, grab a bag of trail mix and get out to experience the show our trees have put on for us; it only comes once a year...let’s live in the moment!

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