Nowadays the time it takes to plan and coordinate a personal trip is very limited. Managing daily business operations and all of our amazing clients has left little room for my mind to romp on the fringes of adventure, but luckily I live in a state that has me covered.
In 2021 I was determined to finish visiting all the beaches on our amazing coast. I did pretty good... I've seen Ocean Isle, Holden, Oak Island, Caswell, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Atlantic, Wrightsville, and most recently, Cedar Island.
I found this quaint AirBnB cottage, read all the reviews, and booked it! Whenever I travel with my family I look for places that forces us to drop our devices and connect - this place delivered. The first challenge was peeling me away from work so we could make it there.
The hostess of our AirBnB was a true superhost. She allowed us to arrive early but I just couldn't shut down my workday on time so we could make it out early. We didn't get on the road until 3pm - one excited nine year old, a chill teenager, an irritated-but-anxious-to-head-out husband, a multi-tasking mom/CEO, and a wild-eyed husky (what an eclectic bunch we are).
The drive wasn't too bad - a little over five hours but it didn't feel like it. The heavy interstate travel ended after we got through Raleigh. After that we passed through small town after small town until we reached our destination. It was after dark when we arrived but after figured out how to get into the house we got easily settled, cooked a light dinner, and turned on Unsolved Mysteries until the we could no longer stay awake. Earlier I mentioned I look for places that force the family to drop their devices... the room my children were in had no tv - so they experienced a night of sleep in room without the disruption of artificial light. They were so tired they didn't mind much the first night.
In the morning we were greeted with a different type of view - instead of the sandy beach views we were used to when visiting the beach; we were met with similar scenery from home that crashed into the the inlet. It was quite beautiful.
Our first full day on any vacation is our exploration day. We rode around the island, stopped by the beach and drove out thirty minutes to get to the closest grocery store. We saw the areas we rode through under the cover of night and were quite shocked at how close the roads were to the water's edge. At the public beach there were places to purchase horse rides to explore the coast. Looking back I do wish we would have done this.
We were told by our host to keep watch for the sea cows but we never saw any. Maybe next time.
Our favorite beach was the one close to the house. It was one of the most natural beaches I've ever been to. There were oysters, crabs, fish, and lots of shells that could cut your feet (yikes). The water was shallow enough to walk out a good bit before going past your knees. The color of water was not as pretty as the public beach. I don't know if this is because it had rained the night before or because it was more inland but to me it had a murky look to it. Other than the water color it was very nice, there was a lot to discover and our husky loved every minute!
Cedar Island, NC is a great family getaway. It is not your traditional commercial-feeling beach but if you like driving on the road less traveled and want to really re-connect with your family you may enjoy your time here. Bring lots of mosquito spray, games, and your sense of adventure!