Bald Head Island is a 2 mi journey across the Cape Fear River from Southport (North Carolina), North Carolina and the site of Old Baldy, the state’s oldest standing lighthouse, circa 1817. Amid the island’s 12,000 acres, you’ll find 10,000 untouched acres of beach, marsh and maritime forest preserves and intimate neighborhoods that respect the natural beauty of the surroundings.
You can reach this subtropical island only by passenger ferry or private vessel. Transportation here is limited to golf carts, bikes, or your own two feet, resulting in a relaxed, easy-going pace. There are about 220 year-round residents. In the summer, the island hums with thousands of vacationers and day visitors. The popular July Fourth Golf Cart Parade is the island's quirkiest and longest-standing tradition.
In about 20 minutes, the Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. passenger ferry transports you from Deep Point Marina in Southport, NC, to the shores of Bald Head Island. For most of the year, ferries leave the mainland on the hour and the island on the half-hour, beginning at 7AM The winter schedule may be abbreviated, and the summer schedule expanded.
Round-trip tickets cost $24.75 for adults, $13.75 for children ages 3–12. There is no charge for children ages two and younger. Tram service to your island destination may be provided based on ticket type and availability. A discounted "no-frills" ticket is available at the Bald Head Island Marina for same-day round-trips that originate on the island and require no baggage handling or tram service. Ferry and tram reservations should be made by calling (910) 457-5003.
You can rent a golf car or bike from Riverside Adventure Co. located near the ferry landing. Call (910) 457-4944 for reservations.
Visit Old Baldy Lighthouse, circa 1817, just a short walk from the ferry landing. Check out Captain Charlie's Station, three restored lighthouse keepers' cottages dating back to 1903. Stop by the Bald Head Island Conservancy's Barrier Island Study Center to learn about island ecology and wildlife.
Stroll 14 miles of pristine beaches, try your luck on the acclaimed seaside golf course, or just kick back on the porch of a cottage overlooking the Atlantic. Outdoor adventures like sailing, surfing and exploring are available through Riverside Adventure Co.
Whether oceanfront or tucked in the maritime forest, large enough for extended families or cozy enough for couples, the quality vacation rental homes offered by Bald Head Island Limited Property Management allow you to perfectly suit your getaway mood.
Bald Head Island's most comprehensive website is http://www.baldheadisland.com. A general information number is 800-234-1666.