Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No more 'Cape Fear Coast?'

There's a move afoot from Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach to move away from the branding of "Cape Fear Coast." But it has received some push back.

Tourists want to plan a vacation using easily accessible information, and those who loyally choose to vacation on Pleasure Island want things to stay familiar, said Judy Randall, owner of Randall Travel Marketing, told the Star-News.

She suggested the town spend less time focusing on re-branding the area – despite the ongoing mission by the county's three beach towns to phase out the "Cape Fear Coast" logo to better identify each town.

Town boards in Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach each adopted a joint resolution this month that addresses desired changes to the way the Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau markets and promotes each town.

The resolution, which came out of a meeting Nov. 18 of the three towns' mayors and other representatives, states the towns' leaders believe the CVB's marketing and public relations efforts "may not effectively represent the respective beach communities in their best possible light and could hamper their full potential for their growth and development in tourism."

The resolution recommends phasing out the term "Cape Fear Coast" as the official brand name for the three beaches and placing each beach name along with Wilmington in official logos and marketing materials.

But Randall, who works out of Charlotte, said research showed most people vacationing in the area refer to the area collectively as "Wilmington."

Someone sitting on the beach, she said, won't necessarily say they are in Kure Beach or Carolina Beach but will say they're in the Wilmington area if asked.

Councilman Dan Wilcox argued that the issue to bring the names of the beach towns to the forefront of advertising campaigns was not about creating a slogan but about recognizing the beaches' identities.

"When we talk about branding we're talking about our name as the beach and being advertised as Carolina Beach, not a subsidiary of Wilmington," Wilcox said.

The joint resolution is awaiting signatures of all three beach towns' mayors and will be submitted to the CVB and other agencies for consideration.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book your New Year's beach stay now

The beach is a wonderful place to ring in the New Year. And our place just happens to be free. So contact us now for some wonderful bargains.

For more information about OBP, go here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CB State Park among 5 most popular in state

According to WECT, Carolina Beach State Park has made the top five most popular parks in the state of North Carolina, according to statistics from the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

Through the year ending July 30th, Carolina Beach State Park registered 4,410 camping and picnic reservations. In all, more than a quarter million people visited state parks in the state.

The top five most reserved sites in the state are:

  • Jordan Lake State Recreation Area 14,124
  • Kerr Lake State Recreation Area 6,162
  • Hanging Rock 5,256
  • Stone Mountain 5,062
  • Carolina Beach 4,410

Reservations can be made up to 48 hours in advance, online at or by calling toll-free 1-877-7 CAMP NC (722-6762).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

CB marina on 'cleanest' list

A marina in Carolina Beach has joined the list of North Carolina Clean Marinas, according to the state.

The Joyner Marina in Carolina Beach joined a growing list of marinas that go beyond the state's environmental regulations, says WECT. The point of the Clean Marina program is to show how operators are safeguarding the environment in their operations. To get the designation, owners have to prepare spill prevention plans and do safety and emergency planning. The marinas need to get recertified every two years.

The Clean Marina program began in 2000.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CB board: Give boardwalk year-round status

From the Star-News:

The end of the summer season is known to arrive when Britt's Donut Shop serves its last tasty treat and shuts its metal drop-down doors on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. ...

And as the crowds dwindled at the end of September and the last batch of doughnuts were out the door, many other Boardwalk businesses followed suit and decided to close for several months or for certain days each week.

But with the help of the town's Boardwalk Makeover Committee, some have vowed to reach a goal of making the Boardwalk a year-round destination.

The effort faces an uphill battle against perception, however. People don't want to visit the Boardwalk because they don't think any shops are open, while shops don't want to open because they don't think people will visit, said Councilman Dan Wilcox, co-founder of the Boardwalk Makeover Committee.

"To work toward that, what we're trying to do each year is to extend the season a little bit," he said.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bye bye Britt's (for now), and CB is in the spotlight

"Donut lovers who can't get enough of Britt's Donuts in Carolina Beach are going to have to wait several months before eating them again," says WECT.

"Sunday, the donut shop officially closed for winter. ...

"Every year in the fall the donut shop closes for the winter and reopens in the spring...."

However, the good news is that CB is getting some nice notoriety.

"Carolina Beach is the perfect destination for a fall getaway," says Travel Video News. "Fall means family-friendly festivals and events. It’s always play time. The autumn is special in Carolina Beach where events and activities happen nonstop. There’s a lot to do and an added bonus of uncrowded beaches. Carolina Beach is a popular summertime destination, but in the fall, with its special rates on accommodations, it delivers exceptional value."

(Ahem -- like Our Beach Place.)

"There’s lots of ways to relax and have some traditional family fun. Stroll hand-in-hand along the shore or on the boardwalk. Leave your cares behind and have a picnic, hike along the nature trails and do a little bird watching, or rent a paddleboat at Carolina Beach Lake Park. If you love to fish, grab a pole and join a fishing excursion. Several charter fishing boats are available for rental at the Carolina Beach Fishing Center and Marina. Drop a line off the pier or try your hand at surf fishing. Rent a canoe or kayak and paddle your cares away. Take a ride through town on a surrey bike. Outdoor adventure is all around."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Gazzetteer and Carolina Beach

The highly entertaining and educational North Carolina Gazetteer has been updated for the first time since it was first published in 1968. (Kudos to Michael Hill at the N.C. Office of Archives and History for undertaking the updating of William Powell's monumental publication.)

So what info does it have in there about Carolina Beach?

Carolina Beach, town in (southeast) New Hanover County on the Atlantic Ocean. Alt. 5. Settled about 1885; inc. 1925. Sugar Loaf, a former community at or near the site, was the scene of an engagement between Confederate and Union forces after the capitulation of Fort Fisher, January 15, 1865.

Also ...

Carolina Beach Inlet, (southeast) New Hanover County, an artificially created inlet from the Atlantic Ocean through the barrier bar about 2 1/2 mi. (north) of the town of Carolina Beach. A dredged channel extends from the inlet to the Intracoastal Waterway.

Consider yourself "edumacated."

The North Carolina Gazetteer is published by UNC Press. To order one, click here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Screaming kids? Take your business elsewhere

This article has sure gotten a lot of publicity (and so has the restaurant in question).

The owner of a coastal North Carolina restaurant is fed up with screaming children who bother other diners.

So Brenda Armes has posted signs at Olde Salty restaurant in Carolina Beach that read “screaming children will not be tolerated.” She told WECT-TV in Wilmington that the signs have worked by attracting more customers than they turn away.

Customer Gary Gibson agrees, saying he likes the signs because a meal isn’t enjoyable when kids are screaming.

But a mother of two, Ashley Heflin, says parents can’t help it if their children scream.

If a child is screaming, Armes says a restaurant employee will ask the parent to take them outside. They won’t be asked to leave the restaurant for good.

I have two very small children, and you never know when they're going to "go off." Having said that, Armes has every right to put up those signs and enforce it. Heck, I actually see her logic in it.

I think the key is understanding what kind of establishment you are running. (I can say that I've never been to Olde Salty.) If it's a loud, kinda run-down beach place, then maybe telling families not to bring their screaming kids isn't such a good idea. If it's a white tablecloth kinda place, then you probably shouldn't bring the "young'uns" there in the first place.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Folks are going back to the beach

Despite the slumping economy (or maybe because of it?), people are still heading to the beach, says this article in the News & Observer.

Longer lines, fewer discounts and more "No Vacancy" signs indicate that tourism business along the North Carolina coast has been better this summer than in the previous two. State tourism figures confirm that travel is up across the state, with the southeast region, which includes New Hanover and Brunswick counties, showing the biggest increase - 9 percent - in room occupancy rates for June compared to last year.

"And we expect to see the same for July and August," said Margo Metzger, public relations manager for the state Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development.

It's not clear whether business is better because the economy has improved in general, or because some visitors came to North Carolina this year instead of Gulf Coast states to avoid the oil spill, or because the division of tourism amped up advertising last year as room occupancy rates flagged.

Tourism is big business in the state, accounting for more than 190,000 jobs and more than $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenues.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Students study the N.C. coast

The (Raleigh) News & Observer has an interesting piece on college students and professors studying the N.C. coast to get a "baseline" for the just-in-case chance that Gulf oil makes it this far. (Fingers crossed that it won't!)

Seven people walked the 50-meter-long seine net into chest-high water, then slowly returned to the beach with scores of Florida pompano, striped mullet and gulf kingfish, among others.

Destined for labs at UNC Wilmington, the fish, along with water and sediment samples gathered nearby, will be used to create a baseline measurement of what the coastal environment is like now, unsullied by oil from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere else.

The oil apparently has not left the gulf. State officials who gathered last week at UNC-Chapel Hill for an oil-spill forum were told that the probability of crude reaching North Carolina was extremely small.

"It's beyond remote now," said Kenneth Taylor, disaster response coordinator for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. "The oil is breaking up in the gulf all by itself."

But that does not mean the science has stopped. On Wednesday, about a dozen researchers, many of them students, worked with UNC Wilmington professors to gather samples. N.C. Sea Grant provided $6,000 for the research, which will eventually encompass visits to six beaches, from Ocean Isle to Hatteras.


In the weeks immediately following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the gulf, scientists along the East Coast began forecasting the oil's movement. The National Center for Atmospheric Research released a computer model that showed how currents could bring oil to North Carolina waters, though the conditions that would have made that happen haven't materialized.

This week, Gov. Bev Perdue signed into law a bill that lifts the cap on damages that can be recovered as the result of an offshore oil spill. She had previously directed state officials to update the state's oil spill contingency plan to prepare for the unlikely event that the leaked BP oil makes it to North Carolina.

In June and July, the state gathered extensive samples of sea life from 34 spots up and down the coast. Oysters, shrimp, crabs and a wide variety of fish were collected as part of a separate effort to create a snapshot of an oil-free environment.

Even if tar balls never reach the North Carolina coast, the samples gathered and the science collected from them will not go to waste.

(Image via the N&O)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Michael's Seafood: America's Chowder Champion

For the second year in a row, Carolina Beach's Michael's Seafood beat out the competition (including those from New England) be crowned as having America's best chowder.

By the way, if you're interested, you can now buy the chowder in stores.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It was biz-ay at the beach on the Fourth!

Of course, if you were down here, you would know this already!

"Traffic lined up for miles at times during the Fourth of July weekend in New Hanover County's beach towns, and parking lots were nearly full at area attractions," says the Star-News.

According to surveys and guest lists at several hotels and attraction sites, the bulk of this weekend's visitors came from just hours away on Interstate 40.

Jimmy Pope, owner of Golden Sands Motel in Carolina Beach, said 70 percent of the people who stayed at the hotel during the weekend were from North Carolina cities such as Raleigh, Durham, Kernersville and as far west in the state as Boone.

That's not surprising considering that in-state travel is both convenient and a constant trend, said Kim Hufham, president of the Wilmington Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"Our largest feeder market we have is the Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill area," she said. "It's a great drive. You hit I-40, drive for two hours and you're here."

There were non-Carolinians around too.

Like many attraction sites, the Battleship North Carolina tracks where visitors live by asking for their ZIP codes. The results of this weekend's ZIP code survey were not available Tuesday, but Heather Loftin, promotions director for the N.C. Battleship, said she noticed a colorful array of license plates just by scanning the parking lot.

"I saw New Jersey. I saw New York, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arkansas," she said.

"It was all over the board," Loftin added. "It wasn't necessarily from the East Coast."

Pope said he met a couple from Alabama who were visiting Durham last week and decided to travel to Carolina Beach for a day-trip since they wouldn't be visiting a Florida beach like they usually did.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Carolina tourism up

Tourism is up in our great state, according to the Charlotte Observer, who says the "beach is beckoning this year - good news for North Carolina's tourism industry."

AAA Carolinas predicts a 12 percent increase over last year in Fourth of July holiday travel. And along the coast, businesses say they're seeing more tourists than in the past two years. ...

It's too early to tell whether the trend will carry through the summer - school hasn't been out that long. But Caroline Meeks, who runs Victory Beach Vacations in Carolina Beach, said her rentals recently jumped again after a strong early spring, then a lull in May.

"If I look at the numbers for the whole year, we are up," Meeks said. "Unfortunately, some of our reservations are from the Gulf Coast. People are saying they had to cancel their reservations there and make new ones."

Like it did last summer, the company is still getting a lot of last-minute reservations, Meeks said. Customers also are asking for shorter rentals.

"We've adjusted," she said, by cutting required lengths of stay and by staffing the office until 9 p.m. "If the mom says, 'OK, we can go. Let's see if we can find a place,' and they want to go tomorrow morning and it's 8 o'clock on Thursday, you want to have somebody there to answer the phone."

We have noticed some of these trends as well. In fact, a recent visitor changed up his original Alabama Gulf Shores trip because of the Gulf oil spill and instead came to Carolina Beach. We're always happy for the business -- just wish it was for another reason.

We are also getting many more "last-minute" requests. Whereas a year ago people were planning their vacations a couple of months ahead of time, now we're getting those calls and emails just a couple of weeks before. And instead of week-long stays, we are seeing more and more 3- or 4-night sojourns at OBP.

Monday, June 14, 2010

State planning to deal with oil (if necessary)

Oil from the BP spill in the Gulf may or may not make its way up to the North Carolina coast. But if it does, state officials are ready.

"North Carolina has a plan for dealing with the possible incursion of the BP Deep Horizons oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico into the state’s coastal waters," says the Washington News.

"That plan may be found on the N.C. Department of Crime Control & Public Safety’s Web page under the heading for the Division of Emergency Management, said department spokesman Ernie Seneca. The department’s Web page may be found at ...

The plan was developed in the “remote chance some of this oil will make its way up here,” Seneca said in an interview with the Washington Daily News. ...

Meanwhile, the state is preparing to act if oil threatens its waters.

“North Carolina has an oil spill-response plan that defines roles and responsibilities for responding agencies,” Seneca said. “The state of North Carolina is closely monitoring BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. State and federal agencies are coordinating plans to be fully prepared to respond in case the oil reaches our state. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently projecting that there is a remote chance that the oil could reach this far north and threaten North Carolina’s coast.”

North Carolina’s plan makes the Coast Guard the lead agency in charge of oil threatens coastal waters, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the lead agency in charge if oil threatens inland waters. The N.C. Department of Crime Control & Public Safety, which includes the Division of Emergency Management, is the lead state-response agency. The N.C. State Emergency Response Team, headed by the state’s emergency-management director, assists federal agencies, coordinates state preparations and response activities and works with local communities and responders.

Glad to hear that state officials are planning ahead. Hopefully it is unnecessary planning.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Britt's Donuts: Well worth the drive

The Raleigh News & Observer begins its summer "Open Road" series with a look at a CB institution: Britt's Donuts.

Traveling 129 miles from Raleigh to the beach to try an 80-cent doughnut is to put faith in those who have come before, to trust in their ability to judge grease and glaze.

Because even with rhapsodic testimonials posted across the Internet, driving that far to eat Britt's Donuts is a gamble because there are no choices. If you prefer chocolate, and your buddy eats jelly-filled, that's fine, but you can't have either. Britt's sells only fried glazed doughnuts.

There is a simple reason for this, insists owner Bobby Nivens.

"When we get busy," he says of his airy, hand-cut delicacies, "we don't have time for other doughnuts."

After the first one, you might not either. ...

The doughnut has devoted fans, but Nivens isn't the sort of cook who shares his techniques with friends. Only he and his wife, Maxine, know the exact recipe. One of them has to mix the dough so the employees can make the doughnuts. Even their daughter isn't privy to the doughnut's innards, although she knows where the recipe is written down in case anything happens to the secret-keepers.

Nivens dreamed years ago of expanding his deep-fried empire to include shops in other cities, but he eventually decided against the plan. Money, he says, isn't everything. Plus he and Maxine enjoy their time off, which is pretty much October through March.

The shop opens at 8:30 a.m. every day during the summer. It closes each night when business slows, and Nivens never shuts the garage doors if there are people in line.

"I don't want to get killed," he says, laughing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Raleigh-to-Wilmington train eyed

Now THIS could be very cool.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The rides are back and a new Thai restaurant has opened

The rides at the Carolina Beach boardwalk are now back, just in time for the busy summer season.

"This year there are about a dozen more rides, including the 'Ring of Fire' which will go 70 feet in the air. There will also be bungee jumping and new kiddie rides," says WECT.

"After last year's success, the Town of Carolina Beach worked with the ride company to expand, which is good news for the bad economy.

"The prices will remain the same, but there will be rides on three different lots near the boardwalk.

"The rides will be open by Friday night and could be open as early as Thursday night if the inspections are complete by then."

Ida Thai now open

Chef Jackie Bongkotmanee’s Ida Thai is now open in CB. The Thai restaurant is named for Bongkotmanee’s toddler daughter, Ida.

"Ida’s menu features easy Thai favorites such as satay, spring rolls, pad Thai, and all the correct curries but also Paradise Ginger, a stir-fry containing ginger, mushrooms, celery, carrots, bell peppers and onion," says the Star-News. "Garlic & Pepper Chicken brings chicken sauteed with fresh garlic and ground pepper topped with cilantro. Prices range from $5 to $10. Take-out is available. Call (910) 458-8136."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Well, darn

Wrightsville Beach has apparently decided against banning smoking on the beach. I was really hoping this would go through, and that WB would set a precedent for other beach communities. Oh, well.

Instead, the WB Board of Alderman have decided "to raise the fine for littering, including those who drop cigarette butts.

"The fine is going from $100 to $250."

The board heard from about a dozen supporters and opponents and Mayor David Cignotti then asked for a show of hands. More than 30 people favored the ban, and about 10 people opposed it.

But Alderwoman Susan Collins said she wanted to tighten the litter ordinance by handing out more tickets instead of banning smoking.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Whoo-hoo! There's now more beach to enjoy!

Just in time for the busy beach time of the year, comes these photos courtesy of the missus, showing the beach renourishment process as it is underway. We are particularly excited because while we've enjoyed being able to see the OCEAN from the porch of Our Beach Place, we can now see the BEACH as well. Yippee!

Here is the before photo (from a year or so ago) ...

... and here is a photo as of May 1.

Note the pipeline on the beach in the second photo. The wife says the beach goes well even beyond it. Nice.

In other words, now is a good time to get down there and enjoy the sand and surf. (Hint, hint.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boy, don't miss out on this great weather we're having

In case you haven't noticed (or in case you live in a less-moderate part of the country), the weather in North Carolina has been spectacular of late. All signs point to that continuing for quite some time. And then it will be summer. So, in other words, now is the time to book those Carolina Beach weeks and weekends (or longer, if your heart desires) at OBP.

Don't miss this opportunity to get a steal of a deal -- just steps from the beach.

Remember, if you are interested in renting Our Beach Place for just a weekend, week or longer, just email us at

(Image from

CB native Munley deservedly given key to the city

"Still leaning on her cane but smiling broadly Tuesday night, Sgt. Kimberly Munley accepted the key to the town from the Carolina Beach Town Council," writes the Star-News.

You'll remember that Munley was the "hero cop" who brought down Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan back in November after he had opened fire on the base at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 and wounding more than 30 others.

Munley is the daughter of former Carolina Beach Mayor Dennis Barbour.

The council declared Nov. 5 a day to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the Carolina Beach native, who was shot in both legs and once in the wrist while helping stop a deadly shooting at the U.S. Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, on that date last year. Flanked by her family, including her 3-year-old daughter, Munley thanked the council for the "tremendous support" she received from the town and county since the incident.

"It was a big job that day and a group effort – I just happened to be the one, with Mark Todd, to get there first," Munley said.

In other CB news, the council is apparently getting an earful about the new traffic patterns.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Watch out for a new traffic pattern

WECT is reporting that a new traffic pattern in CB has caused some confusion.

Lake Park Boulevard used to have two lanes in each direction, but now it only has one. Officials say they are trying to help the flow of traffic, but residents say one lane just isn't enough.

"I mean, two lanes coming off the beach, just makes sense," said pizza delivery driver Lanelle Barrow. "Maybe in the long run it will be a good idea, but right now, I don't see it."

The plan to change traffic patterns has been in the works with town leaders for five years. They hope the changes will give the area a more traditional "downtown" ambiance.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Amusement rides to return; a water park available as well

Visitors to Carolina Beach will once again get to enjoy the tourist-season amusement park this year, according to WECT (via CarolinaBeachToday).

In addition, a water slide will accompany the rides this year.

Carolina Beach town council members unanimously voted to bring the popular rides back to the beach for the summer. This year, it will be even bigger, with a second area nearby filled with more rides.

The rides should open around Memorial Day and officials are excited about the boost the park brings to the area...

Monday, March 29, 2010

When in CB, you have to try Britt's Donuts

We finally experienced the wonder of Britt's Donuts last summer. It was well worth the wait.

The donut shop, a staple of Carolina Beach, closes each year in October but offers their donuts (just one type: glazed) during the high-tourism season.

Well, according to WECT, Britt's opened back for the spring and summer this past Friday.

Owner Bobby Nivens started working at Britt's Donuts in the 1950s and has been the owner for 36 years, though the shop has been in business for 76 years.

In 2008, MSN City Guide ranked the donut shop as the second best doughnut in the nation.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Get bloggy at the beach

Shannan Bowen with Talk & Squawk has put together a list of Carolina Beach-area blogs. (She somehow left this one off! ;) You can read her thoughts here.

She mentions one of our favorites, CarolinaBeachToday. She also mentions the now-defunct Snow's Cut magazine, which is now an e-zine (online only).

"The Snow’s Cut e-zine features coupons, events, business news and interesting posts like one about the smallest house on the island (300 square feet)," writes Bowen.

Also listed are blogs at the N.C. Aquarium, and one from Kure Beach called Seawatch Happenings.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

CB restaurant news

The Dish has some updated news about CB restaurants, including a new joint.

At Carolina Beach, Rachanee Wechamongkolgorn and husband “Jackie” Bongkotmanee on April 1 transport their native Thai cuisine to Ida, at the previous Beach Dogs (304 N. Lake Park Blvd.).

Around the same time, Chef Danielle Cousler, formerly of Michael’s Seafood Restaurant, and husband, Jeff, reintroduce Black Horn (15 Carolina Beach Ave. North) with a cozy bistro feel, wine bar and “Southwestern Latin fusion” menu. The couple also owns Wilmington’s Thyme Savor Personal Chef and Catering.

Courtyard by Marriott (100 Charlotte Ave.) is shaping Courtyard Bistro. Starbucks coffee and more sandwiches, soups and salads will be served in a redecorated lobby dining area.

And despite the “for lease” sign out front, Tuscan Grill (720 North Lake Park Blvd.) is open. The banner refers to other units on the property.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You'll easily be able to hear the music from our place

Town officials are considering allowing a weekend-long music festival at Freeman Park this summer, according to the Star-News. There are some hurdles; there are worries about vendor facilities, bad behavior and drug use.

At its Tuesday meeting, the town council gave preliminary approval to Michael Oliver's Revolution Evolution of Love Music Festival.

Oliver, who said he has nearly five years of experience planning similar festivals in Ohio, proposed a weekend-long festival at the north end of the park to raise money for the Carolina Beach lifeguard program. The festival will be free, he said, but accept donations. It will also feature paid vendors to help offset the costs of insurance, generators and other expenses.

It will feature local bands such as reggae, folk, bluegrass, classic rock and jam bands, Oliver said.

Bluegrass, reggae, folk and jam bands? Yeah, I can kinda see the drug concerns.

Town Manager Tim Owens questioned whether food vendors could get the necessary health approvals, given that they would need places for employees to wash their hands and other requirements. He also had concerns about the need for extra police and portable toilets. He suggested that if the council approves the festival, that it be held in May instead of April to avoid a possible conflict with beach nourishment (emphasis mine).

(Aside: This is very good news regarding beach nourishment. Yeah!)

The board voted unanimously to approve the festival with some changes to be worked out between Oliver, Owens and Younginer to address the board's concerns.

If this is your "thang," you will easily be able to enjoy the music from the porch of Our Beach Place. Now it's up to you to book the available weekend -- whenever that is!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wrightsville's board wants to kick butts on the beach

How would this fly in CB? Personally, I'd LOVE to see it.

"Butts will have no place at the beach if some Wrightsville Beach officials can get their way," says the Star-News. "Mayor David Cignotti has raised the possibility of banning smoking on the strand, and most of his colleagues supported the concept at an aldermen's retreat Saturday.

A state law went into effect on Jan. 2 that banned smoking in bars and restaurants. It also allows municipalities to enact their own stricter bans.

Alderman Bill Sisson said he has been on numerous beach sweeps picking up litter, and it's impossible to pick up all the cigarette butts in just a one-block area. "The turtle people would love (a smoking ban)," he added, referring to the harm that cigarette toxins left in the sand can do to wildlife, in addition to the litter problem. ...

Alderwoman Lisa Weeks said a smoking ban would discourage smokers. "If we can deter half the people from smoking," she said, the effort would be worthwhile.

Cignotti said that a public hearing should be set on the topic.

If family-friendly Wrightsville Beach passed a smoking ban for the strand, it would be the first beach town in North Carolina with such a policy, although Sally Malek, a tobacco coordinator with the N.C. Division of Public Health, said that Buncombe County has banned smoking on all county-owned property, including parks.

Surfside City in South Carolina has a beach smoking ban, according to Erin Morrissette, the tobacco prevention coordinator for New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties. ...

Raleigh was looking into a smoking ban in parks at one point as well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New curtains, decorations and porch furniture

Because of the aforementioned snow, we didn't have a ton of things to do in CB over Valentine's Day weekend. SO ... we decided to make some improvements to the joint.

The biggest improvement was that we took down the nasty old, twisty, plastic blinds and replaced them with 4 panels of curtains.

You can see the "old" here (to the right) ...

... and here is the new (all four closed) ...

... and here (showing how "customizable" they can be).

We also added some shelves in the kitchen. And you can't have shelves without putting something on them.

We think we've done a pretty good job of making storage space in a space not meant for such.

New pictures/art were added to the walls in the living room and in the bedroom.

We also replaced the crumbling porch furniture with a set of nice, new 4 tables and chairs. Unfortunately, I neglected to shoot a photo of it.

And, finally, here's a shot of the glass tile work in the kitchen, of which we are very proud.

Remember, if you are interested in renting Our Beach Place for just a weekend, week or longer, just email us at

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow ... at the beach?

The family had a nice, cozy time at OBP this past Valentine's Day weekend. The snow came down in droves on Friday night, meaning we were pretty much house/condo-bound on Saturday. No worries. We watched movies, ate frozen pizza and pretty much stayed in our PJs all day. All in all, a great day.

Here are some photos of things you don't see often: snow at the beach. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Farmers Market set to open April 24

Want some fresh veggies and fruits while you're enjoying your CB stay this spring and summer? The Carolina Beach farmers market is set to run every Saturday from April 24 through October 9. Vendors will begin setting up at 7 a.m., with the market open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., according to the Star-News.

The market will operate in the rain, it will close for possibly harmful weather such as storms with lightning. While most vendors will be set up in the park area around the lake, some requiring refrigerated trucks will be able to set up in the nearby school parking lot.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CB may add lifeguards, parking meters

From the Star-News:

The town is considering adding parking meters along Lake Park Boulevard. Officials from Lanier Parking, the company that manages the town’s paid parking, also reviewed parking revenue for the past year and presented several new ideas, some of which are already implemented in other towns.

Click through to see the various options.

In addition, Carolina Beach officials "discussed expanding the beach area covered by lifeguards. Asked what he would recommend with unlimited resources, Ocean Rescue Director Simon Sanders suggested adding five lifeguard stands and creating a third shift, keeping lifeguards on the beach until 9 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.

The lifeguards, in addition to performing water rescues, also help enforce flag warnings that keep people out of the water when rip currents are especially strong, Fire Chief William Younginer said.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year!

Unless your name is Taylor Swift, I can probably safely guess that 2009 was not the greatest year ever. Here's to hoping 2010 is much better.

At this point, we have quite a bit of availability for our condo at Carolina Beach. We have recently listed it on a vacation rental website, so we do hope it will be rented through much of the spring and summer, as it was last year simply by word of mouth. But Charity and I wanted to give you all a reminder in case you are interested in staying.

Here's the juice on the place (in case you've never read any of these posts before):

It's a 1 BR/1.5 bath unit right across from the beach that sleeps 4 (1 queen bed and a pullout sofa). Enjoy the ocean breeze from the patio, or walk just feet to any one of the three beach accesses close by (one literally right across the street). We did some updating to it last year but have since added a new hot water heater. The unit also has a brand new range, microwave and the rest of the appliances are updated as well. There is a pool on sight as well as cable TV in the unit.

Let me know if you are interested in staying there anytime this year. We will also rent it for weekends as well.