Brunswick County North Carolina
Beyond the Beach
Calabash is the southernmost river town in Brunswick County, creating the perfect location for the first Calabash restaurant, an oyster roast that was in a shed and opened in 1935. Today, Calabash is known as “The Seafood Capital of the World.” This river town also offers a variety of specialty stores and art galleries.
Carolina Shores is located just outside of Calabash and is a planned community of mostly retirees. This town features an 18-hole golf course and is beginning to grow with new merchants and restaurants.
Shallotte is considered the center of commerce for Brunswick County due to its variety of shops and businesses. The town contains major grocery stores, department stores, professional offices, chain and local restaurants, and a 10-screen
stadium-seating movie theatre. Shallotte is also the home of the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, which is located on Main Street.
Bolivia is approximately in the center of Brunswick County and houses the county seat. Brunswick County contains a centralized county complex that lies in Bolivia.
Boiling Spring Lakes contains more than 50 natural and manmade lakes, offering fresh-water fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking and canoeing to outdoor enthusiasts. The largest lake, Big Lake, is two-and-a-half miles long with 10 miles of shoreline. Big Lake is fed by five springs and Allen’s Creek.
St. James is a gated golf community that was incorporated in the late 1990s. This town is located in the eastern portion of the county, close to Southport, which offers shops and businesses. St. James started as a retirement community, but now enjoys no age restrictions.
Southport is a historic fishing town located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River on the Atlantic Ocean. Riverboat captains settled and incorporated this city in 1805. Southport features a downtown riverfront that contains numerous antique and specialty shops. Visitors can also browse by the restored Victorian homes, many of which are claimed to be inhabited by spirits, and see great views of Old Baldy Lighthouse and Oak Island Lighthouse by taking a historic walking tour. Southport is also home to Fort Johnson, a Civil War military post. Several movies have been shot in this city, and Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill were set here as well. Stop by the Southport Visitors Center for more information.
Much of Brunswick County’s growth has been seen in Leland, the largest of the County’s northern towns. Leland has an active commercial district, including several restaurants, stores and professional offices. The town has also gained new golf communities recently. If you adventure off into Brunswick County’s countryside, you will find the towns of Belville, Sandy Creek, Northwest and Navassa along with some of Brunswick County’s small town charm and personality.
The southeastern tip of Brunswick County is located at the South Carolina state line, making a trip to the tourist mecca of Myrtle Beach an easy ride. Myrtle Beach offers several major outlet malls, restaurants, shopping and family attractions. There are also several concert venues making for a great night out before heading back to relaxation in the Brunswick Islands.
Wilmington is a historic river town that is located to the north of Brunswick County and offers a large register of historic homes and a downtown riverfront. You will also find lots of restaurants, shopping and a booming nightlife in this city. Another attraction located in Wilmington, is the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, from World War II, which rests on the banks of the Cape Fear River. If you are in the area, you should also visit the Cape Fear Museum, Thalian Hall and Screen Gems Studios.