Sunset Beach, NC

I know, I know, I just started the Monday Archive idea two weeks ago, but you’re going to have to work with me because I have a backlog of posts so I’m switching it up today with a mini-vacation (but not-so-mini-lengthwise) post!

View from our back porch on the first day–a wee bit rainy, but in that cozy way

Last month (how is “last month” July already?!?!), G & I headed south to the North Carolina/South Carolina border for some R&R at Sunset Beach. For seemingly forever I’d said “all I want to do this year is head to the beach,” but then I put off booking a place until a few months in advance and, guess what, the eastern seaboard fills up pretty darn fast. But Google Maps is a winner sometimes and through searching for a “bed and breakfast near Myrtle Beach” I came up with the Sunset Inn, a great mix between a bed & breakfast an an inn.

Continental breakfast: always with one hot dish that changed every day (egg-based).  Personally, I love me some English muffins and a cup of strong coffee.

Sunset Beach can’t be beat. Well, maybe it can, but I’m extremely happy with how the trip went. Sunset Inn is located on the marsh side of the island and each room comes with a screened-in, covered back porch with a view of the marsh. And with the continental breakfast included, G & I always ended up with our breakfast on the porch. Birds and deer and water–I love it. The beach itself was only a 2 minute walk to the other side of the island–literally a block away–and it was never overcrowded since Sunset Beach is primarily residential with just the Sunset Inn and one other little motel/inn.

And our room? How much can I gush about it? Beyond the back porch, we had a super comfy king size bed, a tv that we never used, and a little loveseat in the corner. The bathroom was clean and just big enough and the decor was perfect. Frankly, I love B&Bs, but the grandma-esque decor always turns me off. The Inn was clean and bright and cozy without feeling too old: just perfect for my style.

Coast Guard ship in Wilmington

Interior of The German Cafe in Wilmington

The food might not have been good, but the beer list was great!  Nothing like a hefewisen on a summer day.

At first it was rainy, so we spent a day at the Silver Coast Winery and then headed north to Wilmington for some German food at The German Cafe. The food was…not so fantastic, but the beer was cold and yummy. And I liked the interior a lot–cozy wood with kitschy German antiques. What’s not to love about that?

Interior of Hot Pink Cake Stand

Guinness Cupcake

I also nabbed a Guinness cupcake at Hot Pink Cake Stand, which wasn’t the vegan cupcake I was craving, but wasn’t bad by any means. Yelp said they were a vegan bakery, so I freaked out in excitement, but when I arrived at 4 pm or so, they were out of vegan goodness, so the Guinness one had to do.

Waterside porch at Sharky’s

Perfect view for eating (and drinking!), no?

The cat house in the corner of the covered porch–no cat that day, le sigh.

Apparently I really enjoy beer.  Especially at the beach.  Mmm.

Other food-tastic moments happened on the neighboring island–Ocean Isle Beach–at Sharky’s. We ended up at Sharky’s two days in a row just because we couldn’t help but fall in love with the covered patio bar overlooking the waterway. Heck, the even had a super cute but unoccupied cat house in one corner!


Shark’s Teeth

Jumbo Bugs

Caesar Salad

Fish Tacos

The food was good–not killer 5 star cuisine or anything, but the kind of food that you want while drinking $3 Sierra Nevada Summer Ales on a patio at the beach. The first day we split some super junky, fried food: the Jumbo Bugs (jumbo shrimp stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese & jalepeno peppers), Shark’s Teeth (crab stuffed jalepeno peppers), hushpuppies with their cinnamon butter spread, and a Caesar salad *(you know, to add some green to the mix). The next day, sunnier, I tried the fish tacos while G had a burger. They were fine–nothing special–but the sun was shining and who can complain about that?

Beyond food, no trip to the beach is complete without lots of wandering on the beach itself, and, thanks to the way Sunset Island is so residential, we were able to enjoy plenty of quiet and beautiful time by ourselves. The evening we walked down to Bird Island, a Coastal Reserve now connected to Sunset Beach, was incredible.

The sunset seemed to stretch on and on (apt for a place named Sunset Beach, isn’t it?) and we shared the sand with only a few ghost crabs. Dunes behind us, the water in front, and a sky redder than I’ve seen in ages. More than anything, that walk sums up our vacation: beautiful, peaceful, and full of nature–exactly what I wanted from the beach and I’ll be incredibly happy to return next year.

3 Responses to “Sunset Beach, NC”
  1. eileen says:

    Ha, Wilmington! My parents live there, & I had practically my first date ever at the German Cafe (and practically my last ever too, because who actually ‘dates?’). I never went to Sunset Beach, though, since Wrightsville & Carolina Beach were right there already. Downtown businesses change frequently enough that I can only sort of recommend food for future visits, but I like the Front St. Brewery & used to eat real diner lunch at Pender’s Luncheonette. The best thing is taking the car ferry from the southernmost tip of Cape Fear (Fort Fisher, really) to Southport, going through all the antique stores down there, and then eating lunch at Thai Peppers (mediocre but heritagenous). Boat ride on the sound!

  2. Beth says:

    Wow, that sunset shot is lovely. Just looking at it gives me a feeling of serenity. I’m so glad you and G had such a happy, restful time there. I grew up in eastern N.C. (Wallace and Warsaw) so am familiar with that area. Wilmington was where we always went for major shopping and for big nights out on the town. I haven’t been there for 35 years, so I guess it’s changed a lot by now!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Headed there in June… your blog really helped! Thanks!

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