Bald Head Island vacation rentals you'll love

Poking out between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River, this sleepy exclave of North Carolina promises oodles of rest, relaxation, and immersion in nature. You can leave the stresses of modern life behind on the ferry docks of the mainland. There are no cars allowed, and a whopping 10,000 acres of protected landscape to enjoy. And between the lot? Bald Head Island vacation rentals are all about quietude and calm.

The unique aspects of Bald Head Island vacation rentals

It should hardly come as a surprise that Bald Head Island likes to do things a little differently than the mainland. The climate here is subtropical, there's more protected nature reserve than built-up areas, and you'll see handsome vacation homes that are steeped in history and truly individual.

A castaway cottage on Bald Head Island

Delve into the swathes of sabal palmettos and American holly trees that blanket the lush inland of Bald Head behind the sands and you can discover some seriously forget-me-not cottages. They are clad in painted timbers, fronted by leaf-strewn porches, and have quaint interiors where you can snuggle up after dark.

First-row homes by the beaches

One of the real treats of Bald Head Island's compact clusters of vacation rentals is that it's relatively easy to find somewhere that has views of the curling Atlantic waves and the powdery white sand dunes. Of course, they're likely to cost a tad extra, but it does add to the romance factor.

Pet-friendly vacation rentals in Bald Head Island

A whole section of the Bald Head Island coast is designated as a dog beach, you can ride local trams and hop on the ferry with the pup in tow, and there are stacks of cottages that are happy have the canine come along. That means you certainly don't have to leave the four-legged pal back at home for this one.

A Bald Head Island vacation rental with a golf cart

With not a purring engine or a rumbling motorbike to be heard between the laurel oaks and palm fronds of Bald Head, you might ask how the devil do you get around. The answer? On foot – walking paths are everywhere – or with an electric golf cart. Lots of home rentals on the isle actually come with a cart as part of the package, so it's often easy to score a ride once you've arrived.

What areas of Bald Head Island are best to visit?

Bald Head isn't huge. That's probably why it's so charming. It takes just an hour to walk all the way from the ferry port to the headland on Cape Fear. However, there are some quarters of the isle worth noting, if only for their out-of-the-ordinary range of vacation homes and cottages.

Station House Way – watch the Atlantic roar

Some of the most opulent, spacious, and grand mansions of Bald Head Island straddle the salt-washed path of Station House Way in the far East Beach part of town. They all come with walking access, via a cluster of seagrass-dressed dunes, to the main coast. It's also normal to be able to hear the crashing swells rolling onto the shore from your living room.

South Bald Head Wynd – the widest selection

There's just a touch of New England about the wood-faced cottages that stand on painted timbers above the sea oats of South Bald Head Wynd. Others are classic Carolinian homes with porches lofted above cabbage palms mere meters from South Beach. The upshot is that you should have lots to choose from on this lovely coastal stretch.

Under the Old Baldy Lighthouse

Convenient, bustling, and historic, the area around the Old Baldy Lighthouse at Lighthouse Landing is a doozy for those who want to hop off the ferry and find a place to stay. There are even pads that shoulder above the bobbing sailboats of the main marina. Others are quaint fishing huts that spread out over the wooded banks of nearby creeks.

On the cusp of the Bald Head Woods Reserve

If you've been drawn to this corner of the East Coast by the prospect of hitting boardwalk trails and nature paths that run into over 10,000 acres of protected wetland, swamp, and subtropical forestry, you can't do better than the rentals around the Bald Head Woods Reserve. Just a few steps from your door and you can be spotting mud turtles, racoons, and deer.