Sunday, September 26, 2010

Snooky's On The Water - A Hidden Jewel of a Restaurant!

Wanna' try a place a little off the beaten path? Snooky's is a lovely little place we heard about a couple of summers ago, and it has become one of our favorite places to go for leisurely lunches. Tucked away at the end of a little street off Highway 17, it's about a 15-minute drive from Sunset Beach Bliss. If you're hankering for some great seafood with gourmet flair, this is the place to go! Their chef obviously loves his work, as the coleslaw alone will keep you coming back. And on sunny days, the water view over the marina just adds to the feeling of luxury that the scrumptious food creates!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Restaurant List

Here is a partial list of our favorite places to go, whenever we treat ourselves to a meal out while staying at Sunset Beach Bliss:

Sunset Beach, NC
La Cucina Italian Grill 910-579-9777 (behind Food Lion)
Sunset Beach Gourmet Deli 910-575-6759 (behind Food Lion)
China Dragon 843-280-9800 (in Lowes Food shopping center)
Bagels & Sandwedges 910-575-4545 (in Lowes Food shopping center)
Sarah's Kitchen 910-575-3777 (1649 Seaside Rd behind Hardee's)
Piper's Restaurant and Lounge 910-579-9373 (at the Golf Club, walking distance from condo)
Fibber McGees 910-575-2271 (1780 Queen Anne St / near Planetarium)
The Bridge Grill 910-579-5004 (305 Sunset Blvd / near bridge)

Calabash, NC
George's Family Restaurant and Pancake House 910-579-6495 (9941 Beach Drive)
Capt John's Seafood House 910-579-6011 (on the waterfront at the end of River Rd)
Calabash Creamery Gourmet Ice Cream 910-575-1180 (9910 Beach Drive)
Grapevine Restaurant & Lounge 910-575-6565 (corner of River Rd & Beach Drive)
The Boundary House 910-579-8888 (1045 River Rd)
Coleman's Restaurant 910-579-6875 (on the waterfront at the end of River Rd)
Ella's of Calabash 910-579-6728 (River Rd)
Capt. Nance's 910-579-2574 (on the waterfront at the end of River Rd)
Beck's 910-579-6776 (1014 River Rd)

Little River, SC
Snooky's 843-249-5252 (4495 Baker Street / upstairs across from Cricket Cove Marina)
Fibber's on the Water 843-280-2271 (4498 Wasterfront Drive)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sunset at Sunset (And A Final Farewell To The Old Bridge)

Sunset at Sunset is an annual celebration featuring live music, local atists and artisans, and great food. Last year's event attracted around four thousand people. This year, it will be held near the Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach, on Saturday, October 2nd; and organizers expect even more participants this year, because the weekend of October 1st will also mark the final passing of the old in favor of the new: The Dedication of the new Mannon C. Gore Bridge will occur on the Friday afternoon of October 1st, followed by an evening reception at Sea Trail.

In order to honor our beloved Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge, the Sunset at Sunset Steering Committee has lined up a number of projects, including photography and art contests and an opportunity for everyone to contribute their fond memories of the old bridge to be part of a "Remembrance Book" about the old Bridge on the event's website, where folks who would like to share their own memories of the bridge

Also, there will be a book signing of the recently-published History of Sunset Beach by Miller Pope and Jacqueline DeGroot

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Ocean Isle Beach Park: Opening Soon!

Since last spring, we have been eagerly awaiting the opening of a new county park in nearby Ocean Isle, which is just a few minutes' drive from Sunset Beach Bliss, straight down Old Georgetown Road. The park has eight tennis courts, a 300-seat amphitheater, and a wonderful playground for children.

As soon as we can get back to Sunset Beach, you can bet we'll be posting some photos to this blog!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunset Beach In A New Novel : Beach Reading Custom-Made For Your NC Beach Escape

So, one of life's great combinations for many of us is a week at the beach and a good book, right? And a good work of fiction can be a great way to escape from the stress of daily life. But since Sunset Beach, NC, is a place to escape to rather than from; sometimes I feel somehow that I'm failing to appreciate the beauty and charm of what's surrounding me if I bury my nose in a book the minute we hit the sand.

Perhaps the solution for this little dilemma is finding novels set right in Sunset Beach! It turns out there are more than a few. And thanks to Pam Kelly's excellent blog on North Carolina fiction, The Mailbox: A Novel, by Marybeth Whalen has come to my attention just in time for my next trip to Sunset.

In fact, this particular Southern beach seems to attract lots of authors, many of whom have also been inspired by the Kindred Spirits mailbox on Bird Island (see my earlier post about Bird Island). If you visit The Pelican Bookstore, you can browse through a whole section of both local authors and other works which also have a connection to this very inspirational corner of the world.

Happy Beach reading!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Silver Coast Winery & Vineyard: No Wonder We Love It!

Only 15 minutes from Sunset Beach Bliss is a lovely little vineyard called the Silver Coast Winery in nearby Ocean Isle. We have enjoyed our visits to their tasting room, and are excited to pass along the news of their having won both a Silver and a Gold medal at this year’s annual Pacific Rim Wine Competition.

No wonder we keep going back!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Christmas In July!

If your family enjoys the tradition of picking up a Christmas ornament for the Tree while at the beach each Summer, but this year you are planning on staying in Sunset Beach, it is nice to know that you don't have to drive to Myrtle Beach in search of a Christmas Mouse store. St. Nick Nack's is all you need, and only minutes down the road in nearby Calabash. Part of Callahan's sprawling 35,000 square feet gift store, St. Nick Nack's many large rooms are filled with dozens upon dozens of differently themed Christmas trees, countless racks of all imaginable sort of ornaments, and elaborate displays of miniature snowy villages and other popular collectibles.

You will be pleased to find enough Winter Wonderland to satisfy the whole family, without having to brave the traffic and crowds of the more high-profile beach towns.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Uncorked: Wine Tasting in Nearby Myrtle Beach

Calling all Oenophiles (the fancy word for 'wine lover') who also love to golf: The inaugural Coastal Uncorked Food and Wine Festival will take place May 16-23, 2010, in nearby Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Find out all the details at

Friday, April 2, 2010

Oregon Inlet Exhibit at the Coastal Carolina Museum, Ocean Isle, NC

If you're vacationing at the coast and you have the little ones with you, do yourself a favor and visit the Coastal Carolina Museum. There is always something different there, and we make a point to visit just about every time we're in Sunset Beach. The latest cool new thing is their Oregon Inlet Exhibit, at which museum visitors can do hands-on experiments with water and sand, controlling how both flow around islands and inlets. It models how the natural forces of tides and storms affect the coastline, a dramatic example of which being when a 1846 Hurricane created the nearby Oregon Inlet.

The exhibit has about a half inch of water all around two model islands and colored sand. There are three rubber barriers that visitors can re-position. A pump forces water in at one end, and the sand builds up in different places depending on where the barriers are placed. My daughter found ways to arrange things so that a whole sand island would rise above the surface of the water.

In addition, the fun is enhanced by two buttons controlling the direction from which the water comes in. The red button mimics a storm of water coming in from the ocean side, and the black button causes water to run up the intra coastal side in the opposite direction. The exhibit is at the perfect height to make it very accessible to small children; and it's a whole lot of fun for everyone!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fibber McGees Irish Pub - Also A Lovely Place to Lunch

Because we rent out our condo for most of the Summer Season, the times my family are most often able to come stay there ourselves tend to be in the Spring and Fall: the perfect seasons for an alfresco luncheon! Having lived in England, the custom of going out to a Pub for Sunday lunch is something we enjoy doing with the family - particularly when the weather is fine. They have a fine selection of deli-style sandwiches and soups and salads, as well as very nice appetizers, such as their shrimp cocktail. Emily (now aged 6) just loves that one, and also their fruit and cheese plate. And let us not forget to mention their fine selection of beers and other beverages from the bar inside - AND it's non-smoking so it's just as nice inside as out front. Fibber McGees has become our local pub of choice while we're at the beach! (And it's right by a whole row of cute boutiques and only a quick walk around the corner from the Planetarium, which is another perk for us. No having to pile back into the car; we can linger, do a little window shopping and maybe go to a show!)

It has also come to our attention that Fibber McGees in Sunset Beach has a sister restaurant in Little River not far away, called Fibbers on the Water. That's only a 15-minute drive from our condo; so we'll probably go try them out the next time we can escape back to the beach.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Feeding Ducks At Sunset Village in Sunset Beach, NC

There is a little flock of ducks who sort of "hang around" the neighborhood in Sunset Village (They may be resident ducks, but we haven't figured out which condo building is theirs). We frequently happen upon them as we take a stroll around the many lagoons. They are pretty hard to miss, being of an unusual-looking breed. When she was very young, Emily considered it a huge thrill when we first found the ducks; and as the years go by, she still loves to go and look for them when we're staying at the condo.

Here are some photos of them we took this past February. The big one (whom we assume is the head of the group) wags its tail and makes a kind of panting noise - to tell us when we're getting to close to his ladies, I assume.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Behind the Scenes at the Carolina Coastal Museum, Sunset Beach, NC

Well, we are just back from a lovely off-season February weekend at Sunset Beach, North Carolina. It was chilly at times and rained here and there; but we were treated to enough sunshine breaks to keep us happy - and the sunshine took center stage by Sunday morning. Of course, if the weather's a bit drippy, there's still a lot in the area to keep a family happily occupied. One of our favorite places to visit is the Carolina Coastal Museum in neighboring Ocean Isle.

They are always adding new things at the museum, but my daughter never tires of her visits to their tide pool exhibit, where she can touch and get a up-close look at lots of different sea creatures. This time around, there were baby star fish, and a baby oyster toadfish. And Big Red (the resident crab) just molted again, so his latest molting was available for touching on one of the rocks in the tide pool. (We were told that he's getting so big that he's kept in his own tank now, and is only allowed out into the tide pool twice a day now under supervision.

One of the reasons we love coming to the coast during the less busy times of year is the extra time staff at the museum have to spend with us. And this time, we were treated to an informal "behind the scenes" tour, when we were invited into the pump room that runs the Museum's tide pool exhibit. In the following photos, you can see a big open-topped tank which contains thousands of small plastic "cheerio"-shaped things that aerate the water from the tide pool as it flows through them. The water (now nice and full of oxygen) is then cleaned by flowing through UV filters (the tall black-capped pipes) and then through a carbon filter and then back into the tide pool.

Emily was also shown the museum's spare tank for baby fish (This was where she saw the baby starfish.), which also serves as a "time-out" place when fish need to be separated from the rest of the tide pool residents because of illness - or naughty behavior (i.e. when they try to eat another resident of the pool). Notice the big grey plastic bin next to the tank in the photo. There were several of these and they are all full of salt!

It is our understanding that the fishy residents of the Museum require about 10 hours of care each week. Between feedings, and taking regular samples to measure things like the salinity and nitrogen content of the water, the Carolina Coastal Museum relies heavily on the help of volunteers. Perhaps in the future when we are able to spend longer stretches of time in Sunset Beach, our family will be able to provide some of that kind of support too.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Blue Crab Festival

**Now that the holidays are over and a long dull winter lies ahead (dull, at least for those unable to take time off over the next couple of months to enjoy a weekend skiing or the comparatively warmer climate at the beach). One way I cope is to start planning our next vacation - perhaps a long weekend in the spring?

Spring and early summer at Sunset Beach provides no end of events and festivals to attend, and the 29th Annual Blue Crab Festival, scheduled this year for May 15th and 16th at nearby Little River, SC, is just one small example. But perhaps "small" is an inappropriate word to use here, since the festival will feature approximately 175 artists and craftsmen stands, a wide array of ethnic and gourmet food vendors, music & other entertainment - plus an extensive children's area.

My family and I went last year, and had a great time. Our 5-year-old was very happy with the various carnival games and bouncy castles set up by several local charity groups (and we were happy with the reasonable ticket prices). And a pony ride was a thrill for her as well.

By lunchtime, there were so many different choices that it was almost overwhelming, and the fragrances emanating from all the different tents was intoxicating. Far more than a mere collection of hamburger and BBQ stands, the food alone was enough of a reason to stay through supper as well. I am sure a lot of folks did. In order to get a good look at all the different displays of artwork, pottery, fabric arts, woodworking, and other fine arts and handcrafted items, a person really needed more than a single morning . . . or at least I did.

This festival is well organized, with bus services to transport attendees between several different parking locations, and clean, plentiful bathroom facilities (porta-potties), which any Mom with a little one knows is a concern when deciding to which outdoor festival to take the kids.

Blue Crab Festival
Starts: 5/15/2010 Ends: 5/16/2010
City: Little River, SC
Produced by: Blue Crab Festival
Phone: 843-385-3180