Sunday, May 25, 2014

La Belle Amie: Some Great Grand Strand Vintages

A mere 20 minutes' drive (12 miles) from Sunset Beach Bliss, La Belle Amie is an excellent place to tickle one's palate - as well as gratify your eyes and ears, since visitors also are frequently treated to live music and lovely surroundings to enjoy. It's an excellent setting for long conversations with good friends, so bring them along and plan for a longish visit, because you'll want to stay awhile.

The wines at Belle Amie are a wide-ranging combination of old world varietals (from “the old grapevines” of the type originally grown by the owner's French ancestors), plus the familiar muscadine wines preferred by many native Southerners. The charge for sampling six different wines from their large menu is a mere $5, and you take your La Belle Amie wineglass home as a keepsake. (The local word to the wise is to visit La Belle Amie on a Wednesdays, when the tastings are half-price all-day!) The staff at the bar are very friendly, and very good at welcoming in folks and encouraging a fun and casual atmosphere during tastings.

Surrounding the tasting bar, there is an extensive gift shop with beautiful artwork, tasty gourmet treats, and humourous gift ideas. And the decor and surrounding grounds are a feast for the eyes, with lots of comfortable shady places to sit and sip, often while listening to some high quality live music. In fact the vineyard is a frequent location for concerts and local festivals; so be sure to check out their events schedule before you go.  

An added bonus: your journey back to Sunset Beach Bliss passes right by one of our favourite restaurants, Snooky's in Little River; where you should plan on enjoying an excellent meal on your way back to Sunset Beach Bliss.

Characteristic of the type of humor to be found at the
giftshop, Emily grins in approval at their policy towards
wayward children.

The Old Swing Bridge at Sunset Beach: Open Once More . . . As a Museum!

As of May 24th, 2014, the Old Bridge Museum at Sunset Beach, NC, is OPEN! Nearly 4 years ago, what we thought was our final farewell to the Old Swing Bridge has become a happy reunion, thanks to the clever planning and hard work of the dedicated volunteers of The Old Bridge Preservation Society. Now, the Bridge Tender's house portion of the old swing bridge offers visitors a guided glimpse into the past role of this important local artery to this unique area of coastal North Carolina.  Donations of artifacts from the local Archealogical Society and other locals pull visitors in for a closer look at Sunset Beach's history, drawing our attentions back as far as the Civil War, with information about the blockade runner, the Vesta.

You can find the final resting place for the retired Old Bridge in Sunset Beach, at 109 Shoreline Drive West, right next door to the new town park, a pleasant cluster of live oaks through which meandering walkways lead you to the water's edge.

Apart from frequent special events held there on most weekends, the museum's regular hours are currently5:00-8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays & Thursdays, and 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. For more information, visit the museum website at or call (910) 363-6585.