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Bald Head Island 2023 • Kath Eats

Bald Head Island 2023 • Kath Eats

Here’s the recap of our summer trip to Bald Head Island

We last came to Bald Head Island in the summer of 2020. After a horrible social distanced ferry experience, we decided to move to Oak Island in 2021 and 2022. This summer marked our return to island time. 

Sea Oats Cottage

We stayed at Sea Oats Cottage (a Wendy Wilmot property) for the third time. It’s an absolutely beautifully decorated house with three king bedrooms and two rooms with twins for the kids. It’s also well stocked and semi oceanfront with a small road between you and the dunes. While the hike to the beach is actually a hike in the blazing sun, it’s our one compromise! 

Read this post if you’re looking for tips for traveling to Bald Head Island.

Bald Head Island 2023

As usual, our group was my parents, my sister, her husband, Matt, and their two girls. Plus the four of us. 

The cousins had an absolute BLAST playing together for a week! Even big pre-teen Mazen was so helpful and patient with his cousins. Emerson is 6.5 and she and Mazen buddied up a lot, and Avery is 3.5 so she and Birch paired up a lot of the time. Birch said he wanted to marry Avery! 

Morning visitors to my bed!

Arrival Night

Getting to BHI takes us about six hours, plus all the ferry craziness, but we were so glad to get there Saturday around 5:00. 

My sister had ordered the family style shrimp and grits from the Maritime Market, which was the perfect welcome meal. 

After dinner, we all raced to the beach! 

I took some awesome pictures of Birch……that featured my thumb. Ugh! 

Here’s a cropped one!

Of course my boys were swimming in their clothes before we left. BHI is so great for kids because the surf on South Beach is quite mild but still plenty fun. 

Beach Day On Repeat

The next day was all beach! The kids played for hours and hours and hours. Despite plenty of sunscreen, Birch’s eyes got pretty sunburned because he kept wiping them on a towel! He wore a mandatory hat the whole rest of the week. We had a couple of super windy days followed by a few super calm and hot days. Luckily we had minimal rain! 

The Opposite of Cute

Other women look so cute at the beach. Not me! Haha. I’m always wearing a hat, a sun shirt, and carrying 5 things. 

Beach Bubs

If you don’t have a beach bub umbrella system, you are missing out! These were great in the 25 mph winds AND for keeping the sun out with their UPF shade on the hottest days. We have two umbrellas! 

Other Activities

We went to each of the island pools (part of the beach clubs my parents are members of) for a little sand-free time. 

Turtle Central

We also went on a grandmother shopping trip to Turtle Central and visited the real turtles after at the nature center. 


 Beach Themed Sensory Jars

Mom brought individual sensory jars from Young + Wild that were a HUGE hit. 

There was lots of snuggling that turned into…..

Kiddo naps!

Puzzle Club 

We did a few junior puzzles

followed by the Adult Puzzle Club who finished a 500 of cars and a 1,000 of Lego minifigs!

And Matt and I played Jaipur – a great two-person game that is easy for travel. 

Musical Theater

The little kids and I put on a Lion King show. We were a little under rehearsed, but the audience enjoyed it!

Beach Walks

All six of the adults got in some good beach walks. Mazen liked going with my parents after dark, and I went on one early morning that was very peaceful. 

Apps at the Shoal’s Club

Every year dad treats us all to dinner at the Shoal’s Club where we all share a plethora of apps. This was only night we got some dressy pics of us all! I think one of two times I actually put on makeup and real clothes. 

 Birch telling us he would “be safe” running ahead:

The boys in their matching Bdraddy polos (Mazen too)! 

Date Night

The four younger adults (not to be confused with the Younger adults!) went out on date night while Grammie and Pea watched the kids. We went to Jules’ for cocktails and dinner. 

Bald Head Bottle

Thomas and Matt discovered Bald Head Bottle while out shopping together and bonded over a glass of Chardonnay. They said we had to go back because Larbs and I would love it. They were right! What a nice modern addition to the island. 

Orange wine on trend!

Home Cooked 

We cooked in twice – tacos night one and low country boil night two when Matt’s parents came over to join us for the day. 

Father’s Day Lunch

Larbs and I took dad out for a belated Father’s Day lunch at Horizons. This quinoa watermelon salad was fantastic!


I brought a few of the Sipz for mom and Larbs to try. Larbs was a fan! Mom was a little scared to have more than a few sips. At 2mg, they are VERY mild and no “stronger” than one glass of wine. [Use code save35 for 35% off!]

Kath Eats Real Food

Breakfasts + lunches!

Bagels from Cville

Yogurt + granola bowl

Sandwich, chips and salad all in one!

Egg banana scramble with PB!

Classic beach sandwich

Horizon’s Takeout

The perfect blend of dining out and enjoying the comforts of home with kids was getting takeout from Horizons. It was so easy to email in our order and send someone to pick it up at 6:00. We did this twice! 

Ahi tuna salad

Greek pizza

Lots of shrimp!


Sea You Next Time!

This trip luckily went so smoothly. Larbs and I were commenting how this was the first year in MANY that we haven’t needed cribs, diapers, strollers, strict nap times, high chairs, baby monitors, etc. It made traveling there so much easier, and the cousins were all so happy to play together! We look forward to our next visit.