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Welcome to Bald Head Island!

Bald Head Island has a rich history steeped in Native Americans, pirates, and war. Present day visitors are sure to see reminders of past events throughout their stay from the Bald Head Island Lighthouse (Old Baldy) to streets named after infamous pirates while engaging in the modern luxuries available.

Located 2.5 miles off the coast of North Carolina the local waters have served as exceptional fishing grounds dating back to the Native Americans who first occupied the island centuries ago.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Bald Head Island was discovered by pirates and became a favorite hideout to infamous swashbucklers such as Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet. Here the pirates would lie in wait for boats to run ashore on a series of dangerous sandbars known as Frying Pan Shoals. Once the vulnerable vessels had run aground the pirates would commandeer any cargo and valuables that were onboard. Many pirates are said to have stopped here to restock their supplies and bury their treasure beneath the white sand beaches while en route from New England to the Bahamas.

In 1863 Fort Holmes was constructed with the help of slaves from surrounding plantations and 1,000 Confederate soldiers occupied the island. Their purpose was to protect the east side of the Cape Fear River Inlet and keep the Union Army away from Wilmington. Eventually the troops left Fort Holmes to help protect Fort Fisher on the west side of the Cape Fear River Inlet and when they did they tore the entire foot down so the Union Army couldnt occupy it.

Another prominent historic location is the Bald Head Island Lighthouse lovingly referred to as Old Baldy. Standing a staunch 90 feet high, Old Baldy stands resolute and is the states oldest lighthouse. For a small admission fee visitors are welcome to climb Old Baldy and checkout the neighboring Smith Island Museum which was renovated from one of the 3 lighthouse keepers cottages on the property. We encourage each of our guests to share in unique beauty of the Bald Head Island and the magnificent history that is found around every turn.

Fun Island Facts:

  • You will find no cars on Bald Head Island. Transportaion includes walking, biking or golf carts.
  • The island offers 14 miles of unspoiled beach and more than 10,000 acres of salt marshes.
  • A birdwatcher's paradise, you will find numerous rare species of birds that call the island home.
  • Croquet is a huge sport on Bald Head Island. People come from all over to partake.

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Bald Head Island Office
Mailing Address: PO Box 3012, Bald Head Island, NC 28461
Phone: 910-457-1702
E-Mail: Rentals
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm daily