Transformative Travel: I look at how travel can change lives.
Where: Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina
Chosen By: Becca Ingle is an avid family travel blogger. She is the founder of BeccaIngle.com, where you can read all her travel guides. Follow her on Instagram to see behind the scenes of each trip (@Beccaingle).
Why:Ocean Isle Beach is a small town just north of the South Carolina border that’s surrounded by beautiful palm trees and located an easy 45-minute drive from the Wilmington Airport. (You can also fly directly into Ocean Isle’s small airport.) You will soon find everything costs less in the south. Stay at an a-frame three-bedroom rental or book an adorable home on the water. Hop on a boat and venture out to the local islands, where you can pack a cooler and enjoy your own private beach all day. Dine on the water at Sharky’s, where you can grab a burger and fries for just $7. Ocean Isle Beach has free parking along the beach, and you can fish the pier for a mere $1 entry fee.
Take the kids to play 18 holes of putt putt at River Country Mini Golf for less than $10 a person—children under 3 play free. Or do some serious golfing at the Brick Landing Golf Course, where you can play a round for less than $50. If you’re looking for a destination wedding, venues are also very affordable and Upstaged Wilmington specializes in event décor on a budget. The town is also building a new amphitheater where free live concerts will be held every Friday starting Memorial Weekend to Labor Day. This same area located at the end of Laurinburg Street will also have a free splash park for kids and a new playground available by this summer. If you’re looking to invest in property or simply move to the area for affordable living, reach out to Baxter Cheek, an Ocean Isle native who can find houses on the market as low as $350k on the waterway.