It’s Showtime | ideal-LIVING Resort & Retirement Winter Shows are Here

It’s Showtime | ideal-LIVING Resort & Retirement Winter Shows are Here

ideal-LIVING Resort & Retirement Winter Show Season is here.

 

Explore the Best Places to Retire,Vacation, or Relocate

Where you live affects how you live. Why not choose to live in a place that facilitates the lifestyle you desire?

Looking for the ideal location or perfect getaway for yourself and your family? Time to retire to the destination of your dreams? The ideal-LIVING Resort & Retirement Show is a fun and convenient way to explore the best places to vacation, retire, or relocate. The Show features exhibits that allow you to view and compare over 75 top resort and retirement communities from many different states and international destinations, conveniently in one location. Come tour the ideal places and communities you’ve been searching for from the mountains to the coast without leaving your area. At the ideal-LIVING Show, you’re invited to attend informative and inspiring presentations led by relocation experts who can help make your next move…well, ideal.

RSVP today to receive your welcome kit and access to Express Check-in at at the show.

Ideal-LIVING offers a turnkey relocation solution that makes it easy for you to find your ideal destination, life, and home. Since 1989, the company has been helping thousands of people each year make the right move.

At the ideal-LIVING Show, you can attend one or all of the special presentations and speak with representatives from over 75 communities from North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania plus international destinations from Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, and more. Take advantage of special “Show Only” discovery travel packages offered by many exhibitors — you won’t know until you go.

Admission to the Show is free and there is no obligation. So, take ideal a step further by choosing your neighbors when you bring your friends.

 

 

West Villages Florida | Move Closer Together
Welcome Neighbors

Welcome Neighbors

Brice’s Creek Harbour
New Bern, NC

Set along the waterfront on a tranquil protected cove, Brice’s Creek Harbour is a new residential community on the North Carolina coast that’s a paradise for kayakers, boaters, and fishermen. From their private slips, residents can glide directly into Brice’s Creek, the Neuse River, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean and beyond. They return after a day on the water to enjoy a colorful sunset at their peaceful port-of-call.

Brice’s Creek Harbour offers the ultimate in luxury coastal living. Available homesites include a choice of high-elevation waterfront lots. The customizable floor plans range from 2,000 to more than 2,500 square feet and feature oversized screened-in porches for enjoying the morning breezes and entertaining in the evenings. With exteriors fortified against the elements, nine-foot ceilings inside, and hardwood floors throughout, these contemporary designs include top-of-the-line Kenmore appliances and super-efficient HVAC systems.
Richard Gaylord Homes is the developer of Brice’s Creek Harbour, adding to a 35-year track record of success in the Raleigh area and eastern North Carolina. Community builder Bill McClay focuses on spacious energy-saving designs from the foundation up, while the experienced agents at Team New Bern offer professional customer service.
Located just a five-minute drive from the excellent restaurants, boutique shops, and cultural delights of historic downtown New Bern, Brice’s Creek Harbour is a waterfront residential destination for homeowners seeking a quiet place just outside the mainstream.

Brice's Creek Harbour Welcome Neighbors

Medley at Southshore
Bay
Wimauma, Fl

Medley at Southshore Bay is a new active-adult lifestyle destination by Lennar, one of America’s leading homebuilders founded on core principles of quality, value, and integrity. Since 1954, Lennar has constructed new homes for more than one million families across the country.

Four distinctive neighborhoods give Medley at Southshore Bay home buyers real choices that fit their personal styles. The Villas feature three floor plans from 1,396 to 1,731 square feet in size. These low-maintenance residences have two spacious bedrooms, ceramic tile floors, and energy-efficient GE appliances in the kitchen. The Manors neighborhood offers single-family homes with three bedrooms in floor plans up to 2,366 square feet. The Estates homes range up to 2,775 square feet with three-car garages and designer kitchens that have double ovens, granite countertops, and stainless-steel appliances. Coming soon will be even more spacious residences in The Grand Estates.

All homes in the Medley at Southshore Bay come with the exclusive ULTRAFI technology for the fastest Internet and Wi-Fi speeds available anywhere. Additional amenities include a crystal-clear central lagoon for kayaking and swimming, a community clubhouse with tiki bar and pool, and tennis/volleyball courts.

Medley at Southshore Bay’s location, just south of the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, means that all of the region’s cultural attractions, sports venues, shopping centers, and restaurants are just a short drive away. And, there are more than a dozen medical specialty practices located within two miles of the Medley at Southshore Bay entrance.

LennarTampa.com

Lennar Tampa Medley at South Shore Bay Welcome Neighbors

Cordera Ranch
Henderson, NV

Cordera Ranch is an exciting new active-adult neighborhood in Nevada brought to life by Freedom Homes, a D.R. Horton company. The low-stress, low-maintenance lifestyle for residents 55 years of age and older is the signature concept of Freedom Homes communities, while the D.R. Horton brand is among the most respected in the nation.

All of the Cordera Ranch floor plans feature single-story designs that range in size from 1,670 up to 1,970 square feet. Each offers a two-car garage, and there are two bedroom/two bath and three bedroom/three bath designs from which to choose. Several quick move-in models with dual-sink bathrooms and spacious kitchen-great room combinations are currently available.
Cordera Ranch community amenities include a centrally located clubhouse with the latest workout equipment in the fitness center and two pools. With an open lawn area for outdoor events, a dog park, and a vegetable garden, Cordera Ranch has been created for homeowners who look forward to becoming neighbors.

Located near the welcoming town of Henderson and just a short drive south of the bright-light attractions of Las Vegas, Cordera Ranch is a new place to call home in an area that offers convenient access to a complete range of nearby medical and professional services. The Grand Opening event on July 14 was a big success and attracted plenty of attention, but ground floor opportunities and choice financing options are still available at Cordera Ranch.

DRHorton.com

D.R. Horton Cordera Ranch Welcome Neighbors

Cliffs at Glassy
Landrum, SC

Cliffs at Glassy is a premier residential community in a spectacular highland setting. From elevations over 3,000 feet atop Glassy Mountain, Cliffs residents have panoramic views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and more than 12,000 acres of protected wilderness. And, the temperate upstate climate is perfect for the naturally active lifestyle.

Home to one of America’s most scenic golf courses (See “Glassy Golf” on page 58), Cliffs at Glassy community amenities also include a fully equipped wellness center with dedicated fitness instructors and an outdoor pool near the unique Children’s Village playground. There are three community walking trails, easy access to longer hikes in the adjacent nature preserve, and excellent fly-fishing streams throughout the area. Social activities include numerous interest clubs, Friday night mixers with live music, and weekly gatherings at the Sunset Pavilion.

The Cliffs at Glassy features stylish custom-designed homes with all of the modern conveniences and homesites with stunning 50-mile views. While Glassy’s private location offers the ultimate in natural serenity, the thriving regional hub of Greenville is just a 30-minute drive south, featuring outstanding restaurants, shopping, and medical facilities, plus the acclaimed Peace Center for the Performing Arts. New Discovery Tour packages that include lodgings, golf, and dinner are now available for those seeking a truly extraordinary “place to call home.”

GlassyLiving.com

4th Lowest property taxes in the nation

4th Lowest property taxes in the nation

4th Lowest Taxes in the Nation

Chattanooga (pictured above) is a visionary place: on a clear day, parts of seven states can be seen from Lookout Mountain, and its NOOGANET offers free public wireless Internet access.

Tennessee Taxes Make the Rocky Top State Even Dreamier

From tax-friendly to every taxpayers best friend: No state income tax on wages (phasing out interest and dividend income taxes). Effective real property tax rate of 0.55%.

Tennessee earned its nickname
—”The Volunteer State”— when local militiamen volunteered for duty during the War of 1812 and were notably courageous in the Battle of New Orleans.

Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry is the longest continuously running live radio program in the world. It has broadcast every Friday and Saturday night since 1925.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, named for the smoke-like bluish haze that often envelops the hills and valleys, is the most visited national park in the U.S.

The Music Trail
From Memphis to Bristol, the Tennessee Music Highway offers groundbreaking music scenes with soul, rhythm and blues, and country music in large cities and small towns alike.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland home in Memphis is America’s second most visited house.

Centennial Park in Nashville was the site of the Tennessee International Exposition in 1897. Its full-scale replica of The Parthenon, with an enormous statue of the goddess Athena, remains today as the park’s centerpiece attraction.

Tennessee Mountains

Sequoyah, a Cherokee silversmith in Tennessee, is the only known person in history to single-handedly develop an alphabet. His syllabus for the Cherokee Nation resulted in the first written language for a Native American people.

The Ocoee River in southeastern Tennessee is rated among the top white water recreational rivers in the nation and was the site for the 1996 Olympic competitions.

Tennessee has more than 3,800 documented caves, and The Lost Sea near Sweetwater is America’s largest underground lake.

Vanderbilt University and its affiliated hospitals are the largest employers in Tennessee.

 

Explore Tennessee Communities on ideal-LIVING.com

Fairfield Glade & Fairfield North - Tennessee Resort Communities

Fairfield Glade & Fairfield North - Tennessee Resort Communities

If you are looking for spectacular mountain beauty...look no further than Fairfield Glade. This well appointed community is located high atop Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau at 2,000 feet elevation, which accounts for the near perfect seasonal changes with very comfortable summers and mild winters. Read More...


Jasper Highlands - Tennessee Gated Communities

Jasper Highlands - Tennessee Gated Communities

Welcome to Jasper Highlands, a unique residential mountain community, nestled along the bluffs of Jasper Mountain in Tennessee. This remarkable piece of residential real estate is positioned above the clouds with majestic views of Lake Nickajack and the Tennessee River Valley, with property taxes starting at $162.10 a year!. Read More...


WindRiver

WindRiver

WindRiver on Tellico Lake in Lenoir City, Tennessee is a gated lakefront and golf course community with a private harbor and marina and featuring acre-plus waterfront properties, custom homes, and golf villas. Read More...


Tellico Village - Tennessee Retirement Communities

Tellico Village - Tennessee Retirement Communities

Tellico Village is a lakeshore community in east Tennessee that offers a unique combination of natural beauty, mild four-season climate, outstanding recreational facilities and close proximity to Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains. Read More...


Rarity Bay

Rarity Bay

Rarity Bay on Tellico Lake is an award-winning gated lakefront community that combines waterfront living with mountain views and amenities that include a country club, championship golf course, tennis and pickleball facilities, swimming pool, community docks, horseback riding, hiking trails, and more. Come be a part of it and make the majestic Smoky Mountains and serene, clear waters of Tellico Lake the backdrop for your vacation home, second residence or forever home. Read More...


Revery Point Condominiums

Revery Point Condominiums

Revery Point Condominiums are Foxland Harbor's premier lifestyle location situated on a bluff overlooking Old Hickory Lake. Be one of the select few to enjoy lakefront condo living in a Country Club environment with golf, dining, lakefront swimming pool, wellness center and more just outside your front door Read More...


Tennessee National - Tennessee Gated Communities

Tennessee National - Tennessee Gated Communities

Tennessee National is one of East Tennessee's premier gated waterfront golf communities. Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the community offers a range of homesites and styles to suit your distinctive taste. Read More...


Retire Tennessee Program Communities - TN Gated Communities

Retire Tennessee Program Communities - TN Gated Communities

Tennessee's rolling hills and invigorating mountains invite you to tune up your bicycle, dust off your golf clubs and take a deep breath. The most active years of your life await. Their beautiful climate and stunning scenery set the perfect state for chasing your passions. So come on outside and stretch your legs. Tennessee's got plenty of room to roam. Read More...


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Venture Out Interview Callawassie Island

Venture Out Interview Callawassie Island

 

Janet and Bob Gould

Callawassie Island, SC

“Choosing a place to retire to is a lot like choosing a college. I knew the moment it happened for me and we have never looked back. Wait until a place speaks to you. If you are lucky it does, and it doesn’t take long,” shares Janet Gould.

The Gould’s first bought their home in South Carolina’s Lowcountry in 2004. They were living in Morristown, NJ just outside of Manhattan. As they were still both working, they travelled between their home in Callawassie and the one in New Jersey. The more time they spent on Callawassie Island, they wanted more time there. Eventually when they retired, they moved to Callawassie permanently.

“Although I enjoyed life in New Jersey immensely, I knew I never wanted to scrape another windshield again,” said Janet. “When Bob was commuting to work every day, his friends were the spouses of my friends. Now he has more friends than he ever imagined possible. We are busy from 6:30 in the morning to 8:00 at night.”

Janet continues, “It’s just so much fun!! Our golf course is amazing and so is the tennis facility. We’ll put our amenities up anyone’s, but the best part is the people. The people are so generous with their time and their money.”

The Gould’s both serve on several boards including the “Friends of Callawassie” helping with fundraising and Bob serves on the finance committee. Both of them have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. Janet says you get more out of it that you put into it. They are also members of the Beaufort Shag Club, which enables the Gould’s to get to know some of the people who grew up in Beaufort, SC. Callawassie is equidistant from Beaufort and Bluffton, SC, so once or twice a week the Gould’s venture out to dinner in the area’s wonderful restaurants.

The Gould’s even travel a couple of times a year with friends from Callawassie Island. Just to name a couple, they have been on a river cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona and travelled from Istanbul to Athens. “We learn so much about history. It just blew us away.”

Janet says, “We love to play golf and tennis, and travel with our friends. In my golf group, have three rules: You have to laugh at yourself, laugh at someone else, and stop dead in tracks and say how lucky we are…”

Caribbean Teal Waters Are Calling

Caribbean Teal Waters Are Calling

Belize Beaches

Belize: An Adventurer’s Paradise

For a couple interested in residential offerings, it’s fun and instructive to rent a private water taxi for several hours and tour the coast, stop for lunch, and maybe pick out your favorite oceanfront lot.”
— Matt Brown

As Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula stretches toward the Caribbean Sea, it signals the southern edge of the country, where it then shares a border with Belize. An otherworldly place of sultry beauty, ancient Mayan relics, and flourishing culture (and eco-tourism!), it’s all framed by the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and dotted with luxury resorts and communities tucked on tropical cays and islands.

Belize Cyrstal Blue WatersBelize is an adventurer’s paradise, with the teal waters of the Caribbean Sea beckoning on the east and a fascinating rain forest ecosystem in the highlands to the west. The country is only 68 miles across, so it’s easy to spend the morning drifting with sea turtles on the reef and the afternoon exploring the ruins of the ancient Mayan pyramids of Caracol and Xunantunich.

But most importantly, Belize is a place intently balancing its emerging and bountiful popularity with its boundless commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. National Geographic recently released its list of “Best Places to Visit in the Upcoming Year,” and Belize received high praise for its protection of the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve coral reef by banning all offshore drilling, passing a law to phase out single-use plastics, and taking steps to protect mangrove forests, home to the endangered manatee and countless other aquatic species.

That commitment will have to be girded as resort operators like Marriott, Wyndham, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville have plans to build resort communities in Belize within the next several years. Even Leonardo DiCaprio and a business partner have purchased a private island called Blackadore Caye for $1.75 million with plans to sensitively develop a restorative, 68-villa eco-resort.

Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, gained its independence from the crown in 1982. But, Queen Elizabeth still graces the dollar, English is the official language, and the government is a parliamentary system that believes in contract law like Australia and Canada. Unlike some other Caribbean countries, real estate purchases are fully titled and deeded (rather than leased for 99 years or not allowed at all). There is no inheritance tax, no capital gains tax, and residency is relatively easy to gain.

 

Grand Highlands Southern Hills

 

The country is easily accessed (just a four-hour flight from Chicago and two hours from Miami or Houston) through the international airport in Belize City (BZE). The islands are reached by a short 20-minute airplane ride or water taxi.

Much of the popular resort and residential activity resides on Ambergris Caye, a long narrow strip of land (you’re never further than 500 yards from water) and the largest of Belize’s offshore islands. And although the Belize mainland is essentially a rain forest, the island only gets about 1/5 of the rain as inland (to be safe, the dry season runs from January to May). Ambergris Caye also restricts cars and trucks to commercial purposes, so everyone drives a golf cart or ATV.

Ambergris Caye, Belize Among the existing island resorts is the opulent Grand Caribe just north of San Pedro, the main city of Ambergris Caye. The waterfront Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro is an elegant slice of thatched-roof heaven, and the Grand Baymen Condo Resort also beckons on the Ambergris beachfront.
Local Coldwell Banker realtor Matt Brown suggests a creative idea for exploring Ambergris Caye. Brown reveals, “For a couple interested in residential offerings, it’s fun and instructive to rent a private water taxi for several hours and tour the coast, stop for lunch, and maybe pick out your favorite oceanfront lot.” Matt Brown moved to Belize in 2011 from Canada and saw the potential in this English-speaking country for an easy transition into an incredible new life in a pristine location.

On the mainland, the family Coppola (as in Francis Ford) offers two embracing resorts: the waterfront Turtle Inn near the charming Creole fishing village of Placencia in south Belize, and the Blacaneaux Lodge, which actually was the Coppola’s tropical paradise hideaway in the rain forest from 1980 to 1993, when they opened it to the public as a 20-room luxury resort.
Perhaps the most valuable asset for all of these resorts is their relationships with trusted dive shops, fishing boat captains, and interpretative eco-guides who help Belize’s wonders come to life.

One of those wonders is the Great Blue Hole, the largest aquatic sinkhole in the world that spans three football fields in diameter and over 400 feet deep, located about 40 miles off the Belize coast on Lighthouse Reef. The Great Blue Hole came to modern attention when Jacques Cousteau explored it in 1971. Just this last December, Cousteau’s grandson Fabien joined with billionaire Richard Branson to fully map the hole and discover its coral fringes and ancient stalactites. Needless to say, the Great Blue Hole is on many a recreational diver’s bucket list. Search the Discovery Channel to view the December exploration.

Belize Marine LifeAnother wonder was stumbled upon in 1989 when the rain forest revealed to researchers the Actun Tunichil Miknal (Cave of the Stone Sepulcher or ATM), a Maya sacrificial burial site hidden nearly a mile underground and the resting place of the “crystal maiden,” a complete skeleton of a 20-year old woman that sparkles from crystal calcification. Accessing the cave requires precarious rock climbing and underwater swimming and is accordingly highly regulated. National Geographic ranks ATM at the top of its new list of “Sacred Places of a Lifetime.”

You will also want to explore the Altun Ha and Lamanai Mayan sites, visit the tidy Belize Zoo, where its lush landscaping will have you thinking you’ve stumbled into the jungle. There is also cave tubing on rushing underground rivers, plus myriad zip-lining options. Try hiking the lush jungle trails of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the only jaguar reserve on the planet. Or, just luxuriate in the old-world charm and secluded stretches of beach on Caye Caulker.

For more information and travel details, visit online at www.travelbelize.org.

Return to Destinations.

The Wilmington Food Scene

The Wilmington Food Scene

Wilmington is the foodie capital of the NC coast.

 

Eat Your Heart Out, Wilmington, NC

Your 3-day weekend guide to gobbling your way through the Port City

Fruity drinks on the water and enough crab cakes to build a fort. Foodies pair well with this coastal town. 

Thanks to a Wilmington, NC, zip code, this may be my daily reality—but it’s not real life for everyone. I get that. Living in a vacation town definitely comes with its perks, and one of them is the multitude of visitors we receive looking to live it up Wilmington-style for the weekend. Opening our homes to our tourist and traveler friends of all ages comes with a responsibility, though. Being a coastal native means that it’s your job to show these folks a good time—especially when it comes to food. But, with every versatile group having different dining destinations in mind, how do you map out your Friday, Saturday, and Sunday itineraries to please your friends?

This is where I come in (No, seriously, can I come?). With Wilmington offering so many restaurant styles that speak to the masses, I decided to split things up and lay out three (three-day) eating excursions. Whether you live riverside and happen to be hosting guests or are a tourist yourself in town for a long weekend—pay attention. I’m about to show you how to seamlessly cruise your way through the Port City’s cuisine.

The Wilmington Food Scene Caters to Crustacean Cravings

Friday

Let’s start with the obvious. Wilmington is a water town, after all, so the hunt for seafood is strong with this crowd. The biggest problem is knowing how to avoid the tourist traps and finding the hot spots locals actually frequent. Shellfish for breakfast? Oh yes, we do. This coastal community loves its crab cakes so much; we even bring them to the breakfast table.

1 Eternal Sunshine on Eastwood Road has benedicts for days, and if you’re feeling something fishy on a Friday, this is your jam. Get a load of hand-pattied blue crab claw meat a la croissant or sample the Smoked Salmon Benedict on parmesan peppercorn bread.

2  Going light for lunch? Look no further than NOFO’s Savorez. Also look at their Yelp status because it’s impressively impeccable. The Brooklyn Arts District has been blowing up in the past few years, and Sam Cahoon’s luxurious Latin fare has only made the homey neighborhood that much more of a draw. Pop in just before noon, snag a seat at the bar, and start with a Black Cadillac featuring Hornitos Plata tequila, agave, fresh pineapple and lime juice, and a Grand Marnier Floater. In the non-liquid lunch department, everyone in your party will be fighting over who gets to lick the plate of the Langousta Y Coco (lobster ceviche in an inexplicably addictive citrus-coconut ginger marinade spiked with habanero).Savorez Cuisine is one of every Wilmington Foodie's Favorite.

It’s been a filling day. Scratch heavy dinner plans, and catch the sunset at  3 Anne Bonny’s on the Riverwalk where baller buffalo and blue cheese shrimp meet frozen rose, and live music is always on deck.

Saturday

Wakey, wakey. We’re headed to the shore. Start your Saturday off at   4 King Neptune on Wrightsville Beach’s main strip. This Lumina Avenue longtime gem runs from sunrise to late night and offers coastal southern cuisine that will cure you from the night before. Set your sights on the Crab Bowl—a delicate mixture of egg whites, citrusy pico de gallo, guacamole, and crab meat. King Neptune’s take on shrimp and grits also gets high marks from regulars.
Thanks to a lighter morning meal, lead your mounting appetite to 5 Cape Fear Seafood Company (with three locations, I might add) for a lowcountry lunch. Get your spread on by sharing the bubbly Crab Dip—a rich hybrid of crab, spicy horseradish, cheese, and spices served with dippable pita points. If a downhome southern dish is what you’re after, the seafood platters—which come broiled, grilled, or fried—are a comforting bite of the coast.
Finish your Saturday seafood finale by following       6 Joe Loves Lobster Rolls food truck wherever it rolls for a seriously succulent, seriously loaded handheld with lobster meat straight from Maine.

 

Southern Hills  Country Club Living from the mid $200s

 

Sunday

Take it easy (like a Sunday morning) and treat yourself to some extra sleep. Roll into 7 Shuckin’ Shack around 11 AM, and belly up to their epic Bloody Mary bar where you check off your choice of spirit, mix, rim, and garnish—and they take care of the rest. This recently unveiled masterpiece is brimming with booze and cream-cheese stuffed snacks. Cover breakfast and lunch here by pairing your tomatoey concoction with a pile of chargrilled oysters.

For a superior Sunday night seafood feast, hit up…

8  Catch on the busy end of Market close to Gordon Road. Global twists on regional seafood is the sweet spot of this Asian-southern fusion restaurant, and celeb chef and James Beard nominee Keith Rhodes is always on his game. Go for the soft shells if the season is right; otherwise get after the signature North Carolina Lump Crab Cakes in Lobster Cream and 1/2 Pound “Hong Kong” Tempura Lobster Tail with a citrusy ponzu reduction.

Brews & Chews

Friday

Gastropubs have become a Wilmington specialty, and there’s no shortage of these beer havens doling out topnotch homemade bar food. The majority of our area’s well-known breweries (Wilmington Brewing Company, Flytrap, New Anthem, and Waterline to name a few) specialize in superb hops, but only carry food in the form of food trucks out front. For those brewpubs that are kicking it in the kitchen, here are some of your stops.

Front Street Brewery is a Downtown gastropub fave.9   Bill’s Front Porch is kind enough to include Friday in their morning menu lineup, and regulars rave over the brewpub’s Sunday-Fil-A (an open-faced fried chicken biscuit sammy with pimento cheese, a fried egg, and sriracha). The Breakfast Stout has your name all over it.

Once mid-day hits, a sandy-toed walk by the ocean (in any weather) is always a treat. When you’ve crossed exercise off your list, treat yo’self to a flight of suds and a fiercely good bowl of greens at Wrightsville Beach’s…

10  Waterman’s Brewing. Head Chef Andrew Stanley is an artist when it comes to vibrant presentations and the Berry Salad with goat cheese, candied walnuts, and berry-beer vinaigrette is a healthy mouthful. The Po’ Boys—boasting flawlessly fried seafood, tart pickle, and tangy remoulade—are a meal made for two. Pair one with the Abundant Sunshine IPA with lingering piney resin and notes of mango, grapefruit, lemon, and coconut.

Stick around WB and hit the bustling patio of…

11  Poe’s Tavern for dinner. Though they’re not brewing in-house, the craft lineup is impressive at this lively eatery. Chomp down on Edgar’s Nachos: mounds of multicolored tortilla chips layered with a generous amount of creamy jack cheese, hoppy booze-infused chili, pico, guac, and spicy jalapenos. The tavern also prides itself on making a mean burger, and the brilliantly cooked, smothered beef (and veggie) sammies exceed every expectation. Taco-wise, the Buffalo Shrimp with Marinated Bacon-Blue Cheese Cole Slaw hits the spot.

Saturday

With a brunch menu served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., you can’t pass up…

12  Fork n Cork to fire up the day. This quaint, artisanal burger and beer bar has always been locally famed for its enormously satisfying creations, but received a national nod when Guy Fieri and his Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives crew popped in for chef/ owner James Smith’s confit duck wings and beef wellington bites. If you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast, the Brisket Biscuit (14-hour smoked brisket, two sunny side up eggs, and a creole mustard cream sauce) is your one-way ticket to food coma land.The Fork & Cork is fine dining disguised.

13 Skytown Beer + BBQ on New Centre Drive is tapping righteous housemade brews and dishing out smoky specialties. Taste familiar? Their sister restaurant is popular Princess Street taco joint.

14  Beer Barrio. Still full from Fork? Share the deep-fried sausage gravy bites (Yeah, you read that right!) and a round of Dreamsicle Milkshake IPAs.

Wilmington’s food truck scene is rapidly expanding, so you’ll want to hit as many as you can in a short amount of time. Look for 15 CheeseSmith Co. at whatever brewery or bottle shop parking lot this grilled cheese mobile has pulled into Saturday night. Their eclectic lineup—like the Buffalo Baby with creamy Havarti, braised buffalo chicken, buttermilk ranch, and quick pickled carrot and celery slaw—is nothing short of divine.

Sunday

Yesterday was a pants popper. Skip breakfast and swing into downtown staple 16 Front Street Brewery (the first of its kind around here) for lunch. Known for epic pulled barbeque chicken nachos and a double happy hour, any time of day is a good time at FSB.

Nothing says late Sunday afternoon like pizza, and 17  Wrightsville Beach Brewing Company is a beach go-to where the crackly pie crusts are made with beer-infused dough and the draft list boasts crushable crafts. Ask owner Jud Watkins for a flight of his favorites or tap into the classics like the seasonable Puppy Drum Pale or the Orange Krush Kölsch permeated with fragrant orange peel and hints of vanilla. Get your veg on with the flash fried Tempura Cauliflower tossed in your choice of sauce, or pop a few of the Kimchi & Fried Oyster Bites whose acidic punch of vinegar and chili cut the fat from the fryer.

Flip Flops & Bowties

Friday

While Wilmington certainly offers its fair share of fine dining establishments, we’re a comfortable coastal town where board shorts are almost always acceptable. That being said, enjoying a fancy meal or craft cocktail in your flip flops around here is the norm. Hey, you made it to Friday! You deserve something frothy. Pop into 18 Bespoke Coffee & Dry Goods on Princess Street where the chic Counter Culture Coffee baristas doodle hearts in the dirty chai lattes. Locally baked goods are great for grab-and-go.

Since the portions at…

19 Indochine are typically large enough to ensure leftovers, split an early lunch here so you don’t fill up before dinner. Favorites from this oriental far East café include classic sweet-and-sour Pad Thai and light Vietnamese Pork Meatballs loaded with citrusy lemongrass.

There’s no better prescription for satisfying your hunger than a Southern, locally-inspired feast at 5th and Castle Street’s  20 RX Restaurant. Known for being one of the first eateries to bring genuine farm-to-table dining to the Wilmington food scene, RX stole our hearts years ago and still steadily wows regulars with their seasonally-changing menu. Many items are pork-tastic (like the wonderfully quirky Buffalo Pig Ears with funky Bleu cheese), but RX is equally praised for their cocktails and thoughtfully-prepared seafood.

Saturday

Superstar chef Jessica Cabo (a season 1 competitor on Hell’s Kitchen) runs  21 East Oceanfront Dining inside Wrightsville Beach’s Blockade Runner. Her globally-influenced seafood and vegetarian dishes are explosive, and her a la carte breakfast menu is just as refined. I vote for the Exotic Mushroom Omelet with peppery arugula and goat cheese. This upscale, yet relaxing restaurant is famed for their gorgeous canopied garden deck which overlooks the beach. Stick around for lunch.

Am I biased about…  

Pin Point - Best meal Fanny Slater has ever had. 22 PinPoint Restaurant? Yup, and I have no problem admitting it. I consistently pick Pinpoint as the top eatery in Wilmington thanks to head chef and co-owner Dean Neff’s ability to work magic with anything edible. Their menu is slammed with local seasonal offerings from Wilmington’s farmers, fishermen, oystermen, and crabbers. Raw oysters here are an absolute must and come with spicy chilled cocktail sauce, yuzu-cucumber granita (spa water meets crushed ice), and a tangy shallot-based mignonette. For dinner, the Crisp Smoked North Carolina Catfish crusted in cornmeal and bathed in lemon brown butter is the best thing I ever ate. Don’t believe me? Google “PinPoint + Best Thing I Ever Ate.”

Sunday

Okay, I know I just went googly eyed for PinPoint—but here’s my P.S. I love you too…

23 Love, Lydia Bakery & Café. This charming coffee shop (owned by Lydia Clopton—PinPoint’s head pastry chef—not to mention, Dean’s wife) recently opened on South 3rd Street to rave reviews. The building is a lovely re-furbished house, and you’ll want to cozy up with a cappuccino, a book, and one of Lydia’s crispy bacon, egg soufflé, and smoked gouda biscuit sandwiches and never leave.

I made you carb-load for breakfast (and will again for dinner), so I’m sending you straight to…

24 Steam Restaurant & Bar—one of downtown’s newest eateries tucked inside The Embassy Suites. The hotel’s classy coastal demeanor and style parallels the restaurant’s vibe, and though you can get smothered Southern things like creamed leek and béarnaise fried oysters, I’ve sent you here for the salads and waterfront view. I’m a sucker for the Riverside Caesar: bright chilled hearts of romaine, shaved parmesan, white anchovies, and a luxuriously creamy garlic dressing.

Get out your stretchy pants; we’re off to…

25 Tarantelli’s where familiar Tuscan fare sprinkled with live arias and a splash of Montepulciano is the epitome of Italian spirit. Beautifully crafted dishes like the Sicilian Braciole—thin rolled and stuffed beef tenderloin with loads of garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and prosciutto—tastes like home to those who grew up with traditional Italian cooking. It’s rare to dine at Tarantelli’s without spotting a group wow-ing over the Spaghetti al Formaggio Parmigiana prepared tableside in an enormous oversized wheel of Parmesan cheese (doused in whiskey and lit on fire). What better way to end the weekend?

Wilmington Area Communities

When you are checking out the Wilmington cuisine, you’ll also want to see the welcoming communities and experienced builders who will work with you to design your dream home on the North Carolina coast.

1    Bill Clark Homes is a family business that has been building top-quality residences in Wilmington and all over the Carolinas for more than 40 years. Among their newest neighborhoods are The Landing at Mill Creek, located just three miles from North Topsail Beach, and Channel Watch, an intimate community of 36 homes off River Road in Wilmington. BillClarkHomes.com

2   The Bluffs on the Cape Fear offers large riverfront home sites and move-in-ready homes. Amenities include a private Beach Club on Oak Island and a resort-style clubhouse with a pool. The two-acre Riverfront Park & Boat Launch opens soon, to be followed by a new fitness center with pickleball courts. TheBluffsNC.com

3   Brunswick Forest has residential offerings that range from low-maintenance patio homes to estate-size home sites. The Villages commercial hub now includes the New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Recreational amenities like the Cape Fear National golf course, a complete fitness center, and kayak/canoe launches keep active residents happy and healthy. BrunswickForest.com

4   Cambridge Village of Wilmington makes independent retirement living a reality with spacious one- and two-bedroom apartment homes. The Optimal Living Center has a wellness director to customize every resident’s fitness plan, a life enrichment director to plan social events, and pampering professional services at the Salon & MedSpa.

5   Compass Pointe offers resort-style living in an award-winning master-planned community. The golf club is home to one of the best new courses in the Carolinas, while other fitness amenities include a wellness center, tennis/pickleball courts, and miles of hiking/biking paths. The Grand Lanai Amenities Center hosts community events.

6   Landfall is a family-oriented residential community with playgrounds, playing fields, and walking trails in 320 acres of conservation land. In addition to the Cliff Drysdale Sports Complex, The Country Club of Landfall is a member-owned golf club with two challenging championship courses by Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye.

7   Logan Homes is the leading name in coastal living with unique residential designs in premier Carolina locations like Wilmington. Their signature Build Smart program includes personal service at state-of-the-art design studios, the latest energy-efficient features in every home, and a complete warranty program for lasting peace of mind. LoganHomes.com

8   Palmetto Creek, perfectly situated between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach near Southport,features a beautiful boardwalk trail through a natural Palmetto preserve. One of the community’s preferred builders is Horizon Homes, a family-run business that provides quality homes at affordable prices. PalmettoCreek.com

9   River Bluffs features single-family homes and choice home sites along the North Cape Fear River. Lifestyle amenities include Davis Square events, boat/kayak launches, walking trails, a fitness center, tennis/pickleball courts, and an elevated riverwalk. Lunches at Porches Cafe can include produce from the 10-acre community farm. RiverBluffLiving.com

10  River Lights is a residential destination for young professionals to active retirees with traditional single-family, maintenance-free town homes, and age 55+ neighborhoods. The Marina Village is a hub of shopping and dining, while the wellness-centered lifestyle is enhanced by seven miles of trails, four community parks and a 38-acre recreational lake. RiverLightsLiving.com   

11  St. James Plantation offers single-family residences and low-maintenance town homes in an unspoiled coastal setting. Golf memberships feature access to four championship courses and clubhouses. Also on-site are four fitness centers, an Intracoastal Waterway marina, and 36+ miles of walking trails. The private Beach Club on Oak Island and the seaside town of Southport are just minutes away. SJPLife.com/Living

12  Summerhouse on Everett Bay is a private residential community near the popular oceanfront destinations of Surf City and Topsail Island. Move-in-ready homes and customizable floor plans from leading builders are available. Community amenities include a clubhouse with pool, fitness center with tennis courts, and boat/kayak launches with direct Intracoastal Waterway access.

 

 

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