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.

 

Shell Point Senior Living

 

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.

 

 

Lifelong New Yorkers. Find a New Life in Wilmington, NC

Lifelong New Yorkers. Find a New Life in Wilmington, NC

Compass Point Active Adult Residents “I think everyone wants the same things. We all want to have a good time and enjoy life. That’s easy when you love where you are living, and you enjoy the people and what you are doing,” says Jayne Barruch. It was this desire that inspired Barruch and her husband to venture out and find a new life in Wilmington.

Larry and Jayne Barruch both grew up on Long Island. They were living in Westchester, NY, when in 2008, Larry decided to make a list of all of the places he thought they might want to retire to. He attended an Ideal-LIVING Resort & Retirement Show, stared researching, then brought his wife Jayne to a Show in Greenwich, CT, in 2010. They first took a tour of the Lowcountry from Charleston to Savannah. The next trip in 2010, they flew into Myrtle Beach and explored Brunswick County to Wilmington, NC. While in Wilmington, they visited seven or eight communities.

Larry says, “It’s like when you are taking your kids to look at colleges, you have to look at a lot of them, and see what fits. You do yourself a disservice if you don’t look at multiple communities.”

Goal #1: Find a New Life in Wilmington

“Back in 2010, we just had a feeling. We loved the vision for Compass Pointe and what it would become. There was something about it – we felt at home and comfortable. We didn’t have that feeling at other places. We took a leap of faith and are so happy with what Compass Pointe has become,” said Jayne.

And, the Barruch’s are more than overjoyed that their annual property taxes are now what they used to pay in a month.

The Compass Pointe Clubhouse is just the icing on cake in this coastal community near Wilmington, NC.

“We knew we wanted to live near the beach and being here in Compass Pointe, we are close to so many beaches – Wrightsville Beach, Brunswick County beaches, Kure Beach, and Carolina Beach. The weather is so warm, we can even go to the beach in October and November,” she continued. The Barruch’s are such avid ambassadors that many of their friends decided to move to Compass Pointe.
When the Barruch’s aren’t helping others find their ideal retirement, their lives are full of activity. In addition to golfing at Compass Pointe and nearby courses, Jayne spends her time woodworking, making jewelry, sewing, playing cards, going for walks, seeing friends, and just having some down time to enjoy life. She’s a member of many clubs, including the Benevolence Club that helps people in need.

Jayne says, “Compass Pointe is a very caring community that comes together when people are in need. You just put it on the community blog and people will respond. We really look out for one another.”

Success

And, yes, Larry is just as busy as his wife. He plays golf, bowls, and is on the traffic/safety and the communications committees. He is a monthly contributor to The Pointe magazine (the community’s monthly magazine), and writes a column on the legends and lore of the Carolinas. Larry is also an investigator for the Port City Paranormal, where he researches the local lore and ghost stories. When he was a child, his father called him “Dr. Spook,” and his fascination continues today. He can regale you with many a tale of the local area, including the Legend of the Maco Light.
While their two children still live in the Northeast, Jayne and Larry don’t feel they are missing out as they either fly or drive back to see their children whenever they want. Jayne says, “The children are busy with their own lives and we have weekly FaceTime sessions with the grandkids. Although when we return to New York, within 15 minutes we remember why we left.”
The Barruch’s encourage others to “seize the moment.” They advise others who are thinking about relocating to, “Do your homework. Find your area or city, then visit multiple communities. Talk to the people who live there. Find out why people came, what they like, and what they don’t. Nothing is perfect. But, this is as close as you can get.”

“We took a leap of faith and are so happy with what https://www.ideal-living.com/north-carolina/compass-pointe/ has become.”
—Jayne Barruch.

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Living the Dream at the Villages of Citrus Hills

Living the Dream at the Villages of Citrus Hills

Stuart and Nancy, living the Citrus Hills dream. Longtime Miami residents Stuart and Nancy Iliffe wound up at the Florida community of the Villages of Citrus Hills through a slip of fate—and now they’re living the dream.

“It was an accident, believe it or not,” Nancy says, laughing. “We never expected to retire. We lived in Miami—we’ve been married for 37 years—and we never even thought about retiring. It’s so hectic there, we were so busy … then we took a trip with another couple to Disney World. Our kids were gone—we thought, let’s go and enjoy it ourselves.”

Close to Home But Worlds Apart

While they were at Disney, the other couple suggested that the Iliffes join them for lunch at a nearby community, where the husband’s sister was planning to move. The Iliffes agreed. “When we looked at the numbers, and what the difference was going to be in our living expenses, we thought—wow, we could retire right now.”

Back home, the Iliffes were doing some online research, and came upon the Villages of Citrus Hills. “We decided to come and have a look. As we were driving in, we said, ‘We’re not buying, we’re not buying, we’re not buying. It’s just a look-see,” Nancy says. “Well, we drove out with a lot.”

Nancy knew her way around Florida real estate—she’d been a real estate agent for over 40 years. She wasn’t easy to impress, but the Villages of Citrus Hills managed to do just that. “The minute we drove in, those big magnolia trees and the hills … it’s a beautifully designed property,” she says. “I’ve worked with developers for years, and I’m very familiar with construction and property sales. We were able to get exactly what we wanted. We went to a model, liked it very much, took the design home to our own architect, and made little tweaks and changes. For a price, we able to retire comfortably.”

Must Have Golf

Nancy’s husband, Stuart, was in the golf business, and it had become a hobby as well as a profession. “He was the distributor for Titleist for South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico for many years,” Nancy says. “He’s a good golfer, and it’s important to him.” The two wanted to retire in a place where they weren’t going to have to sacrifice their lifestyle, and knew that they couldn’t afford to do that in Miami. At Citrus Hills, however, they could live the retirement of their dreams.

The Citrus Hills Clubhouse goes above and beyond to offer the resort-style living residents seek.“We just joined the club here, with a full membership. My husband is playing golf three days a week. He’s played everywhere, even in the U.S. Senior Amateur twice, and he says this is a really nice facility,” Nancy says. “We can’t be happier with what we’ve done.”

The Pace at Citrus Hills

Retirement definitely hasn’t slowed the Iliffes down. “We’re always busy with something. Tonight we have Trivial Pursuit with friends,” Nancy says. “I’m playing golf, which I haven’t done in years—I’m playing nine holes with three girls in our neighborhood, which I love. I’m picking up bridge again, which I really like. And I just joined the Newcomers Club—in June, I’m going on a beginners’ kayaking trip on the Rainbow River.”

Citrus Hills‘ sense of community has also made a big impression on the couple.

“We’re all transplanted from somewhere else, and everyone on our street is so welcoming. We’re like family already, and we’ve only been here permanently for six months,” says Nancy, who loves to entertain and recently hosted a dinner party for 16 at the couple’s Citrus Hills home. “We’re really overwhelmed with it — it’s so enjoyable.”

citrushills.com

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On the Move   | Viridian

On the Move   | Viridian

On the Move – In Your Element at Viridian, TX

by Kim Henry

Elements at Viridian

Approaching retirement often means a move is on the horizon. Many want to be closer to the grandkids, enjoy easy access to a range of amenities, or soak up year-round sunshine. For Melton and Linda Graham, it was a desire to downsize from their lifelong family home that prompted them to start the search for a new location. Luckily for them, they didn’t have to look for very long before they found their ideal spot.

Viridian, close to Arlington, TX, had everything they were looking for and even a few things they didn’t know they wanted! “I wasn’t completely sure about going to live in a 55+ community,” explains Linda, “but the minute I went to Viridian, I thought to myself, ‘this is going to be perfect.’”

The master-planned community is in the process of completing its new 141-acre 55+ development, Elements. With the stunning natural beauty of the Viridian community as its backdrop, Elements offers a variety of homes designed by some of the areas finest builders, David Weekley Homes, Drees Custom Homes, and Lennar Homes.

Shell Point Senior Living

Needing to downsize and find their forever home, the Grahams are now looking forward to the completion of their single level 2,500 square foot home. “It’s stylish and comfortable with a few age-in-place features to accommodate our time of life, such as wide doorways and extra spacious showers,” smiles Linda.

With a host of luxury amenities available, including a ‘pool that I don’t have to clean,’ Linda can’t wait to kick back and enjoy the good life without having to be responsible for endless repairs and maintenance. This ease and peace of mind create lots more time and energy for the Meltons to be able to visit nearby family, make the most of Viridian’s inspiring workshops, and relish the peaceful scenery.

Put Some Spring in Your Step

Put Some Spring in Your Step

walking should be fun

Put Some Spring in Your Step | A Walking Program Should Be Fun!

By Sam Crawford

Prior to invention of the office, automobile, and Lazy-Boy recliner, walking was the most basic form of human exercise.

It’s not surprising that study after peer-reviewed study has shown that our modern lack of locomotion has a negative effect on muscles, joints, and synapses, shrinking our blood vessels and expanding our waistlines, especially for those of us over 50. So if you already know why you should get moving, maybe the problem is that you’re not sure how to get started. So check out these tips—call it your Seven-Step Plan—and take advantage of the warming spring weather to get up, get out, and get going.

Step 1: Invent a Schedule
Look ahead on your calendar to the coming weekend. Block out at least an hour on each or both of those days. Absent a real emergency, don’t let anything or anyone encroach on that time. Treat it like a medical appointment—because it is.

Step 2: Get Some Happy Feet
Having the support of good shoes is a necessity from your Day One walk. You may already have some hiding in your closet. If not, make it your mission to check out the local shoe stores and find a comfortable pair—no scrunching, pinching, or rubbing. And pick up some new athletic socks while you’re at it.

Step 3: Discover a Route
Embracing your inner hamster on a treadmill is OK, but adding some fresh air and sunshine to your workout is even better. The idea is to create an interesting outdoor route that takes you in a loop from start to finish.

Step 4: Flap Your Wings
Your legs and lower back benefit from every walk, but don’t leave your upper body out. Carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated or a tennis ball to grip and bounce. Hand weights are good, too, while a squeezable two-pound exercise ball can be a toy to play with as you walk.

 

Shell Point Senior Living

 

Step 5: Savor the Peace
Taking your phone along for a walk is fine, but do yourself a favor by turning off the ringer/vibrate features and sticking it in your pocket. This is your time and the sights, sounds, and smells on your route are part of the experience. Let your mind wander. You might have a new idea or gain a fresh perspective that will make you feel good.

Step 6: Take a Stroll
The average walking speed for most seniors is about 2.5 miles per hour, so you should be able to walk a couple of miles in 60 minutes, with some time to stretch a bit before
and after. But it doesn’t have to be a march or even a hike to start with. Make it a stroll—a comfortable stride at an easy pace. You’ll go further and faster later, but shedding pounds or toning muscles isn’t the point yet. Your initial goal, believe it or not, is to have fun.

Step 7: Embrace the Routine
We humans are creatures of habit and we’re more likely to repeat activities that we actually enjoy. Getting healthier doesn’t have to be a drudge. Even if you start with just a couple of hours this weekend, you’re more likely to expand that time into weekday mornings or afternoons if you’re adding some pleasure to your life. Your distance and pace will naturally increase with regularity, along with the benefits to your overall well-being. Most importantly from the beginning, you might just start feeling a little better about yourself and that’s the first real step to a healthier—and happier—lifestyle.

The most requested and available amenity in planned communities is miles and miles of walking trails through neighborhoods and natural areas. So when you are visiting,
check out the paths to your healthy lifestyle.

Return to Healthy Living.

 

 

Shell Point Senior Living
Dance Like No One’s Watching

Dance Like No One’s Watching

Dance like no one is watching

Dance Like No One’s Watching

By Kim Henry

“Even the people who say, ‘Oh, I don’t dance,’ often end up on the dance floor having the time of their life!”

If the gym is not your first preference, but you value an active lifestyle, have no fear; there’s an increasingly popular alternative—dancing! Tone up, build stamina, and have fun while you’re doing it. This growing trend has inspired a majority of communities to include all kinds of movement-based classes to their fitness and wellness programs. Now you can two-step right out of your comfort zone, and get on down with Hula Hooping, Jazzercise, or Ballroom dance classes.

In addition to healthier hearts and lungs, weight management, and greater agility, dancing is also known to include making new friends, relieving stress, and laughing out loud. No wonder most active lifestyle communities now host an array of classes, with everything from Square Dancing to Zumba, and Shagging to Swing being readily available.

Dance-based events are also on the rise. Take the story of Jack and Jean Hester for example. They moved from Raleigh, NC, down to their dream home in the stunning 55+ community ‘On Top of the World’ in Ocala, FL. Having loved to dance all their lives, they soon took over the community’s small Events Club and more than tripled the membership in just six months by organizing themed dance nights. “Every community should have a club like this—people absolutely love it! It’s so important to come together and socialize in a fun atmosphere,” enthuses Jean as she describes the ‘Western,’ ‘Freestyle,’ and ‘Music From Around the World’ 2019 line-up. “We always have live music and even the people who say, ‘Oh, I don’t dance,’ often end up on the dance floor having the time of their life!” she smiles.

The positive health benefits of dancing are equaled by the positive social and personal benefits. Getting out to shake and shimmy is an ideal way to make new friends, deepen already formed connections, and to be reminded that you’re only as old as you feel.

Gary Morford reiterates the positive impact of being involved in a dance club. As one of the only Square Dance Callers along the coast of North Carolina, his skills are in great demand. The Buoys and Gulls Square Dance club at St. James Plantation in Southport, NC, meet once a week to ‘dosey doe’ and ‘take your partner by the hand.’

“There’s the obvious physical benefits of movement, but just as important are the mental benefits,” explains Morford. “Square dancing demands that you stay alert and respond to the spontaneous calls.” With around 60 to 100 possible dance calls, Square Dancing is as much a workout for the brain as it is for the body.

On the rise as a channel for personal and physical wellness, you can expect to find an enticing range of dance classes and events at most communities. Whether it’s Square Dancing, Five Rhythms, or Zumba, there’s a style for everybody’s body.

ontopoftheworldcommunities.com

stjamesplantation.com

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