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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend on the Crystal Coast

Two of our favorite things are being celebrated on the Crystal Coast this weekend: food and wine! Pair those with scenic coastal views from the historic waterfront town of Beaufort located on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks, and you have all of the necessary ingredients for an exquisite weekend that's sure to titillate your taste buds.

The 8th Annual Beaufort Food and Wine Weekend showcases regionally and nationally renowned chefs coupled with a delightful variety of wines, winemakers, and wineries from around the world. You'll find everything from cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and seminars, and winemaker dinners to deck parties, a fashion show luncheon, and a celebrity grand gala and auction. Saturday's big events are the Vin de Mer Grand Tasting and Culinary Village and the Historic Homes Vintner's Receptions.

Featured chefs include:
  • Sandra Guiterrez, food writer and author of the best-selling cookbook, The New Southern-Latino Table; Recipes That Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South.
  • Scott Howell, Chef-Owner of Nana’s in Durham, NC, 2012 James Beard Semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast. His restaurant has been recognized as one of the 20 best organic restaurants in the country by Organic Style Magazine.
  • Nathan Thurston, Chef of The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Charleston, SC. He's received numerous awards including first place at The Annual Adluh Grits Competition, the Le Grand Cuisinier Gold Medal, and multiple medals in American Culinary Federation sanctioned competitions.
  • Keith Rhodes of Catch Restaurant located in Wilmington, NC.
  • Chris Kastner of CK's Real Food in Hailey, Idaho.
  • Nationally-recognized Chef Amy Tornquist of Watts Grocery, Durham, NC.
Featured wineries include:
  • Authentiquevin wineries from France’s Loire Valley.
  • Puro Uno Wineries from Argentina.
  • Tortoise Creek Winery, Arietta Vineyards, and Folie a Deux (all from California).
  • And more!

With events beginning on Wednesday, April 25 and continuing through Sunday, April 29, the Beaufort Food and Wine Weekend is a popular festival hosting a plethora of events. It has been chosen as one of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events for April 2012. There are a varied selection of festivities to choose from, but please note that events are ticketed and tend to sell-out quickly. Be sure to check out the schedule of events for information, availability, and pricing.

Also of note, Beaufort tied for first place as “America’s Coolest Small Town” for 2012 by Budget Travel magazine. Beaufort is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Emerald Isle and makes for a nice day trip whether you're coming for this weekend's events or any time you are in the area. The approximately 45-minute coastal drive leads you through the beach towns of Indian Beach, Salter Path and Pine Knolls Shores and across several area bridges into the waterfront town.

Sun-Surf Realty can help you find accommodations through our wide selection of vacation rentals in Emerald Isle. Get the best of both worlds by staying with us at the beach and then making the day-trip to Beaufort!

We'd love to hear about some of the day trips you take while you're vacationing here (or living here) in Emerald Isle. Feel free to tell us about them in our comment section!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Hope For The Warriors Bicycle Ride: Le Tour de Bogue Banks

It's not unusual to see bicycles traversing both the shores and streets of Bogue Banks from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle. We think this area is a fantastic place to bike! It's a great way to get some exercise while you breathe in the ocean air and take in the coastal views. If you're in town this weekend, you'll notice that something more is going on than just your normal bike traffic.

Le Tour de Bogue Banks bicycle ride begins its second year this Saturday, April 21 by donating all its proceeds to the Hope For The Warriors organization. This organization was founded by a group of military wives in 2006 in hopes of gaining support for wounded U.S. service members, their families, and the families of the fallen. The Hope For The Warriors was founded (and is still headquartered) in North Carolina but has grown and established a nationwide presence.

This year's event begins at 8 a.m. and has two bicycle rides including a long course and a short course. The long course is a 42.6-mile ride that begins at the Atlantic Beach Town Park just off Hwy. 58 and continues over the Atlantic Beach Bridge through the town of Morehead City and on to Cape Carteret then returning over the Emerald Isle Bridge through the towns of Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, and finishing in Atlantic Beach.

The short course is a 10-mile ride that begins at the Atlantic Beach Town Park and continues on to Fort Macon State Park and back.

If you'll be in Emerald Isle this weekend, it's not too late to join in either ride and support our military and their families. Same-day registration begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Atlantic Beach Town Park with a $50 donation for participation in the long course and a $25 donation for the short course.

Even if you're not up for the bicycle ride, step out and cheer on our riders! They'd love to see you and they'd certainly appreciate your encouragement.

There is still time to make plans to stay with us in Emerald Isle this weekend whether you are a spectator or a participant in the Hope For The Warriors Le Tour de Bogue Banks event. Sun-Surf Realty can help you find just the right vacation rental for your needs.

Can't make it this weekend? Plan ahead for your summer vacation and bring your bike or rent one while you're here. We'd love to hear about your biking adventures on the Crystal Coast, so please share them with us in our comment section!

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Planning Your Emerald Isle Vacation? Bring Your Pet!

According to a survey conducted by the APPA (American Pet Products Association), current statistics indicate that 62% percent of U.S. households own a pet. That figure translates into 72.9 million households46.3 million of those households own dogs and 38.9 million own cats. Let's face it, when we plan our vacations we need to remember that our pets need vacations, too. They are, after all, an integral part of our families.

We sometimes take for granted their unconditional love, loyal companionship, and fervent enthusiasm for our company. So why would you leave them behind? Reward them with some time away, expand their horizons by traveling to new and exciting places, and most importantly let them be a part of the lifetime of memories you are making.

The Crystal Coast of North Carolina is proud to offer beaches that are pet-friendly. Here in Emerald Isle, we have found that dogs love our beaches. They are particularly fond of cool early morning walks with their owners, the refreshing splash of the ocean waves against their paws, and the coastal breeze blowing through their fur. The pure joy they experience while frolicking in the sand is evident to any observer. They are entertained for hours just by watching the kids playing in the sand, keenly tracking those lively seagulls, or just napping under the umbrella.

In addition to the beach, your dog may also enjoy some time in a cooler, shadier locale. Emerald Isle Woods Park is just the place for a change of scenery from the sand, sun, and waves. Conveniently located about a quarter of a mile from the intersection of Hwy 58 (Emerald Drive) and Coast Guard Road, this 41-acre park offers walking and hiking trails which are a perfect way for pets and their owners to spend some quality time together, while getting some exercise, too.

Whether you and your pet are on the beach, walking the trails, or strolling through town, Emerald Isle pet regulations require that your dog be on a leash at all times and that you clean up after your pet.

Now that you know a little bit more about what we have to offer, it's time to start looking at where you and your pet are going to stay while vacationing here. Sun-Surf Realty offers some fantastic pet-friendly accommodations, which include oceanfront rental locations and beyond so you'll be able to book the perfect place for you and your pet.

Have you and your pet vacationed in Emerald Isle? We'd love to hear about it in our comment section! If not, there's no time like the present to make your plans. We'd love to see you (and your pet) here in the very near future!

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Monday, April 2, 2012

The Top 3 Reasons to Visit Emerald Isle in the Spring

Let's face it, most of us think of summer as the prime time for a beach vacation. Honestly, we'll argue that anytime is a great time for a beach vacation, but let's look at the top three reasons why we think you should consider visiting Emerald Isle, North Carolina in the spring.

1. Discounted vacation rental rates.
We are all looking to save some money wherever we can, so one of the major advantages to booking in the spring is the price break. You will find that many places offer pre-season discounts during this time of year.

At Sun-Surf Realty we are offering a couple of discounts on vacation rentals we hope will entice you to come and visit us in the very near future. Are you thinking of getting away over Easter? It's right around the corner so come and celebrate with us in Emerald Isle! We have an Easter in Emerald Isle special right now where you can spend four nights for the price of three, or three nights for the price of two. We are also offering a 10% discount on available weeks in the months of April and May.

2. Great weather for great attractions.
With average daytime temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to high-70s during the early spring months, the beach is quite nice with a lower level of humidity than during the summer. Be prepared to experience the vibrant colors this time of year provides—from brilliant blues to lush greens and everything in between. In addition to the beach, you may want to consider some additional points-of-interest to add to your vacation itinerary.

The Town of Emerald Isle keep
s a running list of local events, so be sure to check that during your stay. It will be helpful in planning your adventure here on the Crystal Coast.

Not far down the road from Emerald Isle is the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The Aquarium is open year-round and with its five galleries and 40 exhibits, there is plenty to see and do. However, the benefit of a spring visit is being able to fully enjoy the outdoor boardwalk and two coastal nature trails which lead you through the 300-acre Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area surrounding the Aquarium. Take in the amazing sights and sounds of the maritime forest and estuarine waters. You'll avoid the midsummer heat and the midsummer crowds this time of year, so it's definitely worth the trip.

At the other end of the island (which makes for a very nice coastal drive on a lovely spring day) just past Atlantic Beach, you'll find Fort Macon. Take time to explore the Civil War fort, its history, and its surrounding natural beauty.

3. Quality time with family and friends.
In this fast-paced world where everyone seems to be on-the-go constantly, it is so refreshing to take a break and get away from it all to spend time with those you love the most—your family and friends. You might have a couple of days off around the Easter holiday or maybe the kids are on spring break soon, so now could be the perfect time for a spring getaway.

No matter what you decide to do, we know you'll love it here. Spend time walking the beach, relax on an outdoor deck overlooking the ocean, head to some of the local attractions, or just plop your towel on the beach. You will be creating a lifetime of memories with your family and friends.

You've heard our Top 3 Reasons to Visit Emerald Isle in the Spring, now we'd like to hear yours. Feel free to share your favorite springtime experiences with us in the comment section. We love hearing what you love about Emerald Isle!

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