1. Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Located 30 miles south of Wilmington, NC and 60 miles north of Myrtle Beach, SC, Bald Head Island is a loggerhead turtle nesting ground located two nautical miles from where the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Ocean meet. It’s a quick 20-minute ferry ride from Southport, NC to the southernmost of North Carolina's cape islands. On the island, visitors use trams or golf carts to navigate the island’s beaches, golf courses, maritime forest, and Old Baldy Lighthouse, North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse that was first commissioned by Thomas Jefferson and is home to the Smith Island Museum of History. Don’t miss ascending the lighthouse’s 108 steps to get panoramic views of the island.