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Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Choosing a Vacation Spot: Atlantic Beach, NC versus Emerald Isle, NC
North Carolina, Topsail Beach
Visiting North Topsail Beach? Things to do during your stay
North Carolina, Topsail Beach
Fun No Matter the Weather at Topsail Beach
North Carolina, Topsail Beach
What to Do as you Swashbuckle through Topsail Beach
North Carolina, Topsail Beach
Our Top 3 Picks of What to Do in Topsail Beach
North Carolina

Beautiful Beaches

Visiting North Carolina
is a treat
for the whole family!
Here are my tips
to help you make the most of your beach vacation.

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Hi, my name is Sandy Saltwater!

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North Carolina

Amazing Ocean

Find out why
North Carolina beaches
are considered among
the very best
in the United States.

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Romance at the beach
Beach Tips

Rekindle Your Romance at the Beach

Long days at work, household responsibilities, taking care of the kids, and the stress of everyday life can take its toll on relationships. Maybe a chance to rekindle your romance at the beach is just what you need! One of the best ways that couples can help rekindle that spark is by taking a little getaway. Reconnect by removing yourselves from the daily grind to spend a little one on one time together. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more idyllic locale for a lovers’ getaway than the beach. Here are some great ideas to help you reignite the spark on your very own romantic ocean side retreat.

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Finding the Perfect Florida Beach
Florida

Finding The Perfect Florida Beach For You

Ah Florida, the Sunshine State. When you think of Florida, one of the first things that comes to mind is the beach. With a staggering 1350 miles of coastline, Florida is the beach capital of the US. With so many options, choosing the best destination for your Florida beach vacation can be a daunting task. Never fear; as always, Sandy is here to help. We’re sharing some of the best beach locales for various types of travelers. Take a look and see which Florida beach is right for you!

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Save that beach trip until after labor day
Beach Tips

Save That Beach Trip Until After Labor Day

For many, Labor Day marks the end of summer. Kids go back to school, community pools are closing for the season, and in some parts of the country you can already feel the cooling approach of autumn in the night air. Unfortunately, some people get the idea that their window for beach trip has closed as well. Sandy is here to share with you a few of the reasons that make a beach vacation after Labor Day a winning plan!

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Florida

Cheapest Beaches in Florida: Summer, Sand, and Savings!

If you’ve ever traveled anywhere on a beachfront in Florida, you know how expensive it can be. The cost of living in Florida’s coastal cities is often outrageous. However, there is hope! Among the touristy, crowded beaches nestle a variety of affordable, and still beautiful coastal towns which can be thoroughly enjoyed on a budget. Check out these great 5 beaches that are among the cheapest beaches in Florida to visit.

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Hatteras Island On a Budget
North Carolina, Outer Banks

A Week in Rodanthe: Hatteras Island on a Budget

I’m one of the lucky ones who live within a day’s drive of the ocean. Our country’s east coast provides some fabulous beaches, but my favorite are the ones on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, especially Hatteras Island. We vacation there often and always try to stay conscious of how we can vacation in Hatteras Island on a budget. This is how we made this year’s trip a budget-friendly success!

Hatteras Island on a Budget

Housing

Our family is huge, and the cost of accommodation is easily the most extravagant spending item for our vacation. Since our target location is Hatteras Island, especially the towns of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo, we usually choose a beach house from the extensive catalog of homes offered at Surf or Sound Realty, which specializes in the area. They have homes that range from small, sound-side delights to massive ocean-front mansions.

There are several factors that increase the cost of accommodations in the Outer banks. First, the size of the space you need. Next, you’ll need to consider how far you want to be from the beach. Third, the time of year for your vacation.

Our preferences ended up costing us about $2000.00 to $3000.00 for the week. For us, this amount is split with extended family. The max our immediate family pays is $2000. We usually vacation in August and September. The weather is still nice and we don’t mind taking the chance that a hurricane will force us to change plans last minute. The housing costs are significantly lower this time of year.

Travel

For our latest excursion to the beach, we piled into our 15 passenger van and headed down the road. This van has little cargo space, so we rented a U-haul trailer to tow behind with all of our beach gear and food. We had to spend about $320.00 for gas for the round trip. The trailer was around $200.00, and we eat one fast food meal each way, which is close to $100.00 total.

Food

One of our favorite things about vacation is the food. We prefer to eat most of our meals in the beach house. This saves our food budget. We still splurge for a couple of visits to local restaurants. For example, we like to take trips to the ice cream shop after the beach. We also enjoy novelty local foods like local fudge and donuts. For this reason, the bulk of our food makes the trip with us. Last time, I spent about $300.00 for the groceries we’d need in the house for the week. We eat two dinners out, and the combined cost of these two meals is a max of $250.00.

Activities


Hatteras Island allows a low activity cost for our family. We love the beach, so most sunny days are spent there and in the pool at the house. In Rodanthe, the farthest houses from the beach are a ten-minute walk, so we don’t have to worry about parking. We usually plan one day to drive south and see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, and catch the ferry to Ocracoke. In Ocracoke, we generally have our family dinner at Howard’s Pub, catch sight of the Ocracoke Light Stationand do a little shopping in the sensational boutiques before heading back north. Since the drive from Rodanthe to the ferry is about an hour, we plan the whole day for this excursion. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is under $35.00 for everyone interested in climbing, and everything else is free. The grounds of the lighthouse are beautiful and packed with information, so even the non-climbers have a great time.

We typically spend a little on novelty treats like fudge at Scotch Bonnet, or maybe a small souvenir or donation for entry to the museum. For under $100.00, with gas and food already considered, everyone arrives back at the beach house ready for a soak in the hot tub or a splash in the pool and a much-needed night’s sleep. We have found that with the beach items available at our local warehouse store, and our own bikes, we save a significant amount over renting those things when we arrive, and we can use them for many years. The roads around the beach houses are perfect for a nice bike ride to watch the kiteboarders on the sound, so there is something fun to do even when you’re not hanging out on the beach or enjoying the pool.

Can’t Miss Tourist Stops

On the last day of vacation, we almost always take a small detour to Roanoke Island on our way back north and visit the aquarium. Over the years, this has become one of our favorite detours. For $89.00, our entire family enjoyed the touch pool, an electrifying jellyfish area, and a sea turtle interactive exhibit. These are just a few of the really cool things this place offers. Other favorite stops include Kitty Hawk Kites, Brew Thru for a t-shirt, and a few of the local beach shops. Every few years we add the Wright Brother’s Memorial or Jockey’s Ridge State Park to the list too, especially if it turns out to be a rainy week.

For under $3500.00, we fill a week full of memories and leave every year wishing we lived there.

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Myrtle Beach on a Budget
Beach Tips, Sandy's Shores

Myrtle Beach on a Budget

For the past two years, my husband and I have traveled to beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for our yearly beach vacation. We are always adamant about choosing a budget and sticking with it, and this year’s budget was $1,000 that we had slowly put aside into savings each paycheck. In total, the cost of our vacation was $850- under budget! Best of all, we didn’t sacrifice a quality vacation to stay under budget. Here’s how we managed a vacation in Myrtle Beach on a budget.

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Dog Friendly Beaches NC
Beach Tips, North Carolina

Dog Friendly Beaches NC

Seeking some fun for fido at the Top Dog Friendly Beaches NC? 

Nothing beats the dog days of summer like spending it at one of the beautiful beaches of North Carolina. People aren’t the only ones who enjoy the beach though. Your faithful, four-legged friend might enjoy splashing in the waves and running along the shore too. Different places have different rules regarding leash laws and whether dogs are allowed at all. Dear dog lovers, Sandy has put together a list of the most dog-friendly beaches in North Carolina just for you.

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Cape San Blas vs Pismo Beach
Florida, Sandy's Shores

Cape San Blas vs Pismo Beach

Road trips are always quite the adventure for our family, especially now that we have seven children to travel with. Driving rather than flying to our vacation destinations gives each of us a chance to explore new landscapes, culture, and a large amount of food. Our children travel well, so we decided to visit two very different beaches in the last few years. We headed to California to visit Pismo beach as well as Florida to visit Cape San Blas. Both destinations were amazing so it is hard to compare. However, we’ll do our best to break down Cape San Blas vs Pismo Beach.

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Sea Kayaking
North Carolina, Outer Banks

5 Tips for Sea Kayaking in the Outer Banks – Corolla, NC

Sea kayaking is exhilarating! There is nothing quite like approaching the waves on a small watercraft. In a sea kayak you sit only a few inches above the vast ocean. While it is a blast, it is not always easy. Here are a few tips to make sea kayaking in the Outer Banks a success!

  1. Observe all Safety Precautions and Protocols

We do not encourage inexperienced people to go sea kayaking. It can be a dangerous sport to partake in. Follow this link to read more and make sure you fully understand the dangers of ocean kayaking. Before you set out on the ocean or sea take lessons and go with a trained professional. Always follow local rules and regulations. Pay attention to safety protocols, guidelines and weather recommendations. Follow this link to learn more about the basic safety guidelines for ocean kayaking.

2. Wear a Life Jacket, Always

No matter whether you are going far  out to see or only kayaking close to shore. A life jacket is a must have. Make sure that your life jacket is the appropriate size. Be sure to wear it correctly. Your life jacket should come with instructions to wear it properly. We also recommend you consider wearing a helmet and other safety equipment. It is better to take absolute precaution when venturing into the ocean.

3. Have Someone Take A Video & Pictures


After I finished kayaking on the ocean I was thrilled to learn that my mom took a video and some pictures! It was great to look back at the videos and pictures. I will always remember the feeling of freedom I felt on the ocean. Now I can reminisce every time I watch the video of my adventure!

4. Secure Valuables

It is possible that you may fall off your kayak. If you do, you don’t want to lose your valuable possessions. It is best to leave electronics behind and avoid wearing any jewelry that can easily be lost in the water. Many people choose to wear sunglasses to avoid the glare on the ocean. If you do, make sure that it is a pair of sunglasses you are prepared to possibly lose!

5. Use the Right Gear

Sea kayaks are built to be different. Before you begin your voyage make sure you are using the proper equipment.  Search for equipment that is specific for those who are going on the ocean. This means you’ll need the right type of life jacket, sea kayak, paddles and more!

Click here to check out some great Sea Kayaks!

Have fun Sea Kayaking!

*This blog post does not offer enough information to begin sea kayaking on your own. Consult trained guides and professionals before you go kayaking on the ocean. This post is meant for entertainment purposes only. Sea kayaking is inherently dangerous and not recommended by this blog nor anyone associated with this blog. If you choose to kayak on the ocean you do so at your own risk.

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