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Touring the Backroads of North Carolina's Lower Coast

Daniel W. Barefoot

John F. Blair, Publisher
$15.95 paperback
7 ½ x 8 ½      
363 pages
black-and-white photos and maps throughout
Published in 1995

For those familiar with the story of "Brad's Drink"—known today as Pepsi-Cola—North Carolina's lower coast needs no introduction. People of more recent vintage may remember headless Joe Baldwin, the Lumina, the Ghost Fleet of Wilmington, Hurricane Hazel, and the Fort Fisher hermit.

Historians have remarked on the irony that Masonboro Island—perhaps the first piece of American coast written about by a European—is now deserted. North Carolina's lower coast is not bothered by such contradictions. It is home to pristine settings like Cape Lookout and Hammocks Beach State Park, historical treasures like Fort Macon, Beaufort, Wilmington, and New Bern's Tryon Palace, and popular tourist spots like the Crystal Coast, Pleasure Island, and the Battleship North Carolina

The 13 tours in this book introduce the sights and history of the lower coast. Those visitors who begin in the north with the ferry to Portsmouth village and partake of the golf-cart ride around Bald Head Island may well find themselves all the way south in Calabash, lining up for dinner with the rest of the crowd.


“This book inspired me to plan a series of long weekend trips to the lower NC coast, and revisit some of the places I vacationed at as a child/teenager. There are many historic and curious areas and sites pointed out in every chapter, places that we drove by years ago, but never really took notice of. For instance, a civil war ship wrecked close to the beach and now located under a fishing pier is only one of the many curousities Barefoot discusses. I was also inspired to visit places I had never been, such as the town of Southport, at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, and Bald Head Island, just a 20 minute ferry ride away. The descriptions of even the smallest details given by Barefoot lured me to find these wonderful places. I can now appreciate the lower NC coast both from the historical perspective, and from the aspect of its unspoiled, natural beauty.”
—Amazon.com reviewer