Takin' a break
March 18, 2011 10:10 AM   Subscribe

What's a good island- or beach-type vacation location that's not too long of a flight from Durham, NC.

We're looking to do a mini-honeymoon (not longer than a week) at the beginning of June. Mostly, we want to relax and not have to do really long flights. (Like the British Virgin Islands look great, but it seems to take 18 hours to get there.) And of course, cheaper is better (because we're going to have a totes real official honeymoon at some point), but I don't expect 4-6 day beach vacations to be all that cheap. If there's stuff to walk around and see other than the beach, that's great, too.

If you could narrow our field, I'd be grateful!
posted by ignignokt to Travel & Transportation around Durham, NC (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There are about a dozen awesome beach towns between Wilmington, NC and Hilton Head, SC, all of which are an easy half-day's drive from Durham. The entire stretch from Murrell's Inlet to North Myrtle Beach is packed with condos, etc., and the prices are quite reasonable, especially when compared to more exotic destinations.
posted by valkyryn at 10:14 AM on March 18, 2011

Best answer: Marco Island and Hilton Head are both very close to you.
posted by The World Famous at 10:16 AM on March 18, 2011

Best answer: Dude, drive the 2.5 hours to Manteo (which is on an island in the sound), stay at Booth House (reasonably priced and quiet), take a day boat ride to see the dolphins, visit the replica ship, maybe go to the big beach on the barrier island.

Durham has proximity to actual islands.
posted by amtho at 10:27 AM on March 18, 2011

check usair's e-savers. they often have last-minute very affordable specials from RDU to bermuda. it's a direct flight and roundtrip tickets have been under $200 in the past.
posted by oog at 10:29 AM on March 18, 2011

If you go the Outer Banks before Memorial Day weekend the rates will be about 50% cheaper.
posted by COD at 11:32 AM on March 18, 2011

It would help if you elaborated on "not too long a flight" and "cheaper is better" with some actual numbers. For example, you can fly to St. Thomas, USVI, or San Juan, Puerto Rico with flight times of 6-7 hours and airfare costs of $450-$550 in early June. Or you could fly to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, rent a car, and drive down to the Florida Keys. Getting to Miami is about a 2 hour flight costing $250-$300. Are either of those the kind of numbers you had in mind?
posted by unsub at 11:34 AM on March 18, 2011

Response by poster: So, after further discussion with my girlfriend, we now want to stick to stuff to which we could drive from Durham just so we can avoid another flight entirely. As for cheaper, we were hoping it'd be around $2000 or so, but we're flexible.

Thanks for your answers so far! They sound interesting, and I'm going to Google them up soon.
posted by ignignokt at 11:49 AM on March 18, 2011

Best answer: Renting a condo for a week in the Myrtle Beach area can be as little as $1000, even less depending on when and where you go.

Now is the time to reserve though, as these places do start to fill up.

I have some specific recommendations as to places if you'd like. MeMail me if you're interested.
posted by valkyryn at 11:52 AM on March 18, 2011

Best answer: a little pricey in high season, but before Memorial Day try the Sanderling Inn in Duck: classy, quiet and romantic.
posted by easily confused at 4:01 PM on March 18, 2011

Best answer: Seconding Manteo. I've stayed here: http://www.whitedoeinn.com/ and it was great. We borrowed bikes from them and rode to the Elizabethean gardens and back. Visiting the beach and seeing The Lost Colony were awesome for a short weekend. We wished we could have stayed longer for more beach time.
posted by katybird at 7:09 AM on March 19, 2011

Response by poster: So, we ended up booking a nice condo on Emerald Isle, in the Outer Banks. Thanks for getting the ball rolling on our search, everyone!
posted by ignignokt at 5:15 PM on March 21, 2011

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