Holden Beach, NC
original publication: August 13, 2011
Why Do We Love North Carolina Beaches?
Unlike left coast beaches, you can actually get in the water without a wet suit. When my wife and I moved to San Diego years ago, we drove over to La Jolla as soon as we could arrange it. Very excited to be in such a beautiful area on such a beautiful beach, I ran out into the ocean...stopped suddenly and discovered I could walk on water to get back out of there. All bodily functions had already shut down.
Unlike Florida, you can walk on the sand on North Carolina beaches. On one trip to Fort Lauderdale the hotel had to set out sprinklers to water a path along the sand to near the water line. Otherwise the sand was so hot it was on the verge of transforming into glass. Not very healthy for bare feet. After that we made sure we brought sandals.
Myrtle Beach? Very nice. Very crowded in season. Hotels vs. cottages.
North Carolina has numerous beautiful beaches that are family beaches. Quiet, rental homes instead of hotels, and a dirth of "party beach" stuff.
So we scheduled a couple of days in November to check out other nearby beaches that had not been ruined to find a new rental cottage. We spent time with my in-laws on Holden Beach and Ocean Isle, getting sack fulls of keys and checking out a lot of candidate cottages. It's fun to see the variety and anticipate the next year's favorite week—and we sure got in our stair stepping exercises. We finally settled on a cottage on Holden Beach.
Alan Holden Realty For several years we rented from Alan Holden Realty. We enjoyed the cottage and its ideal location. A great many fond family memories and photos came from those years. Be we never enjoyed Alan Holden and staff's attitude toward its customers. They are the biggest renters on Holden Beach and seem cocky as a result. If there is a problem they may or may not do something about it and really don't care one way or the other. We always arranged for early check in on the first Saturday (1pm vs. 4pm). But Alan Holden's policy is to not release the keys before 1pm even if the cottage has been cleaned and is ready to go. And then they aren't ready when 1pm comes around, so we always ended up getting to the cottage later than expected. A minor irritation exacerbated by anticipation and, more so, by the "we don't care" attitude that comes along with it.
So this year, with more of the family joining us, we needed a larger cottage. When we came down in November to find a new cottage, we determined to rent from a company other than Alan Holden. We found just the right place through Hobbs Realty. We were also pleased to discover that their customer service attitude is much nicer. Then, the coup d'état—we arrived a few minutes early and they checked us in with no big deal.
The week always ends way too soon. One of these days... two weeks.