Since my maternity leave is about to end, I wanted to make it over to the coast before having to return to the daily grind. We didn’t have time to go for longer than overnight, so we opted for Atlantic Beach, which is only about three hours away. Plus, it’s dog friendly, so Noodle got to come along, too.
Atlantis Lodge was well-reviewed as a retro-style motel right on the beach that also allows dogs. Since my one requirement was waking up to a sea view, the balcony and big windows in our room did the trick. And, Abbie slept well thanks to the giant sound machine we call the ocean!
The Atlantis was certainly a cool throwback – and super convenient, especially when you want to be able to go back and forth to your room with baby (and baby gear) with ease. There were dog treats waiting for Noodle upon check-in, and they had lots of other nice touches like the use of their lounge chairs & umbrellas. As someone who tends to be picky about room cleanliness when traveling, I would say that while the place wasn’t absolutely spotless, I felt comfortable.
For dinner, we tried Amos Mosquito’s, which was more or less your typical touristy seafood restaurant. Our experience with the food was mixed, but I could see why families would make an annual visit a tradition. Plus, the service was excellent, considering that they gave us a prime water view and went out of their way to make sure Abbie was well-situated. If I return again, I’ll save room for the table side s’mores!
The next day, we ventured into the cute little town of Beaufort, home of the Duke marine lab that Harold was unable to visit for his oceanography class trip because he had strep throat, hence leading to life long bitterness about the B minus he subsequently received – his lowest grade ever (nerd alert!). Fortunately, we could build better memories at Beaufort Grocery, which had decent sandwiches and let us sit outside with the dog, even bringing her a bowl of water. It seemed a bit pricey for dinner, but the menu looked like an interesting break from your standard fried shrimp palace.
Earlier that day, we were up in time to be at the Pine Knoll Shores branch of the NC Aquarium right when it opened. There was a marsh boardwalk with views of Bogue Sound and some decent exhibits, including some visiting penguins, a shipwreck replica, and river otters. Harold happens to be obsessed with otters and the like. I’ll admit they looked pretty adorable doing flips off the rocks and doing the backstroke!
All in all, we’d add it to the list of possibilities for next year – and recommend the Atlantis for anyone wanting to walk out of their room right into the sand and surf.