Bird Island Beach, Near Sunset Beach, North Carolina
On an uninhabited beach in North Carolina's Brunswick Islands—a 30-minute walk from civilization—is the little black mailbox that could. In 1981, when land-development proposals surfaced, a local resident planted the mailbox, with a notebook and pencils inside, in this unlikely spot as a plea to help save the 1,300-acre barrier island. And it worked. Old-fashioned handwritten letters helped secure Bird Island's state reserve status. Even after the island was saved, though, the letters of fond memories kept showing up. Then came a pair of reading glasses. Then a steady stream of wishes, dreams, words of encouragement, and tales of love and love lost arrived from visiting tourists who, still today, sit on the adjacent bench to bare their soul at the Kindred Spirit Mailbox.
If You Go: Bird Island is a 35-minute drive north from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and an hour southwest of Wilmington. For solitude and the best rates, visit October through May.
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