Despite Hurricanes And Setbacks This North Carolina Entrepreneur Stays The Course – August 2019
Now decades later Baggett Martin is still running Blockade Runner Beach Resort with her brother Bill Baggett. The 55 year-old resort has endured eight hurricanes and several super storms since it was first built, yet it continues to thrive. There are gardens galore, plenty of beachfront hammocks to tuck into and of course the long stretch of Wrightsville Beach. “We now we have 225 employees. For many of them, this is their first job ever,” Baggett Martin proudly says. “There is not anything that I would want to do other than this.”
Fantasy Island – July 2019
Your happy place of choice? The Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach. Impossible not to notice before you even set foot inside the door is a colorful sculpture that takes up the entire front window — a wire frame filled with foam flowers, as it turns out — resembling a sea anemone, the handiwork of interior designer Terry Allred. She understands all too well that for the generations of North Carolinians who have regularly vacationed there, the Blockade Runner is an institution, their “own special place,” to borrow from yet another song, “Bali Hai.” So why not create a similar paradise? “Wrightsville Beach is an island. Let’s make them think they’ve come to an island, a really funky island. A fun island,” she recalls suggesting to the hotel’s owners, Bill Baggett and his sister Mary Baggett Martin, when the décor was due for an upgrade.
To Live in Paradise – June 2019
The road to destruction can be swift, like a sparrow in a hurricane. The way back to recovery requires patience and perseverance. The Blockade Runner Beach Resort at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, has faced just such a challenge in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence that wreaked havoc on the historic oceanfront hotel in September 2018. Reconstruction in recent years strengthened the hotel to withstand 150-mile-per-hour winds, but not Florence’s sustained 100-plus-mile winds for three days.
Stormy Weather – June 2019
After withstanding decades of hurricanes, Wilmington’s Blockade Runner is ready to defy the odds once more.
The Seaside Gardener – June 2019
It’s a tough business keeping a garden in bloom by the ocean’s edge, an endless battle against heat, salt and the occasional killer hurricane. But the Blockade Runner’s Aubrey Doggett does it beautifully, year after year
The South’s Best Beach Towns 2019- March 2019
4. Wrightsville Beach North Carolina – An island town about 6 miles from Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach has access to the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, and Banks Channel. So if you surf, paddle, fish, boat, or float, you’ll like it here. Two fishing piers are prime spots for casting a line or just chatting up the locals. For a full-service resort with views of both the Atlantic and Banks Channel, check out the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Blockade Runner also offers sailing adventures with individualized instruction.
2018 Best of the Best Shore Picks – October 2018
Blockade Runner Best Resort was voted hotel winner by Star News readers.
15 Top Rated Resorts in North Carolina – October 2018
Boasting one of the best ocean-front properties in North Carolina, the luxurious Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach has been welcoming guests to enjoy its authentic Southern hospitality since 1964. It’s set in an area of unspoiled oceanfront that’s just begging to be explored, and caters to a variety of outdoor leisure activities from sailing to kayaking. In addition to swimming at the beach, there’s a large outdoor pool with accompanying attendant services (and pool toys). Other on-site amenities include a fitness center, ocean-side yoga classes, and great restaurants (garden dining available).
Art in Bloom – August 2018
Thefloral designers who gathered at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort in the Wrightsville Beach , N.C., in January for for the annual “Art & the Bloom” exhibition used everything from driftwood and abalone shells to Hydrangeas, Irises and cedar bows to interpret fine-art pieces that came from private collections and the Wilmington Art Association. The result was a stunning collection of floral arrangements and artwork that made for a memorable second year of “Art & the Bloom.” Organized by the New Hanover Garden Club, the four-day event also included several workshops, a fashion show of hats and the presentation on dream garden growing from Mark Weathington, author of Gardening in the South: The Complete Homeowner’s Guide.
Where Beauty Blooms – August 2018
For 32 years he [Aubrey Doggett] has worked for the Blockade Runner resort, which, to my eye, has the best landscaping and gardening in the area. Yes, I’ve been to Airlie and the Arboretum. I’ve now walked and biked nearly every street and alley in town. But in terms of variety, design, expense, tenacity, ingenuity and, yes, sweat, there is nothing like the 4 acres upon which the Blockade Runner sits between those waters.
Anchors Aweigh: Locals are invited to hit the water – July 2018
After sailing around the world, the Blockade Runner Beach Resort’s Captain MATTY ROBERTS returned to Wrightsville Beach to share his sport with both experienced and aspiring sailors.“This is a sailing mecca,” Roberts says. Being a tourist in your own town has never been easier at Wrightsville Beach, with an activity available daily. “Sailing, like surfing, is a lifestyle sport. People can come and see if it’s actually right for you, right down the street in your own backyard,” Roberts adds.
6 Beach Vacations That Craft Beer Drinkers Need to Try – July 2018
The Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach speaks to the active nature of the craft beer community. Sure, there’s plenty of beachfront landscape to relax on with your favorite session beer, but the hotel’s position on both the ocean and Intracoastal Waterway allows it to offer so much more, from fishing to sailing and stand-up-paddle boarding. The hotel even offers a Craft Beer Beach Vacation package complete with a two-night stay, dinner in EAST restaurant with a sampling of current craft beer offerings (the chef was on Hell’s Kitchen), and breakfast both mornings.
Hospitality Industry Needs Workers – May 2018
The number of hotels in the area “leave us all vying for some similar employees….,” explained Blockade Runner Beach Resort General Manager Nicolas Montoya. “Our job fair proved to be successful on a couple of different fronts; the folks that came were all-around a more selective group of applicants with a focused desire to work in our industry.”
8 Beach & Oceanfront Wedding Venues in North Carolina – April 2018
Technically, this event venue sits right on the ocean, but for couples who want to forgo a sandy ceremony, the seaside gardens and lush lawns at Blockade Runner provide a unique twist on the classic beach wedding. Enjoy the ocean breezes while surrounded by colorful flowers, tall palm trees and walls of green privacy expertly manicured to will provide just the right touch of color to all your wedding photos.
Hotel We Love: Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Wrightsville Beach, NC – April 2018
Not 20 minutes from downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, on the barrier island of Wrightsville Beach sits the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, a family-owned property centrally located on a pristine oceanfront plot. The boutique hotel has been around since the mid-60’s, but it’s received a contemporary face lift over the years, now boasting stylish accommodations, beautifully manicured gardens, and an unsullied stretch of white sand, where beach meets gentle ocean waves.
Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Coalition
2018 Award Winners- February 2018
Blockade Runner has been selected to receive the Outstanding Stewardship Award for the Blockade Runner Beach Resort Clean Water & Sustainability Project.
Best of 2018 Winner – February 2018
Blockade Runner Beach Resort was voted best hotel 2018 by Encore Magazine readers.
Boca Raton Observer
Give Me a Break: Hang ten with the best of them at surf schools and camps nationwide and locally – February 2018
The Blockade Runner Beach Resort is the perfect destination not only for surfing but other water activities, too, like paddleboarding, sailing, kayaking and fishing. The Sandcampers Children’s Program is offered weekly throughout summer and teaches the basics: getting up on the board, catching a wave and riding it in. Sandcastle creations and surfside activities are included, too.
Soak It in: Luxurious Hotel Tubs in North Carolina – January, 2018
When you’re staying on the beach, the goal is usually to spend as much time outdoors as possible. That’s a mission easily accomplished at Blockade Runner, where the Atlantic Ocean lies in front of the resort and a deep-water harbor behind it. So, there’s plenty of fun to be had on the sand and surf. The variety of guest rooms will make it very enticing to stay inside as well, especially a Premiere Atlantic Oceanfront Stateroom. These large suites feature a two-room bath with a rainfall shower and soaking tub. And even though views of the ocean are just steps away at the window, a flatscreen TV faces the tub in case you want to retreat for some binge-watching.
Trips to Discover
9 Best Honeymoon Resorts in North Carolina – January, 2018
It has a fantastic oceanfront location that means falling asleep to the peaceful sounds of the waves, and ocean views from nearly every angle as well as convenient access to all types of water-related sports. If relaxation is what you’re after, take advantage of the umbrellas and sun loungers for a stress-free day at the beach and then come back and soak in the fabulous spa tub.
Best Family Vacation Ideas in North Carolina – December, 2018
Located on one of the most beautiful and serene beaches on the North Carolina coast, the Blockade Runner Beach Resort is a contemporary resort hotel surrounded by landscaped gardens and stunning ocean views. The resort offers peaceful accommodation in the form of minimalist rooms with en-suite marble bathrooms, private balconies and modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi and televisions.
From The Ground Up – November, 2017
Chef Jessica Cabo of EAST utilizes microgreens not only in specials but to accent many of her main dishes. Her menus change regularly so that she can incorporate as many local, seasonal vegetables as possible, and when specialty items such as locally grown white eggplant or Chinese long beans come through the door, it’s time for her to have some fun. For well over a century, the island of Wrightsville Beach has been a seaside retreat by locals and visitors year round. While you’re there, stay at the family owned and operated Blockade Runner Beach Resort which has hosted couples and families for over 50 years.
North Carolina Coastal Federation
2017 Pelican Award Winner – August, 2017
Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Wrightsville Beach, for Exceptional Business Partnership in Protecting and Restoring Valuable Coastal Resources
Weekend Getaway: Wilmington, North Carolina – June, 2017
With beaches this beautiful, you have to begin and end your days on the sand. Do it up in retro style at the recently redone Blockade Runner Beach Resort on Wrightsville Beach. There’s a lot to love: a classic swimming pool, a restaurant helmed by Hell’s Kitchen finalist Jessica Cabo, and a coastal adventure program.
Quoi faire à Wrightsville Beach, Caroline du Nord – May, 2017
J’adore cet hôtel hyper bien situé face à la mer. Une belle déco beach house, une piscine, et des chaises Adirondacks sur la plage. Que demander de plus?
English: I love this hotel in a great location facing the sea. A lovely beach house, pool, and Adirondacks on the beach. What more?
Coastal Virginia Magazine
Wrightsville Beach Offers Summertime Fun for the Entire Family – May 2017
The Blockade Runner Beach Resort at Wrightsville Beach hosts an adventure-based kids’ summer program called Sandcampers featuring daily themes and activities including scavenger hunts as a pirate, sandcastle competitions, relay races, arts and crafts and more.
The Carolina Coast: The Perfect Romantic Getaway – May, 2017
Once you’ve crossed the bridge into Wrightsville Beach, Blockade Runner Beach Resort is easy to spot. Don’t be fooled by its plain-jane façade. Inside, the building has been retro-fitted to luxury hotel standards. Choose a room facing either the Atlantic Ocean on one side or the Banks Channel Sound on the other — both views are lovely.
The 20 Most Magical Island Getaways – March, 2017
Come nightfall, why stray from that breezy, ocean air? Book a room at the Blockade Runner, where swimming, sailing, and surfing are at your finger and toe-tips.
Travel & Leisure
America’s Favorite Cities for Brunch 2016 – March, 2017
By the beach, Chef Jessica Cabo’s East Oceanfront offers a seafood-centric brunch at Blockade Runner Resort’s canopied garden deck.
ODE IN A GRECIAN URN – March, 2017
The newly minted New Hanover Garden Club (NHGC) recently teamed up with the Cameron Art Museum to host the first annual “Art of the Bloom” mini-festival at the Blockade Runner.
Wilmingtons Best Brunches – September, 2016
When a restaurant is sourcing ingredients straight from their backyard, it doesn’t get much fresher than that. East—located inside the Blockade Runner Resort on Wrightsville Beach—offers a scenic Sunday brunch buffet that diners can enjoy under a beautiful canopied garden deck no matter the finicky seasonal weather. The extraordinarily talented Chef Jessica Cabo is the Oz behind the curtain of this seaside kitchen, and she’s taking every course to the next level with impeccable vegetarian and seafood-centric creations. Her brunch menu screams local, elegant, fresh eats—but rich indulgences like the Blockade Benedict with braised pork belly are also on deck. Build your own healthy breakfast from the eggs up at the Omelet station and pack it with hand-harvested, local produce.
The Best Beach Resorts in North Carolina – August, 2016
Once the site of stately hotels—The Seashore and The Ocean Terrace—Blockade Runner continues to uphold its coastal heritage in the most family-friendly, laid-back fashion, but with a cool retro-hip look in the lobby and poolside spaces. With harborfront and oceanfront suites, the resort can offer sweeping vistas of the bustling boats or the calm open ocean—take your pick.
Our 7 Favorite Things on Wrightsville Beach – June 2016
This beachfront resort has been family owned for over 50 years old. The building is older, but the interiors have been beautifully renovated with a modern coastal vibe. We loved our updated room with a bold blue and white palette filled with modern beach-themed furnishings.
10 Best: Beach Resort Kid’s Clubs – July, 2014
Sandcampers, Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Wrightsville Beach, located on an island between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, is scenic on all sides, but for Sandcampers, pirate booty trumps pristine beauty. Kids have access to a selection of pirate costumes and accessories to put on before hitting the beach to search for all-natural loot. The loot, mostly sea glass and shells, is later stored in treasure chests that kids decorate during camp. Learning how to talk and sing like a pirate pays off when local pirate legend Don Juan Cortez makes a guest appearance at the resort.
The 10 Best Surf Lodges in North America – June 2014
The Blockade Runner Beach Resort is a short walk from the Wrightsville bar scene, which stays hopping thanks to tourists, thirsty locals, and college kids from nearby UNC-Wilmington. For the flat days, the hotel offers paddleboard rentals and SUP yoga classes, as well as in-room massages to keep you loose for when the swell picks back up.
The 25 Best Summer Beach Vacations / Girlfriend Getaway: Wrightsville Beach NC – May 2016
The perfect stay on Wrightsville Beach is the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, a classic 60’s beach hotel redone in great boutique style (and the new culinary home of star chef Jessica Cabo).
Retro Wrightsville – April, 2014
What never goes out of style? A vacation where you don’t have to lift a finger. For 50 years, guests at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach have enjoyed warm smiles, sandy beaches, and service that meets their every need.
North Carolina’s Best Beach Hotels – January, 2014
Just outside the historic port city of Wilmington, on a stretch of Wrightsville Beach, is the Blockade-Runner Beach Club. From the expansive front lawn that hosts games of croquet and horseshoes, to surfing lessons in the open Atlantic and kayaking through the barrier islands, guests quickly acclimate to an outdoors-filled stay. Families with small children can enjoy the Sandcamper’s Program. After a day of sun and play, guests can dine on local seafood and fresh farm favorites at the club’s on-site restaurant, East Oceanfront Dining — as the name suggests, diners enjoy oceanfront seating beneath a canopy. Then take a complimentary Intracoastal Waterway cruise before retiring to an oceanfront terrace room.