Sea Trail, Something for Everyone

Brunswick County Tourism Development AuthoritySea Trail, Something for Everyone

Sea Trail Golf Resort in Sunset Beach offers three distinct golf courses

For more than 30 years, golf groups, families and those seeking a quiet retreat have hit the trail to Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center, just across the waterway from Sunset Beach amid North Carolina’s ever-popular Brunswick Islands. Within its 2,000-plus acres, there literally is something for everyone, from activities to accommodations, and certainly golf.

Interesting fact: The resort is named for a historic winding road that led from Wilmington, through what’s now the resort, and on to Georgetown in South Carolina. George Washington once traveled the road on his famed “Southern Goodwill Tour” to promote the new U.S. Constitution.

Golf was always intended to be a centerpiece for Sea Trail, and its trio of courses bears the handiwork of three respected architects: Dan Maples, Rees Jones and Willard Byrd. What’s always appreciated by insightful players are the unique approaches and distinctive challenges offered by the courses that each carry the names of their creators.

Sea Trail Golf Resort aerial view

Sea Trail Golf Resort

At Sea Trail Golf Resort, you're never far from the water

The Maples Course features the award-winning work of a designer whose roots run deep in North Carolina golf – both his grandfather and father worked with Donald Ross on the famed Pinehurst courses. As might be expected, his layout seamlessly blends traditional and modern design set amid ancient oaks and swaying pines.

The Jones Course brought Rees Jones, known as the “Open Doctor” for his updating of U.S. Open venues, to Sea Trail where he offered up a modern and very playable gem that flows effortlessly with water bordering more than half the holes. Jones also has great golf genes, since his father, Robert Trent Jones, is considered the father of modern golf course architecture.

Willard Byrd, a native of North Carolina, designed more than 100 courses during his half-century career and reportedly considered the Sea Trail layout one of his finest efforts. Players of the Byrd Course tend to agree, though seven lakes and substantial waste areas require close attention.

Additional golf-oriented amenities at Sea Trail include practice greens, a lighted driving range and two full-service clubhouses with golf shops. Plus, the resort is home to the North Carolina location of the Mel Sole Golf School, which has ranked by Golf Magazine as a top five golf school and offers lessons from PGA-certified instructors.

Panoramic views of the 18th greens on both the Jones and Byrd layouts make Magnolia’s Lounge a popular 19th hole and one of the resort’s varied dining options.

The Village Activity Center serves as the hub for many Sea Trail pursuits. The possibilities include an outdoor pool and whirlpool, a heated indoor pool and whirlpool, spa services, fitness classes, bike rentals, and wide-ranging seasonal children’s programs. This is also the place to arrange off-site water-oriented activities such as kayaking or deep-sea fishing, as well as horseback riding at nearby stables.

Sea Trail Golf Resort pool

Sea Trail Golf Resort

Sea Trail Golf Resort's outdoor pool

If the desire is to mix business with pleasure, Sea Trail is highly regarded as an ideal meeting and convention destination. With more than 60,000 square feet of space, the resort easily handles meetings and events of virtually any size.

Of course, those who come to play need a place to stay, and Sea Trail offers a wide variety of accommodations. The possibilities include beautifully appointed rooms, suites, and villas (many with golf course views). The master-planned resort also has a range of golf villas, townhouses and custom single-family homes for those seeking a permanent place to stay and play.

Those who can pull themselves away from Sea Trail proper can take a complimentary shuttle service to Sunset Beach, where they’ll find a quiet strand with specialty shopping and dining. Historic towns Wilmington and Southport are a short drive from Sea Trail, while North Carolina’s southernmost stretch of coast known as the Brunswick Islands is replete with all manner of activities, historic sites and scenic beaches. Not to mention heaps of fresh seafood in Calabash.

Lynn Seldon


There’s much to see and do in North Carolina, so read on.

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