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Leland NC

Brunswick Forest Cardboard Regatta
High spirits made up for soggy bottoms at the Brunswick Forest Cardboard Regatta, held near the town of Leland. Here at Hammock Lake, neighbors meet on the beach to toast the end of another perfect day.
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At just five miles from Wilmington, Leland has access to every big-city amenity imaginable, but it’s also got a unique charm that comes with small-town Southern living. With several restaurants and large retailers, the town provides all the services necessary, with a bit extra. It’s filled with folks who appreciate the outdoor lifestyle that flourishes here.

Charles and Lupe Sarracino currently live in New York, but they’re anxiously awaiting their move to Compass Pointe, a resort-style community in Leland. He owns a construction business, while she recently retired after a career with the New York City Police Department. She started researching areas for retirement and discovered Wilmington. “We made a pilgrimage to the area and fell in love,” explained Mr. Sarracino. “The environment is great and when we found Compass Pointe, it gave us the tropical feel that really appeals to us.” They purchased property and have a contract to build a home. “We love Leland,” he said. “You have everything you need, including New York style pizza. And we’re always finding new places, including the Wilmington Riverwalk, Wrightsville Beach, shopping at Mayfair and more. We look forward to the next phase of our life.”

John and Ginette Pocaro were originally from Long Branch, New Jersey, but decided to move south for retirement. “We were looking for a location that was within driving distance from New Jersey,” Mr. Pocaro explained. “We liked the city of Wilmington, but didn’t want to live in town. When we found Brunswick Forest, it had all the amenities we were looking for: golf, fitness center, pool, as well as on-site shopping, dining and medical facilities. I play golf at Cape Fear National and I haven’t found a better course. I also enjoy riding my bike. I have ridden more than 700 miles and never left Brunswick Forest."

“Mrs. Pocaro is involved in the Master Gardener program at the Arboretum, belongs to a book club, likes to craft, walk around Brunswick Forest and plays Mah-Jongg two or three times a week. “We wanted to be near the ocean, but not on it,” Mr. Pocaro explained. They enjoy restaurants in Leland, and go to special events in downtown Wilmington and are only minutes away from the beaches.

There’s plenty of exploring to be done in the area around Leland, including beautiful Airlie Gardens, with its breathtaking combination of history, formal gardens, sculptures and walking trails. The North Carolina Aquarium is close, at Fort Fisher. Wonderland Farms equestrian center offers boarding, training and lessons, and there are many adventure companies that provide tours into the backwater rivers and streams which pass by old rice canals and offer wildlife viewing up close.

Leland is a few minutes from Wilmington and an easy drive from the Brunswick Island beaches. It’s got the energy of folks moving in, while retaining its small-town charm and appreciation of the natural world. For these families and many others, it’s exactly what they’ve been seeking.

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