the season locally
Take a walk down Birch Bay Drive for gifts and dining.
Take in some wintry sea air and some cozy Christmas spirit with a stroll down Birch Bay Drive. The bayside boulevard may seem quiet in winter but there are plenty of places to shop and sup, especially in the mile and a half stretch from Alderson to Harbor View roads.
The C-Shop on Alderson Road and Birch Bay Drive is a good place to start your trek, and while the candy emporium is now closed for the season you can still buy some of their special Christmas sweets by placing an order by phone before December 15 at 371-2070.
Across the street stop in at the Birch Bay Coffee House & Collectibles, where you can snoop around their Christmas room with an eggnog latte in hand. For the holidays they have wrapping paper, tags, bags, cards, decorations and stocking stuffers, many of which reflect the store’s specialty – trademark collectibles from Spiderman ornaments to Coca-cola memorabilia. Collectors will also be drawn to the store’s comic book selection, toys and die cast cars. Local crafters also have a place, with handmade Christmas stockings as one of the seasonal features. The store is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except for Tuesdays when they close at 2 p.m. They don’t accept credit cards, but do take checks.
As you head north on Birch Bay Drive you’ll find a chain of stores each offering something unique for the holidays. Primrose Lane gift shop is open weekends with gifts that add a unique note to anyone’s home: wind chimes, candleholders, salt and pepper shakers, and other housewares.
is the Sea Breeze Gifts with exotic artisanal items such
as mango wood bowls and vases, horn and wood carvings,
ornate jewelry boxes and children’s furniture. The
store is open Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. through December 24 and they opened a second location
this year across from the waterslides.
In the Trend West building the liquor store has more to offer than holiday spirits. They also have zippo lighters, special knives, cigars and other smokers accessories and a variety of gift sets for the tipplers on your list. The store is open Monday through Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday they open an hour earlier.
a short stroll further is the Dirty Dog Wash, where you
can suds up your pooch for the season, or drop him off
for a full dog-spa treatment. The store also has gifts
for pets and gift certificates for any dirty animals you
know. They are open Wednesday through Sunday.
At the end of the road don’t forget to stop in at Bay Center Market to pick up a Birch Bay sweatshirt to remind someone far away of how much they love the beach.
Whether it’s a brisk late morning constitutional or a sunset ramble, don’t forget to stop and sample some of the restaurants that line Birch Bay Drive where you can get warm and fed along the way from early morning to late at night.
Birch Bay Coffee House
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. Closes Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Specialty coffees, clam chowder and deluxe hot dogs.
Bay views and a mix of American and Japanese cuisine, including a full sushi bar.
Tuesday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Karaoke from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Café & Java Shop
Now serving breakfast from 7 a.m. and still going in the bar at 2 a.m. Try their special fish and chips or sample a daily lunch special.
Restaurant and Beach Café
Now lit up for the holidays, the drive’s gourmet destination is serving up holiday specials like crab-stuffed scampi and Portobello ravioli. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Try the special crispy kung pao and daily lunch and dinner specials.
Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Take your tongue on a trip with cashew chicken, chili prawns in pineapple curry and other Thai specialties, some traditional and some inventive. Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for lunch and every day but Wednesday for dinner.