Carolina Beach stands out for its authentic, vintage charm paired with sandy shores, classic attractions and original experiences that guarantees good times.Continue reading to discover how to build the best beach trip to Carolina Beach.

Classic Seaside Fun

Spend the day relaxing by the sea and enjoying the laid-back oceanfront scenery. Pleasure Island Rentals offers the largest selection of beach gear, including chairs, umbrellas, coolers and everything else you need for the perfect beach day. Call ahead, and they will set up your spot on the beach near your closest beach access.


Take a break from the beach with a seaside stroll along the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, ranked as one of the country's best boardwalks by Fodor's Travel. The colorful sights and sounds of Carolina Beach are on full display along the vintage Boardwalk, complete with unique shops and seasonal amusement rides. Take a break from the sun and visit the Carolina Beach Arcade along the Boardwalk for a friendly game of skeeball and other arcade classics. If you're looking to eat, there are plenty of outdoor dining options with oceanfront views. Hurricane Alley’s is an oceanfront bar offering classic pub grub and colorful cocktails. Find low country favorites at Buzz's Roost at the Beach or specialty hot dogs from Nauti Dog. Be sure to stop by the seasonal Britt’s Donut Shop for a classic Carolina Beach treat. Visitors and locals gather along the Boardwalk during the summer to listen to free live music during Fireworks by the Sea & Boardwalk Blast, a weekly celebration and fireworks display.


Explore more of the island and its eclectic collection of public art on a guided mural tour with Tasting History Tours. Dive into the 19 different art installations from the Carolina Beach Mural Project that detail the town's colorful history and culture. Or join Wilmington Bike & Brew's Carolina Beach Experience, a guided Ebike tour that travels throughout the island, visiting local landmarks like Carolina Beach State Park, one of two state parks on the island, and The Fat Pelican, an eclectic dive bar.


Outdoor Adventures

Connect with nature during a visit to Carolina Beach State Park, which features over 8 miles of hiking across nine different trails that showcase 13 different coastal habitats. The popular Flytrap Trail highlights the indigenous Venus flytrap and other carnivorous plants that line the pathway. A 50-foot precolonial geological feature is on display along the Sugarloaf Trail. Experience the park from a different perspective with Paddle NC, offering guided kayak and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) tours of the waterways surrounding the park.

Hang ten with one of Carolina Beach’s surf schools. Odysea Surf School offers private and group lessons from certified instructors. Equipment is provided, including wet suits when necessary. Tony Silvagni Surf School provides private and group surf lessons, along with kayak and SUP lessons, through the calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway.


Set sail at sunset on the double-decker catamaran with Island Cruises. Enjoy the onboard bar, listen to music and learn about the area's history as you sail. For a family-friendly experience, join the pirate adventure, a seasonal tour where you can help recover stolen bounty while learning about the pirates of the past. Tailor your adventure to suit your interests and pace with Island Time Water Tours and choose your destination, whether shelling along an undisturbed island, clamming, searching for shark teeth or simply cruising around to soak in the scenery.


Fresh Flavors

Start your day with a delicious breakfast from Kate's Pancake House, a local favorite, offering a selection of waffles, benedicts and pancakes. For a classic breakfast sandwich, head to The Southerly Biscuit Co., which specializes in custom made-to-order biscuit options. Grab a coffee from The Vault, a hybrid coffee shop and pour house located in a former bank.


Pick up made-to-order lunch options from The Veggie Wagon, named after the original wooden wagon used to display fresh local produce. Nollie's Taco Joint serves a blend of Mexican flavors in a laid-back skate-themed setting, offering tacos, burritos and more. Located at the Carolina Beach Marina, Stoked Restaurant features casual seafood dishes with waterfront views.

Enjoy dinner at Seaworthy Kitchen + Bar, where you can indulge in a curated seasonal menu that highlights fresh catches from local markets. For classic coastal Carolina dishes, dine al fresco or inside the former beach cottage at Havana's. If you're in the mood for turf over surf, visit the traditional Lake Park Steak House for a selection of tender steaks.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Squigley's Ice Cream & Treats, which offers over 4,050 flavors and combinations of homemade ice cream. Create your custom flavor with their patented Squigley machines. At Celtic Creamery, enjoy the unique Irish ice cream recipe with various toppings to build your perfect treat.


Vacation Hideaways

With a range of accommodations from full-service resorts to retro inns and vacation rentals, Carolina Beach offers many unique places to stay, providing the perfect home base for building your ideal beach vacation.

Golden Sands Beach Resort offers newly refurbished spaces and access to the pier connected to Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar. Reserve a room at the Hampton Inn & Suites Carolina Beach Oceanfront or Courtyard Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront for a resort-style stay centrally located near local landmarks.


Dry Dock Inn offers mid-century modern rooms located within walking distance of the ocean and the 11-acre freshwater lake at Carolina Beach Lake Park. For a boutique stay, The Starlite Inn is a family-owned inn with retro, colorful vibes that reflects the unique personality of Carolina Beach.

Experience good times by building a classic beach trip to Carolina Beach complete with seaside fun, a variety of adventures, fresh flavors and unique accommodations.