In addition to beach fun, Carolina Beach is filled with arts and culture by the sea. This colorful island town is steeped in vibrant culture to explore spanning back decades. Soak it all in by taking a self-guided tour of island murals, planning a stay during one of several annual events, or vibing to live music from local artists as you enjoy fresh fare.
Carolina Beach is home to a variety of vibrant murals painted by local artists on iconic landmarks and businesses. These public art experiences help celebrate the rich history of the town in an engaging way through the work of North Carolina artists. The project’s first mural, “Welcome to Carolina Beach,” can be found on a billboard on the way into town. Relying on the help of more than 50 volunteers to paint it and materials donated by local businesses, this mural was designed after a vintage postcard, evoking nostalgia for vacations of days past.
Murals painted on the sides of The Veggie Wagon, Crush & Grind, Hurricane Alley’s and others feature scenes of wildlife, surfing, live music, the boardwalk and more. Use the map of all 10 murals (with several more on the way) to take a self-guided tour for a unique way to explore Carolina Beach - and don’t forget to snap a few cool pictures along the way.
The Carolina Beach Street Arts Festival is a yearly favorite where visitors can enjoy visual, culinary and performing arts by the sea from local and regional artists. Vendors display their fine arts and crafts for viewing and purchase, and live cooking demonstrations as well as demonstrations of creative processes and artist performances throughout the day. There is an interactive art area so the little ones can get in on the fun. This annual tradition at Carolina Beach Lake Park is held each May.
Pack up the family and head to the beloved Carolina Beach Boardwalk to enjoy an evening of live music on the gazebo stage followed by a fireworks display. The Fireworks by the Sea & Boardwalk Blast begins the Friday before Memorial Day and continues every Thursday evening until the final show the Friday before Labor Day. Beginning June 14 and recurring each Tuesday through Sept. 6, Historic Boardwalk Tours are available, with phone reservations recommended. Led by members of the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society, this 50-minute tour will offer a glimpse into what the vintage boardwalk looked like in its heyday.
Dig your toes in the sand as you dance to some of the hottest beach bands in the South during the Carolina Beach Music Festival. One of the longest running beach music festivals in the country, the festival has provided beachfront music entertainment to guests for more than 35 years. This year’s festival will be held June 4 and features headliners Jim Quick and Coastline, The Band of Oz and The North Tower. Whether you come to shag or just sit back and enjoy the tunes, be sure to plan your trip in advance because tickets sell out fast!
Live Tunes and Tasty Bites
Many island restaurants feature a regular lineup of live music from local bands and artists. Lazy Pirate Island Sports Grill hosts local artists, as well as a Summer Sunday Reggae Festivus for lovers of reggae music. Grab a seat at the wraparound bar, the outdoor deck or under the gigantic tiki hut and groove to the music while enjoying great food and activities like darts and checkers.
Local and regional bands are also known to frequent Ocean Grill & Tiki Bar, situated on the remnants of the Center Pier for spectacular ocean views. Sip on a tropical cocktail or cold beer and snack on delicious appetizers like pimento cheese or calamari, all while you enjoy live music. See the restaurant’s website for the schedule of upcoming shows.
SeaWitch Café & Tiki Bar, popular for its views, food and atmosphere, offers live music Tuesday through Sunday with its Outdoor Music Concert series, plus daily food and drink specials to sweeten the pot. Dine, drink, dance and laugh the night away to the beat of live tunes.
Find more live music on the rooftop deck at Hurricane Alley’s. This oceanfront bar and grill, located on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, features new performers every weekend during the summer on its large rooftop deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy fresh seafood and light snacks complimented by beachy beverages, local craft brews and microbrews.
Plan a trip today to experience the arts and culture of Carolina Beach for yourself.