Although its laid-back, free-spirited atmosphere is here to stay, Carolina Beach has expanded its offerings to visitors to explore this year. Say hello to 2022 and welcome new eats, drinks, activities and more to our colorful beach town.
Ways to Get on the Water
Salty Ventures was recently opened by Carolina Beach residents Tom and Lisa Dosier, who have both spent a lifetime on the water and have a passion for sharing the boating lifestyle with others. Soak in a full day on the water, a half-day getaway, a two-hour private or sunset cruise or any number of other options.
Join Island Cruises on its Caribbean-style double-decker catamaran, now docked at the Carolina Beach Marina. Operated seasonally, "Island Explorer” is available for family-friendly narrated sunset cruises as well as festive moonlit cruises later in the night complete with dance music and strobe lights on the covered lower deck. Island Cruises also offers private charters for up to 106 guests.
New Beach Bites
Carolina Beach’s newest family-friendly restaurant, Butts-n-Such, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The home-cooked barbecue joint is sure to hit the spot, or you can try out other options including seafood, burgers and hot dogs. Order at the walk-up window and enjoy your meal at the outdoor picnic tables, or grab a family-style meal to take back to your vacation rental.
From two friends’ shared interest in spirits comes Carolina Beach’s first distillery. Four Hounds, a name inspired by the owners’ four dogs, focuses primarily on producing rums. Their business model differs slightly from most rum makers, incorporating an aroma basket with organic tropical fruits, figs and locally roasted coffee beans. The distillery’s three rums – one aged in French oak barrels, another also aged in a French oak before being infused with vanilla and port wine and the third double distilled – are all available for sale. Get yourself a bottle at the production facility, currently open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., or at select ABC stores.
Need another reason to check out SeaWitch Café & Tiki Bar? This popular spot was named one of the “Beach Bars We Love” in Southern Living’s July 2021 issue. Enjoy live music all year long, indoor and outdoor dining, a full bar, drink specials and plenty of good times!
For a unique way to experience the history of the island, give Tasting History Tours a try. If you’ve already experienced the Signature Tour, consider making History in a Glass your next adventure. Participants ages 21 and up will sample a variety of adult beverages from different spots around the island, including beer, wine and distilled spirits, all while enjoying a shot of history.
At Federal Point History Center, discover the island’s rich history during the prehistoric, colonial, Civil War and WWII eras. Returning in 2022, the Historic Carolina Beach Boardwalk Tour will be available every Tuesday at 10 a.m. from June 14 through Sept. 6.
Carolina Beach is blooming with art reflecting its free-spirited vibe and rich history. As a part of the Carolina Beach Mural Project, eight murals have been painted on different walls and buildings over the course of the past year. Each mural was designed and painted by a different artist with his or her own story and artistic style. No two murals are the same, so you’ll want to see them all. A ninth mural is slated to be completed this spring on the exterior of the building that once housed the town’s Bingo Hall and a roller-skating rink. Take a self-guided tour of Carolina Beach’s mural scene with this map.
Located in Carolina Beach State Park, Sugarloaf Trail was recognized as one of the “Best Running Trails with Scenic Views in America” by Men’s Journal. Take the trail through a variety of terrains on your way to Sugarloaf Dune. You’ll be rewarded with views of the Cape Fear River from atop the 50-foot sand dune, where more than 5,000 troops once camped during the Civil War.
With all the new adventures and openings, a trip to Carolina Beach this year promises a fresh and exciting experience whether you’re a first timer or repeat visitor.