Named one of Southern Living’s Best Beach Towns in North Carolina, Carolina Beach is a must-visit getaway for the whole family in 2021. From public art displays to new culinary finds to upgraded campgrounds, first-time and repeat visitors will find plenty to discover.
Art for All
The newly launched Carolina Beach Mural Project celebrates the area’s diversity and eclectic history with murals that depict life in Carolina Beach. The organization works with local artists to install public murals throughout the island with a goal of inspiring residents and visitors alike.
The first two murals, “Carolina Dreamin’” and “Surf & See,” have already been installed in their permanent locations at Crush & Grind and The Veggie Wagon, respectively. A third mural, “Welcome to Carolina Beach,” inspired by a vintage postcard of Carolina Beach, is located in front of Town Hall. The initiative aims to install multiple murals each year, offering visitors new works to discover each time they visit.
Bites & Brews
Foodies will find no shortage of delicious eats in Carolina Beach, ranked ninth on Taste of Home’s “Best East Coast Road Trip Destinations for Foodies,” along with all styles of sips from the island’s only craft brewery.
Carolina Beach favorite Surf House has rebranded and reopened as Coast, focusing on casual dining based around modern Calabash seafood and craft cocktails. Coast aims to bring back quality Calabash seafood in a beach-chic atmosphere alongside an evolving specialty cocktail list.
For visitors looking to try something brand new, recently opened restaurants include The Spot Bar & Kitchen, offering a mixture of traditional scratch-made American fare alongside fresh, innovative daily specials. Enjoy one of the signature dishes like Hatteras Clam Chowder or the Bison Burger or try one of the ever-changing chef specials. Or, visit Malama Café to nourish your body with healthy breakfast and lunch options like the Malama Smash toast with avocado, tomatoes and edamame, or the Tropical Greens matcha smoothie, perfect to kick start your day or refuel after an adventure.
Take a stroll along the Carolina Beach Boardwalk to try new year-round options like Cross-Eyed Crab Bar & Grill, where you can choose from a varied selection of American dishes like burgers or the Cross-Eyed Cobb Salad, as well as seafood favorites like steam pots and the Cross-Eyed Crab Rolls. At Fentoni’s Pizzeria, enjoy New York-style hand-tossed pizza by the slice or the whole pie while taking in beach views. Opt for classics like the Meat Lovers or White Pizzas, or choose the Cauliflower Crust Pizza for a gluten-free option.
Sample small-batch brews in a family-friendly environment at Good Hops Brewing, included in Craftbeer.com’s roundup of “Beercation Destinations Where You Can Soak Up Vacation Vibes at Beach Town Craft Breweries.” Savor evenings by the fire in the outdoor Beer Garden, satisfy your competitive side with games in the Taproom, or try your hand at a round of disc golf at the brewery’s very own disc golf course.
Get active and spend time outdoors at Carolina Beach State Park, featuring some of North Carolina’s best fishing spots, miles of hiking trails and secluded campsites. The campgrounds recently received upgrades as part of the ConnectNC State Parks bond project. Renovations, including two new camper cabins, are slated to be complete by summer.
Find things to do and something new for the whole family to enjoy this year in Carolina Beach.