No beach getaway is complete without photos to capture the memories, and in Carolina Beach, you’ll find plenty of Insta-worthy opportunities. From the iconic Carolina Beach Boardwalk and tranquil parks to local art installations, discover the island’s top picturesque spots to share in your next post.
Read on to explore 10 of Carolina Beach’s most Instagrammable spots:
Carolina Beach Boardwalk
Enjoy beach vibes and classic seaside fun at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. One of the few remaining vintage boardwalks in the country, Carolina Beach’s boardwalk has shops, restaurants and more, including a surfing and moon cutout at the end of the walkway perfect for pictures with friends or family, all with beautiful ocean views making for a scenic backdrop. Snap a nostalgic photo at Pop’s Diner, serving diner classics in a 1950s atmosphere, or take in beach views while savoring fresh seafood on the rooftop deck at Hurricane Alley’s during golden hour.
Savor extra-velvety ice cream while taking in colorful scenery at Celtic Creamery. Take your food selfie to the next level with the signature Tummy Trembler, featuring six scoops of ice cream over a split banana surrounded by eight hot doughnuts and topped with fresh whipped cream, cookie pieces, marshmallows, chocolate shavings and hot chocolate sauce with a flaming firework. Kick back in the shop’s multicolored Adirondack chairs that look like ice cream cones for a colorful shot.
Carolina Beach State Park
Experience 761 acres of nature at Carolina Beach State Park, featuring miles of hiking trails and secluded campsites. The park is home to a variety of coastal habitats, including the rare Venus flytrap – one of the world’s most unique carnivorous plants. Wander the half-mile Flytrap Trail to try to spot the plants along the edges of the pocosin wetlands, and see if you can capture a picture of one of the traps in action! Just make sure you’re up for the challenge: The elusive carnivorous plants are smaller than you may think! You can also take the Sugarloaf Trail to Sugarloaf Dune, a prominent precolonial geological feature. With towering trees and scenic views of the Intracoastal Waterway, the park offers plenty of naturally beautiful spots to share.
Carolina Dreamin’ Mural & More
Celebrate local art with the Carolina Beach Mural Project, a new initiative that works with artists to install public murals throughout the island to inspire both residents and visitors. One of the project’s first murals, “Carolina Dreamin’,” was inspired by Carolina Beach’s brilliant sunrises, the native flora and early morning surfers eager to catch a wave. Visit the mural located on the backside of Carolina Beach Arcade at the Boardwalk and pose for a photo! Or, learn about Carolina Beach's history at "Tribute to Carolina Shag" or "Cape Fear's Captain" located at Celtic Creamery. Keep an eye out for new murals each year, offering plenty of new photo-worthy spots to discover each time you visit.
Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar
The Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar, is the perfect spot to watch the waves and capture panoramic beach views. Enjoy casual oceanfront dining on the patio or relax at the Tiki Bar while sipping on a signature cocktail – like the Coconut Monk, Surfer Rosa or Pimm’s Cove – to capture an Insta-worthy happy hour shot perched above the ocean.
The Fat Pelican
Brew enthusiasts will love the gigantic walk-in cooler stocked with more than 350 beers at The Fat Pelican. Snap a photo of your beverage of choice in front of the moose greeting you at the entrance or at the outdoor bar made out of a boat. Enjoy all-day fun with activities like foosball and arcade games along with the private “Pelican Beach” strand out back.
Between the beautiful beach and wide varieties of wildlife, dunes and majestic seagrasses, it’s hard to take a bad photo at Freeman Park. Capture the expansive views while enjoying one of the many activities the park has to offer from swimming and boating to fishing and camping.
Surf School Mural
Get in the surfing spirit as you snap your next picture with the wave mural at Tony Silvagni Surf School. Pretend to hang ten in true Carolina Beach style as you pose in front of the colorful entrance. Learn more about the school’s offerings from surf camps to stand-up paddleboard lessons and more while you’re there.
Carolina Beach Fishing Center and Marina
Find unique photo opportunities at the Carolina Beach Fishing Center and Marina, where pelicans await as boats line up to drop off the day’s fresh catch. Relax as you watch fishing charters, boats and more drift by along the water (hello, Boomerang!). Check out a variety of the island’s tours and water experiences while you’re there.
The Veggie Wagon
Located near Carolina Beach Lake Park, The Veggie Wagon is a locally owned market specializing in fresh fruits, vegetables and house-made food selections. The market offers the best of local farms and small-batch producers, and their colorful selection makes the perfect photo backdrop for any foodie.