There's no better time for a quick getaway than now, and Carolina Beach is the perfect destination! An autumn trip to Carolina Beach offers all of the fun of a beach vacation without the steep price tag. The island provides a wide array of free and affordable activities still enjoyable well into the fall months, perfect for a stress-free weekend road trip or short escape. 

Read on for our guide to a fun and affordable quickie trip to Carolina Beach.

Right at Home 

Find a variety of lodging options suited to any size group and budget in Carolina Beach, perfect for whatever kind of stay you desire. Enjoy a hometown feeling with a vacation rental, ideal for an affordable escape for the whole family. Stay in a refurbished 1950s beach cottage just steps from the sea or a spacious home equipped with a private oceanfront deck to help you relax and unwind.


Now is the perfect time to book a stay at one of our hotels or motels, with off-season rates and a wide range of activities still available to enjoy. To nab the best deals, be sure to check out lodging partner websites directly, and choose a weeknight (Sunday to Thursday) stay for added savings. Reserve a one or two-bedroom suite at Atlantic Towers, located right on the beach with an oceanfront sundeck, or let the whole family (including furry friends!) make themselves at home at Drifter’s Reef Motel near the boardwalk. Be close to the beach and nearby attractions like Carolina Beach State Park and Carolina Beach Lake Park with a comfortable, affordable room at Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham.  

Savor the Day 

When in Carolina Beach, there’s plenty of delicious flavors for everyone to try! Begin your day with a takeout breakfast from The Southerly Biscuit & Pie, where you can build your perfect biscuit sandwich or other made-to-order options, or grab a fresh bagel to-go from Mr. Bagel Meister. Stop by The Spot Bar & Kitchen in the heart of Carolina Beach for a casual brunch or lunch on the covered dog-friendly patio, where you can nosh on traditional fare and daily specials created from fresh, local ingredients. 


Overlooking Carolina Beach Lake Park, Hang Ten Grill is the perfect spot for a quick and easy lunch or light bite with a menu of pub favorites like nachos, wings and burgers. Or, stroll along the Carolina Beach Boardwalk to pick up a slice or whole pizza from Fentoni’s Pizzeria, perfect to bring to the beach or your vacation rental to enjoy! 

Take a seafood pot to-go back to the vacation rental that will feed the whole family from Cape Fear Boil Company. Or, find dishes for the whole family at Gulfstream Restaurant, centrally located near the Carolina Beach Marina. Dine alfresco with a wide range of daily specials, or call ahead to place a take-out order. Bring your day to a close with a sweet treat from Island Ice Factory, offering a wide range of homemade ice creams, Italian ices, gelatos and other goodies like personal pies and cupcakes.  


Adventure by Sea or Land 

Explore the waters surrounding Carolina Beach by catching a wave or dropping a line. Find a large inventory of beach gear and accessories at Pleasure Island Rentals, where you can rent kayaks, surfboards and stand-up paddleboards, along with any other beach essentials you might need. New to watersports? No worries! Take a kayak or stand-up paddleboard lesson with Paddle NC and venture on a guided tour of Carolina Beach State Park. Or, if you’re looking for a more relaxing beach activity, take an energizing Rise and Shine beach yoga class with Salty Dog Yoga & Surf


Spend an afternoon at Carolina Beach State Park, where you’ll find 761 acres of natural coastal beauty to explore. Fishing enthusiasts will be eager to find some of North Carolina’s best fishing spots, and hikers will enjoy the trails found around the park. Set out on Sugarloaf Trail to wander through coastal habitats to Sugarloaf Dune, a 50-foot sand dune where nearly 5,000 soldiers camped during the Civil War. You can even bring your four-legged family members (on a leash, of course) along for the fun!  

Look no further than Carolina Beach for your next quickie trip! With a variety of affordable and fun activities, restaurants and more, you’ll be sure to find your ideal escape.

Make Carolina Beach your go-to getaway place with more fun fall trip ideas.