As we’re able to start venturing out, Carolina Beach is a nearby destination that offers the opportunity to relax and enjoy plenty of activities and open spaces that allow you to feel comfortable while maintaining social distancing. Whether your family is in search of a weekend getaway, your group of friends or significant other is planning a trip or you’re contemplating a solo excursion, Carolina Beach is the perfect place to dip your toes back in the water – literally and figuratively.  

It’s easy to get here whether you’re already in-state, or you’re planning a trip from a neighboring state. Thanks to convenient access via numerous interstates, we’re only a quick car ride away for road trippers or anyone looking for an active staycation. Plus, many of our lodging properties have adopted enhanced safety and cleaning protocols. 

Read on for our guide to 48 hours in Carolina Beach. 

Disclaimer: The below businesses are subject to changes in hours and open/closed status as a result of COVID-19. References to dine-in services are based on restaurants operating at limited capacity. Please visit our COVID-19 page for updated information and be sure to confirm individual businesses are open prior to making plans.


Check in to Relaxation

Even if it’s only for a short time, find your home away from home at one of Carolina Beach’s lodging options. 

Both of the island’s full-service hotels are located oceanfront and just steps from the famous Carolina Beach Boardwalk. The Hampton Inn & Suites Carolina Beach Oceanfront has implemented guest safety measures related to health and hygiene, including the Hilton CleanStay. The Courtyard Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront has implemented a number of cleaning and safety solutions as well, all of which are being guided by the Marriott Cleanliness Council. Many of our lodging properties and area businesses have been trained in Count on Me NC, a public health initiative aimed at keeping guests safe amid COVID-19. Find a list and map here of area businesses that have completed industry-specific training. 

If you’re looking for something quieter and more intimate, Beacon House Inn Bed & Breakfast is housed in a vintage 1950’s boarding house. There are also three cozy cottages available for guests traveling with pets or children. 

Families wanting more space and privacy may want to reserve one of Carolina Beach’s vacation rentals, many of which feature amenities like direct beach access, decks with sunrise views, private pools, on-site grills and more. 


Spend the Morning Waterside

Build the perfect breakfast sandwich at the grab-and-go Southerly Biscuit & Pie (currently open on Saturday and Sunday mornings). Then decompress by spending the next few hours on or by the water – it’s better than therapy!


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Afternoon on the Go

Grab lunch and a drink with seating and a view on the outdoor patio or tiki bar at The Ocean Grill & Tiki Bar. Or, pick up a picnic lunch from The Veggie Wagon, then find the perfect spot to enjoy the afternoon. The Veggie Wagon offers fresh fruits, vegetables and other homemade products from some of the best local farms and small-batch producers.


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Al Fresco Dinner and Drinks

End the day the way it started: enjoying the salty beach air:

  • Order takeout or dine al fresco at Carolina Smokehouse (known for its hardwood-smoked brisket, pork, ribs and chicken; currently open Thursday - Tuesday), The Fork N Cork (The Food Network's Guy Fieri fell in love with their Confit Duck Wings and Beef Wellington when he was in town filming Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) or Nollie’s Taco Joint (known for having the “Best Tacos and Burritos at the Beach” and shaded decks) 
  • Or, pick up a seafood pot-on-the-go from Cape Fear Broil Company to prepare a Low Country Boil from the comfort of your vacation rental

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Brunch with a Side of Adventure

Enjoy a lazy brunch at Havana’s or Seawitch Café & Tiki Bar, both of which offer outdoor dining. Then get in a bit of outdoor adventure before heading home:


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If a quick getaway or active staycation – while responsibly social distancing – sound like the perfect therapy, Carolina Beach has you covered.