Carolina Beach, NC Boardwalk
Welcome to the Boardwalk
Experience the colorful sights and sounds of classic family fun along the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, featured as one of America's Most Awesome Boardwalks by Budget Travel. There are just a few remaining vintage boardwalks in the country, but there is only one Carolina Beach Boardwalk – and this unforgettable attraction belongs at the top of your vacation bucket list.
All summer long, the Carolina Beach Boardwalk offers street food, carnival games and amusement rides like a colorful carousel and high-flying Ferris wheel. Play old-school games and compete for prizes at the Carolina Beach Arcade, just a block off the ocean.
Music, Fireworks and Festivals
Immerse yourself in Carolina Beach’s truly original festivals and annual events along the Boardwalk. Held weekly throughout the summer, Fireworks by the Sea and Boardwalk Blast is a free celebration with live music kicking off at 6:30 p.m. and seaside fireworks launching at 9 p.m.. The annual Carolina Beach Music Festival has attracted beach music bands and fans for more than 30 years and continues to be North Carolina’s only music festival held right on the beach. Every May, the Island Arts Festival showcases an array of creative performances, demonstrations and vendors. The Boardwalk festivities continue year-round with events like Santa by the Sea and the Island of Lights Festival. Check our calendar for a full schedule of upcoming events.
Beach Bites and Shops
Visit Uncle Vinny's Pizzeria & Ristorante for hand-tossed pies to share with your Boardwalk crew. Savor oceanfront views and authentic North Carolina barbecue at Carolina Smokehouse. Play your favorite jukebox tunes and dig into classic burgers and hot dogs at the 1950s-themed Pop's Diner. Just off the Boardwalk, dine on fresh seafood at Shuckin' Shack and weekend brunch specials at Malama Cafe.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with old-fashioned fudge from Fudgeboat or a fresh-from-the-fryer glazed delight from Britt’s Donuts, a seasonal Boardwalk favorite since 1939. Cool down with frozen treats from Island Ice Factory and Latella Gelato. Additional ice cream shops are just a short walk from the Boardwalk, where you’ll find Celtic Creamery, serving authentic Irish ice cream, and Squigley's Ice Cream & Treats, scooping more than 4,000 ice cream flavor and topping combinations.
Visit Seaside Shenanigans Gift Boutique for souvenirs to commemorate your trip and CB Surf Shop for beach gear and Carolina Beach-themed apparel. Convenient access to the sandy shore makes it easy to combine Boardwalk browsing and beach fun in the sun.
Bars, Drinks and Nightlife
Enjoy cold drinks, live music and ocean breezes from the deck at Hurricane Alley's overlooking the Boardwalk. Grab a beer in the down-to-earth atmosphere of Buzz’s Roost or the Fat Pelican, featuring more than 350 beers and known as one of the “Diviest Dive Bars in America.” As the sun goes down, unwind at SeaWitch Cafe & Tiki Bar, offering drink specials and live music nearly every night of the week in the summer. Crush & Grind is a café-based wine and bottle shop with a covered balcony where visitors can sip locally-crafted brews.
Use the Boardwalk as your launching pad for outdoor adventures. Ride the waves with lessons from Odysea Surf School or Tony Silvagni Surf School, led by an Olympic gold medalist. Surfboards and other equipment can be rented from local surf shops near the Boardwalk. Reserve bikes for the whole family from Pleasure Island Rentals and explore the town on two wheels. Bike along the path encircling nearby Carolina Beach Lake Park, located just two blocks from the ocean. Those seeking a longer ride can take a full self-guided bike tour, which begins at the Boardwalk and connects landmark sites in Carolina Beach and nearby Kure Beach and Fort Fisher.
Lifeguard stands are located on the beach near the Boardwalk. Lifeguards are on duty every day from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Find more information on lifeguard stand locations and public beach access points here. Public restrooms, outdoor showers and foot-rinse stations are available for visitors, and ATMs are located throughout the Boardwalk area.
Stay right along the Boardwalk with oceanfront accommodations at the Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront, featuring waterfront lodging with private balconies, a resort-style outdoor pool and an indoor pool. The Hampton Inn & Suites Carolina Beach Oceanfront offers breathtaking room views, an oceanfront pool and its Leaping Lizards Tiki Bar. A variety of other accommodations, including vacation rentals, are just a short drive or bike ride from the Boardwalk.
The Boardwalk is open year-round, and attractions, amenities and events are seasonal. Please check individual listings for more information on times and dates.