Carolina Beach is a town of around 2.5 square miles in New Hanover County, North Carolina. It’s a small town with a big heart, and is all about the family-friendly beach experience of days past. Carolina Beach is known for its vintage boardwalk, live entertainment and beautiful beaches, but there’s also something to be said for its friendly locale and vibrant atmosphere.
You can’t miss the Carolina Beach Boardwalk if you’re in town. If the smell of fried treats isn’t enough to entice you, then the classic amusement rides or weekly Boardwalk Blast series including fireworks might! The Carolina Beach State Park is also all about family bonding time with a campground, fishing marina and trails to explore. Fort Fisher offers an educational experience, with the remains of a Civil War fort and relevant exhibits to tell visitors of the historic war. There are also countless activities and events held across town, such as the Free Movies at the Lake series, with different movies featured every Sunday night throughout the summer at Carolina Beach Lake Park. For families with kids, there are Summer Programs at Kure Beach and the Kids Music Fest. And we can’t forget the Carolina Beach Farmers Market, Free Summer Concert Series at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area, Cape Fear Festival of Trees or the numerous lessons and opportunities for paddle boarding, kitesurfing, or diving!
Carolina Beach is usually the perfect destination for a day trip, but there are plenty of places to go from here as well. If you want to stay near the coast, Wrightsville Beach is just 18 miles north of Carolina Beach. It gives off a more “polished” or upscale vibe, but that may be due to Wrightsville’s proximity to Wilmington. Wilmington is a large port city with a historic downtown area that’s also well worthy of a day trip. Here you’ll find a scenic Riverwalk lined with boutiques and cafes, a real U.S. Battleship and so many points of interest you’ll want to come back for more. Bald Head Island, less than a 2-hour drive south from Carolina Beach, is also great for a day trip. From the ferry ride to the quaint village, Bald Head Island will provide a charming but minimalist experience. Myrtle Beach is also about a 2-hour drive from Carolina Beach. You can check out South Carolina’s beach vibes while exploring the epicenter of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile string of beaches along South Carolina’s coast.
The Boardwalk area has an array of contemporary lodgings that vary in terms of affordability and amenities. There’s an impressive selection of 2 and 3-star hotels, as well as nondescript budget inns and motels. There are refurbished 1950’s-era cottages and motels that can be found throughout town, as well as vacation beach homes that can be rented for extended periods. Heading inland will definitely give you a more residential feel. Most commercial accommodations can be found along Carolina Beach Avenue or Lake Park Boulevard.
Driving may prove to be the most convenient in Carolina Beach. However, there are other ways to get around. Carolina beach is 14 miles from Wilmington, where Amtrak services have routes through North Carolina and beyond. There are rental car, taxi, and limousine services available in Carolina Beach as well. Certain routes on Wave Transit, a public transportation system that serves Wilmington, also reach Carolina Beach. More information on fares, routes and times can be found at wavetransit.com.
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