Holden Beach, North Carolina is an ideal spot for family vacations. This barrier island sits along the Intracoastal Waterway, and is nationally recognized as one of the best family beaches in the country. From boat cruising to ziplining over the gorgeous marshes, this cozy coastal town has a little something for everyone. Moreover, a convenient bridge connects the island to the mainland for those days when you feel like exploring the surrounding cities. Book a stay at a Holden Beach vacation rental today. If you’re gearing up for a holiday and looking for fun activities in close proximity to your accommodation, check out this top nine list of things to do in and around Holden Beach.

1. Fishing at Holden Beach Fishing Pier – Holden Beach, North Carolina

Holden Beach Fishing Pier attracts a lot of visitors, as it’s located within walking distance of many vacation rental homes in the area, and the bridge that connects Holden Beach to North Carolina’s mainland is also nearby. Pack up your fishing gear and beach chairs and head over to the 700-foot pier, where you’re sure to meet fellow travelers and hopefully reel in some speckled trout or flounder. If fishing isn’t high on your list of things to do, you can still take a long walk down the rustic pier and enjoy the sights and sounds for a small fee.

2. Bowling and More at Planet Fun – Holden Beach, North Carolina

For a little recreation and an all-around good time, head over to Planet Fun. Visit on a Friday or Saturday night for some cosmic bowling, or split the family into teams for a round or two of laser tag. Planet Fun also boasts an arcade with over 45 games, a mini-golf course, and a full-service grille with everything from fries and hot dogs for the kids to gourmet sandwiches and wine for the grown-ups.

3. Beach Day at Holden Beach – Holden Beach, North Carolina

A day at the beach is always a fun time, and Holden Beach has everything you need for the perfect family outing. Rent a boat or jet-skis from Holden Beach Watersports and spend some time on the water, or pack up some cold drinks and snacks before you leave your vacation so you can relax on the sandy shoreline with your kids.

4. Visit Fort Apache “Junkyard Museum” – Supply, North Carolina

One of the most interesting attractions in the Holden Beach area is Fort Apache, a “junkyard museum” filled with beautiful oddities. Located just minutes away from the beach in the neighboring town of Supply, Fort Apache is truly one of a kind. Owner Dave Varnam created this visual masterpiece out of scrap metal and other pieces given to his family junkyard, and it is a sight to behold. Check out the classic cars with dolls sitting in the passenger seats, movie and theater production memorabilia, and much more. The motto of this place is “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

Find the perfect Holden Beach vacation rental on Tripping.com. Tripping.com is the world's #1 vacation rental search engine with over 10 million properties!

5. Take a Fishing Charter – Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

For a fun day out on the water, sign up for one of Captain Brant’s Fishing Adventures. From deep sea fishing to gulf stream trolling, Captain Brant offers a wide variety of charters that are both educational and fun for the entire family. When you’re done for the day, you can even have your best catch mounted as a souvenir if you don’t feel like grilling it up back at your vacation rental.

6. Check Out the Art at Mary’s Gone Wild – Supply, North Carolina

Mary’s Gone Wild in Supply is a one-of-a-kind art gallery and doll museum that’s the perfect place for kids and adults of all ages. Brightly colored artwork pops out at every corner, and the outdoor garden is lined with colored glass bottles and truly unique pieces. Mary, the owner, and operator, has a reputation around town as one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Check out the artwork and meet Mary herself, and be sure to bring your camera to capture some unique shots.

7. Visit Shallotte River Swamp Park – Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

If your kids are itching for an adventure, head over to Shallotte River Swamp Park in neighboring Ocean Isle Beach. Sign up for a zip-line tour, or take an eco-tour boat ride and get up close and personal with the local gators, birds, and wildlife. The boat tour also takes passengers past a landmark that may have been used by George Washington in the 1700s, so you even get a little history lesson as you float through the swamp.

8. Take a Scenic Boat Tour – Holden Beach, North Carolina

A scenic boat tour is a great way to bond with your family and take in all the sights and sounds of the Intracoastal Waterway and Carolina Coast. Windy Point Nautical Adventures offers a variety of leisurely cruises that pass by the lighthouses, beaches, marshes, and rivers in the area. Sign up for an early sunrise cruise and do a little dolphin watching, or let the guides customize a special cruise based on the areas you wish to visit.

9. Take a Family Surf Lesson – Holden Beach, North Carolina

Holden Beach is known for its perfect surf waves, so you can’t leave without catching a wave or two. Sign up for a family lesson with Carolina School of Surf, or rent some boards from Salty’s Surf Shop and brave the water on your own. If your kids are hesitant about surfing but still want to catch some waves, you can also take paddle board or boogie board lessons.

Ready to go? Check out these amazing Holden Beach vacation rentals on Tripping.com.