8 Ways to Enjoy Your Trip to Carolina Beach

When traveling to a popular vacation destination, you can easily become overwhelmed by all the activities to choose from. And sometimes you want to experience a particular place you’re visiting like a local. That’s certainly what you have the opportunity to do when you visit the Wilmington area’s coastal town of Carolina Beach, thanks to these eight tips that will have you shedding the tourist label soon after you arrive.

Drop a Line

Drop a Line

The waters surrounding Carolina Beach are home to some of the best offshore and inshore fishing in North Carolina, and it’s a popular pastime for locals. Take advantage of the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier to see if you can reel in a boast-worthy catch. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, embark on a fishing voyage from the Carolina Beach Fishing Center and Marina, where an experienced charter captain will lead you to where the fish are biting.

 

Take a Hike

Take a Hike

Visitors to the area will be surprised to learn Carolina Beach is one of the only places in the world you can find the carnivorous Venus flytrap in its natural habitat. This rare plant can be found at the 761-acre Carolina Beach State Park and starts to bloom in May. The best way to see these unique plants is by way of the park’s guided hikes. For a change of scenery from the beach, explore the 7 miles of hiking trails that are home to a variety of natural ecosystems.

 

Grab a Paddle

Grab a Paddle

Getting active on the water is a way of life at this beach, and what better way to join the locals than to try your hand at one of the world’s fastest growing sports: stand-up paddleboarding. Rent a paddleboard from one of the island’s outfitters and cruise the waterways on a SUP adventure. There’s also the option of kayaking or paddle boating at Carolina Beach Lake Park – the closest freshwater lake to salt water – to get a whole new perspective.

 

Visit an Eclectic Watering Hole

Visit an Eclectic Watering Hole

Make sure to check out the one-of-a-kind bar where the locals spend time – The Fat Pelican. One of the first things that strikes you after entering The Fat P is the large walk-in beer cooler. Offering more than 350 beers, the staff invites customers to select their favorite 6-pack and enjoy their time with friends at a cozy table or a picnic table out back.

 

Find Your Groove

Find Your Groove

Men’s Journal recently called it one of “the best hidden beach bars in North America,” and locals and visitors will agree that the Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar does not disappoint. Some come for the drinks and fresh coastal cuisine; others come for the dancing and live music, but everyone comes for the oceanside pier. It’s a must-visit locale whenever you’re in town.

 

Eat Local

Eat Local

Jump on the local bandwagon and check out The Veggie Wagon. This family-owned produce company is a go-to-stop for residents to stock up on North Carolina-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have a kitchen at your hotel or rental house, this is the perfect place to grab ingredients to make the perfect family beach meal.

 

Hit the Beach

Hit the Beach

Of course, no trip to the coast would be complete without a stop by the beach. Most locals walk or bike to the sands. If you must drive, try to carpool and park at a public beach access. With 20 lifeguard stands, Carolina Beach is a great spot to go with kids. Many of the beach access locations are suitable for strollers and offer concessions and public restrooms with showers.

 

Take a Spin

Take a Spin

One fun way to get around this beach town is by bike. Check out the newly renovated Carolina Beach Boardwalk, where you can grab a famous Britt’s Donut and check out the seaside amusement rides during summer months. Or bike to a local restaurant and grab lunch or a sweet treat. It’s a great way to avoid traffic during the high season, and you can even bike to nearby Kure Beach to explore another part of the island, which is home to two of the state’s signature attractions: the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and Fort Fisher State Historic Site.

 

This article was produced in partnership with Wilmington and Beaches CVB.

Updated April 25, 2018
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