Budget Travel ranked the Carolina Beach Boardwalk among America's Most Awesome Boardwalks. The website considered Carolina Beach's mild breezes, gorgeous beach and sweet hospitality in the selection criteria.
The Carolina Beach Boardwalk offers something for everyone, with beach equipment rentals, restaurants, shopping and seasonal live entertainment. Whether simply to indulge in people-watching or to partake in family-friendly festivities, visitors to the popular boardwalk find that it supports Carolina Beach’s colorful personality. Weekly fireworks take place on Thursday evenings Memorial Day through Labor Day and weekly Boardwalk History Tours also take place during the summer season.
Carolina Beach State Park is one of the few places in the world where the Venus flytrap can be seen in its native environment. This carnivorous plant can be viewed year-round, but only blooms for a few days in the spring.
Carolina Beach is home to the one and only Britt's Donuts, one of the town’s icons. A family-owned business that has been in Carolina Beach since 1939, it is a favorite of repeat visitors and is known for its mouthwatering warm doughnuts.
At Squigley’s Ice Cream & Treats, visitors can create more than 4,050 varieties of homemade ice cream treats with a variety of toppings and flavors. For those who like to eat sweets and shop, Squigley’s Gift Gallery and Shade Shack, located above the ice cream shop, offers clothes, nautical décor and more for a special gift. Spend time walking around Carolina Beach and chances are, you will find someone wearing an “I’ve Been Squiggled” sticker after visiting this special shop.
Freeman Park, located in Carolina Beach, is among a handful of oceanfront properties in the Carolinas that allows four-wheelers to ride on the sandy beaches (season, weekend and daily passes are available through the Town of Carolina Beach and other locations). Outdoor enthusiasts have been fishing, swimming, boating, crabbing and casting for minnows at this popular place for generations.
For visitors seeking nightlife options, stopping by the Fat Pelican – complete with a walk-in beverage cooler and giant octopus on the roof – is a must. Check out the assortment of decorations, including the dinghy renovated into an outdoor bar.
Carolina Beach visitors can travel by party boat or surrey bike. The party boats can seat up to 400 people. The surrey-topped cycles move under pedal-power within the town limits of Carolina Beach & Kure Beach.
Carolina Beach was established in 1857 when Joseph Winner planned the streets and lots for the 50 acres of beach property he had purchased. Winner originally called the town “St. Joseph’s,” but the name was changed to Carolina Beach when the town incorporated in 1925.
In 1866 the steamship “Wilmington” began carrying vacationers down the Cape Fear River to Snow's Cut, and a small steam-powered railroad took them the rest of the way into Carolina Beach.
Held the first Saturday in June, the Carolina Beach Music Festival hosted by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce is billed as "the biggest and only beach music festival actually held on the beach on the North Carolina coast" and one of the longest running beach music festivals in the United States.
In 1962, a high-rise bridge was built over Snow’s Cut connecting the island with the mainland.
Carolina Beach is home of the legendary Chicken Hicks who is credited with the development and popularization of the Shag dance. His enthusiasm for the dance helped make Carolina Beach renown during the shag evolution in the 1940s.
Carolina Beach is rich in World War II heritage. It supported honky-tonks and an amusement park that catered primarily to enlisted service personnel. Fort Fisher soldiers happily paid a quarter a piece to throw baseballs at hinged boards painted with the heads of enemy leaders. Arcade owner Carl Winner sometimes grossed $1,000 per day. The Carolina Beach Drug Store (currently Laney Real Estate office) was constructed in 1941 where wartime shoppers used their ration coupons.
Carolina Beach is home to Olympic gold medalist Tony Silvagni Surf School, where visitors are taught to hang ten by Tony and his team of certified instructors. In addition to his Olympic success, Tony and his Team USA teammates won gold at the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship in Hainan, China, in January.
For more background information, contact Connie Nelson 1-866-266-9690, ext. 120