Stay Active on Land and Sea

With watersports galore from surfing and paddleboarding to kayaking and wave running, water-based adventure can be found around every corner at Carolina Beach. Learn how to catch a wave from certified surf instructors. Grab a paddle and experience one of the fastest-growing sports in the world with a stand-up paddleboard lesson, or get a view of Carolina Beach from the water as you kayak through the island's beautiful waterways. With even more ways to stay active year-round on dry land, including hiking trails and beach workouts, there's no shortage of original outdoor fun to be had at Carolina Beach.

Read on or view the full list of active attractions and island outfitters.

Choose your Adventure

With a variety of rental options on the island, visitors can choose their favorite activity for a fun day on the water. Offering kayak, surfboard and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals, Pleasure Island Rentals caters to your watersports whims. Pick up your rental from the shop located near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, or choose delivery right to your vacation cottage or favorite spot on the beach. Paddle NC offers kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals from the marina at Carolina Beach State Park.

Set off on two wheels for a self-guided history bicycle tour of the island. Easily navigate Carolina Beach and nearby Kure Beach and Fort Fisher at a slower pace along easygoing roadways and paths. Learn about the history of the island and see points of interest along your tour. Download or print a tour map here. Bike rentals are available from Pleasure Island Rentals.

Conquer The Waves

Head to "school" on your next vacation – surf school that is – where you'll learn to paddle out, pop up and perfect your surfing stance to catch the next wave. Children and adults alike love to learn tips and tricks from Odysea Surf School's private or group classes. Take a lesson from a pro at Tony Silvagni Surf School, where you may even be instructed by professional surfer and Olympic Gold Medalist Tony himself. Both surf schools also offer stand-up paddleboard (SUP) classes as well. 

Dive Deep

Explore marine life under the sea with a SCUBA diving excursion. Let Carolina Diving Adventures tailor a diving trip based on your interests and skill level. Explore one of the many historic shipwrecks just offshore with Carolina Beach Scuba. Or book a private charter with Second Sport Charters, which specializes in fishing charters but also offers private dive trips upon request.

Get Fit on Dry Land

Start your day with a bike ride or jog through scenic wooded and waterside areas on the 1.2-mile Island Greenway, a paved path that takes pedestrians and bikers safely through town. For hikers or trail runners, Carolina Beach State Park has nearly nine miles of trails that traverse a variety of distinct habitats, plant and animal life. Trails range from the .35-mile Flytrap Trail to the three-mile Sugarloaf Trail. A trail map is available at the park’s Visitor Center or marina. Carolina Beach also hosts 5Ks throughout the year including the Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s Day Lo Tide Run in March and the Good Hops Brewing Trail Beer Run in June.

Try your luck at disc golf at Good Hops, Carolina Beach’s family-owned and operated small-batch brewery. A round on the 18-hole course located behind the brewery is sure to make one of Good Hops’ beers even tastier. The brewery even offers live music and “Glow in the Dark” night disc golf.

Stay Well

Find your Zen during Rise and Shine beach yoga classes with Salty Dog Yoga & Surf. This energizing vinyasa class is for all levels. Participants will spend extra time warming up and then flow through a series of asanas, followed by a period of counterposes and a restful savasana. Classes take place Monday through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and meet at the Tennessee Avenue beach access. Make sure to bring a towel instead of a yoga mat!

Stop by Island Wellness Market for a selection of high-quality essential supplements, natural skincare and beauty items, essential oils, locally made gifts and apparel, non-GMO foods, gluten-free and vegan products and more. This locally owned healthy lifestyle boutique even has brewed kombucha on tap!

Feel the rush of adrenaline

Cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway or jump waves while exploring the island's coastal shoreline on a wave runner from Carolina Beach Jet Ski Rentals or Wilmington Jet Ski Rentals. Strap on your life vest and book a jet ski rental by the hour or half-day. Water temperatures stay warm well into fall, extending the rush beyond spring and summer.