Before I get into the best Carolina Beach Oceanfront Hotels, I’m going to give you all the information you will need for your stay at Carolina Beach, NC. Of course one of the best attractions of Carolina Beach is the beach, and visitors will find plenty of ways to access and enjoy this sunny stretch of Cape Fear shoreline.
Carolina Beach is known for it’s wide coastline, shallow ocean bottom with gentle waves, and abundant activities including surfing, shelling, and fishing. Carolina Beach is a playground for visitors of all ages who can’t get enough of the sand, salt and sun.
Experience a vibrant nightlife that’s as intriguing as it is entertaining. Explore this colorful island hot spot known for its legendary walk-in beer cooler or an oceanfront tiki bar featuring performances by local favorites. Groove to the tunes at the Carolina Beach Music Festival, North Carolina’s largest and only music festival held on the beach. Visit here for the best North Carolina Beaches.
Carolina Beach Weather – When to Visit
Late spring is the best time to visit Carolina Beach. During this time there will be fewer crowds and lower prices than peak season. Plus, you can still enjoy the summer-like weather with temperatures mid to lower 80s. Fall is nice as well, but fall is also hurricane season. Summer is peak season (temperatures in the upper 80s), but if you plan your trip for then, you can take part in many activities, such as the summer concert series on the boardwalk, outdoor movie nights at Carolina Beach Lake Park, and weekly fireworks on the beach.
Ways to Enjoy Carolina Beach
The Beach at Carolina Beach
From surfing lessons with an Olympic Gold Medalist, biking through town with the whole family along the Island Greenway, hiking or bird watching in Carolina Beach State Park, and casting a line off the fishing pier or charter excursion to reel in a great catch, Carolina Beach is a classic beach destinations with plenty of outdoor fun. Rent a jet ski, kayak, paddle board or bicycle from one of the many outfitters at Carolina Beach.
Carolina Beach Boardwalk
A stroll on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk features classic seaside family fun with shops, restaurants and nightlife entertainment. One of the last remaining beach boardwalks on the East Coast, you can get your fill of famous homemade donuts, ice cream, and fudge, play in the arcade, see the ocean from the Ferris wheel, or dance the night away to live music.
Carolina Beach State Park
This 761 acre park includes a Visitor’s Center and marina/fuel dock accessing some of North Carolina’s best fishing spots. The Marina features an accessible fishing deck. Explore 8.5 miles of hiking along 9 trails (2 trails are wheelchair accessible), 1 mile of biking, and secluded campsites beneath towering trees with the option of tent adventures or cabins sleeping up to six people.
Freeman Park Recreation Center
At the north end of Carolina Beach, visitors have long enjoyed Freeman Park. Whether coming to the area to fish, swim, go boating, crabbing or casting for minnows, everyone loves Freeman Park. Overnight camping and 4-wheel drive access is allowed with proper permits.
Best Carolina Beach Restaurants
Cape Fear Boil Company $11 – 30
Dining out at the beach can be a daunting task. Leaving the beach early, hour long waits for tables, expensive drinks, and mediocre food are just the start! Let Cape Fear Boil Co. solve your dining dilemma with their unique approach! Choose either their at-home catering or one of their steam pots to-go. Maximize your beach time and enjoy a meal and experience you won’t soon forget! Telephone: 910-707-3034 Web: Cape Fear Boil Company
Ida Thai Cuisine $11 – 30
Ida Thai Cuisine is a refreshing little restaurant that’s found just inland of the Carolina Beach shoreline, and which is renowned for a heavy collection of authentic Thai dishes. Located in a vibrant green restaurant, and therefore hard to miss, Ida Thai Cuisine is a fine destination for an easy lunch or dinner, or for a take-out feast to enjoy at the beach vacation rental. Telephone: 910-458-8136 Web: Ida Thai Cuisine
Kate’s Pancake House $11 – 30
Choose from a generous selection of pancakes, waffles, french toast, eggs, omelettes, benedicts, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and more. Not a fan of breakfast? Not a problem- they have lunch choices too! Telephone: 910-458-3663 Web: Kate’s Pancake House
Shuckin Shack $11 – 30
Seafood lovers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty will want to take a stroll to the Shuckin’ Shack. The menu is loaded with appetizers, samplers, sandwiches, baskets, salads, platters and more, ensuring all seafood fans can enjoy their favorite dishes in any style they choose. Telephone: 910-833-8622 Web: Shuckin Shack
Gulf Stream Restaurant $11 – 30
The Gulf Stream Restaurant is a casual little restaurant in the heart of Carolina Beach. Featuring a classic exterior and a wealth of classic back-to-basic eats, this family-friendly restaurant has just enough crowd-pleasing breakfast, lunch and dinner fare to leave everyone in the party satisfied. Telephone: 910-458-8774 Web: Gulf Stream Restaurant
Best Carolina Beach Tours & Activities
Best Carolina Beach Nightlife
The Fat Pelican
It’s one of the most unique bars, offering a gigantic walk-in cooler stocked with over 350 beers. Not a beer drinker? There’s also a nice wine selection, as well as non-alcoholic beverages if you’re the designated driver. With free popcorn, foosball, arcade games, and great company, there is great fun for everyone! Telephone: 910-458-4061 Web: The Fat Pelican
The Last Resort Beach Bar
The Last Resort is a place where you can enjoy live entertainment, sit outside on the sun deck, meet some nice people and relax in a comfortable outdoor setting. Located right in the middle of all the action of Carolina Beach, kick back, have a few drinks and relax. Live music seven days a week. Telephone: 910-458-1128 Web: The Last Resort Beach Bar
Buzz’s Roost At The Beach
Enjoy pub and low country food favorites in a family-friendly environment. Get the full Carolina Beach Boardwalk experience with signature specialties like steaks, grouper and Fish Tacos. The full bar also offers signature cocktails like the Rum Punch in a Souvenir Glass. Telephone: 910-599-5593 Web: Buzz’s Roost At The Beach
The Ocean Grill & Tiki Bar
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Ocean Grill is a rare combination of ideal location, fresh coastal cuisine, and casual beachfront bar scene. Have a drink at the bar or enjoy the sea breeze from the patio dining area. Telephone: 910-458-2000 Web: The Ocean Grill & Tiki Bar
Good Hops Brewing
A family-owned and operated small-batch brewery that is dog and family friendly, Good Hops offers samples, flights, pours and beer to go as well as non-alcoholic drinks and individual pizzas and chips. Telephone: 910-713-1594 Web: Good Hops Brewing