Why Carolina Beach is the Perfect Beach Destination for Upstate Families

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Thinking of heading to the beach this summer but not sure which beach to choose? KAG contributor Jennifer and her family checked out Carolina Beach and found it to be the perfect mix of family entertainment and beach fun. Read all about what made this beach town a hit for her family and why your own may want to visit soon!

What makes Carolina Beach special?

My family recently headed up the North Carolina coast and discovered Carolina Beach. Located approximately five hours from the Upstate, Carolina Beach makes the perfect beach destination for summer vacations.

If you are looking for a family-friendly beach, Carolina Beach is an excellent choice. How you choose to take a beach trip is a personal preference. Some families like to go to beaches like Myrtle Beach with tons of entertainment options and crowds, whereas other families prefer the quieter beaches that offer fewer entertainment options.

Carolina Beach fits right in the middle of these categories. It has plenty of things to do with the whole family, such as the Boardwalk amusement park; however, it is not as crowded as other beach destinations. Plus, with tons of vacation rentals, you can choose to stay closer to the Boardwalk where the action happens, or you can stay further away from the crowds.

One of the Few Remaining Boardwalks on the East Coast Is In Carolina Beach, NC

The standout feature of Carolina Beach is the Boardwalk. It is one of the few true boardwalks on the East Coast. And, I don’t mean just a simple pier. This is a true boardwalk with amusement park rides, a Ferris wheel, shops, restaurants, and entertainment. The boardwalk comes alive in the evenings, so be prepared to spend lots of time there, after lounging on the beach each day.

Carolina Beach summertime fun for families

Carolina Beach Has A Family-Friendly Shoreline

Another big plus for Carolina Beach is its family-friendly shoreline. Unlike more isolated beaches, Carolina Beach has several lifeguard stands along its three miles of shoreline. With ever-changing currents and hesitant swimmers, I always feel safer knowing there are lifeguards nearby. Additionally, Carolina Beach is wheelchair accessible. Directly off the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, there are accessible walkways making it accessible to those in wheelchairs or families with an extra set of wheels.

Carolina Beach in North Carolina

Worthwhile Attractions At Carolina Beach

On top of the fun standard beach attractions, such as mini golf, my family absolutely loved visiting the nearby North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Fort Fisher is only ten minutes from Carolina Beach, and a visit to this aquarium is a must! The North Carolina Aquarium has several hands-on exhibits, plenty of marine life to observe, and it even has a fantastic playground!

Carolina Beach playground

But, that’s not all! The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher also has an amazing dinosaur exhibit. The animatronic dinosaurs are placed naturally throughout a shaded walkway making their appearance seem realistic. My kids loved seeing the dinos up close – especially the one dinosaur that sprayed them with water.

Carolina Beach aquarium

Delicious Eats

Of course, we couldn’t spend time exploring Carolina Beach without sampling some of the most popular restaurants. We tried out Hang Ten Grill after hearing about its popularity. After eating there for lunch, we understood why so many people headed in that direction! Hang Ten Grill is a typical beach restaurant with surfboards decorated the walls – and even the ceilings. The menu has plenty of seafood and grilled favorites. I had a shrimp burger and it was delicious! But, it was the kid’s menu that sold it. My son had a hamburger and my daughter had nachos – and each came with an ice cream sundae!

Carolina Beach restaurants

For those families looking for a beach that is a quintessentially beach-y, then head to Carolina Beach. With the lively boardwalk, the beautiful shoreline, pastel-colored beach houses, it screams “Summertime Fun!”

What is your family’s favorite thing to do at Carolina Beach?

Jennifer Curry
About the Author
Jennifer relocated to Spartanburg seven years ago, and now spends her days working from home and taking care of her two kids. She loves this area because we can go from rural areas to urban areas to the mountains within an hour. Her favorite things to do with her kids are using their imaginations and visiting Spartanburg County local libraries. Follow Jennifer at www.litlovingmom.com.

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Hope Mayer
4 years ago

We just stayed in Carolina Beach this past week. I’m from NC, and in my opinion, those are the best beaches. We’ve been going to CB with our family for the 8th yr in a row, and can’t imagine any other beach we’d rather be. Our kids love it there, hands down. We always take the ferry at Fort Fisher over to Southport to have lunch at Provision Company every year. It’s tradition, and it’s just as popular of a place as Britts’ Donuts on the Carolina boardwalk (get in line) but totally worth the wait! I could keep going….I… Read more »