Holden Beach is a quiet little hamlet along the Intracoastal Waterway, halfway between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. With pristine beaches and unspoiled natural areas—the island is both a family-friendly destination and a naturalist’s dream. You won’t find high rises and neon lights here—in fact, a city ordinance requires that no building exceed 35 feet. What will find is a long stretch of sand and surf and an escape from the frazzled world of everyday life.
Year after year, Holden North Carolina appears at the top of the list for favorite family beaches. When the weather is warm, moms, dads, kids, and others gather along the shore to enjoy a day in the sun. Air and water temperatures can run at least ten degrees higher than they do at the Outer Banks. In fact, the weather is rather pleasant here most of the year, especially in the summer.
Unlike many North Carolina beaches, lifeguards are not on duty at Holden Beach. Several public access points are located along the shore, readily marked by signs. After you’ve parked your car and made your way to the white sand, you can choose your favorite activity. Many visitors will look towards the more relaxing side of things, pulling up a beach chair and settling in with a good book. Others, especially younger visitors, go right to sandcastle building. Cars are allowed on the beach, unlike neighboring Bald Head Island. Neither of these places allow campers or RV access.
Even though it’s primed for relaxation, Holden Beach is never boring. If you’re looking for some more fun than just lounging in sun, you’ll find an array of activities that will allow for some fun in the sun. Boating and bicycling especially popular here, as is windsurfing and kayaking. Anglers also head to Holden North Carolina in large numbers lured by the chance to reel in grouper, tuna, and other large fish. Some anglers spend their time at the town’s wooden fishing pier, while others charter an excursion for a half day or a full day. Nearby Kure Beach also has a fantastic fishing pier.
Cruises typically depart from the full-service marina in Holden Beach. Here, you can find everything you need for time on the water—as simple as fishing tackle and soft drinks, or as major as boat repairs and parts.
Whether you’re on the water or back on the shore of these North Carolina beaches, you can keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. It’s not uncommon to see dolphins splashing in the surf. In the summertime, sea turtles come ashore to nest and check out what’s going on. If you go for a stroll at night and bring a flashlight, you may even see ghost crabs scampering along the sand.
When you’re ready to wind down after time at the beach or on the water, you can enjoy the rest of your day without returning to the mainland. Vacation rentals, including beach houses and condos, are easy to find around the island. There’s also a motel with seventeen clean, comfortable rooms less than a mile from the bridge. You’ll also find an array of restaurants nearby, perfect for grabbing breakfast before heading out to explore or a nice meal after you’ve had your fun in the sun.