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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Carolina Beach - Where to Eat and What to Do

Yesterday I shared all about Wilmington, NC and it's surrounding beaches (read the post here) and today I'm going to share where we ate and what we did at the beaches!!  The good stuff!!

I know a lot of people go to the beach to relax and soak up the sun, but there's so much to do (and eat) in and around Carolina Beach that you won't want to miss while there. 

Let's start with the food!


We started each morning with a yummy and filling breakfast in our hotel, the Courtyard Carolina Beach Oceanfront Hotel.  They offer a breakfast buffet and also have a Bistro (that serves Starbucks Coffee).  The Bistro has a simple breakfast menu, but it was delicious!!  I actually ate the oatmeal each morning because it was so good :) Bananas, walnuts and maple syrup!!

Another great breakfast option in Carolina Beach (along the Boardwalk), is the famous Britt's Donut Shop.  They've been making glazed donuts for 80 years.  Just the one flavor, nothing fancy, but they are So. Good!!!  The donuts are served warm in a basic white paper bag, and are only $1 per donut.  We actually had these for an afternoon snack both days!!  Donuts at the beach are a must!!

Other breakfast recommendations:

Carolina Beach:
The Southerly Biscuit & Pie - from scratch biscuits

Nearby Kure Beach:
Happy Hippies Java Hut - dog friendly coffee shop


For lunch, we found the coolest spot with amazing beach views!  The Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar is such a cool space.  We ate at the outdoor Tiki Bar that sits on an old pier, over the water!!  It has fun tropical drinks and a simple lunch menu.  I got the Mahi sandwich and it was delicious.  You gotta get fresh seafood while at the beach, right!!??  It's so fun to literally sit over the water while you eat!

the Suckapunch

Other lunch recommendations:

Carolina Beach:
Soul Flavor - fresh Southern ingredients
Salt Fish - Caribbean flare
Hang Ten Grill

Nearby Kure Beach:
Beach House Burgers - walk up and take out
Jack Mackerel's Island Grill - Caribbean influenced


We knew we wanted seafood!  Again, when at the beach, you have to eat seafood!  I say this and I'm not even a big seafood lover.  Only mild fish/salmon.  And that's just what I got.

We ate at Havana's.  Another cool spot.  It's actually an old beach cottage that's been renovated to a restaurant.  The grounds are beautiful with all their flowers.  I got the blackened salmon with citrus salsa...and again, it was delicious.  They offer lunch, dinner and a Sunday brunch.

Other Dinner Recommendations:

Carolina Beach:
Carolina Smokehouse - BBQ, featured on Food Network
Lazy Pirate - lots of family fun, dog friendly
Gulfstream Restaurant - seafood
Shuckin Shack Oyster Bar
Stoked Restaurant - located at the marina


I'm one of those people who loves a little something sweet after dinner.  And on a warm Spring or hot Summer day, there's nothing better than ice cream!  Especially at the beach!  We stopped by Celtic Creamery one evening and it was so good!!  Look how big that cone is!  I got the cookies and cream :) . And yes I ate it all!  They have a cute little shop there too!

Other Sweet Spots:

Carolina Beach:

Nearby Kure Beach:


Now on to what you can do in and around Carolina Beach.  And there's a lot!

Saturday morning we did something I never thought I would ever do!!  I'm not one to really get into the ocean much.  I'll wade in and do a little wave jumping, but it's usually not my thing.  I'm more the "walk the beach, sit in my lounge chair with a book" girl!!  

But we got a little adventurous and I'm so happy I was given the opportunity to try something new. 

 We took a surfing lesson with Tony Silvagni surf school!!!  

None of us had ever done anything like this, so we were extremely nervous.  But oh my goodness, it was so much fun!!!  A must do if you're up for something new!!  We had an hour long private surf lesson and all 3 of us were able to get up on our boards for a couple seconds.  I was so surprised.  I have to say, the girls were better than me!!  I think their dancing skills and balance really helped them!  

Tony Silvagni is a pro surfer (which is so cool) and his shop offers surf lessons, surf camps, board rentals and bike rentals.  I can't get over how much fun we had, probably our favorite activity from the weekend.

We also rented bikes from Tony Silvagni's shop later that afternoon.  Riding bikes at the beach is always one of our favorite activities.  We rode all around Carolina Beach and then along the Island Greenway.  If you have younger kids, renting a surrey bike from Wheel Fun Rentals would be super cool.  Their surrey bikes can hold up to 8 people!!

Other fun activities that we didn't get to do:

Carolina Beach:
Carolina Beach Arcade - my son would've loved this!!
Good Hops Brewing - brewery tour for adults, disc golf, dog friendly
Carolina Beach State Park - 761 acre park, great fishing and hiking

Nearby Kure Beach:
Fort Fisher State Historic Site - Civil War Battle site and museum
Fort Fisher State Rec Area - Coquina Rock Formation - only visible with low tide, a great pic opportunity
NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher - great for younger kids

As you can see, there is so much to see and do all around Carolina Beach.  There are things for all ages and likes.  See a full list of more options here!!

Again, we had such a fun beach weekend.  And are already trying to plan our next trip to Carolina Beach this Summer.  My daughter definitely wants to do the surfing lesson again :).  If you are anywhere near the Carolina coast, I highly suggest a weekend or week long trip to Wilmington and it's surrounding beaches.

Thanks to the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau for sponsoring today's post. 

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