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Carolina Beach | What We Love About Living in Carolina Beach

Wednesday, August 25, 2021   /   by Anne Rose

Carolina Beach | What We Love About Living in Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach North Carolina

Carolina Beach is the first town on the island that extends south from Wilmington, North Carolina, to the junction of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, on the southeastern coast of North Carolina. This land jutting into the ocean on one side and hugging the river on the other - which includes Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Fort Fisher - is named "Pleasure Island."


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Courtesy of Google maps, retrieved Aug 25 2021


Carolina Beach is in New Hanover County and is part of the Wilmington metropolitan area. In the 2010 census, the population of the town was 5,706. The town occupies a total of 2.5 square miles, with 2.2 square miles of land and .2 square miles of water. 


Find Your Next Home in Carolina Beach

Homes in Carolina Beach face either the Atlantic Ocean and its various inlets, the sound, or the Intracoastal Waterway. On the ocean, the homes that are immediately on the beach are considered "first row," and as you move away from the ocean, homes are "second row," "third row," and so on.


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In August 2021, a search for homes for sale in Carolina Beach resulted in just over 200 active listings, with luxury sound-facing homes in the $2.5 million range, duplex homes on the third row in the $1 million range, and condos and single family homes covering a wide swathe of prices. There is also a fairly good supply of buildable land on Carolina Beach. 


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Because Carolina Beach is a popular vacation spot, there is a wide range of investment properties suitable for vacation rentals. Boaters may be interested in the boat slips available for purchase on the island.


Carolina Beach Weather

Summer in Carolina Beach is beach weather: warm and humid. The temperature rarely goes above 91 degrees, but humidity is usually high. Winter temperatures usually hover around 40 degrees, and seldom go below 27 degrees. Snowfall in Carolina Beach is rare, light, and doesn't stay on the ground for more than a few hours.

As a beach destination, warm weather activities attract tourists and seasonal residents from mid April to late October.



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One of my favorite things about Carolina Beach is that if you have the right 4WD vehicle, there are places - like Freeman Park in Carolina Beach - you're able to drive right on the beach, open up the back of the vehicle and you're instantly sitting on an amazing stretch of beach with unlimited ocean views! Our favorite spot is to go south through Carolina Beach and Kure Beach and visit the Ft. Fisher State Recreational Area. There are miles of oceanfront beaches to explore! Remember to watch out for sea turtle nests and you'll need a valid park-issued permit to access the beach, which is available for the day or the full season. It's paradise!

~ Teri Moylan, local expert & Broker/Realtor®  Teri Moylan - Headshot.jpg




Carolina Beach Restaurants

The restaurants on Carolina Beach vary from beach bar casual to seated dining, with some famous donut and gelato stands thrown in. Because the large tourist population during season helps support a wide variety of dining options, Carolina Beach residents have a huge variety restaurants within walking - or a short golf cart ride - from their home. 

It's not all seafood on the island, either. Trendy restaurants like Soul Flavor, Salt Fish, and Coast Craft Cocktails & Calabash boast the very best culinary talent, and feature everything from farm-to-table specialties and Southern soul food.


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The number of restaurants in Carolina Beach has grown, but our favorite is Soul Flavor. Everything is fresh and made as much as possible with locally sourced ingredients. The meatloaf special is a meal the guys text each other about to say they had it for dinner and you should have been there! It is relaxing with great music, 2 different bar seating areas and a friendly, knowledgeable staff.

The live music in Carolina Beach is plentiful. Sea Witch has live music year round and many different music styles. The menu has great options, there is a ton of outdoor seating with a recently updated band pavilion and the bar is fun, fun, fun!

Celtic Creamery has AH-MAY-ZING daily churned and frozen ice cream. My personal favorite is Bee and the Sea but the options are great and it would be easy to try and work your way through the entire selection!

~ Mary Ellen Slugg, local expert & KBT Director of Operations  Mary Ellen-Headshot 21 (2).jpg




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Carolina Beach is an excellent place for boaters to live, with six private marinas, a municipal marina, and mooring and docking facilities. The nine mooring facilities are open year round. Most of the waterfront homes have private docks, so getting out on the water is just a few steps from your door.

Although the population on the island swells during the summer, there is a vibrant community of locals who reside in Carolina Beach year-round. The charm of the island is equally apparent in the winter, when there are minimal wait times at restaurants, leashed dogs are allowed on the beach, and the occasional hot day invites lazing in the sun or taking an invigorating dip in the ocean.

Click below to watch our video highlight of Carolina Beach, hosted by Broker/Realtor® Teri Moylan.


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Tourist Attractions

Carolina Beach was built for fun! The newly renovated and expanded oceanfront boardwalk is packed with casual restaurants and bars, souvenir stores, ice cream stands, arcades, a bandstand and small seasonal amusement park with old-time carnival rides. Bike and scooter rentals are private, and the island is small enough that you can easily get from end-to-end. Entertainment and activities on the boardwalk never get old.


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I love getting Gelato at Latella and then walking on the boardwalk. We also love to listen
to live music, eat and drink outside under the big TIKI hut at Lazy Pirate on North Lake Park Boulevard.


~ Nancy Baldridge, local expert, Listing Coordinator & Broker/Realtor®  Nancy Baldridge.jpg





Visitors and residents enjoy fishing from the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier. Numerous fishing charters leave from the marinas. Stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and surfing are the most popular watersports, and jet skis are always bouncing across the water.


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In the center of the island, the fresh water lake is the site of art shows, markets, and other family-friendly activities. Bike riding around the lake and in the friendly neighborhoods is always a great idea.

Carolina Beach State Park, on the north end of Carolina Beach, is criss-crossed with white sand trails and campsites. Beginner-level hiking gets you to a stunning overlook of the Cape Fear River, with Southport in the distance. 


  house hunting, tips for buyers, around the azalea coast, community spotlight, carolina beach, local experts

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