Many associate Carolina Beach with spring and summer vacations but the winter months are just as relaxing. Here, temperatures average in the high 50s all season long making it easy to get out and active paired with an array of indoor activities.
Explore Carolina Beach State Park with trails fit for every level adventurer. Join a park ranger for a Biological Wonder Hike to learn about various habitats, plants and animals existing in the park. Don’t just go underwater at the nearby NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, go on a Behind the Scenes Tour to explore animal care areas, husbandry, life support and more. After, learn, see and interact with salt and freshwater wildlife.
Satisfy comfort food cravings the winter brings. Start the day with a scratch made, build-your-own biscuit from The Southerly Biscuits and Pie. Curate a picnic lunch from The Veggie Wagon and take in ocean views from the beach house rental. Cozy up for diner at Lake Park Steakhouse offering hand-cut USDA steaks, lobster and more or try French-Polynesian cuisine and various ‘rummy yummy’ cocktails at Salt Fish Restaurant and Tiki Bar. Walk through the streets of Carolina Beach on a Tasting History Tour, stopping at five restaurants while hearing the island’s history and tasting the local flavors.
For shopping excursions and unique coastal finds, decorate your home with nautical décor from the Checkered Church Gift Shop or Primrose Cottage. Choose from over 500 varieties and find the perfect sauce, or gift, for your next BBQ at Go Sauce Yourself. Browse one-of-a-kind clothing curated from a variety of marts in New York, Los Angeles and more at Unique Boutique or take a bit of the beach back home with items from Smuggler’s Cove Provision Company.
Fewer crowds lend for a more intimate experience you might not get in the busier summer months. Take advantage of vast shoreline and serene views. With a permit, cruise to the North End to visit Freeman Park Recreation Area. This two-mile, undeveloped coastline is perfect for finding unique seashells, fishing and roasting s’mores by the campfire.
Just a short drive over the bridge, experience the city life of Wilmington. Cozy up for a carriage ride through the 230-block historic district then catch a show at one of the most beautiful and historic theaters in the country, Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts. Afterward, enjoy craft cocktails at unique speakeasies like Tails Piano Bar and Lounge and The Blind Elephant.
Summer might seem like the season to visit Carolina Beach, but there are so many reasons why we love it here in the winter.