Carolina Beach is a little over a 2 hour drive from the Raleigh area. While you could make a day trip out of this coastal town, we decided to spend one night. And we had a great time!
I had been wanting to go to Carolina Beach with my son ever since I found out that part of The Summer I Turned Pretty was filmed there.
Known for its vintage boardwalk, Carolina is a fun beach to take your kids to.
We decided to go down Thursday because every Thursday in the summer, Carolina Beach Boardwalk has live music and fireworks. And it didn't disappoint.
Where We Stayed
We decided to stay at Dry Dock Inn. This cute and newly remodeled hotel is only a short walk to the beach and boardwalk. In fact, you can see the boardwalk from the balcony of the hotel.
The hotel itself has two pools, a sitting section, and a game area for adults and kids. While I wish we had more time to take advantage of the pools, we did have some time to play ping pong and cornhole.
Since it was just my dad and son with me, we decided to get the room with a queen bed and pull out couch. It worked well.
I highly recommend this affordable inn which we were able to book last minute.
Where We Ate
Carolina Beach has a lot of great restaurants, so we had to be selective where we ate.
Our first stop was Britts Donut Shop on the Boardwalk. I had heard about this place on Instagram, so I was eager to see what the hype was all about.
WOW! These were the best donuts I've ever had. They have one flavor, homemade glazed, and you can only pay in cash.
It's safe to say that one visit wasn't enough.
Our dinner plans had to get slightly altered when Fork N Cork had a too long of a wait (they don't take reservations), so we went to The Sandspur. It's between the Dry Dock Inn and the Boardwalk. We sat outside on their back patio which was perfect for my son to run around with the other kids. We could still hear the music coming from the Boardwalk.
After dinner dessert was assorted candy from the Sweet Life.
And finally breakfast the next day was at Malama Cafe. We took our meal to go and ate on the Boardwalk overlooking the beach.
What We did
Obviously, we spent the majority of the time on the beach. My dad, Henry, and I both prefer when the beach is overcast, so we spent a good bit of time relaxing on the beach and playing in the sand, and water.
When we weren't eating or hanging out at the beach, we were walking around the Boardwalk. I'm not a fireworks or amusement rides type person, but my son enjoyed it all, and I get pleasure from his joy. Plus the live music was really good.
My son is only four, so we didn't do too many rides. We did the bumper cars, fun house, and he did a kiddie ride by himself. In my opinion, the ride tickets are way too expensive. But, remember, I HATE amusement park/carnival rides. They make me sick. The bumper cars even made me sick.
Even still, though, I feel like Carolina Beach Boardwalk transports you back in time and hasn't totally succumbed to all the moderness of some other beaches and tourist attractions.
I highly recommend going.
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Check out these other North Carolina destinations.