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So I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of Wilmington and its Island Beaches until last month. That being said, I am so glad we were able to visit as just minutes from downtown Wilmington, we found the perfect small beach towns! Imagine boardwalks, delicious food, surfing, clean beaches, and great kayaking. All wrapped up in a quintessential small southern town vibe. Here is all you need to plan the best family trip to the island of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach!
What to Do: There is SO much to do in Carolina Beach! Our top two favorite activities were renting a Surrey bike from Wheel Fun Rentals and surfing with Tony Silvagni. The surrey bike ride reminded us of our trip to Rome where we rented one and pedaled all around their parks. Tony’s surfing school is an absolute blast and all the instructors are adorable and make the lessons so fun. These are MUSTs. I also recommend:
- Carolina Beach Arcade- it’s on the boardwalk so you can get some ice cream then go play games with the kids!
- Hike the Flytrap trail
- Kayaking with Kayak Carolina
- Visit the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher in nearby Kure Beach!
Where to Stay: We stayed at Atlantic Towers. It’s clean, family-friendly, and only a mile away from the Boardwalk. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with southern-hospitality and toys for the kids! We had a two-bedroom condo with a balcony overlooking the ocean. It was a wonderful way to wake up each morning.
Where to Eat/Drink: The island has so many great restaurants. Y’all may not know this but Chelsea is a big foodie and we both agree the food was top notch everywhere we went.
- Surf House – one of our first meals and definitely the best! From the atmosphere to the farm fresh and seafood offerings, we were in heaven.
- Havana – great beach cocktails and tuna nachos. Don’t knock them until you try them.
- Carolina Smokehouse – such good barbecue.
- Good Hops Brewery – very good beer!
- Celtic Creamery – best ice cream I’ve had in the states. They make their ice cream from an extra-velvety Irish ice cream recipe!
- Jack Mackerels – We had the best fresh caught that day tuna appetizer!