Family Travel Guide Wilmington NC and it’s Island Beaches

This post is sponsored by the Wilmington CVB. I only work with brands I love, so thank you for helping me to support them.

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.

Carolina Beach:

  • 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!

Kure Beach: 

  • Jack Mackerels – We had the best fresh caught that day tuna appetizer!

21 thoughts on “Family Travel Guide Wilmington NC and it’s Island Beaches

  1. Cherishingflo

    I love hikin so that sounds like fun! Also, may be random but I really love that pink suitcase. What camera do you use for your pictures! The quality was great!

  2. Tiffany Grace

    Until now, I’ve actually never heard of Wilmington either! I’m glad that I landed here and have now been schooled in all the cool things to do! Kayaking, hiking and even arcades? Sign me up!!

  3. Jessie

    This is my hometown!!!! Best place ever! It is so family oriented. We call it a “big small town” because it’s growing but so many people still know each other. So glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Erin Knight

    I have never heard of Wilmingon before and your post just makes me to want to jump on a car and drive there. There were so much beauty on that beach and not to mention the food there looks delicious! Glad you and your family had fun!

  5. Krisy

    Family days on the beach are so much fun! This looks like a great place with so many activities, can’t wait to bring my family here.

  6. Brianne

    North Carolina is such a beautiful state. I would love for our family to take a tour of the city of Wilmington, especially the bike ride!

  7. Lavern Moore

    I’m convinced after reading this that Wilmington NC and it’s beaches are a great summer destination. I cannot wait to visit!

  8. Ronnie

    That looks like so much fun! Love the colors in your photos. You are a beautiful family and it’s clear that you have a great time making memories together. 🙂

  9. Rossy Paulino

    Heard of the town but never had any desire to go. well leave it to you to change my mind. Thanks for al your info on travel. Helps us who would never normally go have a blueprint.

  10. Chad

    Never been there but it looks so cool. Ima gonna have to give it a shot. Good idea staying at a hotel that is close by.


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