Your vacation home is waiting!

We have just the place for you.

Outdoor Activities in Carolina Beach for the Whole Family


If you’re plotting a family getaway that combines fun, learning, and lots of outdoor action, Carolina Beach is the perfect destination for you. It’s a beautiful town filled with exciting activities perfect for making lasting family memories. 

From the educational strolls on the Flytrap Trail, home to the unique Venus flytraps, to the thrilling climb up a 50-foot sand dune offering panoramic ocean views, there’s something here for every age and interest. 

This article dives into each experience Carolina Beach offers—whether it’s fishing on the serene pier, paddleboarding amidst breathtaking scenery, or enjoying the vibrant boardwalk. Pack your bags; adventure awaits!

Connect With Nature

Carolina Beach is a hub of natural beauty, perfect for families looking to spend quality time outdoors. The Flytrap Trail, named for the area’s native Venus flytrap, is an accessible pathway that welcomes visitors of all ages. As you stroll along, watch for these unique carnivorous plants, a rare sight that’s indigenous to this region. The trail not only offers a peaceful walk but also a chance to witness a variety of local wildlife in their natural habitat.

For those who enjoy a bit of adventure, the 50-foot sand dune at Carolina Beach is not to be missed. Climbing this impressive natural structure can be a thrilling challenge for both kids and adults. 

Once at the top, you’re treated to sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, making all that effort worthwhile. It’s also a great spot for teaching kids about the coastal environment, as the dune supports a diverse range of flora and fauna.

Visiting these spots at Carolina Beach provides a mix of fun, learning, and relaxation. From the educational walks on the Flytrap Trail to the exhilarating climb up the sand dune Carolina Beach has activities that will engage and delight every family member.

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Carolina Beach State Park

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) at Carolina Beach is an exciting and family-friendly activity that everyone can enjoy. The calm waters of Carolina Beach State Park are perfect for beginners, especially younger paddlers just learning the ropes. 

As you paddle along, you’ll be surrounded by the scenic beauty of towering longleaf pines and sprawling live oaks along the shore, making it not just a sport but a visual treat as well.

For those looking for a bit more adventure, the Cape Fear River offers a great opportunity. Here, families can challenge themselves against the gentle currents of this historic waterway. As you paddle along the river, the landscape changes, offering views of lush marshes and dramatic bluffs. It’s not just about the exercise; it’s about exploring and experiencing a vital part of North Carolina’s natural heritage.

Wildlife watching is a huge hit with kids and a major highlight of stand-up paddleboarding at Carolina Beach. The area is rich with fascinating creatures. You might see Venus flytraps snapping at insects near the water’s edge, or watch ospreys and bald eagles flying above, hunting for fish. In the water, mullet jump and splash, and you might even spot river otters or a group of dolphins, which can be incredibly exciting for young onlookers.

SUP provides a special way to view Carolina Beach’s stunning environment. Paddling quietly, families can get close to animal habitats without bothering them, allowing for peaceful, up-close encounters with nature. 

This activity isn’t just fun; it’s also educational, promoting both physical health through the balance and effort of paddling, and environmental consciousness by connecting kids with the natural world.

Stand-up paddleboarding is adaptable for all ages, ensuring that everyone from the smallest kids to grandparents can participate safely and enjoyably. Local shops make it easy to get started by renting out all the necessary equipment and offering quick lessons to help beginners.

Stand-up paddleboarding at Carolina Beach is more than just a day out on the water; it’s an opportunity for family bonding, physical activity, and creating lasting memories surrounded by nature.

Boardwalk and Amusement Rides

Carolina Beach Arcade

The Carolina Beach Boardwalk is more than just a place to walk beside the sea; it’s a bustling hub of activity, filled with shops, places to eat, and spots for live music. It’s an inviting scene for families to explore and enjoy together, all while soaking in the expansive ocean views.

During the summer, the boardwalk becomes even more special with the “Fireworks by the Sea” series. On Thursday nights, families spread out on the beach or find a good spot on the boardwalk to watch the sky light up. The fireworks show over the ocean is stunning, turning a regular evening at the beach into a memorable event that draws the community and visitors into a shared celebration.

For those looking for a bit of excitement, the boardwalk’s amusement rides offer a mix of options suitable for all ages. From the slow-moving Ferris wheel offering panoramic views of the shoreline to more thrilling rides that spin and bump, there’s plenty of laughter and shrieking joy to be had. 

These rides are typically available from late spring through the end of summer, perfect for adding some extra fun to any beach day.

Right next to the boardwalk is the Carolina Beach Arcade, which is always a hit with families. It’s a lively spot filled with a mix of old-school pinball machines and cutting-edge video games. The arcade retains a classic charm with its bright lights and the familiar sounds of tokens clinking and machines ringing out with wins. It’s a great place for some indoor fun, where families can challenge each other and enjoy some friendly competition.

All these elements—the boardwalk, the fireworks, and the arcade—come together to make Carolina Beach a vibrant place for family entertainment.

Deep Sea Fishing


Deep sea fishing off Carolina Beach offers a thrilling outdoor adventure for families. With its rich marine life, the area is perfect for introducing both kids and adults to the excitement of fishing and the basics of marine biology.

Starting a family fishing trip typically involves renting a boat from one of the local charters. These boats come fully equipped and are operated by crews who know the waters well and where to find the best fishing spots. 

Whether you’re hoping to catch grouper, snapper, or the colorful mahi-mahi, everyone will get a chance to participate in this hands-on learning experience, which often includes lessons on marine ecology and how to fish responsibly.

For families spending time at Freeman Park, adding a fishing trip into your plans is a fantastic way to make the most of your visit. Located at the northern tip of Carolina Beach, Freeman Park is a beautiful spot for beach activities. It’s also a great starting or ending point for a day of fishing, offering a peaceful setting to relax after the excitement of the high seas.

Safety is always taken seriously on these fishing excursions. Charters make sure everyone, especially children and first-timers, are equipped with life vests and understand how to stay safe on board. The crew is always on hand to assist with the fishing gear, which can be quite complex, ensuring everyone has a fun and safe time.

Some fishing trips also include educational talks about the fish you’re catching, their ecosystem, and why we must fish responsibly. This added learning component is a hit with families, especially those with curious, school-aged children who love learning new things outside the traditional classroom setting.

The excitement of hooking a fish, the teamwork needed to reel it in, and the chance to eat your catch for dinner make deep sea fishing a standout experience at Carolina Beach. It’s more than just fishing; it’s about creating lasting memories, learning together, and enjoying the great outdoors as a family.

Biking and Beach Games

Biking in Carolina Beach is a fantastic way to soak in the natural beauty of Pleasure Island and spend some quality time with the family. Pleasure Island Rentals has a wide range of bikes that are perfect for all ages, ensuring that everyone can find a comfortable ride for a day on the trails or a leisurely jaunt around town. 

The Island Greenway is particularly inviting for families. This paved path stretches for miles through quiet, natural surroundings, ideal for both beginner and seasoned cyclists. As you ride, keep an eye out for local wildlife and the area’s lush flora, turning a simple bike ride into an interactive nature lesson.

After some time on the bikes, why not switch gears and dive into some beach games on the soft sands of Carolina Beach? The gentle waves and expansive beach provide the perfect backdrop for a round of frisbee, volleyball, or just tossing a ball around. These games are great for building teamwork and ensuring that everyone has a fun, active day outdoors.

Don’t miss the Carolina Beach Mural Project during your visit. These vibrant murals dotting the town add a layer of cultural richness to your outdoor activities. They are perfect for exploring on your bike or on foot, offering numerous photo opportunities and a chance to engage with local art.

Carolina Beach Lake Park is another great spot for families. After a day of biking and playing, it’s a lovely place to relax. The park features a walking trail, paddle boat rentals, and plenty of benches for sitting and enjoying the view. It’s an ideal spot for a peaceful picnic or just to sit and chat while the kids play nearby.

Finally, Mike Chappell State Park caters to those looking for more structured activities. With tennis and basketball courts, a playground, and a skateboard park, there’s something here for everyone. It’s a great spot to let the kids run free and use up any leftover energy before the day winds down.

Meals and Treats

Lazy Pirate Island Sports Grill

At Carolina Beach Realty, we don’t just promise a vacation; we offer an escape to paradise where every day is an opportunity to create lasting memories. This idyllic destination is a treasure trove of activities that the whole family will adore. With our range of vacation rentals, from oceanfront sanctuaries to pet-friendly homes and accommodations with private pools, you’re guaranteed a stay that’s as comfortable as it is captivating.

From the moment you step out of one of our welcoming rentals at Carolina Beach or Kure Beach, you’ll be enveloped by an array of experiences. Engage with the natural beauty as you traverse the serene Flytrap Trail or inject a little excitement with sand dune adventures. The placid waters beckon for a round of stand-up paddleboarding, offering you a perfect blend of tranquility and activity.

Our vibrant boardwalk promises both the charm of seaside amusements and the thrill of arcade conquests, aligning perfectly with the town’s pulsating energy. And for those with a love of the sea, embark on a deep-sea fishing expedition or pedal along diverse biking trails to unlock the secrets of the local landscape.

Choosing Carolina Beach Realty means opting for a vacation that caters to every preference and passion. Whether it’s basking in the sunshine on your private balcony, enjoying the comfort of a home with all the amenities, or stepping out into the bustling beach life, there’s a space just for you.

So why should you vacation with us at Carolina Beach? Because you’re not just booking a property, you’re securing a gateway to experiences that will bind your family with joyful bonds and stories to be told for years to come. Pull out the suitcases, gather the family, and set sail for an adventure at Carolina Beach with Carolina Beach Realty — where every stay is personalized, and every moment is priceless.

What are You Waiting for?

It’s clear that this charming spot has something special for everyone in the family. From the serene Flytrap Trail and thrilling sand dune climbs to the tranquil waters perfect for stand-up paddleboarding, every moment is a chance to connect deeper with nature and each other. 

The boardwalk buzzes with excitement, offering amusement rides and lively arcade games, while the deep sea fishing and diverse biking trails provide unique ways to explore and learn about the local environment. 

If you’re looking for a destination to create those unforgettable family moments, Carolina Beach won’t disappoint. So pack your bags, grab your loved ones, and dive into the adventure that awaits at Carolina Beach!

Explore more blogs