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Named one of the best family beaches in the U.S., Holden Beach offers island charm, natural beauty, and an endless variety of things to do. From watersports to wine tasting, beachcombing to biking, and everything in between, visitors can have as exciting or relaxing a vacation as they please when it comes to things to do in Holden Beach. After you’re done playing on our beaches, parks and waters, enjoy a taste of Holden Beach’s local flavors and fresh seafood at our selection of great restaurants. And, don’t miss out on getting to know the island natives—sea turtles, crabs, dolphins and other marine creatures—with activities such as turtle watching, crabbing, fishing, birding and more.

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franklin square gallery southport
910-457-5450

Located in historic Southport, over 100 regional artists showcase their work at the Franklin Square Gallery. The gallery also holds a series of workshops and lectures, as well as an annual show with judged by well known artists.

castaways raw bar
(910)-842-5743

Enjoy fresh food at Castaway's Raw Bar and Grill, including seafood, salads, burgers and flatbreads. A local favorite is the Crab Dip. Castaway's welcomes groups, has flatscreen tvs for sporting events and often has live music.

ingram planetarium
(910) 575-0033

The Ingram Planetarium is part of the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Sunset Beach. Visit the website to find new exhibits and upcoming events, including "Stars at Sunset" and Laser Light & Music shows.

The eight-mile-long stretch of Ocean Isle Beach is located on the southern coastline of North Carolina. Ocean Isle Beach is where Brunswick County's first high-rise buildings were constructed, and this coastal barrier island was incorporated as the Town of Ocean Isle Beach in 1959.

dock house seafood holden beach

Dock House Seafood and More has a great lunch and dinner menu, as well as views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Newly renovated bar is located downstairs.

lighthouse gifts holden beach
(910) 842-5740

Lighthouse Gifts is a favorite Holden Beach spot for beachy souvenirs. Find great beach-themed t-shirts, candles, books, and other households goods.

Southport, renamed in 1887 but established in the 1700s as Smithville, is a half-hour drive from Wilmington, a short ferry ride from Fort Fisher, and the gateway to two true beach resorts: Oak Island and Bald Head Island.

sunset river marketplace
(910) 575-5999

The Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, NC showcases artists from the two Carolinas' contemporary art, pottery, jewelry and more. In addition to the gallery, Sunset River offers instruction for all levels.

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