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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.
Find your favorite water creatures, from river otters and fish to sea turtles and sharks. It's fun for the whole family with tours and adventures, free programs, special events, scout programs, and more!
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.
Wilmington, NC has an abundant brewery scene and is only a 45-minute drive from Holden Beach. The Wilmington Ale Trail is an easy online guide to the local breweries, bottleshops, restaurants and bars.
Mermaid's Island Grill is a favorite Holden Beach restaurant. Famous for Maryland-style crab cakes, lemon chicken souvlakia, calabash shrimp and fresh-cut fries, Mermaid's Island makes everything from scratch and never freezes anything.
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.