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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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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.
wilmington ale trail
(910) 679.6023
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.
Saltwater Shanty at Holden Beach
(910) 264-4848
You'll find it all at the Saltwater Shanty! Homemade gelato and ice cream, household goods, gifts and souvenirs, books, and more.
mermaids island grill
(910) 842-4999
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.
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.
provision company holden beach
(910) 842-7205
Provision Company is located right on the Intracoastal Waterway, so boats are welcome (and encouraged). Great fresh food, including grilled shrimp burger, steamed shrimp, crabcakes, conch fritters, grilled grouper and tuna and more.
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.
archibalds deli nc
(910) 842-6888

Locals and visitors alike rave about Archibald's sandwiches, soups, and subs. A couple favorite items include crab cakes and shrimp burgers, and...

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