Holden Beach: What Are The Best Things To Do

Holden Beach

Even if you don’t live there, the first time you cross the Holden Beach Bridge you might feel like you’re going home. The community here feels like one big neighborhood full of friends and families, with cozy homes lining both the main road and all the side streets. In this article, you can find out what are the best things to do in Holden Beach.

Holden Beach

  • In 1756, the Holden family founded and developed a plantation that is now known as Holden Beach.
  • Holden Beach lies between Oak Island and Ocean Isle Beach. It’s also about 45 minutes west of Wilmington and an hour east of Myrtle Beach is close enough for a day trip to the city but far enough away to be a tranquil haven.
  • This barrier island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the south, the Intracoastal Waterway to the north, Eastward is Lockwoods Folly Inlet, and westward is Shallotte Inlet.
  • In Holden Beach, there are about 900 people living. It’s estimated that the town’s population increases to about 10,000 during the warmer, busier months.
  • The motto of Holden Beach is “the Family Beach,” which is an utterly ideal way to sum up this wonderful location.
  • Sea turtles use Holden Beach as part of their breeding process. During the “hatching season,” which lasts from May to October, locals can see hundreds of young sea turtles marching toward the ocean.

Things To Do In Holden Beach

Fishing & Golfing

The variety of activities is one factor that draws visitors to Holden Beach year after year in addition to the pleasant weather. Fishermen flock to the area year-round to cast a line from the Holden Beach Pier and fish for their supper.

Even the most inexperienced fishermen can have success when casting from the pier, but if the fish aren’t biting for some reason, there’s always the snack bar and grill in case you get peckish.  

Want to enter the water more deeply? Charter a boat with Catch 22 Charters or Ollie Raja Charters for guided fishing trips with professionals. Try fishing for Spanish mackerel along the coast, for trout and flounder close to shore, or spend the entire day at sea in search of Mahi, wahoo, and tuna. 

Golf is another option if fishing is not your thing. Golfers will adore North Carolina’s Golf Coast, which has three courses within 20 minutes of Holden Beach. Take a tee time at the Lockwood Folly Country Club, the Carolina National Golf Club, or the Rivers Edge Golf Club. The Rivers Edge Golf Club, located in Shallotte, was recently named one of the “Top 20 North Carolina Courses” and was designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer.

Find More Fun

Without spending the day at the beach, a trip to Holden Beach wouldn’t be complete. Those craving some adventure can rent everything from surfboards to jet skis to bikes from a number of nearby outfitters and equipment rental companies.

Try out one of the three bike routes in town, each with its own special beauty and history. The whole family can also bike to Bridgeview Park for some extra fun and a great view of both the waterway and the Holden Beach Bridge. There are a playground, splash pad, bocce ball court, picnic shelter, and pier with temporary docks that you can use.

If you prefer a relaxing day outdoors, grab a bike or go for a stroll down to the underdeveloped eastern end of Holden Beach where, especially at low tide, you’ll have a perfect view for bird watching and find plenty of space to spread out and go shelling.

Don’t forget that you can bring Fido with you as well! Holden Beach is pet-friendly (leash required) at any time between September 11 and May 19 and before 9:00 a.m.m. and after 5 p.m. from June 10 through May 20.

Looking for more things to do in Holden Beach? Make sure to keep the NC Festival by the Sea and Be aware of the Day at the Docks Festival! 

Eat & Drink

In a number of Holden Beach restaurants, you can savor the mouthwateringly fresh seafood that the Brunswick Islands are famous for while taking in the breathtaking views of the area’s pristine waters.

Make sure to stop by the Provision Company at Holden Beach for one of their famous shrimp burgers, Castaway’s Raw Bar for some Chesapeake Bay oysters and live music, and Mermaid’s Island Grill for classic coastal dishes with a touch of Greek flair.

Holden Beach

Those looking to try something new would be remiss not to dine at LouLous’s Waterfront Restaurant. When LouLou’s remodeled space with unimpeded views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Holden Beach Bridge opened in the fall of 2020, it was in a completely new configuration. Another Holden Beach favorite is Dock House Seafood, a casual waterway dining experience with an extensive menu definitely worth adding to your list.

Top off your delicious meal with a visit to 34 Degree North Experiment Station nearby The Red Hare Brewing Company’s brewery in Shallotte offers a full range of beers brewed at the main facility in Marietta, Georgia, as well as small batches of experimental beers. 


When looking for where to stay in Holden Beach, you can’t go wrong with a vacation rental home. The area offers a wide range of vacation homes that can accommodate both your needs and your budget. Three hotels with national brands are also available in Shallotte for those who would prefer another choice.

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