north carolina · Travel

Carolina Beach Travel Guide | The Best Things to Do and Eat

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Background:

There are actually several parts to this particular trip. We planned our 3 night stay in Carolina Beach months ago. However, we found out that it was supposed to rain during most of our trip. Therefore, we decided to go one night early and stay in Wilmington, NC, which is about 20 minutes away. Therefore, I will give a short description of what we did in Wilmington before I start my Carolina Beach Travel Guide!

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Wilmington, NC:

Wilmington is a beautiful city, with a thriving downtown area! I have traveled to and stayed in just Wilmington in the past, and there is plenty to do and see in a long weekend! My favorite restaurants would have to be Elijah’s and Front Street Brewery and my favorite bar is definitely Reel Cafe (rooftop bar)!  We did find a new rooftop bar on this trip, located on the top of the Embassy Suites – called Cloud9 Rooftop Bar (pictured below).

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In addition, there is a decent amount of shopping downtown. Wilmington has several cute boutiques, along with a unique shopping area called The Cotton Exchange.

And if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw my story about how I forgot all of my clothes at home. LOL. I always travel with my shirts and dresses hanging up separate.  However, this time, it did not work out so well… because I forgot to grab them before I left. So, needless to say, I took advantage of several boutiques downtown! But – the outfit below is what I threw together before we had time to go shopping! It consists of my moms shirt over a swimsuit top. ha 🙂

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Carolina Beach Travel Guide:

Now to the main point… Carolina Beach has been my go-to beach for the last few years. I do want to try some new ones soon, but this place just feels like home every time that I go!

Carolina Beach Travel Guide | The Best Things to Do and Eat

Reasons I Keep Coming Back:

  1. Relatively low crowds, for a beach town
  2. Everything you need is within walking distance
  3. Excellent Food and Bar choices
  4. You can get Ice Cream somewhere new every night
  5. BRITT’S DONUTS

Carolina Beach Travel Guide | The Best Things to Do and Eat

Favorite Bars/Restaurants:

  1. Hang Ten Grill – This was my first time eating at Hang Ten Grill and I was extremely impressed. I am actually going to go into much more detail about Hang Ten later in this post!
  2. SeaWitch Tiki Bar – SeaWitch has some of the best daily drink specials and always has excellent live music! They are located slightly down from the main boardwalk, but it definitely worth the short walk!
  3. Hurricane Alley’s – Just incase you haven’t noticed by now, I love any establishment with a rooftop bar. Hurricane Alley’s is a small place, but it definitely has the best views (pictured above)!
  4. The Fat Pelican – This is totally a hidden, local gem! You literally go inside a walk-in cooler, grab the beer you want, take it to the counter to pay for it, and head outside. Their “backyard” is full of amazingly interesting, random “junk” that has been placed together just perfectly.
  5. The Deck House – If you are going for a more formal dinner, then The Deck House is definitely my top pick! They always have amazing food, and I’m just going to tell you now… order a wine flight (pictured below)!

Carolina Beach Travel Guide | The Best Things to Do and Eat

Dining Highlight: Hang Ten Grill

Before I write this, I will admit that I caught some kind of stomach bug on the day that we had scheduled to eat here, so I did not order what I would have normally ordered. However, everything was still delicious! The service was excellent and the vibe was awesome. Plus, we got to sit outside on the upper deck, which I loved!

Carolina Beach Travel Guide | The Best Things to Do and Eat

Appetizers:

To start, we ordered a basket of hush puppies. Who doesn’t love hush puppies at the beach?! Next, we all ordered a salad; I had my usual Caesar salad, while Mom and Olivia had a house salad. Also, Olivia had their Sangria, which was on special and she said it was phenomenal!

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Main Courses:

Adult Grilled Cheese – Again, as I mentioned, I was not feeling great, so I did not order anything very fancy. But I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a giant grilled cheese? The sandwich was deliciously grilled with several kinds of cheese and served with amazing French fries! Yes it is somewhat basic, but in this case, that was NOT a bad thing!

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Panini Burger – Olivia ordered the Panini Burger which was cooked to perfection! The burger was juicy and delicious, but the panini bread made it extremely unique! Also, the portions were very generous!

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Mahi-Mahi Sandwich – My mom ordered the Mahi-Mahi Sandwich that was topped with an excellent lemon aioli sauce! It was absolutely delicious, and pretty large in my opinion! The fish flaked to perfection and had an awesome seasoning!

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Other Things to Do:

As mentioned earlier, it did rain a lot during our trip. However, God is good and we only had one truly “rained out” day. We walked around, got wet, ate ice cream, enjoyed drink specials, and tried something new: an Escape Room!

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iEscape Rooms:

We had an absolute blast trying to break out of Carolina Beach’s iEscape Rooms! This is something that we might not have done if it had not rained, so always remember that things workout regardless of your situation! If you are not familiar with the concept, an escape room is basically a game where you are locked in a “themed” room for 60 minutes and have to find and use clues to “escape”.

We actually did two different rooms on two different nights, so obviously we were impressed by this place! We talked with the owner for a rather lengthy amount of time, and we were very impressed with what he has done over a short amount of time! I highly recommend stopping by iEscape Rooms if you ever find yourself in Carolina Beach!

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Sweet Treats:

As I mentioned earlier, there are probably 15 ice cream shops in Carolina Beach. However, these two stood out to me:

Celtic Creamery – They make their ice cream in-house and it is literally the most creamy ice cream that I have ever had! There is also a cute gift shop inside called Seaside Shenanigans.

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DOH TOGO – This is actually not ice cream… It is EDIBLE COOKIE DOUGH! Um… hello?! I did not try it, but Olivia was extremely impressed! This place is so unique and the owner was so nice to talk to!

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The Beach:

Obviously this is a Carolina BEACH Travel Guide… so you might want to hear about the beach. Well, the water is usually not very rough, the beach is usually not too crowded, they do have lifeguards on duty, and the beach is extremely accessible – especially from our Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites! I truly have no complaints for the beach, which is why I keep coming back to Carolina Beach each year!

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This was an extremely low-key, and somewhat random trip… however, it was a great celebration for the end of the school year and the beginning of summer! Thank you for reading my Carolina Beach Travel Guide!

Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you stay tuned for Jamaica round 1, because we leave tomorrow! Follow my adventures on Instagram 🙂

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XOXO

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