Carolina Beach

Welcome to Carolina Beach

Where gorgeous condominiums and oceanfront homes beckon

The temperate waters and sun-kissed beaches of Pleasure Island are shared by two towns, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Carolina Beach has a carefree, light-hearted spirit, and the surroundings are reminiscent of a simpler time. 

If you are curious about Pleasure Island’s past, the Federal Point History Center has artifacts dating from the Colonial days to World War II. If you want the past to show itself differently, take a scuba tour and view the shipwrecks of days long past, or hunt for megalodon teeth in the ocean’s dark waters. Fun and adventure await you at Carolina Beach, where memories are made and anything seems possible.

What to Love

  • Historic boardwalk
  • Festivals and events
  • Dining and shopping

Local Lifestyle

Carolina Beach is a lovely town that many choose to call home. The residents are active in the community, and there are multiple town-sponsored events throughout the year. 

Locals prefer to walk, ride a bicycle, or drive a golf cart to get around the area. However, you will need a car to get to some locations on or off the island. There are great restaurants and shops in town, but many people head toward Wilmington when they seek a broader selection. When you are at Carolina Beach, it feels like you are in a far-off sector of the world, but in reality, you are never more than a short drive from neighboring towns and the city. 

Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping

Michael’s Seafood Restaurant is popular among the locals and stays open year-round. They serve mouth-watering, award-winning chowder. The fresh seafood is caught locally and does not disappoint. Lake Park Steakhouse has a festive atmosphere, friendly servers, and terrific food. The prime rib is so tender it cuts with a fork, and the quirky build-your-own salad is a hometown hit.

The Catch restaurant has a sleek, modern look and is just a short drive from the island. Chef Rhodes uses organic ingredients and local fisheries for his flavorful dishes. The Catch also has a food truck that is occasionally at Carolina Beach.

Hang Ten Grill is a sandwich shop featuring specialty burgers and charming, surf-inspired scenery. For tacos, head to Nollie’s Tacos Joint, which features a fun wall with skateboards. Along with tacos and other Mexican fare, they also are known for their nachos and beer. When it’s time to shop for new surfboards and branded attire, check out CB Surf Shop, Carolina Beach’s go-to stop. 

Things to Do

Swim, surf, or watch the waves come to shore on Carolina Beach. Take a surf class at the school founded by the surfing gold medalist Tony Silvagni, or get out on the water in a rented kayak or paddleboard. The Carolina Beach Pier is a great spot. Do not worry about bringing supplies; a tackle shop, game room, and snack bar are on site.

If you are in the mood for people and entertainment, go to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. It has been a favorite for visitors and locals since 1887. You will find amusement rides, food, live entertainment, and fireworks. There are also yearly events like the Street Arts Festival and the Summer Music Festival. A favorite sweet spot is Britt’s Donuts, which has been a staple since 1939.

If hiking, biking, and camping are what you crave, the Carolina Beach State Park is 761 acres of natural beauty. Camp among the lush green vegetation, or look for the elusive native Venus flytraps if you dare. You can have a picnic and let the kids play at Carolina Beach Lake Park. The lake is also the site of the farmers’ market and summer outdoor movies. Locals and tourists are fans of Freeman Park Recreation Area. It is one of the few beaches in North Carolina where you can drive on the beach. People come to camp, fish, and walk their dogs. 


Carolina Beach is part of the New Hanover County School District. There is a local elementary school on the island. Students in higher grades have several options in the greater Wilmington area.

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Overview for Carolina Beach, NC

6,456 people live in Carolina Beach, where the median age is 51 and the average individual income is $47,465. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

51 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Demographics and Employment Data for Carolina Beach, NC

Carolina Beach has 2,945 households, with an average household size of 2.19. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Carolina Beach do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 6,456 people call Carolina Beach home. The population density is 2,633 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

48.88 / 51.12%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

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White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes

Around Carolina Beach, NC

There's plenty to do around Carolina Beach, including shopping, dining, nightlife, parks, and more. Data provided by Walk Score and Yelp.

Very Walkable
Walking Score
Very Bikeable
Bike Score

Points of Interest

Explore popular things to do in the area, including The Tiny Terrace, Island Beverage, and Nancy Jo's Homemade of Carolina Beach.

Name Category Distance Reviews
Ratings by Yelp
Dining 0.23 miles 7 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining · $$ 0.52 miles 40 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 0.5 miles 21 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 2.96 miles 7 reviews 4.9/5 stars
Dining 0.5 miles 13 reviews 4.8/5 stars
Dining · $$ 0.42 miles 107 reviews 4.8/5 stars

Schools in Carolina Beach, NC

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Primary Schools ()
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Mixed Schools ()
The following schools are within or nearby Carolina Beach. The rating and statistics can serve as a starting point to make baseline comparisons on the right schools for your family. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
School rating
Carolina Beach Elementary
K - 5th

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