Your beach vacation will have sand, surf and sun but wait there’s more! Turn your vacation into a PLAY-cation! Check out these local adventures to help create more memories for you and your family.

Holden Golden Memory Mailbox

A short trip down Sailfish St. and you’ll reach a peaceful intracoastal waterway park where a mailbox holds the stories of past travelers. Inside is a simple notebook full of love stories, Holden Beach memories and words of inspiration. Grab a pen and a seat at one of the park’s picnic tables and leave a story for others to read. Two additional Holden Golden memory mailboxes can be found on the island, one located on the far east end and the other in the gated west end.

Browns Landing

Around here you’re not considered a local unless you’ve been to Browns Landing. A beautiful spot located across the Lockwood Folly inlet, take a chair or park your car as you watch the boats pass by. This is the perfect spot for star gazing and storm watching. There’s always someone fishing off the sea wall and ready to tell you about their catch. If you want a place to reflect, this is the place you’ll find peace!

Oak Island Lighthouse

When you look to the east, you’ll be guided by the Oak Island Lighthouse. This Lighthouse is a remarkable structure towering over the island providing a beautiful 360-degree view of South-Eastern North Carolina. Visitors can schedule a tour and climb the 131 switch back steps to the top to see these outstanding views. You can visit to watch the PROACTIVE Real Estate Oak Island Lighthouse documentary or to plan your tour to the top.

Fort Apache

Located five miles from the Holden Beach bridge you’ll find a local gem called Fort Apache.  Owned and operated by Brunswick County native, Dale Varnam this roadside attraction is a must see when you visit Holden Beach. Fort Apache is full of unique movie props, old cars and antiques and has been featured on the television series American Pickers.

Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium

Rainy day at the beach? Take a short drive over to Ocean Isle Beach and you’ll come across The Museum of Coastal Carolina, a natural history museum with animal exhibits and a touch tank. Four miles away is Ingram Planetarium where you can experience the night sky or catch a laser show. This place is so much fun, your kids won’t even realize that they’re learning! Make sure to visit for all the events happening during your stay.

The Swamp Park

Zipline Tours, Aerial Adventure Park, ATVs, and Swamp boat eco-tours are what you’ll find at The Shallotte River Swamp Park. This is the place to unplug from the world and get back to nature. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an adrenaline junky or a naturalist, you’ll fall in love with this place. Check out and plan your big adventure!

Fort Johnson Southport Museum and Visitor Center

Looking to brush off the sand and go on a day trip? Take a drive over to historic Southport and visit Fort Johnson. Fort Johnson was originally built by the British in 1749, after 250 years of federal service as the oldest active-duty fort in the United States, Fort Johnson was conveyed to the City of Southport. Here you can take a tour of the exhibits to see original historic documents and artifacts. When you’re done visiting the museum don’t forget to pick up a map of past filming locations. You may find out that some of your favorite movies and television shows where filmed nearby.  For more information visit

Old Baldy Lighthouse

Take a ferry ride over to Bald Head Island and visit North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse. Old Baldy is a short 5-minute walk from the ferry landing. You can rent a bike or take a golf cart but there are no cars on the island. The Old Baldy Lighthouse and Smith Island Museum of History is a self-guided tour. 108 stairs to the top and you’ll find yourself looking over the Cape Fear River estuary. If you enjoy guided tours, there’s the Bald Head Island Historic Tour, which is a two-hour island-wide experience covering piracy, colonization and more. If that’s not enough adventure they also have the Civil War Walking Tour, a half mile hike through the remains of Fort Holmes where you’ll learn Bald Head Island and Wilmington’s role in the Civil War. Reservations are needed for guided tours, book yours now by visiting

Brunswick Town and Fort Anderson

If you’re a history buff this place is for you. Brunswick Town is nestled on the Cape Fear river and was founded in 1726 by Maurice Moore. In 1861 Fort Anderson was built on the same ground as part of the river defense of Wilmington, NC. Today visitors can see the remains of these two time periods of American history. Make sure you visit to plan your visit.

Battleship North Carolina

The Battleship North Carolina is a must-see World War ll memorial. A National Historic Landmark honoring the 11,000 North Carolinians of all branches of service who gave their lives in World War ll. Put on your walking shoes and explore the 9 levels of the ship open to the public. The Battleship is open every day of the year. Climb aboard and take a trip through time! For more information and pricing visit

Are you ready to book your family vacation to Holden Beach and explore what South-Eastern North Carolina has to offer? Book your next adventure NOW and make it one you’ll never forget!
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