Holden Beach Local Adventures
Like any beach vacation sand, surf, and sun are to be expected. However, right in Holden Beach or with a short drive there are many more options for adventure! With these Holden Beach local adventures you can turn your beach vacation into a PLAY-cation. Check out these local locations below 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, taking the moment to leave your very own story for others to read. This is a great opportunity that will not be forgotten, adding your own personal touch to a Holden Beach tradition.
Two More Mailboxes
While the mailbox at Sailfish Park offers easy accessibility, there are also two additional Holden Golden memory mailboxes on either end of the island. One is located on the far east while the other is located in the gated west end. The east end mailbox is a great walk along the beach and a perfect spot to view sunrise for those early risers. The west end mailbox, while located beyond the gate, can also be accessed with public beach access. For those looking for a longer walk, simply take the western most public beach access and continue west along the beach until you reach the end of the island. The longer walk make this part of the island much less populated and a peaceful location to view the sunset.
Around Holden Beach, you’re not considered a local unless you’ve been to Browns Landing. A beautiful spot located across the Lockwood Folly inlet, you can take a chair or park your car, spending the time watching boats pass by. The layout of the area makes it the perfect spot for star gazing and storm watching and there’s always someone fishing off the sea wall, ready to tell you about their day’s catch. If you want a place to relax and reflect, this is the place you’ll find peace.
Oak Island Lighthouse
When you look to the east end of Holden Beach, you’ll be guided by the Oak Island Lighthouse. Located just west of Holden Beach, this Lighthouse is a remarkable structure towering over Oak Island. A visit to the lighthouse provides a beautiful 360-degree view of South-Eastern North Carolina which can be scheduled as a walking tour. Arrive to Oak Ialand and climb the 131 switch back steps to the top to see the beauty North Carolina shores have to offer. You can visit https://vimeo.com/310651150 to watch the PROACTIVE Real Estate Oak Island Lighthouse documentary or http://www.oakislandlighthouse.org/ to plan your tour to the top.
Views from Holden Beach
Although the Oak Island Lighthouse exists on another island, you can also enjoy it’s beauty from the east end of Holden Beach. With a walk along the shore toward the east end, you’ll find yourself near the Golden Holden mailbox (discussed above) and facing the Lockwoods Folly Inlet. Across the inlet, on a clear day, the lighthouse can be seen from Holden Beach. This is a great location to see the stars at night, while the lighthouse illuminates the sky. Or, for those early risers, this is a great location to watch the sunrise, trading the light from the lighthouse for the sun in the sky as the morning progresses.
Located just five miles from the Holden Beach bridge, you’ll find a local gem called Fort Apache. Owned and operated by a Brunswick County native, Dale Varnam, this roadside attraction is a must see when you visit Holden Beach. For the explorer and history buff at heart, Fort Apache is full of unique movie props, old cars, and antiques. This location has actually been featured on the popular television series, American Pickers. The old saying “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” holds true at Fort Apache, as you look into Dale’s personal collection of history.
Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium
Rainy day at the beach? With a short drive over to Ocean Isle Beach you’ll find more than Holden Beach local adventures by visiting The Museum of Coastal Carolina and the Ingram Planetarium. The Museum of Coastal Carolina is a natural history museum featuring multiple animal exhibits and a touch tank. Four miles away, also located in Ocean Isle Beach, is the Ingram Planetarium. The planetarium offers and experience where you view the night sky or you can also watch a laser show. Both of these rainy day options are fun, and educational. A memory your kids won’t forget paired with so much fun that they won’t realize that they’re learning! Make sure to visit https://museumplanetarium.org/ for all the events happening during your stay. Looking for more rainy day activates? Check out our rainy day blog HERE for a full list of local indoor options.
The Swamp Park
Zipline Tours, Aerial Adventures, ATVs, and Swamp boat eco-tours are what you’ll find at The Shallotte River Swamp Park. A short drive from Holden Beach, 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 everything they have to offer. Check out https://www.shallotteriverswamppark.com/ 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 for federal service. After 250 years of federal service, the oldest active-duty fort in the United States, Fort Johnson was then conveyed to the City of Southport. Here you can take a tour of the exhibits to see historic documents and artifacts of Southport history. 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 https://southportnc.org/visitors-and-tourism/
Old Baldy Lighthouse
Take a ferry ride over to Bald Head Island and visit North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse. Old Baldy is just a short 5-minute walk from the Bald Head Island 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 the Smith Island Museum of History, both offer a self-guided tour. At the lighthouse, climb 108 stairs to the top and you’ll find yourself looking over the Cape Fear River estuary. At the Museum you’ll love seeing a part of local history. If you enjoy guided tours, outside of the lighthouse and museum, the Bald Head Island Historic Tour is a two-hour island-wide experience. This experience covers local stories of conspiracy, colonization, and more. If that’s not enough adventure they also have the Civil War Walking Tour. This walking tour is a half mile hike through the remains of Fort Holmes, where you’ll learn about Bald Head Island and Wilmington’s role in the Civil War. Reservations are needed for guided tours, and you can book yours now by visiting https://www.oldbaldy.org
Brunswick Town and Fort Anderson
If you’re a history buff this is the perfect place for you and your family. Founded in 1726 by Maurice Moore, Brunswick Town is nestled on the Cape Fear river. 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 https://historicsites.nc.gov/all-sites/brunswick-town-fort-anderson to plan your visit.
Battleship North Carolina
The Battleship North Carolina is a must-see World War ll memorial. Although not technically one of the Holden Beach local adventures, just a short drive to Wilmington and you’ll find yourself viewing A National Historic Landmark. The Battleship North Carolina, honoring the 11,000 North Carolinians who gave their lives in World War ll, is a true part of American history. Put on your walking shoes and explore the 9 levels of the ship which is now open to the public. The Battleship is open every day of the year where you can climb aboard and take a trip through time! For more information and pricing visit https://www.battleshipnc.com/
Ready to plan your perfect Holden Beach vacation? Check out great planning tips and local advice within our local blog HERE. After you have the perfect plan, it’s time to book the perfect home for you and your family. View our full property list HERE or give us a call (910-842-1550) to take the first step in your own personal adventure.