Holden Beach is a vacation destination with much to offer guests in the way of scenery, city-center fun, and flavor! However, it’s also a destination packed with history that has played a part in some of the nation’s most significant events. While you’re here and looking to learn more about the past, having a history-focused itinerary in hand can make all the difference. This guide is a great way to elevate the historic fun of your Holden Beach stay when you’re fortunate enough to have three days to set aside in the name of exploration. Enjoy your Holden Beach history journey that awaits!
Day 1: Enjoy Museum Visits with a Focus on History and Nature
A history-focused getaway to scenic Holden beach truly wouldn’t be complete without time spent at the Museum of Coastal Carolina. Located at 21 E. 2nd Street in nearby Ocean Isle Beach, this one-of-a-kind museum is a must-visit for those who are looking to enjoy learning more about the region’s comprehensive history of Holden Beach, NC and its coastal significance. The museum is open to the public Thursday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm with adjusted hours on Sunday from noon until 4:00 pm. The mission of this natural history museum is to help educate visitors of all ages regarding the area’s coastal habitats, wildlife, history, environment, and more! A visit here is a chance to make the most of an array of interactive and insightful exhibits that showcase subjects ranging from shark habitats to coastal reefs and the history of area fishing. There are touch tanks and arts and crafts along the way for little ones specifically making it a hands-on learning destination you won’t want to miss while you’re in town. The museum also houses a variety of themed galleries on-site complete with exhibits and dioramas focused on the culture of the Coastal Carolinas and the environment too. These include the Changing Tides Gallery, the Waterways Gallery, and the Ocean Reef Gallery just to name a few of many.
Day 2: Explore Historic Lighthouses in the Area
Enhancing your historical journey through Holden Beach on day two means taking time to visit and tour some of the most iconic lighthouses in the area. Begin your adventure today at Oak Island Lighthouse. This structure rises 169 feet into the air at its tallest point and was only completed in 1958. Today, it remains a fully volunteer-managed lighthouse that also sits on the National Register of Historic Places. Illuminating the Cape Fear River, the Oak Island Lighthouse offers its guests easy access to exciting tours to the observation deck year-round. Reservations are required during the winter, but there’s no charge to enjoy the view and learn more about the lighthouse’s history too!
Bald Head Island Lighthouse is another stop to add to your must-visit list when you’re heading to Holden Beach with a focus on the past. A visit here is a true step backward in time with the original tower dating back to 1795. While the original structure didn’t last, the current architecture was completed in 1816. Tours of this iconic stop which played an important role in the Civil War can be enjoyed by taking the Bald Head Island Ferry in Southport to the lighthouse. Tours run year-round, making this a great place to explore no matter when you arrive.
Day 3: Incorporate Some Paranormal History into Your Stay
While it might not come to mind as a traditional take on history, Holden Beach and its surrounding communities offer guests an option to dig into the past with a paranormal twist if they want to. This region was integral in a number of Civil War battles and the waters hosts lost ships as well. From stories of ghost planes and mysterious lights to haunted trains during the rise of the age of locomotive travel, there’s an otherworldly past that can be accessed here by those who want to. A great way to learn more about the history, legends, and haunted plantations is to book an Ocean Isle Beach or Sunset Beach ghost tour with the team at OBI Ghost Walk. These 1-mile ventures include a variety of stops along the way as your tour guide gives you insight into the ghostly history of the area in a relatively spooky fashion. Ghost walks depart Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7:00 pm from Salty’s on Ocean Isle Beach. Alternatively, guests can book tours that leave from the Trading Company on Sunset Beach. A tour is $10 for adults and kids under 5 can tour for free.
Book Your Holden Beach History Vacation Today
Make more of your journey to the history of Holden Beach, NC when you have accommodations in place that infuse style, luxury, and comfort into your stay too. Reach out to PROACTIVE Vacations today to learn more about our lineup of exciting vacation rentals and how we can help you start planning your trip!