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Any Reassurance?

SW Virginia
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2 posts
19 reviews
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Any Reassurance?

We're booked for a late June vacation to Carolina Beach and all the negative postings have me a little nervous. We have two young daughters (9 and 6 years old). The talk of rough waters, narrow beaches, run down buildings, make me pause over our plans -- our first family vacation in couple of years.

Let me provide a little background: we're not stuck on fancy accommodations or Myrtle-Beach like amusements. For example, we've been to Edisto Beach, SC a couple of times and love it, so we're accustomed to small, secluded beach towns. As long as the condos/homes are clean and safe, we're satisfied. The girls like the beach, but don't want to spend all their time there (they like to play in the sand more than the water hence my worry over the "narrow, sloped beaches"), so we were looking for a place that offered a little more to do than Edisto, but not to the extent of Myrtle. We looked at the Outer Banks, but it looks a little too busy and overpriced (I could be wrong).

Am I making a mistake by choosing Carolina Beach? My initial research seemed to make CB ideal -- small but not too small, not MB-like overcrowded, reasonably priced, mini golf, an arcade, ice cream, a nearby aquarium, Wilmington closeby. But I don't want to be the dad that ruined our vacation. Can anyone reassure me?

North Carolina
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1. Re: Any Reassurance?

My opinion is there are other options that are better. Don't get me wrong, we had a nice family vacation there and loved the proximity to Wilmington, but felt it was run down and beaches were not ideal. You could go north of Myrtle (North Myrtle Beach.....our favorite section is Cherry Grove) or south of Myrtle (Garden City or Surfside). Have heard good things about Kure as well, but have never been.

Wilmington, NC
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2. Re: Any Reassurance?

Carolina Beach is a fun beach. There is a pier and a little downtown area with a marina to walk around. Take a 5 min car ride and you can park at Kure Beach or go another 5 minutes to Fort fisher. I personally think the fort fisher area is one of the best spots in Wilmington. You can take the ferry to southport, your wife and kids will love it.

I go to Kure beach because of the ample parking, but I have stayed at CB and had a lot of fun. It has some run down houses but also some nice ones. You are in a really nice area even if Carolina Beach is not perfect.

Any Beach
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for Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, West Virginia
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3. Re: Any Reassurance?

When my boys were around your kids age, we spent the most wonderful vacations at Carolina Beach. Rented a house, played in the sand, went to the aquarium, the ferry to Southport, went to Wilmington, went to Kure Pier. Just wonderful memories.

Two years ago we stayed at Kure Beach. Again wonderful time. We are going to Myrtle Beach this summer.....and my kids are disappointed....they

want to go back to Kure/Carolina Beach.

From your description of your vacation expectations....I think you made a good choice!

(what hotel/condo are you staying)

SW Virginia
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2 posts
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4. Re: Any Reassurance?

Thanks everyone for the responses. And if anyone else wants to chime in, I will continue to check the forum.

I think it will be fine, my philosophy is that vacations are largely what you make of them and Carolina Beach seems to offer a lot of what we're looking for. I know we'll enjoy the aquarium, the ferry, the mini golf, the ice cream and doughnut shops, Wilmington, and hopefully ... the beach!

Oh yeah, we're staying at a condo, one of the "A Place at the Beach" units rented through Carolina Beach Realty. The condo was remodeled last fall and looks to be one of the nicer ones in the complex. Hope its okay.

Thanks again, I do appreciate the feedback.

Carolina Beach
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5. Re: Any Reassurance?

tp882, I know from experience that it is hard to listen to what people say on message boards. Often times, you get conflicting responses and don't know what to believe.

I started a blog several months ago for the purpose of providing people with a source of information about current events on the island. In addition, I had read a few posts on this and other boards that painted the island in an unfavorable light. So instead of me continually trying to offer a more balanced view about the island and beach conditions, I started adding external links on my blogs from other people who have vacationed on Pleasure Island.

Here are a couple of blog entries I made that have some recent photos of the boardwalk area: carolinabeachtoday.com/2008/04/seaside-inn-i…


Also, the boardwalk has been undergoing a revitalization effort and the website has many pictures of the progress. Check out the various picture albums:


Now if you go to the bottom of my home page, you'll see various video links (that I snagged off youtube) and some blog entries from random people discussing their CB vacation. Sometimes it's best to hear what others are saying about their family summer vacations.


Lastly, to address some of your specific concerns, the beach does become more narrow at high tide but there is still plenty of beach to get around (there is a couple of youtube video links of the actual beach). On the north end at the pier, they do have a notable erosion issue and the beach may become impassable during high tide. (But the area affected is only about a few blocks...all other areas are fine.)

And the water can be rough at times especially when their are storms off the cost or there is an approaching offshore low pressure system. In those cases, you would want to keep a close eye on your children. But normally, the surf is manageable for most individuals. However, on average, the surf is a bit more rough than at Wrightsville...which helps explain why CB is a favored area for surfers.

Hopefully the pics and videos will be of help to you.

Best of luck with your vacation planning.

6. Re: Any Reassurance?

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