Content Produced in Partnership with Carolina Beach

On the surface, Carolina Beach looks like any other beach town along the East Coast. There’s the boardwalk and the brightly colored shops and bike rental areas, of course, but it’s when you take a closer look that you start to realize there’s something special in the water. Located alongside the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, this North Carolina beach town is at the intersection of both fresh and saltwater adventure. There’s plenty to do and see and the locals’ enthusiasm for it all is just as contagious, and it won’t take long for you to begin feeling giddy with excitement either. Because everyone tends to feel like a kid again when they visit Carolina Beach, here are a few simple ways you can dive straight into the fun and enjoy everything the water has to offer.

Professional Surfer Tony Silvagni by Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau

Catch a wave with Tony Silvagni

Carolina Beach is a favorite among East Coast surfers, so it didn't take long for professional surfer and Olympic Gold medalist Tony Silvagni to create his own surf school in his hometown. Open from April through September, Tony Silvagni Surf School specializes in personalized surfing lessons for beginners of all ages. Every lesson has a unique two to one ratio, ensuring that you’re getting the ultimate experience and truly honing your craft with the very best.

Boat with ICW Sunset by Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau

Watch the sunset on a waterway cruise

If you’re going to enjoy the beach right, you need to spend a few hours out on the water, preferably at sunset. There are a number of waterway cruise options available in Carolina Beach, including the sunset tours of the Cape Fear River by the Winner Party Boat fleet. In addition to sunset cruises departing from the marina daily during the summer months, they also offer fishing charters and moonlight cruises as well.

Kayaking near Carolina Beach State Park by Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau

Explore Carolina Beach State Park

Considered one of the best fishing and camping sites in the area, Carolina Beach State Park is an outdoor lover’s dream come true. While its inland pursuits within its 761 acres are plentiful, it’s what you can find in its waterways that will make you love it even more. Located at a crossroads of sorts with the Cape Fear River, Masonboro Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean, Carolina Beach State Park is teeming with marine life. It’s not uncommon to spot schools of fish, dozens of birds, or the occassional Venus flytrap in this area. If you want to experience the action close up and learn a thing or two about the history of the park, be sure to sign up for a kayak or SUP tour with Paddle NC, a tour operator conveniently located within the park.