Best Family Beaches in North Carolina

Family Beaches in North Carolina

Looking for the best family beaches in North Carolina?? Here’s the list with all the travel information you need to plan a family tour.

If you’re looking for some beachfront family fun, consider a family beach in North Carolina. There are several top-rated beaches in the state, including Wrightsville Beach, which features the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Ocean.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a relaxing family beach vacation, consider one of the barrier islands in North Carolina. For example, the beaches on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

You can find many activities and attractions near North Carolina’s coastline. From surfing to fishing, you can find something to suit any family’s needs.

If you’re a fan of sandcastles, horseback riding along the coastline, swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding, there’s any kind of beach in this state. You can even camp out on the beach and have a bonfire with your family.

Kure Beach, Fort Fisher State Park Beach, Corolla Beach, Carova Beach, Nags Head Beach, Topsail Beach, and Duck Public Beach are the most popular beaches in North Carolina.

Let’s discover the complete list of the best and fun family beaches in North Carolina. Just check and add them to your bucket list.

Family Beaches in North Carolina

1. Family Beaches in North Carolina: Fort Fisher State Park Beach, Kure Beach

You’ve probably heard of Fort Fisher, the historic site on the other side of Hwy. 421 in Kure Beach. However, many people aren’t aware that it’s also a beach park. You can find Fort Fisher State Park Beach at 1610 Fort-Fisher Blvd.

Family Beaches in North Carolina Fort Fisher State Park Beach, Kure Beach
Fort Fisher State Park Beach, Kure Beach

Located on the same stretch of beach as the famous Carolina Dunes, Fort Fischer is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. This family-friendly beach is open year-round and is a perfect spot to get a tan, swim, sunbathe, picnic, boat, surf-fish, surf, beachcombing, and play with your kids.

Since it features a gorgeous and well-maintained shoreline with powdery white sands and turquoise waters, you can have a great time with your family.

Also, Fort Fisher State Park Beach features facilities including shaded picnic areas, grills, showers, changing rooms, etc.

Fort Fisher State Park’s natural beauty is unmatched by anything in the region. Its semi-circular beach was carved out by erosion in the 1920s. A seawall protects the shoreline and the fort.

The state park’s 287 acres are home to an interesting Civil War museum and WWII bunker. It also boasts Native American artifacts and an underwater archaeology exhibit.

Fort Fisher State Park Beach, Kure Beach NC
Fort Fisher State Park Beach, Kure Beach, NC

And the surrounding area is a part of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve and is a rich habitat for many different species. Some of the more endangered and threatened species are also found in this area.

For example, you can spot loggerhead sea turtles do nesting on the beaches of Kure Beach.

If you’re looking for a place to spend the day with your family, Fort Fisher State Park Beach is an ideal choice.

Address: 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd S, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States  Phone: +1 910-251-7340

Family Beaches in North Carolina

2. Family Beaches in North Carolina: Duck Public Beach, Duck

Here’s one of the best family beaches in North Carolina, Duck Public Beach.

Family Beaches in North Carolina Duck Public Beach, Duck
Duck Public Beach, Duck

Beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean surround the Duck public beach. And tourists can enjoy all kinds of water sports on this beach.

For example, you can rent ocean kayaks and take guided sound kayak tours on this beach. And also, you can try stand-up paddleboarding, jet Sking, parasailing, and pontooning with your family.

Also, you can build sandcastles and sunbathe with your little ones since lifeguards are on duty from May to October, no need to worry about safety.

In addition to water activities, Duck also offers endless walking paths. So, you can take scenic hikes with your family. Be sure to bring your hiking boots!

On the other hand, Duck public beach is perfect for wildlife lovers. The maritime forest setting of the beach is home to several species of waterfowl.

The Duck Public Beach is one of the few places on the Outer Banks where dogs are welcome to roam the sand and water freely. Owners must supervise their pets at all times. So, bring their dogs on leashes and let them run free in the sand.

While Duck has plenty of amenities for the visitors, it’s ideal for families and pet lovers alike.

Address: Duck Road, Duck, NC 27949, United States          Phone: (252) 255-1234 

Family Beaches in North Carolina

3. Family Beaches in North Carolina: Carova Beach, Corolla

Carova Beach is an unincorporated community located in Currituck County, in the extreme northeast corner of the state.

Family Beaches in North Carolina Carova Beach, Corolla
Carova Beach, Corolla

It is on the Currituck Banks, north of Bodie Island, and can only be reached by boat or four-wheel drive. Otherwise, your vehicle will get stuck in the sand.

Those looking for a unique vacation spot will want to consider this unincorporated community.

The best way to see the beauty of this small, isolated beach is to rent an umbrella and sit under the shade with your family.

And the Outer Banks is a perfect place for a romantic getaway too.

One of the most remarkable features of Carova Beach is the presence of beautiful wild horses. Kids will love to see them. Actually, there is Corolla Wild Horse Museum near the town to teach you more about these beautiful animals.

Also, Carova Beach features a beautiful, soft, and white sandy beach.

If you visit Carova Beach with your kids, you can spot diverse birds and other wildlife along the beach. And also, you can go shelling in the Outer Banks.

Aside from that, this beach is famous for fishing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding.

In addition, you can rent out a beach house at any of the many lodging options available in the area, ranging from a cozy little shack to a luxurious lodge.

So, plan a fun Carova Beach tour with your family.

Address: 1999 Sandpiper Road, Corolla, NC 27927, United States            Phone: (252) 435-3970  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

Looking for more beaches in North Carolina?? Just check this out, The Best and Fun Beaches in North Carolina

4. Corolla Beach, Corolla

Here’s another beautiful beach to catch wild horses in North Carolina, Corolla Beach.

Corolla Beach, Corolla NC
Corolla Beach, Corolla, NC

With less than 800 permanent residents, it’s a small enough community to feel like a small town but big enough to offer you the kind of solitude you need to enjoy the beach.

Corolla’s pristine, natural beauty is the perfect setting for a relaxing family getaway. However, the beach is also a great place to spend a day or two.

While most vacationers head to Corolla for the sun and sand, it’s also a great place to find adventure.

The local water sports are a big part of the Corolla Beach experience, and tourists can take fishing or crabbing trips in the Currituck Sound.

There’s also an excellent golf course on the beach, which can make for a memorable day in Corolla.

Corolla’s public beaches are perfect for families with young children. There are even handicap-accessible parking lots.

And if you’re in the mood for some sightseeing, you’ll find several attractions in the area. You will find a unique antique collection, over 200 waterfowl displays, a small auditorium, and local plant specimens at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education.

And if you’re a big animal lover, you can tour the Outer Banks Maritime Center, which features a maritime museum with various maritime vessels used for different purposes.

Address: 1312 N Beach Access Rd, Corolla, NC 27927, United States          Phone: (252) 453-8555  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

5. Currituck Beach, Corolla

The Currituck Beach in North Carolina is a popular destination for locals and tourists. The area is located in the northeastern part of the state. There you will find the weather beautiful and the pristine beach a relaxing retreat.

Currituck Beach, Corolla NC
Currituck Beach, Corolla, NC

The beachfront is lined with huge houses so that you will find many resorts, B&Bs, and vacation rentals.

Golf enthusiasts will be fascinated by the Currituck Club, a community of luxurious houses on the coast.

And of course, the area is an excellent place for family vacations. Hiking, surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, kiteboarding, hunting, and building sandcastles are among the many activities near Currituck Beach.

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse serves as a navigation aid. It is the last major brick lighthouse on the Outer Banks. And it was built in 1873 and first lit in 1875.

Actually, it filled the “dark space” between the Outer Banks and Virginia.

The keeper’s house is a Victorian “stick style” structure. Today, it serves as a museum and is accessible to the public. So, take your kids there.

Aside from the lighthouse, Currituck Beach has magnificent wild horses, Spanish Mustangs.

Address: Currituck Beach, Corolla, NC 27927, United States          Phone: (252) 453-0877  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

6. Family Beaches in North Carolina: Lake Lure Beach and Water Park

If you’re looking for a place to go on a fun beach vacation with your family, consider visiting Lake Lure Beach in North Carolina.

Family Beaches in North Carolina Lake Lure Beach and Water Park
Lake Lure Beach and Water Park

Mountain Lake features a traditional beach, a kids’ park with a waterslide, and many water games. You can also rent a kayak or canoe and explore the area’s rivers and streams.

If you have children, you’ll want to plan a day at the waterpark.

The lakeside community of Lake Lure boasts three acres of private beach with well-maintained bathrooms and changing facilities. And it offers picnic areas and a snack bar too.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or exciting family activities, Lake Lure Beach has it all.

The lake’s boardwalk and Flowering Bridge are beautiful attractions. Visitors can visit the town’s marina and beach house to enjoy water sports.

And the marina provides a variety of boats for rent and operates during the warmest months of the year.

Swimming, sunbathing, boating, water sliding, and playing water games are the most popular things to do on Lake Lure Beach in North Carolina.

Address: 2724 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure, NC 28746, United States          Phone: +1 828-625-0077  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

7. Family Beaches in North Carolina: Carolina Beach

If you’re planning a vacation in North Carolina, you should visit Carolina Beach.

Family Beaches in North Carolina Carolina Beach
Carolina Beach

The town is known for its beaches and amusement parks. The Cape Fear River runs through the city, and the state park is located along the coastline.

You can follow several trails, including the Flytrap Trail, named after the carnivorous plants that grow here.

The Atlantic Ocean is close by, and you can enjoy the Atlantic Ocean waves right from the town’s shore. You can also explore the history of the local culture at the Federal Point History Center, located in the center of Carolina.

And the best time to visit Carolina Beach is during the fall when prices are lower, and the beaches are not as crowded. But, temperatures are still comfortable year-round.

Do not forget to check for weather alerts as the area is frequent with hurricanes.

While you’re at Carolina Beach, make sure you spend time on the boardwalk. It’s one of the few true boardwalks in the east and has everything from amusement parks to live entertainment.

Kids and teens will enjoy the amusement park rides and the lively boardwalk. That’s why it’s a great beach destination for families with children.

Address: 1121 N. Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428, United States         Phone: (910) 458-2999  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

8. Family Beaches in North Carolina: Salvo Beach

A trip to Salvo Beach in North Carolina is not complete without a day spent at the beach.

Family Beaches in North Carolina Salvo Beach
Salvo Beach

Especially, Salvo Day Use Area is more popular. And its pristine white sand, miles of private coastline, and abundant shelling make this a great place to spend a day with your family or friends.

The area is also home to many shipwrecks, making it an excellent location to practice your new hobby. But be sure to check out the weather before booking a vacation to Salvo Beach.

The weather is ideal in the summertime, but the water can be very cold. Although beer is allowed on the beach, alcohol is not officially allowed.

While there are no lifeguard stations on Salvo Beach, you can engage in activities such as metal-detecting, but be aware that this is prohibited as it is part of the National Park Service.

If you are Salvo Beach with your kids, the Pamlico Sound is perfect as it features shallow and calm waters.

You’re also not permitted to walk or pick live sea oats. There are also some rules to follow, such as not digging holes in the sand, as these could pose a safety hazard. Most communities consider noise violations, and you’re warned that you’ll be arrested if you’re found to be making too much noise after 11:00 pm.

In addition to the beach, Salvo is also a great place to explore by car. You can find a parking lot across the street from the town, but the roads are not marked. The road to Salvo is paved, but it can get a bit bumpy.

However, it’s definitely worth a drive if you love the ocean.

Address: Salvo, NC 27972, United States         Phone: +1 252-473-2111  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

9. Kill Devil Hills’ Public Beach, Kill Devil Hills

The best way to enjoy the beaches and relaxing wind of North Carolina is to go to the town of Kill Devil Hills.

Kill Devil Hills’ Public Beach, Kill Devil Hills NC
Kill Devil Hills’ Public Beach, Kill Devil Hills, NC

This location is mostly known for its soothing wind.

For a weekend getaway with your family, you can try one of the many campgrounds or RV parks near Kill Devil Hills Public Beach.

Although the area is quite busy during the summer, Kill Devil Hills Public Beach is a popular destination for tourists and locals.

The town of Kill Devil Hills has dozens of public beaches available for visitors to enjoy. Most of these beaches have handicapped access ramps and public parking. Some beaches have lifeguards on duty or roving patrols.

And also, there are many restaurants, shops, and hotels in Kill Devil Heights that you can visit during your stay.

Avalon Pier is a popular attraction in Kill Devil Hills for fishing. So, you can try fishing with your family.

Make sure to stay at least 50 yards away if you’re looking to surf. Red flags are posted on the surf break to keep surfers safe.

Actually, there are several public beaches in Kill Devil. They are ideal for building sandcastles, surfing, boogie boarding, and playing beach volleyball.

Address: 204 Ocean Bay Blvd, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948, United States        Phone: (301) 356-5899  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

10. Topsail Beach, North Carolina

Topsail Beach is a small beach town in Pender County, North Carolina.

Topsail Beach, North Carolina
Topsail Beach, North Carolina

The area is home to many popular beach resorts too. And this small seaside town offers a wide variety of recreational activities, including surfing, fishing, and shelling for families.

Since the Wilmington International Airport is located near Topsail Beach, anyone can easily get there.

As one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Topsail is known for its conservation and preservation efforts.

The island has a population of loggerhead sea turtles nest along its 26-mile coastline. These turtles lay eggs from mid-May to the end of August. So, plan your tour during that period to spot them.

Do not miss the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on your visit to Topsail Beach. It rehabilitates injured or sick sea turtles and releases them back into the ocean.

In addition to its beautiful beaches, this coastal community is also home to an impressive array of wildlife. You can take your pick from the numerous wildlife sightings that are common in the area.

For history buffs, you can explore the Missiles and More Museum. And if you’re a fan of art, make sure to stop by the annual Autumn with the Topsail Festival.

If you’re looking for a fun and memorable day on the beach with your family, you’ll have a blast exploring Topsail Beach.

Address: 820 S. Anderson Blvd., Topsail Beach, NC 28445, United States         Phone: (910) 328-5841  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

11. Nags Head Beach, Nags Head

Located on the Outer Banks, Nags Head is a fantastic beach destination for families.

Nags Head Beach, Nags Head NC
Nags Head Beach, Nags Head, NC

This beach town has been a beach destination for people from all over the world since the 1830s, and it still attracts a diverse crowd today.

In addition to a fantastic beach, the town is also known for its kid-friendly attractions and delicious seafood.

There is plenty of history to soak up on Nags Head. This barrier peninsula was originally an island, but a hurricane destroyed much of it. And the lighthouse on Bodie Island is the only remaining part of that island.

Visitors can tour the pier and view anglers in action.

The Lost Colony outdoor drama is the oldest outdoor production in the country, and it provides a unique opportunity to learn about the history of the local community.

Several lifeguards are standing along the Nags Head Beach. So, you can swim safely with your family. But, there are no lifeguards on duty during the winter.

However, children should always stay close to the shoreline and stay within view of lifeguards. The parking is free on Nags Head Beach.

Aside from swimming, Nags Head Beach is ideal for surfing, surf fishing, kayaking, kiteboarding, and stand-up paddleboarding.

So, come and grab this wonderful beach experience with your kids.

Address: 2699 S Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head, NC 27959, United States          Phone: (252) 473-2138  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

12. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina is a 70 mile stretch of coastline with no development and abundant wildlife.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

It is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike. You can walk on its pristine beaches or rent a kayak or a canoe to explore the surrounding waterways.

If you’re visiting this area, make sure to bring your camera. You’ll have a great time exploring this national park’s many features.

You’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy water sports at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. In addition to surfing and kayaking, you can also try out a new sport or take part in kiteboarding.

And if you’re not a fan of the water, don’t worry – the shoreline is also perfect for fishing. You can try deep sea, surf fishing, or even drive on the beach!

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is known for its beautiful beaches and pristine waters. You can swim along the shoreline for hours or enjoy a sport like windsurfing.

The Pamlico Sound is also an excellent place for kayaking and canoeing. Most beaches are lifeguarded, and fishing is permitted with a Coastal Recreational Fishing License. The oceanfront is full of crabs, which are a fun way to spend a day.

So, plan a tour with your family. Kids will love visiting this place.

Address: 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954, United States         Phone: (252) 473-2111  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

13. Family Beaches in North Carolina: Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach is a town located in New Hanover County, North Carolina.

Family Beaches in North Carolina Wrightsville Beach
Wrightsville Beach

This beach town is a popular vacation destination for locals and tourists alike. There are many things to do in Wrightsville Beach. You can enjoy the beaches, go shopping, and find great restaurants to fill your stomach.

Wrightsville Beach has a large pier and an ice cream cart, so your kids will love this beach.

But it is still quiet and serene. There is no commercialization at Wrightsville Beach, and families can enjoy their day on the beach. And it is an excellent option for those who want to escape the bustle of the city.

You can stroll the two-mile Harbor Island loop and explore the Intracoastal Waterway and the beautiful salt marshes.

The area is also home to the Wrightsville Beach Arboretum, which is a small green space that is well worth a visit.

Wrightsville Beach is four miles long, and it is a favorite of locals, SUP paddle-boarders, surfers, and kiteboarders. Actually, it is one of the top surfing cities in North Carolina.

Come and learn to surf.

Address: 321 Causeway Drive, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480, United States          Phone: (910) 256-7900  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

14. Family Beaches in North Carolina: Bald Head Island Beach

With 14 miles of unspoiled sandy shoreline, Bald Head Island Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches in the world.

Family Beaches in North Carolina Bald Head Island Beach
Bald Head Island Beach

The island is renowned for its birdwatching. And its many nature preserves and wildlife preserves provide a unique opportunity for nature lovers to view a variety of species.

This area is also home to the famous local alligator, a rare sight in most of the country.

This unique beach town has plenty to offer beachgoers, from world-class amenities to fun activities. The island’s 108 stairs make it an excellent choice for families. (easy accessibility)

Visitors can also take guided tours of the Old Baldy Foundation’s historic buildings. Because cars are not allowed on the island, biking is the only option for exploring the area. Bicycles are available for rent from one of the many adventure outfitters.

For dining, there are a number of choices in Bald Head. Delphina Coastal Cuisine offers an extensive menu of international cuisine.

Jules’ Salty Grub & Island Pub is located on the marina and offers specialty cocktails and seafood. If you’re looking for something to sip, Sandpiper Coffee & Ice Cream is a good option. The location is convenient for people with strollers and bicycles.

Address: P.O. Box 3069, Bald Head Island, NC 28461, United States          Phone: (830) 549-6373  

Family Beaches in North Carolina

15. Family Beaches in North Carolina: Kure Beach

The town of Kure Beach is located in New Hanover County, North Carolina.

Family Beaches in North Carolina Kure Beach
Kure Beach

Featuring scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the city has a small maritime industry and is a popular place for family beach vacations.

This beach town has several hotels and restaurants and has famous nightlife too.

Families will find plenty to do on their vacation at Kure Beach. For example, there’s Fort Fisher State Historic Site, which features a Civil War fort.

The North Carolina Aquarium is a great place for children to see many marine animals, including dolphins and turtles.

Another family-friendly attraction is the historic Fishing Pier, which boasts more than a hundred years of fishing. Visitors to Kure Beach can also take advantage of the beach’s water activities, such as surfing and paddleboarding.

Nearby attractions include the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, built-in 1861. The Atlantic Ocean and Carolina Beach border the town to the north and east.

In the 1870s, Hans Anderson Kure began developing the town, but the city didn’t become incorporated until 1947. Since then, it has become a popular tourist destination.

Today, the city has mostly residential buildings, including some modest cottages.

Address: 100 Atlantic Ave, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States        Phone: +1 910-458-5524 

Family Beaches in North Carolina

  • Fort Fisher State Park Beach, Kure Beach
  • Duck Public Beach, Duck
  • Carova Beach
  • Corolla Beach Public Beach, Corolla
  • Currituck Beach, Corolla
  • Lake Lure Beach and Water Park 
  • Carolina Beach
  • Salvo Beach
  • Kill Devil Hills’ Public Beach, Kill Devil Hills
  • Topsail Beach, North Carolina
  • Nags Head Beach, Nags Head
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Wrightsville Beach
  • Bald Head Island Beach
  • Kure Beach

Family Beaches in North Carolina