north carolina · Travel

Carolina Beach: A Personal Journey


So, here is the background to this trip… This trip was planned months ago for my mom’s 60th birthday. This has quickly become our favorite beach, for many reasons, which I will get to later.

What was not planned was the passing of my father and me getting sick all in the same week leading up to this trip. I’m from a small town and I work in a small school. I can only imagine what people must have been thinking when I didn’t take off work when I found out that he died and then took off to the beach later that week. Well, here is why.. or at least all I need to tell you about it. Because, let’s face it, I don’t have to explain myself to you. This is mostly me trying to express to myself I feel. My dad lived in another country. We shared some good memories throughout life, but those memories are distant and few in numbers. This is not to say that I have any bad memories of him, he was simply not around much. I don’t have any hard feelings against him. I don’t have many feelings at all, mostly because it’s hard to miss someone you don’t feel like you ever truly knew. Since he lived in another country, the legality of trying to get his body home has been a mess to say the least. I have siblings that are helping in this and I am grateful to them. It has been a week since we found out he died and we still don’t have a body back in the States to have a funeral with. This is why I haven’t said much, this is why we haven’t had a funeral, and this is why I haven’t taken off work for bereavement yet.

However, the point of this post is not supposed to be sad or dramatic. As I mentioned, I was also sick this week, but I figured that the beach was much more healing than sitting at home would have been… and trust me it was. That’s my new plan… feeling sick? Let’s go to the beach.

We had an amazing weekend celebrating 60 years of life for my mom… who is my best friend and favorite person on this planet. We stayed at Hampton Inn, ocean front in Carolina Beach. This Hotel is on point and everything about it is clean and beautiful.


DAY 1:

We left mid-day Thursday and got there around 6:30 pm. We stopped by a local favorite dive-bar, The Fat Pelican, to start the evening. This place is awesome. You walk-in to this hole in the wall place and you go in a huge walk-in cooler and select whatever drink you want from over 100s of choices. The bartender opens it and puts it on your tab. They have some indoor seating, games, couches, tvs, etc. However, the coolest part is outside. It has a fenced in, sand floored “backyard” in which it basically looks like they collected random shit and made it into this awesome outside chill area. It is hard to even explain. For example, the (bad quality) picture below is me sitting on a random boat in their “backyard.”

We had dinner at Havanna’s. This is a nice seafood/steak restaurant with a beautiful outdoor seating section. We have eaten here every time we come to Carolina beach and it is excellent every time.  I had volcano shrimp and a Caesar salad. YUM.


Day 2:

We spent the day on the beach. We had absolutely amazing weather. The water was a little cold…but I absolutely love everything about the beach and the ocean. Nothing was stopping me from enjoying my much needed vacation. I’ve never understood people that travel all the way to the beach and then complain about the ocean or the sand. Why did you even come to the beach if you don’t like the beach?!? I’m the type of person that is going to pull my chair down to the water’s edge and just sit for hours.

We had lunch at the hotel Tiki bar, which is slightly over priced, but what hotel bar isn’t?

We later got cleaned up and walked down to the board walk for ice cream. The boardwalk has a lot of benches and swings set up along it, so you can sit and enjoy the moment. PS: that’s another thing I adore about this beach. Everything is within walking distance. It is a non-crowded beach, but has a lot of fun attractions. I feel like that is rare.


We had drinks at Hurricane Alley’s. This is a small bar on the boardwalk that has roof top seating so you can see the ocean, which is what makes this place special.


We had dinner at the Deck House. This is an old Presbyterian Church that the remade into a nice seafood restaurant. Their food is also excellent and I would recommend it to anyone! I had calamari, blackened shrimp, and  3 cheese mashed potatoes. AGAIN, YUM. One of my favorite things about traveling is trying new restaurants, and these never disappoint.

Also, part of the reason that mom wanted to come to Carolina Beach for her birthday is so she could eat some of the AMAZING Britt’s Donuts! They make these fresh constantly. It doesn’t matter whether you are first in line or 20th in line (and trust me, there is always a line) you are going to get a hot fresh donut.


Day 3:

I forgot to mention earlier, but the hotel has free continental breakfast, which is not uncommon at hotels. However, this breakfast is GOOD. like really good. Like fresh food that changes daily.

We walked around some shops and walked over to the Carolina Boat Regatta Festival that was going on during this weekend. We did not stay long, but it was neat to see.

We spent most of the day on the beach, soaking up the sun and simply relaxing. With the  hurricanes that are going on currently, the tides were acting a bit crazy by the end of the day. There was almost no beach left be 4pm. However, that did not stop me.


We had dinner and listened to a live band at Sea Witch. This is another awesome, unique place in Carolina Beach. It has inside, yet still outside seating. They have live music almost every night. I had a fried shrimp basket and it was again, YUM. (I like shrimp, can you tell?). We sat and enjoyed the band for a while and just took in the moment.


My goal for the entire weekend was to simply live life in the moment and enjoy time with my family. We had an amazing time and will continue to go back to Carolina Beach. Thank you for reading. If you have any questions about this beach or my trip let me know 🙂


Next Adventure: Nashville in October!

Much love,


One thought on “Carolina Beach: A Personal Journey

Leave a Reply