Free Things to Do in Holden Beach NC

by Mary Harris

Welcome to Holden Beach, North Carolina! We’ve collected a list of Free Things to Do in Holden Beach NC. You can enjoy the beauty of Holden Beach without spending money, from relaxing on the beach to taking part in community events.

Join us as we explore the greatest free activities in this beach beauty. Let’s make wonderful memories without breaking the bank. Welcome to Holden Beach, where the good times are free.

Look into these suggestions, and stay tuned for more exciting ideas coming your way soon. Your journey to explore the best of magical Holden Beach, NC, starts here!

About Holden Beach

Holden Beach is a charming seaside town in North Carolina that offers an 8-mile stretch of pristine beaches for a peaceful vacation. Whether you love swimming, surfing, fishing, or just soaking up the sun and enjoying sunsets, Holden Beach is your perfect destination.

Explore natural beauty with the Holden Beach Marsh Walk, a wooden path through marshes for wildlife sightings. Known for its family-friendly vibe, Holden Beach is a quiet coastal gem between Wilmington, NC, and Myrtle Beach, SC.

Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle, making it a great spot for a peaceful retreat.

Key Takeaways

  • Enjoy the charm of Holden Beach without spending money.
  • Take part in free events for a great vacation.
  • Relaxing walks on the beach allow you to discover the peaceful appeal of the area.
  • Make wonderful memories without breaking your cash.
  • Discover the greatest free activities in this lovely coastal town.

List of 14 Free Things to Do in Holden Beach NC

1. Oak Island Lighthouse

Oak Island Lighthouse

Enjoy a quick 30 minute drive from Holden Beach to the enchanting Oak Island. As you approach, catch glimpses of the majestic Oak Island Lighthouse reaching for the skies.

The best part is that you can climb to the top for free, and hey, donations are welcome to support this historic gem’s upkeep.

Additionally, North Carolina’s beacons, feature the Oak Island Lighthouse and the charming Old Baldy Lighthouse on Bald Head Island.

2. Beachcombing Bliss

Beachcombing Bliss
Beachcombing Bliss

Daily walks on Holden Beach are a vacation essential, and they get even better when you add beachcombing to the mix. These walks are not just free; they might lead you to some incredible treasures! 

As you stroll, keep an eye out for shells that are free souvenirs and make your walk extra special. And here’s the pro tip: before adopting a shell, give it a check for any tiny beachcombers living inside. It’s a simple yet delightful way to turn your beach walks into treasure hunts!

3. Enjoy Sun And Sand

Enjoy Sun And Sand
Enjoy Sun And Sand

Holden Beach is heaven for beach lovers where they can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, boating, and water sports. The clean, quiet sandy shores are mostly uncrowded, making it your go-to spot all year round.

And oh, the seafood! Holden Beach is a seafood paradise with restaurants serving mouthwatering dishes and refreshing beverages. 

4. Free Concerts Under the Holden Beach Sky

Free Things to Do in Holden Beach NC

If you’re here between May and September, don’t miss the free summer concert series! Head to the Pavilion under the Holden Beach Bridge on Sunday evenings (6:30 to 8:00 pm) for live tunes (check the latest schedule).

And that’s not all catch more live music at local restaurants and festivals. Your evenings just got more enjoyable under the beach sky.

5. Explore Southport

Explore Southport
Explore Southport

There is a short half-hour trip from Holden Beach to the charming waterfront village of Southport. It’s a unique spot filled with history and character where one can spend a leisurely afternoon window shopping in the downtown boutiques and taking a stroll along the lovely waterfront.

Plus, don’t miss the North Carolina Maritime Museum on 204 East Moore Street to explore the maritime history of the fascinating Cape Fear region, and guess what? entry is free! So, plan your visit and enjoy a relaxing Southport afternoon.

6. Catch Ocean Waves At The Carolina School Of Surf

Enjoy surfing at Holden Beach with the Carolina School of Surf on Ocean Boulevard. Join their four-day surf camp for $275 every Monday to Thursday from 9 AM to 11 AM.

If private lessons are more your style, hop over to the Ocean Isle Beach location, just a 20 minute drive away. Here, you can also catch standup paddle boarding classes for ages 13 and up, all for $45 an hour with gear included. 

7. Enjoy Building Sandcastles

Enjoy Building Sandcastles

Create Lasting Memories by building a sandcastle village. Stay in one of the cozy Holden Beach vacation homes, conveniently close to the beach, and enjoy family moments by crafting sandcastles.

Equip each kid with tools, capture the moment with photos or videos, and voila—new vacation memories!

And that’s not all! While there are plenty of other free activities in the area, here are a couple we would love to share. If you haven’t booked your summer getaway, now’s the perfect time. We’re excited to welcome you and your family and hear all about the fantastic moments you create! 

8. Rent a Boat and Go On Fishing

Explore deep sea fishing in Holden Beach with the best boat charters. Experience the best fishing spots, surrounded by stunning views of the island and its beaches, especially during sunrise and sunset.

Oak Island Charters stands out as a popular choice, offering not only trips to various islands but also a tasty onboard seafood BBQ experience. 

9. Sailfish Street Park

Sailfish Street Park

Vacations are all about finding new places, and if you’re on the lookout for a fantastic park, Sailfish Street Park is the spot to check out! Located along the Intercoastal Waterway, this park, along with Sanddollar Park, is a hidden gem offering a perfect blend of boat-watching, fishing, and beach enjoyment.

Get ready to be amazed as you may even catch a glimpse of dolphins and other fascinating wildlife. Spend a day at these parks, and let your family soak in the joy.

10. Museum Of Coastal Carolina

Explore the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach for fascinating exhibits on maritime history, Native American tribes, and a captivating ocean reef diorama featuring life-sized models. The entry fee is $10, and kids aged two and under get in for free. 

11. Enjoy a show at the Ingram Planetarium

Ingram Planetarium

Explore the enchanting world of the Ingram Planetarium which is just four miles from the Museum of Coastal Carolina. The Laser shows and sky theaters delight both children and adults.

At $10 per adult ticket, it’s an affordable sky adventure. Seniors and kids pay less, and entry is free for those aged two and under.

Consider combo tickets for access to both the Planetarium and the Museum, with options to catch multiple shows in a single day.

12. Fort Caswell

It is a historical gem since 1825. With 2,800 acres of captivating American history and scenic beauty, it was originally built to thwart Blackbeard and other pirates.

It served as a coastal refuge and conference center during the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Enjoy its historic charm with accommodation costs ranging from $25 to $100 per night, depending on room type and season. 

13. Watch the view of Sunrise or Sunset(or both)

Holden Beach takes the crown for stunning sunrises and sunsets because of its unique south-facing charm, you’ll be treated to breathtaking skies over water, all year round.

And guess what? This awe-inspiring spectacle won’t cost you a single penny,  just remember to grab your camera and enjoy the beauty.

14. Coastal North Carolina

Coastal North Carolina

It is the homeland of lovely flowers, as well as flowering trees and bushes, and is a great place to visit for nature lovers along with family or friends or fun adventures. Additionally, it is a fun place for children and grandparents too.

Bald Head Island: It is just a quick ferry ride from Southport that offers 12,000 acres of untouched beauty.

You can explore charming neighborhoods, pristine beaches, and nature preserves, and don’t miss Old Baldy which is NC’s oldest lighthouse, where you can climb to the top for stunning island views.

With restaurants, a golf course, shopping, a marina, and historical sites, it’s a perfect spot for nature and history lovers alike! 


These are the lists of the 15 best free things to do in Holden Beach NC, and trust me, the adventure is just beginning! From sandy strolls to hidden gems, this coastal heaven offers budget-friendly bliss for everyone. Start your cost-free journey today! Remember, the best things in life are not only free but also waiting for you in Holden Beach, NC!

FAQs About Free Things to Do in Holden Beach NC

Q. Are the beaches in Holden Beach, NC, free to visit?

A. Yes, Holden Beach welcomes you with open shores with no fees required and you can enjoy the sun, sea, and sand without spending a penny.

Q. Can I explore nature trails without any cost?

A. Yes, you can! Holden Beach offers free access to various nature trails, allowing you to immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty without opening your wallet.

Q. Are there any free events or festivals to attend in Holden Beach?

A. Yes! Keep an eye out for local happenings. Holden Beach often hosts free events and festivals, ensuring there’s always something exciting to enjoy at no cost.

Q. Are there family friendly events that don’t require admission fees?

A. Yes, Holden Beach hosts various free family events, from outdoor concerts to movie nights, providing budget-friendly entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

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