We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Wonderful place to stay with family to relax and enjoy the beach !”
Review of Holden Beach

Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Columbus, Ohio
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
6 helpful votes
“Wonderful place to stay with family to relax and enjoy the beach !”
Reviewed July 14, 2006

Holden Beach is a great place! Our family just returned from Holden Beach. We had a wonderful time. The beach is great, not to crowded. A great place for the family. Our condo was very nice and just a short walk to the beach.

We had not been to Holden before, and didn't know what to expect, but it was a great time. We are already planning our trip next year to Holden Beach.

Helpful?
6 Thank ffamily5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanover, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
107 helpful votes
“Pretty beach, some areas need maintenance”
Reviewed July 3, 2006

Holden Beach is a delightful family beach. It is not at all crowded and has plenty of parking and public access areas. My family and I visited the beach itself on three separate visits in June of 2006.
The first day we came off the bridge and turned to the left and parked in the first area we could find. They appear to be doing some work on the beach - some sand may have been trucked in but not spread out well or perhaps eroded by the sea. The result was a shelf of sand that was difficult to navigate. There were a ton of broken shell pieces which made walking difficult. There were no public bathroom facilities that I could see. The water was very warm and the waves were huge thanks to some recent storms in the area. The kids had a blast!
The second day we turned to the left after coming over the inter-coastal bridge and drove further down. The sand shelf was still apparent, but not as big. The kids had a ball - the water was warm and the waves were still big.
The third visit we turned right and drove all the way to the end of the beach (I think the whole beach is nine miles long). We were in a gated community and visited some folks who had a house in the community. There were some big tide pools out in front of their house which the kids enjoyed. This part of the beach is in much better condition - no sand shelf, no huge piles and miles of broken shells that were hard to walk on. There were still tons of shells, but they were mostly whole and fun to collect!
The small strip of stores leading up to the beach and before the bridge includes a restaurant called the Seafood Barn which is pricey and the food is average.

Helpful?
6 Thank mindfultraveler12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belpre, ohio
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
5 helpful votes
“Love Holden Beach”
Reviewed May 4, 2006

My family have been coming to Holden Beach for 4 years and we love the quiet, relaxing beach. You actually have your own little beach to yourself. We will be spending many more years coming to Holden Beach. It's a great experience.

Helpful?
5 Thank passionpig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
1,217 reviews
2,069 helpful votes
“safe, quiet family beach”
Reviewed December 4, 2005

less glitter and more sand. fewer cotton candy and hot dogs stands and more fishing and fresh shrimp. go to mace's for the coldest beer on the island. not much here in the way of dining. betty's on the water front is far and away the best place to eat. no grocery everything must be hauled in from either home or shalotte. no one here would have it any other way. there are convienence stores to handle the necessary newspaper, milk or beer shortage. the beach is wide, white, sandy an at times is all yours alone to roam. the inter coastal water way is a fun place to romp. canal homes are our preference to the ocean front as their boat access makes boating an easy back yard pleasure. if everything was going according to plan i'd be there right now too. THIS IS OUR FAVORITE BEACH, ASK FOR HOBBS REALTY. THEY ARE GREAT.

Helpful?
9 Thank Bbqman3341
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesapeake, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
81 helpful votes
“Great family beach to enjoy the ocean and get away from all the commercialism”
Reviewed November 21, 2005

I have been vacationing to Holden Beach with my family since I was very young. My parents have owned a beach cottage there for the last fifteen years. We vacationed here every year until we grew up and had our own families.

Holden Beach is really an island that is separated from the mainland by the Intercoastal waterway. The beach itself actually faces south which causes the sunrises to occur over the water but off to your side and the sunsets across the intercoastal waterway. The island is 7 miles long and can be categorized into the east end, the middle, and the west end.

The east end is where the bridge connects to the island. The majority of permanent residents live on this end and it also includes the church, post office, restaurant, and a market where the fishing boats sell fresh seafood. Due to erosion there is not much beach between the dunes and the water on the east end.

Moving to the west you come into the middle of the island which has canal houses (with access for boats to the intercoastal waterway) and the fishing pier which has a general store and a clothing store next door. The beach is much wider on east end and some surfers can be found around the pier. If you pass a gatehouse where they check who you are and where you're going, you are now on the west end which is a private section with the most expensive cottages. On the beach, the far west side of the island is a neat place to walk around with lots of dunes, but you can't swim there(due to dangerous currents that occur between the next island and the intercoastal waterway).

The beaches are clean and are not overcrowded. The beach usually doesn't have too many shells or seaweed washed up on it, and driftwood is not common. You can enjoy water sports like boogey-boarding and surfing but it is very inconsistent. If you are serious about surfing you might consider making a trip over to the Ocean Isle pier where better surfing is found. Jellyfish are rare and I have never been stung nor seen/heard of someone stung in over 10+ years of going there. You can spot dolphins swimming in the water and if you go during April, late at night you can see the endangered Loggerhead Turtles come lay their eggs. In August you can watch the eggs hatch and the dozens of little turtles working their way to the sea.

Holden Beach is a much calmer location than the surrounding islands, there are no bars or ABC stores nearby which keeps a lot of the super rowdy crowds away. If you want to go out there are several activities located right across the bridge including several putt-putt places, go-carts, bumper water cars, water slide, and of course ice cream parlors (I HIGHLY recommend Fantasy Isle for ice cream, hands down the best). There are also several shops and restaurants.

The nearest town is Shallotte which has a lot more stores and restaurants. If you want to really go out on the town Myrtle Beach or Wilmington can each be reached within an hour (in opposite directions). Wilmington is more historical with classier restaurants and a traditional mall. Myrtle Beach is for the active crowd with a vast selection of restaurants, bars, shows, outlet mall, and a Wings every half block.

I highly recommend Holden Beach as a family vacation spot where one can enjoy the beach without being overcrowded, but within driving range of two cities that each offer something for different crowds.

Helpful?
25 Thank blueflamme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Holden Beach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos