North Carolina Beaches With Boardwalks

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Though North Carolina is not known as a state with vibrant, larger-than-life boardwalks, a few North Carolina beaches do have boardwalks complete with shops and restaurants. Still, the state is better known for its pristine beaches and family appeal. Most of the beaches in North Carolina do not have boardwalks, since many area tourists come specifically to relax and get away from boisterous areas. Beaches with boardwalks allow tourists a great spot for biking, walking, jogging and boating.

Carolina Beach

Though not large compared to many mid-Atlantic and West Coast boardwalks, Carolina Beach has the largest boardwalk in North Carolina, featuring boutiques and restaurants. There are also places for tourists to get surfing or swimming lessons, and the boardwalk offers surrey rides. There is no amusement park on the boardwalk, but there are a few small rides for young children. Carolina Beach’s boardwalk is great for walking, jogging or biking.


Despite its small size, Beaufort’s boardwalk was named one of the 10 best in the country by Coastal Living magazine. The boardwalk is small and is largely used as a docking area for boaters. Tourists can stroll past many antique shops and authentic seafood restaurants. Beaufort’s boardwalk allows tourists to easily catch a boat for fishing, swimming or scuba diving.

Outer Banks

Actually, the most famous North Carolina beaches—the Outer Banks—have no boardwalks at all. Rather, they are most popular for their beautiful beaches and quaint towns. Families particularly flock to the Outer Banks. Though there are no boardwalks, there are many places to surf, kiteboard or parasail. Many patrons also opt to play volleyball or fly kites on the beach.

Other North Carolina Beaches

The vast majority of North Carolina beaches have no boardwalk at all. While Carolina Beach and Beaufort are exceptions, most travelers come to the North Carolina beaches for peace and quiet rather than bustling boardwalks. Many beach towns feature quaint downtown areas that are slightly inland from the beaches. Tourists can enjoy shopping, jogging and dining in these towns.

Boardwalk Activities

Though some North Carolina beaches do have small boardwalks, none have casinos or amusement parks on them like make mid-Atlantic beaches do. North Carolina boardwalks tend to be older and quieter with only a few shops and lots of room for bikes and pedestrians. Active families will likely enjoy the space and lack of hustle and bustle. Because North Carolina boardwalks are less crowded with activities, there is often more room for frisbee games, bocce ball and other active beach games.