Holden Beach has racked up some serious bragging rights. National Geographic Traveler® magazine picked Holden Beach as the 8th best family beach in America. USA Today® writer Stephen Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach) featured Holden Beach as a top 10 great beach for families in the U.S. OmniStorage employees have unanimously agreed that Holden Beach is definitely one of the top 5 beaches in Brunswick County. (point of fact, there are 5 beaches in Brunswick County)
Holden Beach is a barrier island bounded by the Lockwood Folly Inlet on the east, the Shallotte River Inlet on the west, the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) on the north and the Atlantic Ocean on the south. Like other Brunswick County barrier islands, Holden Beach runs east-west. Holden Beach has just over 8 miles of beautiful shoreline. It is 3.4 square miles in size, of which almost 3 square miles is land and about 0.5 of a square mile is water. The island is accessed by the Holden Beach Bridge which has a clearance of 65 feet. There is one ocean fishing pier on Holden Beach, the Holden Beach Pier. Should fishing be your passion, check out the 2012 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide for Sports Fishermen for the rules and regs.
Holden Beach, like the other islands in the Brunswick County chain is an eco-destination. Though the island is fairly populated, there is a vast estuary on the north side of the island covered in saltmarsh cordgrass. It is spawning grounds for many types of sea life and an excellent place to kayak. Kayaks, surfboards and bikes can be rented at Beach Fun Rentals and Boomers Rentals.
Monk Island is an unpopulated island that is accessible by foot at any tide. It is located at the northwest end of Holden Beach. Monk Island is a beautiful place to spend a day with plenty of places to explore at low tide. Especially the tidal pools. If you do go swimming, but be particularly careful of the currents.
Birding on Holden Beach is really good and these Islands are favorites among birders. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is conducted each year in Brunswick County.
Holden Beach is habitat for nesting sea turtles. According to the Sea Turtle Nest Monitoring System and the North Carolina WRC Sea Turtle Project, "The entire ocean-facing length of Holden Beach is patrolled daily in the early morning, looking for fresh turtle crawls. All nests are marked and protected during incubation, and during emergence the hatchlings are provided safe passage to the ocean." A small part of the Patrol's work can be seen each Summer when stakes and flagging can be seen circling the nests at the foot of the dunes.
Though there are no golf courses in Holden Beach, but the Lockwood Folly Country Club is very close. Just cross over the Causeway and turn right at the light. The signs will lead you there.
As if the beautiful "gold coast" is not enough, there is a Summer concert series called Concerts by the Sea where each week musicians playing beach, funk, pop and country entertain. Holden Beach also hosts the street fairs, a Day at the Docks and Festival by the Sea.