5 BEST NORTH CAROLINA BEACH HOTELS

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Having a hard time choosing a hotel in The North Carolina Coast? Choose from an impressive variety of area hotels, B&Bs and other lodging at Carolina Beach, many with stunning ocean, harbor and lakeside views.

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Sanderling Resort

Set on Currituck Sound and across the street from the Atlantic Ocean, this upscale resort is 3.1 miles from Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary and 3.7 miles from the town of Duck.

Warm rooms feature minifridges, iPod docks and balconies, some with water views. Some rooms have pull-out sofas.

Amenities include 2 outdoor pools and kids’ pools, plus a spa, and 2 restaurants and bars. Paddleboard, kayak and bike rentals (surcharge) are also available. The daily resort fee includes amenities such as Wi-Fi, beach chairs and umbrellas, access to a fitness center and a steam room, and parking.

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Carolina Beach Inn

On a residential street a minute’s walk from shops and restaurants, this unfussy hotel is a 5-minute walk from Carolina Beach along the Atlantic Ocean and 1 mile from Carolina Beach State Park.

The casual, individually decorated rooms feature shared balconies or patios with rocking chairs. All have free Wi-Fi and flat-screens, plus minifridges, microwaves, and tea and coffeemakers. Suites add separate living/dining rooms, kitchens and/or pull-out sofas; 1 offers a private deck.

Parking is complimentary. There’s a grassy garden with a BBQ grill and picnic tables. Pets are welcome, and pet sitting and walking services are available (fees apply).

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Shell Island Resort

This beachfront, all-suite hotel is 2 miles from Highway 74. It’s also 12 miles from downtown Wilmington and 8 miles from the University of North Carolina.

The casual, contemporary suites feature balconies with ocean views, as well as separate living rooms with pull-out sofas, flat-screen TVs and DVD players. All units also offer free Wi-Fi and kitchenettes. Upgraded suites have direct beach and pool access.

A breakfast buffet (fee) is served in a casual restaurant. Amenities include both indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a playground, a beach volleyball court and laundry facilities. There’s free covered and outdoor parking.

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Golden Sands Motel

Overlooking Carolina Beach, this relaxed, 5-story oceanfront hotel off Highway 421 is a mile from the Carolina Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park and 15.7 miles from downtown Wilmington.

The straightforward rooms include pull-out sofas, minifridges and microwaves, and have flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Some have balconies with ocean views. Upgraded rooms add separate living areas and kitchenettes.

Parking is free. Additional amenities include outdoor and indoor pools, a whirlpool and an exercise room, plus a grill restaurant and tiki bar on the hotel’s private wooden pier, which hosts live entertainment during the summer.

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Blockade Runner Beach Resort

This contemporary resort hotel faces the ocean on one side and the sound on the other, with lush landscaped gardens and beach access on both. It’s adjacent to US Route 76 and 1 mile from Johnnie Mercer’s Pier.

The bright rooms all have balconies, plush bedding, free Wi-Fi and TVs, while suites add marble bathrooms with soaking tubs and come with room service.

Free perks consist of a breakfast buffet and an airport shuttle. Other amenities include an outdoor pool, a gym, an oceanfront restaurant and a seasonal pool bar. The resort also offers multiple recreation facilities for a fee, including water sports instruction, fishing and boat tours.