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We only stayed here for one night but from what we saw it was a great location to town and had its own marina. We hadn’t made a reservation ahead of time but the very friendly park ranger just had us make a reservation on the website as we found a spot close to the bath house that was available. Clean and friendly, would recommend!
This campground is located between the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Ocean. Nice primitive type of feel to this place. There is tent camping, RV sites, and even about 4 cabins (with more under construction) available at this site. Electrical hookups available for most of the RV sites. There are water pumps throughout the grounds and the bathroom facilities are new and clean with private showers. There are plenty of trash/recycling containers which the staff empty a few times a day, and a dump site for RV's.
There is a supermarket just a few miles away, and a brewery right outside of the campsite.
The staff is excellent and always available, and do a great job.
We have stayed at Carolina Pines 4 times with the last time being for a month. It was a wonderful experience with the staff providing activities, especially on the weekends. There are 4 pools and a water park for the kids. During the summer weekends they provide pool service for drinks which is really nice. Electric golf carts are allowed and they have rentals on site. The resort also has a beach house directly on the beach with shuttle service. Sites are well maintained. We will be spending New Years week there and understand that it is completely full! This has become our go to beach resort.
We camped here Wed through Sat for my son's fall break. We arrived on Wed afternoon around 4pm. I was wearing leggings and the mosquitos literally landed on my leggings and bit me through them. I didn't even know that could happen. I should have left the campsite then and gone to Walmart, 17 min away, and bought enough bug spray and candles for the weekend but we set up the campsite instead. We just got back so camped the first week in October, site 17. For the four days, I had two citronella candles, one on the picnic table and one near our camping chairs, a thermocell fogger in the tent (ran for about an hour before we went in to go to sleep) and then two bottles of 40% deet spray…one for our car when we came back to the campsite and one on the picnic table. We brought our kayaks and launched from both the Carolina Beach State Park marina and also Trails End public access (intercoastal waterway). Both were great with plenty of parking while we were there. There are VERY large yachts in the trails end area which are cool to see, just be careful when paddling that area. We fished at both places and also at Carolina beach from the surf. I caught a HUGE drum there. Lots of dogs off of leashes (rules change Oct 1st) so that was cool to see. We mostly cooked at the campsite but ate dinner at Sea Witch Cafe one night. The place is dog friendly, which we needed, and the food was reasonably priced and so good. The park rangers lock the gates at 9pm and they don't open until 7am so you have to plan accordingly. This wasn't an issue for us, we just watched the clock and made sure we were back. Beach is about 6 min away, Walmart is about 17 min or so, several grocery stores nearby (Food Lion, Publix). Overall, it was a great trip, I just wasn't prepared initially for the mosquitos. I got 90 bites that first day. I even had to constantly spray down my dog to keep the mosquitos off of her. It was a bit much. Definitely put all of your food in your car or at a minimum in your tent. Raccoons come nightly. :) We lost a quesadilla, some dog food, etc.
Freeman Park is a beach area located in Carolina Beach. It's the place to take your 4x4 vehicle, your friends, kids, and dogs, and have some fun in the sand, wind, and waves.
First and foremost, make sure you know how to drive in the sand and what to do when your car gets stuck. It happened to us, as well as to many vehicles on the beach.
Also, be aware of the tides, it's dangerous to be driving near the water when the high tide comes in.
The camping is allowed on the beach Labor Day through memorial Day, but might require a permit, check the rules before you go. In the past, the permit was required only after April 1, so we always tried to come in February or March, when the weather is nice but not too hot.
The camping is allowed in the designated spaces. There's enough room for one tent. Remember, when camping on sand, you don't need stakes. Instead you bring 4 plastic bags, fill them with sand, tie the tent corners to the bags and bury them in the sand. This will prevent your tent from flying away,
There are several pit toilets on the beach, some trash cans are provided too. There's a store next to the fishing pier a short distance from the beach where we usually go to brush our teeth in the morning.
I love Freeman park and give it 4 stars only because it's a primitive camping spot and people should be aware what to expect. It doesn't have fancy amenities, but the proximity to the ocean is priceless.
Our favorite dining spot: The Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar in Carolina Beach.
Eeasy to get to…lots of things to do…great tiny houses to stay in…wonderful dog park with a dog wash…great pools…great water park and golf…OUTSIDE eating excellent….bathrooms well maintained….surroundings and sites well thought out… helpful people like Tommy…worth the price