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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.
I stayed at the Carolina Beach State Park Campground a few times and enjoyed every moment. First of all, it provides an affordable option for those who want to be close to the beach but also enjoy camping, woods, and hiking trails. It's also a nice campground with clean nice bathrooms and showers with hot water.
Sites 71 and 73 are connected and provide plenty of space for a larger group with several cars. The site doesn't have tent pads, it's basically just some gravel, pretty level and with a lot of space for tents.
The park has about 5 miles worth of trails. My favorite is the Flytrap trail, which leads to swampy areas with Venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants. They are small and easy to find if you know where to look. Ask a ranger for specifics.
BTW, if you're in Wilmington area, check out https://www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/listing/stanley-rehder-carnivorous-plant-garden/901/ - this is a cure little destination for kids and adults.
The weather can be hot and humid during the summer months. Bring a lot of bug spray!!!
This is a great place where you can camp directly on the beach, but because it is located in Wilmington, NC it can get VERY busy. During busy times you have to apply for or get a permit.
They charge just to drive on the beach to cut down on traffic. It's very hot and busy during the summer but if you go in spring, fall or warm winter days it's absolutely amazing.
Carolina Beach State park has an awesome location if you’re looking for an inexpensive place to stay at the beach. It’s a short drive to Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Fort Fisher. There is no swimming area at this park. There is a marina and some great hiking though! We took a day trip to Bald Head Island as well! The campsites are large and well secluded from each other. The restroom and showers are centrally located, and clean enough. One thing I will mention is the pack of gigantic raccoons that kept us up all night while we were there. We accidentally left some food out one night and they were bothering us all weekend, even during the day! Some of the biggest raccoons I’ve ever seen. Don’t be like us and leave food out, lol!
Carolina Beach State Park is located just over the bridge in Carolina Beach NC. It is close to many restaurants and grocery stores, but offers a bit of seclusion with the large trees and overgrown shrubbery between sites.
We enjoy the short hikes at Carolina Beach State Park, and the visitor center! The visitor center has fantastic exhibits of venus fly traps with hands-on activities for the kids, explaining about the different kinds of carnivorous plants that live in the park. We found both pitcher plants and venus fly traps on one of our hikes!
This campground has 2 large loops - with affordable cabins scattered throughout. It is a fairly large campground - almost 100 sites, with bathhouses, showers, spigots and trash through the park. Camping costs around $26 a night for a tent site, or you could reserve one of their cabins (double bed and desk in the front room and bunks, or 2 bunk beds) for $58 - what a steal!!
One of our favorite sites is number 45 - it backs right up to the river - and is slightly elevated, allowing beautiful views (while it isn't raining!). This campground also has a marina - where boats can be rented as well as put in. There are hiking trails, both short and long - the shortest being the venus fly trap trail - where you can see both venus fly traps and pitcher plants. We hiked Sugarloaf - down to the private beach - and hung out for several hours. It was wonderful!
As a ranger for The Dyrt, I get to review items. I reviewed the morsel spork XL while at Carolina Beach with my family. https://morselspork.com/products/morsel-spork
I have had several sporks while hiking the Appalachian Trail, yet this spork exceeds expectations.
First of all, the spork itself is sturdy, but pliable. Secondly, the spatula feature on the side makes it easy to scrape every last bit of food out of your container or food pouch - and on a long hike - we don't want to leave one bite behind! I have used this spork both with standard tupperware containers and also in dehydrated food pouches - and the XL is perfect! Lastly, I dislike getting food on my hand when reaching in a pouch and the length of the spork is perfect! I can get a bite (with either the fork end, or the spoon end) and remove the utensil without getting slimy/sticky food on my hands. I would highly recommend this spork for hiking/camping and my family is planning to use these in our lunches for the upcoming school year!