Holden beach, with a population of under 700, is a quaint coastal community with a strong connection to family values. With over 8 miles of sandy beaches and a wonderful small-town atmosphere, the island draws numerous tourists seeking a relaxing, wholesome vacation experience.
Incorporated in 1969, Holden Beach is named for the family who originally owned the island, dating back to its purchase by Benjamin Holden in 1756. In 1924, his grandson, John Holden created Holden Beach Resort, which was Brunswick County’s first subdivision of beach property. John Holden also built the first Holden Beach Bridge, and was the main advocate for the island’s inclusion in the state ferry system which came to fruition in 1934. Development progressed until 1954, at which point there were approximately 300 homes on the island. Hurricane Hazel devastated the area in October of that year but the town was slowly rebuilt. A steel-and-concrete bridge was erected in 1986 to allow better access to the island, where there are now over two thousand homes.
What to Do
This beautiful beach has idyllic conditions for fishing, sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing and all sorts of fun in the sun. The area’s charm, ideals and traditions have kept commercialism limited on the island but a wide variety of shopping and entertainment of all shapes and sizes is only a few minutes away.
Holden Beach features a free Summer Concert Series from May to September. It is also home of Festival by the Sea. This annual event takes place every October and features live music, food, arts and crafts, contests, children’s activities and much more. The pinnacle of the event is the parade down the Holden Beach Causeway, during which several hundred locals and visitors enjoy the chance to walk the Holden Beach Bridge and take pictures of the breathtaking views.