Named best family beach in the United States by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, also known as “Dr. Beach,” Holden Beach offers small-town charm and unspoiled beauty. Navigate a kayak or canoe along the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway, and keep watch, for you may glimpse endangered loggerhead sea turtles as they surface for air. In this naturalist’s—and wildlife—haven, you’re sure to find something to delight your whole family—from spotting dolphins in the surf to playfully chasing ghost crabs with flashlights during an evening stroll. Have lunch on-the-deck at one of several restaurants that sit beside the Intracoastal Waterway. Here, you can watch shrimp boats cruise by as they make their way to and from the ocean. And, don’t miss the North Carolina Festival by the Sea, a celebration with arts, crafts and seafood that draws people from all over.