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Sunset Beach is a city in Brunswick County, on the North Carolina Coastal Plain. Sunset Beach received its name from the beautiful sunrises and sunsets that can be seen from the island due to its unique southern exposure. Beyond the sunsets, this beach is also known for its powdery white sand and its swing bridge; the only one of our islands to still have one. Another unique feature of the island is Bird Island, an undeveloped and secluded island that can only be accessed by land by way of Sunset Beach during low tide. The inland side of Sunset features several golf courses, Ingram Planetarium and Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center.

Get in[edit]

US 17 runs through Brunswick County and alongside Sunset Beach. Approaching from Myrtle Beach to the south or Wilmington to the north, turn onto NC 904/Seaside Rd.

Get around[edit]

Map of Sunset Beach

The inland side of Sunset Beach is for the most part only accessible by car. But over on the island, it is easy to get around on foot or bike, using the roads or the beach. The intracoastal waterway is navigable by boat or kayak. Bikes and kayaks are both available for rent on the island [1].


  • 1 Ingram Planetarium, 7625 High Market Street, +1 910 575-0033. Tu-Sa 12:30-5PM. Hours may vary by season, call ahead. Various programs in the planetarium, plus science hall exhibits and gift shop. Lots of family activities offered. Adults $8, children (3-5) $4.
  • 2 Sunset Beach Fishing Pier, 101 W Main St, +1 910 579-6630. This 900-foot fishing pier is the southernmost pier in North Carolina and is conveniently located at the center of the island at Sunset Beach. In addition to being a great place for ocean fishing, the pier also has a convenience store, beach store, bait and tackle shop, snack bar, arcade, pool hall, souvenir shop and bar & grill. A casual stroll out to the end of the pier is a relaxing and scenic experience that beachgoers, visitors and anglers alike will enjoy day or night.


  • 1 Bird Island (Walk or bike along the beach to the South). Bird Island is a coastal reserve, administered by the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management.
  • 2 Kindred Spirits Mailbox. on Bird Island is fun to try to find for a memorable experience.
  • 3 Sunset Beach Fishing Pier. is fun for great viewpoints of the ocean as well as for avid fishermen who will find it well-stocked with supplies and ideal for fishing.
  • 4 The Point., the northern end of the island, is good for bird-watching and the occasional large tidal pool.


  • 1 Pelican Book Store, 1780 Chandler’s Lane #10B (at the intersection of Highways 904 and 179 behind Food Lion), +1 910 579-8770. M-Sa 10AM-8PM, Su 1-5PM. Carries best selling hard backs, trade and mass market paperbacks, used books, children's books, local authors, jigsaw puzzles, greeting cards and maps.
  • 2 Sunset Beach Trading Co, 430 Sunset Blvd S Sunset Beach, +1 910 579-0194. A small island shop selling Sunset Beach souvenirs, swimwear, beach gear, and ice cream.


Sunset Island is located in an area that is very involved in the seafood industry, and one will have no trouble finding a good seafood restaurant. Most of the food served at these restaurants is caught locally and as a result is very fresh.



Go next[edit]

Sunset Beach is near the town of Calabash, a seafood hub and a good destination for mini-golf. Go to Callahan's, a large local store full of ideal souvenirs.

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