Click on each question below for the answer!
(Also, see the town hall’s Beach Regulations webpage.)

What family activities are there to do locally?

Sunset Beach offers a wide array of unique activities for all ages, outdoors and indoors. Visit our things To Do dropdown menu, or the Events pages for useful lists of local attractions, great businesses, and fun activities!

Is there a boat ramp in Sunset Beach where I can launch my boat, kayak or Jet Skis?

Sunset Beach’s ramp is located on the mainland at the end of Sunset Blvd North. It is three blocks north of the roundabout and located adjacent to Twin Lakes Restaurant. The ramp is available to the public at no charge.

May we kayak from the beach?

Yes you me launch a kayak. Motorized watercraft is not allowed to launch from the beach.

Do vacationers need a fishing license to fish?

Anyone 16 years or older must have a NC Coastal Fishing License to fish off the coast of NC. This includes fishing from the beach, Intracoastal Waterway and marsh areas. Fishing from the Sunset Beach pier does not require a license a they have a commercial license to cover you. To purchase a license or for more details visit NCWildlife.org.

Is there handicapped access onto beach?

Yes!  the main access (101 W. Main Street) at the Public Gazebo and Pier is a handicap ramp and has a Sand Carpet ramp (which is withdrawn during winter months and during severe weather), plus there is free handicap parking there.
The Sunset Pier is also wheelchair accessible.
Also, the Town Hall offers 2 beach wheelchairs (made of balloon tires and pvc pipes) loaned for free to the public, no delivery, you must get it with a van or pickup truck, on a first come/first serve basis: 910-579-3808. There are rental companies with beach wheelchairs for rent, too.

What is a rip current?

A strong, narrow surface current that flows rapidly away from the shore, returning the water carried landward by waves. Rip currents form when water that has piled up along a shore due to wind and waves suddenly returns to deeper waters.

For more information regarding rip currents visit Wikipedia and the Town of Sunset Beach pages or tune in to our local weather station.

What do I do in case of a hurricane?

Hurricane season is from June 1st until November 30th. Please check out the following sites for more detailed information regarding preparedness and instructions.

What are local Emergency phone numbers?
  • ANY EMERGENCY: Dial 911

  • Sea Turtle or ANY Wildlife Emergencies, Turtle Tracks, or Hatchings:  910-579-5862
  •  Brunswick County Emergency Management: 910-253-2565
  • Sunset Beach Town Hall: 579-6297
    Sunset Beach Police: 910-579-2151
    Sunset Beach Fire: 910-579-2456
    Atlantic Telephone: 910-754-4311
    Brunswick Electric: 910-754-4391
Are fireworks, laser pointers, grills or open fires allowed?
  • Fireworks of any kind are prohibited by the state of NC. Sunset Beach police and residents monitor this carefully.
  • Sparklers and laser pointers are prohibited as well.
  • Bonfires, campfires, charcoal and gas grills are NOT ALLOWED ON THE BEACH nor within ten (10) feet of a residence as they are fire hazards.
Dogs or pets allowed on the beach?

Yes! Dogs and similar small pets are allowed (horses are never allowed on beach) on the beach at night on the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day between 6pm and 8am.  They must be kept on a leash of 10 feet or less at all times all year long. They are allowed at all times the rest of the year.
Pet owners/handlers are required to immediately bag and remove any poop from your pet, and dispose of it in the trash receptacles.

Am I allowed to walk or play on the dunes?

People, children and pets must refrain from walking, playing, or touching the dunes at all. They are there to help protect the town from storms and are a safe nesting place for turtles, birds and others. Please remain on the walkways when crossing the dunes. The fine is $100 per person for touching or disturbing any dune.

Are we allowed to have glass bottles on the beach?

Plastic containers and cans are the only thing allowed on the beach. Glass bottles are prohibited for your safety.

Can we drive on the beach?

Motor vehicles are not allowed on the beach. Only emergency and official vehicles are allowed on the beach.

Is surfing allowed at this beach?

Surfing is allowed however is not allowed from 5th street to 32nd street.

May we camp overnight on the beach?

Camping or sleeping on the beach after dark is not allowed.
Bonfires, campfires, gas grills or charcoal are not allowed on the beach at all times.

May we dig holes in the sand?

You may dig small holes but you are required to refill them before leaving for the protection of other visitors and our sea turtles.
Holes should not exceed 18n inches in depth or 5 ft. wide.

May we have a tent on the beach?

Yes and No.

  • No Tents, Cabanas or Canopies are allowed between 1st and 27th Streets.
  • Otherwise, tents and canopies regulations:
    • Visitors must put up their own tents, cabanas or canopies. Umbrella service is allowed.
    • Each tent, cabana or canopy may not be larger than 12ft x 12ft. and anchor tie-downs must be placed within tent footprint
    • Place rear of tent in alignment with trashcan poles (along the dune line, everywhere on this beach)
    • All tents must be at least be 10 feet apart, and only 1 row of cabanas or tents allowed
    • Place tents outside an 84ft. perimeter of any public or emergency access point–obey signs for emergency accesses
    • These regulations are enforced by our friendly beach patrol staff for public safety.
Can we get married on the beach?

Sunset Beach welcomes you to have your ceremony on the beach and does not require a beach permit for it! You may get your NC Marriage License nearby in Bolivia, NC. Please remember when decorating: no one may restrict pedestrian or emergency vehicular traffic, no open flames, no glass, no fake flower petals on the beach for wildlife safety. Real petals and whole, sturdy, artificial flowers are fine… fake petals may be eaten by turtles and some birds which is fatal.

Where do we get an NC marriage license?

About 30 mins away in the Brunswick County Register of Deeds office complex at 75 Courthouse Drive NE, Bolivia NC.
R.O.D. Office is open Mon-Fri only (except holidays) 8:30am-4:30pm, $60 cash or certified check only, couple must appear in person (no online or phone-in), requires 2 government-issued photo IDs from each of you & be over age 18 years. No wait period, no US citizenship, no tests, no appointment required, but we highly recommend you call ahead to bring proper IDs, and get directions to which building and other restrictions may apply!  Visit:   http://rod.brunsco.net/marriages.html

NOTE:  All 50 states require couples to use a license from the same state/location as the ceremony, NOT from your home state.

May we rent seating or arbors for a beach ceremony?

Yes, you may rent and use chairs, seating, arbors or trellises on the beach however, they need to be removed before sunset time.

May we get married in the Gazebo?

Yes, you may have a wedding inside the Gazebo however, it cannot be rented, so please remember it is a popular public beach entry, other folks may need to use it, and you are not allowed to block them or restrict public access at any time.

May we decorate the Gazebo?

Yes, you may decorate the Gazebo but use no paint, and no lights/flames/candles of any kind, for public safety. You are not allowed to obstruct traffic through it, or block anyone else from using the public Gazebo.

Are bikers welcome here?

Yes indeed! Many of us are respectable bikers too. Anyone who obeys common sense safety, traffic laws, respects common courtesy, enjoys beauty, fun, serenity and coastal Nature, is welcome here.

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