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There are a ton of things to do in Carolina Beach, which is just one of the reasons we decided to go there for our anniversary trip. This year we wanted to try something different and had to decide between the beach or the mountains. We frequent the mountains because it’s just a hop and skip away. We decided the beach was a great option and began searching through AirBnB to see what was available and also allowed us to bring our pups along for the adventure. And so we decided a Carolina Beach trip was in order.

Our October Carolina Beach Trip - Leisure & Leashes travels with dogs to Carolina Beach, NC! #leisureandleashes #carolinabeach #travelwithdogs

Sand, Waves, & Trails – Carolina Beach Trip

Being that this was Elliott’s first time at the beach, we wanted to find a rental that would allow us to bring all three dogs! We ran across a cute place called Island Time that fit our travel dates. We booked our Carolina Beach trip and waited patiently as Hurricane Florence battered the coast, but our rental weathered the storm and was still available after days of relentless rains, floods, and strong winds! And then Hurricane Michael came through, but wasn’t nearly as bad for this area! Island Time AirBnB was an amazing rental for us. It had all the amenities that you could ever need and was a short walk to the beach. 

The Beach

When we arrived at Island Time, Nicole checked out the rental and we unloaded the car. Sean even came up to make sure we made it ok and wanted to know if we needed anything. Communication with Sean and Christine was always returned with a quick response. Excellent customer service was so helpful during our Carolina Beach Trip! Once we unloaded, we ordered pizza so we could quickly eat and then take the dogs out on the beach to explore before their meal time.

Paws in the Sand

The pups were so happy when we made it out onto the soft sand listening to the waves crashing around us. McCartney was so excited, she was jumping all over the place. She definitely loves new adventures. Storm had her nose to the ground the entire walk to the beach, and once on the sand, it was ears dragging with nose working full force!

Elliott was bringing up the rear as usual. We don’t know what was running through his dopey mind, but when his paws hit the sand, he was overjoyed! His nose went straight to the sand. We managed to get Stormy and Elliott to move at a leisurely snail’s pace. We decided to walk as far as we could one way, which was a good little leg stretcher for the dogs as they had been on a long car ride.

The Beach in the Fall

We basically had the beach to ourselves, that’s the great thing about coming in the Fall because it’s out of the busy season. As we made our turn on the beach to head back to the access we used, Elliott sees a couple ladies walking towards us, probably a hundred yards away, and started barking! He’s such a nut, I really don’t think he knows how to contains his excitement. He literally barked until they passed us, then he was good to move on. I guess he could have been trying to protect us but from what who knows!

On our way back, Storm wanted to chase some seagulls but they flew away! In her mind, she could have caught them. We proceeded to make our way back to the AirBnB rental so they could eat their supper. Nicole and I decided to go run to the store for water and other food to munch on. Of course, we put all three in their travel crates while we were gone!


From the second we left, we wondered what kinds of whining and yapping would go on, our dogs feel left out if they don’t get to go everywhere we go! We figured we would be only gone for a short amount of time and surely they can manage to remain calm while we were gone. When we made it back, we listened and didn’t hear a peep, they were snoozing after their meal and our long drive. Nicole only managed to find a couple sand spurs on McCartney and Elliott, while Stormy stayed free. Successful day!

Carolina Beach State Park

As we were going to bed, we were thinking about fun things to do on our Carolina Beach trip with the dogs. We tossed around Carolina Beach State Park and Fort Fisher. The pups really didn’t care, they just wanted to be actively doing something until they were exhausted.

Carolina Beach trip with dogs - hiking on the trails at Carolina Beach State Park #leisureandleashes #travelwithdogs

Carolina Beach Trip Includes Trails

We really just wanted to spend time on the beach and just take things as they came. After trying to decide where we wanted to venture off to, we picked Carolina Beach State Park and found a trail that was suitable for all of us. Hurricane Florence weather damage was still evident while on our hike with numerous trees down which resulted in trail closures. We hiked around 1.5 miles, making for some lazy dogs.

And More Naps

They immediately went into nap mode when we returned. I asked if they were ready to head out on the beach for a little bit and they looked at me like I was crazy. We finally made it out to the beach after letting the pups rest a little bit and you can say Elliott was a little over the top! He was literally jumping all around with excitement! He even tackled Stormy in the sand. Wonder how many people noticed who was truly in charge? It’s definitely the pups.

Elliott was a little iffy on getting in the ocean, he liked to run from the incoming waves. Stormy was a little hesitant but think about her situation, the smallest waves were up to her ears! She did venture out a little though and she enjoyed it. McCartney typically has fun and splashing is what she loves to do. She splashed and even sat down in the water, making for some good pictures!

After our adventure to play on the beach, the dogs were quite tired and needed another nap. These are the days that we look forward to as much as possible! We mentally wore them out with all the new sights, sounds, and smells! Guess what, the pawrents were exhausted as well on day two of our Carolina Beach trip.

Lazy Day

Day three was a little more laid back for our Carolina Beach trip. I decided to talk all pups on a separate walk on the beach to have a little one-on-one time. I try to spend as much time as possible with our fur kids. It’s so much fun to do things as a family as well as one-on-one time. I feel all three deserve their alone time just like we humans do. Nicole wanted to sleep in, so I figured it would be a great time to explore with one pup at a time. If I didn’t take them individually, you would definitely see me wrapped up amongst three leashes and possibly limbs missing from the pups running in all directions.

McCartney Grace the goldendoodle enjoys our Carolina Beach trip in October! #leisureandleashes #carolinabeach

McCartney Grace

After filling Nicole in on my plan, I decided to start with McCartney. She’s always up for walks and adventures. We make our way over to the beach public access and she is so excited. She really loves the beach and walking around checking out everything and everyone! With that being said, don’t acknowledge her because she’s timid towards people! This has been the perfect time of the year to make a Carolina Beach trip considering the beach has been void of large crowds. Perfect for McCartney Grace.

Stormy Goes Sniffing

We returned from our walk and I was ready to take on a slower pace with Stormy. She wiggles while she walks so it’s usually a slower pace. We proceed toward the beach access and Stormy felt the need to take a bathroom break across the road! I literally shook my head, but I pulled out my poop bags and cleaned up. As soon as I got the bag tied, she decided she wasn’t done!

Storm the Basset Hound enjoys the waves at Carolina Beach #leisureandleashes #carolinabeach

With bag number two already in hand, I cleaned up and we finally made it to the sand. I told you it was a slower pace! As soon as we hit the sand, she was excited and ready to sniff every square inch of the beach. We even had fun chasing after some birds that were running around. We took our time walking down the beach and decided it was time to head back.

Lazy Boy’s Turn

When we returned, Elliott gave me that look as if he knew he was next in line. He was right! I put on his harness and out the door we went. We have to tell little fibs to the dogs so they don’t get all hyped up. They honestly feel like they have to go everywhere with each other. Elliott and I walked down the steps and into the parking area, he clearly would rather go lay back down than to walk to the beach!

Elliott the goldendoodle thinking on the beach during our Carolina Beach trip in October #leisureandleashes #goldendoodle

I had to gently pull him to the side street where he finally perked up, maybe he knew where he was going at this point! We made it to the access and you could tell he was excited. He saw a couple of people and wanted to go nuts but I kept him under control. There was a guy fishing and he looked at him with no bark! No clue why he wants to bark as a family but when it was just the two of us he was fine. Elliott and I walked down the beach sneaking up on birds and watching the waves crash. It was such a beautiful morning.

When we turned around, we saw dolphins swimming by, such an awesome thing to see. After watching the dolphins, I guess Elliott got too impatient and started hopping around and acting crazy. He’s such a happy dog, but a goofy dog, and does things very sporadically. We watched them pass by and decided it was time to head back and see what others were up to.

Another Afternoon Nap

They were up waiting to greet us, but then everyone was ready for a nap. It was rest time for me as well, after walking nearly 3 miles! It was well worth it though, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! 

Mom with all the pups on our Carolina Beach trip! #leisureandleashes #carolinabeach

Carolina Beach Trip

Overall, our Carolina Beach trip was an amazing experience! We spent a lot of time walking, being lazy, and enjoying the sites. Although this was our first trip to Carolina Beach, we will be back. From Island Time AirBnB to the Boardwalk, we enjoyed everything. Make sure to keep up with our adventures by following us on Instagram @leisureandleashes!