Guest Information

Guest Information

Town of Holden Beach Website /
.     a) Visitors /
.     b) Renters Information /

Holden Beach Information Network Website /
    a) Holden Beach Locator
.     b) Tide Tables
    c) Beachcombing Guide
.     d) Concert Schedule
.     e) Dining Guide
.     f) Restaurant Reviews

Quiet Enjoyment:
All parties are expected to act with respect and regard toward all members of the community

Garbage and Trash Removal /
Garbage and trash must be placed at the end of the residential driveway no sooner than the night before the day of collection and returned the day after collection
.       a)
Garbage pails – every Tuesday and Saturday (June through September)
.       b)
Curbside Recycling – every Tuesday (June through September)
         * If blue trash can is at property

Day Trip –

Southport / Fort Fisher Ferry Schedule

Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Calendar of Events – Island

Parks & Recreation /

Concerts by the Sea –
Free concerts every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. during the summer at the Pavilion
.     a) 
Bring your lawn chair with you
.     b)
Beginning May 29th through September 4th

Tide Dye –
Join us every Tuesday between 1:00 to at 2:00 p.m. at the Pavilion to tie dye your own shirts.
.     a) The cost is $7 per shirt.
.     b) Beginning June 14th through August 9th 

Turtle Talk –
Educational program every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Chapel
.     a)
Beginning June 29th through August 17th

 Children’s Turtle Time held every Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at the Chapel
.     a) Crafts, stories and activities for children ages 3 – 6
.     b) All children must be accompanied by an adult
.     c)
Beginning June 29th through August 3rd

A Second Helping –
Program to collect  food Saturday mornings during the summer at the Beach Mart 
a) Food is distributed to the needy in Brunswick County

Island Wide – Rules & Regulations

.     1) Note posted speed limit signs
§ Chapter 71 –Traffic Schedules / Schedule I – Speed Limits

.     2) Observe signs for exact parking prohibitions
.     For more information »
.       a) No parking on the streets or rights-of-way
         * except in designated parking spaces identified by signs
.       b) Do not leave any portion of vehicle in designated travel lane of any street
Do not block crosswalks, sidewalks, access ways, driveways, or mailboxes
.       d) No parking within 15 feet of any fire hydrant or emergency vehicle access
§ Chapter 72 –Parking Schedules / Schedule I – Parking Prohibited At All Times

.     3) Fireworks are not allowed on the island
.       a)
Possession of fireworks is a Class 2 misdemeanor
§ 130.15 / Sale or use of fireworks are prohibited

 Beach Strand – Rules & Regulations

1) There are no lifeguards on the beach strand. Rip tides are dangerous. When swimming, if     you get caught in a rip tide pulling you away from shore, swim parallel to the shoreline until you get out of the current — do not try to swim against the current back to shore.

2)  Keep off the dunes

All beach equipment must be removed from the beach by its owner or permitted user on a daily basis between the hours of 6pm and 7am.
§ 94.06 / Placing obstructions on the beach strand

4) Pets are not allowed on the beach strand from May 20th to September 10th
.    • During the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm daily
§ 90.20 / Responsibilities of owners
Pets must be on a leash at all times on the island.
Owner’s need to clean up after their animals (It’s their doody!)

5) It is unlawful to dig into the sand on any part of the beach strand greater than 12 inches deep, without having a responsible person attending the area. Prior to leaving the area, any hole greater than 12 inches deep shall be filled to be level with the surrounding area, leaving the area in the same general condition in which it was found.
§ 94.05 / Digging of holes on beach strand

6) Alcoholic beverages are not allowed anywhere on the beach strand.
§ 130.03 / Sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages prohibited

7) Trash receptacles are placed along the beach for your convenience
  a) P
lease do not litter.
§ 130.30 / Littering prohibited

8) Only emergency and official Town Staff vehicles are allowed to drive on the beach.
§ 94.01 / Official vehicles allowed on beach strand
§ 94.02 / Privately owned vehicles prohibited on beach strand

9) If you want to fish a North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License is required, please be courteous to those swimming and relaxing nearby.

Beach – Rules & Regulations


Public Beach Access
Welcome to Holden Beach
Beach Strand – Rules & Regulations

     1) No lifeguards on duty
         a) Rip tides are dangerous
.           • Swim parallel to shoreline to get out of current

     2) Keep off the dunes

     3) Responsibilities of pet owners
          a) Pets must be on a leash at all times
         b) Pets are not allowed on the beach strand
              • during the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm

              • from May 20th through September 10th
         c) Clean up after your pets

     4) All beach equipment must be removed daily
             • between 6pm and 7am

     5) No alcoholic beverages allowed

      6) No glass containers allowed

      7) No Fireworks

      8) Please do not litter

      9) Digging holes – fill back in before leaving
.       a) Do not leave holes unattended

     10)  Fishing License is required

     11)  Observe signs for exact parking prohibitions
             • No Parking Anytime on Ocean Boulevard

Enjoy Your Stay / 910.842.6488


Jellyfish Guide

 Jellyfish Guide

Jellies commonly seen at Holden Beach

There are two types of jellyfish, or gelatinous zooplankton in North Carolina — true jellyfish and comb jellies, or ctenophores. True jellyfish pump water for propulsion by using the bell on top of their bodies to first contract and then relax their bodies to move water, hence pushing themselves forward in the water column. Comb jellies do not pump water to get around. Instead, they have eight rows of hair-like structures called cilia all around the outside of their bodies. By moving the cilia in a wavelike pattern, they slowly move through the water column.

Jellyfish are not really fish, of course, because a fish’s anatomy is centered around its backbone, whereas the jellyfish is a dome-shaped invertebrate. Therefore, it’s more accurate to refer to them simply as “jellies.” Believe it or not, these roving creatures, with their umbrella shape and hanging tentacles, are most closely related to corals , sea anemones, sea whips, and hydrozoans. Why? They share a distinctive body part – a harpoon-like stinging cell used to capture prey. Generally, these cells are called cnidocytes (hint: don’t pronounce the “c”), which comes from the ancient Greek word for nettle. Therefore, animals in this phylum are called cnidarians. The cnidocytes on jellies’ tentacles discharge venom from a sac called a nematocyst. These help them to capture floating prey in the water column. Jellies have limited control over their movement, using a muscle to propel themselves short distances by expanding and contracting their bell. Therefore, they drift in currents and often appear in large masses called a “bloom,” a “swarm,” or a “smack.”  Purists consider the only “true jellies” to be members of one specific class of cnidarians, but many similar looking animals with dangling tentacles are referred to as jellyfish. For example, the Portuguese man o’ war is often mistaken for a type of jellyfish but is in fact a different type of cnidarian that inflicts a nasty sting. Comb jellies, despite the word “jelly” in their name, are not related to cnidarians. This is because they lack stinging cells, which makes them harmless to humans.

Often times beachgoers will spot jellyfish washed up on shore and other times they can be spotted in the water, but it is best to avoid them when you can. “While all jellyfish sting, not all contain poison that hurts humans. Be careful of jellies that wash up on shore, as some can still sting if tentacles are wet. NOAA recommends that if you are stung by a jellyfish to first seek a lifeguard to give first aid. If no lifeguards are present, wash the wound with vinegar or rubbing alcohol,” NOAA suggests. And what about that … other method of treating stings? Turns out, it’s a myth. In fact, urine can actually aggravate the stinging cells of jellyfish, making things worse. These cells, which detach and stick into the skin of prey, can continue to inject venom. Urine, as well as fresh water, can cause an imbalance to the salt solution surrounding the stinging cells, causing them to continue to fire. According to Scientific American, if you don’t have vinegar or rubbing alcohol, rinsing with salt water may be your best bet.

The cannonball jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris), also known as the cabbagehead jellyfish, is a species of jellyfish in the family Stomolophidae. Its common name derives from its similarity to a cannonball in shape and size. It is the most common jellyfish found in North Carolina. During summer and fall, large gatherings of this jelly take place near coastal areas and in the mouths of North Carolina estuaries. While this species is the most abundant jelly, it is also the least harmful to humans. It has the weakest sting of all jellies found in local waters. Easy to identify by their white bell with chocolate-brown bands, they have no tentacles, just fingerlike appendages hanging down from the bell.

Lion’s Mane
The lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) is one the largest species in North Carolina waters. This species is easy to identify, as it is the only jellyfish that is orange in color. The bell, measuring 6-8 inches, is saucer-shaped with reddish-brown oral arms and eight clusters of tentacles hanging underneath. It usually appears during the colder months, this species is also known as the winter jelly, because it prefers the colder waters along the North Carolina coast after the Gulf Stream has moved farther offshore during winter months. Lion’s manes are usually considered moderate stingers, and symptoms of a sting are similar to that of a moon jelly, but with a little more discomfort. It is the largest known jellyfish species in the world. Its name was inspired by its showy, trailing tentacles that resemble an African lion’s mane. The lion’s mane uses its stinging tentacles to capture, pull in and eat with a diet of fish and smaller jellyfish that get too close to the tentacles. Its nematocysts, or stinging cells, are not known to be fatal to humans, pain from stings is relatively mild and often described as burning rather than stinging.

Moon jellies
The Moon jellies (Aurelia aurita) is one of the more otherworldly jellyfish is the moon jellyfish. These look like underwater flying saucers. Moon jellyfish are most common during the summer months from early June to September. This translucent species averages about 6 to 8 inches in diameter at the saucer-shaped bell. They have 4 horseshoe-shaped gonads in the center of the bell and short tentacles. It feeds by collecting medusae, plankton and mollusks with their tentacles and bring the food back into their body for digestion. They are only able to move slightly by themselves and rely more on ocean currents even when swimming by pulsing and relaxing their bell. Moon jellies breathe oxygen from surrounding waters by way of a thin membrane that covers the tops of their bodies.

Mushroom Cap
The Mushroom Cap jellies (Rhopilema verrilli) are cnidarian invertebrates distinguished by their mushroom-shaped medusae. The species does not have any tentacles; however, they still have stinging cells, called nematocysts, within their bells, which can produce mild stings to humans. Mushroom jellies are commonly mistaken for cannonballs, but they lack the brown bands of the cannonball. According to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the mushroom jelly has a firm and dense swimming bell, however its bell is usually flatter than that of the cannonball. The bell does have finger-shaped arms that grow down from the center.

Portuguese man o’ war
The man-of-War are not usually in the area unless pushed to the coast by wind and ocean currents. It is a purple-blue color and can be up to 10 inches long. The Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis), is not a jellyfish but related to the species and is highly venomous. It has numerous venomous microscopic nematocysts which deliver a painful sting powerful enough to kill fish. Stings can result in intense joint and muscle pain, headaches, shock, collapse, faintness, hysteria, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Severe stings can occur even when the animal is beached or dead. Although it superficially resembles a jellyfish, the Portuguese man o’ war is in fact a siphonophore. Like all siphonophores, it is a colonial organism, made up of many smaller units called zooids. All zooids in a colony are genetically identical, but fulfill specialized functions such as feeding and reproduction, and together allow the colony to operate as a single individual.

Sea Nettle
The Atlantic sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) is a species of jellyfish that inhabits the Atlantic coast of the United States. Sea nettles are quite common and is the second-largest jellyfish. This species is semitransparent, saucer-shaped, and 6-8 inches in diameter with small white dots and reddish-brown stripes. They often appear in summer months and their stings can be moderate to severe. Sea Nettle’s cause most of the jellyfish stings in the state.

Sea Wasps
Sea Wasps (Chironex fleckeri) is a species of extremely venomous box jellyfish found in coastal waters. The jelly is also called the box jelly because of its cube-shaped bell. They are 5-6 inches in diameter and 4-6 inches in height. Notorious for its sting, C. fleckeri has tentacles up to 3 m (10 ft) long covered with millions of cnidocytes which, on contact, release microscopic darts delivering an extremely powerful venom. The sea wasp jelly is the most dangerous to humans, and the most venomous of all true jellies found in North Carolina waters. Being stung commonly results in excruciating pain followed by a severe skin rash. A sting may lead to a trip to the hospital, depending on the reaction severity. If stung in the face or neck area, it’s best to seek medical help as soon as is possible.

Venomous Snakes

There are 6 venomous snakes in North Carolina. Know what they look like.
If it’s spring, it’s time for us to remind you about some of the slithering neighbors you might encounter when you’re outdoors over the next several months. As the weather warms up in North Carolina, snakes start moving around, doing snakey things, and we are more likely to cross paths with them. They generally aren’t cause for much concern, but encounters can be a little scary for some (for the snakes as well as the people). It’s important to know that of the 38 species of snakes in North Carolina, the majority are nonvenomous and not aggressive toward people unless threatened. Arm yourself with knowledge. Learn about the venomous (sometimes incorrectly referred to as poisonous) snakes in our area, and how to distinguish them from the harmless ones.

How to tell if a snake is venomous

What’s the head shape? A commonly shared rule of thumb is that most venomous snakes have a triangular or diamond-shaped head, while nonvenomous snakes have a tapered head.

You can’t rely on that, though. Some nonvenomous snakes (such as a rat snake) can mimic the triangular shape of venomous snakes by flattening their heads when threatened (to avoid becoming the prey of another animal), so never go by head shape alone.

Can you see its eyes? Another tricky but often shared tip is to check out the pupil shape. Venomous snakes have been said to have oblong pupils that look like a slit in the center of the eye, whereas nonvenomous snakes will have a round pupil. In fact, according to a document on the NC Wildlife website, a snake’s pupils can dilate just like a human’s, and can look round.

The best way to know if a snake is venomous is to know which venomous snakes are common in your area and know what they look like.

North Carolina’s venomous snakes

There are six venomous snakes found in North Carolina:

    • The copperhead
    • The cottonmouth (also called water moccasin)
    • The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
    • The timber rattlesnake
    • The pigmy rattlesnake
    • The Eastern coral snake

Copperhead snakes are the most common venomous snakes in North Carolina.

What they look like: They are brownish in color with an hourglass shaped pattern, which resembles a Hershey Kiss. Copperhead babies are born with a yellow or green tail tip, which turns brown or black after they are about a year old. Adult copperheads grow to about 3 feet long.

The bite: The Carolinas Poison Center in Charlotte says it receives about 10 times the number of calls about copperhead bites than all other snakes combined. Copperhead bites can be severe, but about half of copperhead bites result in only mild swelling and pain.

Where are they? Copperheads are found all over North Carolina.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)

Cottonmouth (water moccasin)

What they look like: Cottonmouth snakes have dark bands on dark or olive skin, but are most well-known for the white, cotton-like interior of their mouths.

Young cottonmouths can be lighter in color and can resemble copperheads. Juvenile cottonmouths have bright yellow or greenish tail tips, and the details of the cross-band pattern are most evident in this age group. Older cottonmouth snakes are often completely dark and with no pattern.

Adult cottonmouths grow to about 3-4 feet in length but have been known to grow to 6 feet.

The bite: The bite severity of a cottonmouth is similar to that of a copperhead.

Where are they? Cottonmouths are found mostly in the eastern part of North Carolina and prefer freshwater environments (but can also be found on land).
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake

What they look like: The eastern diamondback rattlesnake has gray or yellowish skin with a dark diamond pattern outlined in black. They have large, broad heads with two light lines on the face.

The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the heaviest, though not the longest, venomous snake in the Americas, and it is the largest rattlesnake in the world. These snakes can weigh up to four or five pounds and typically grow to about 4-5 feet in length (the largest ever recorded was 8 feet long).

These snakes are known for the bone-chilling rattle sound they make.

The bite: Bites from rattlesnakes are more severe than bites from copperheads or cottonmouths, and are considered a medical emergency.

Where are they? They are found in the southeastern parts of North Carolina, preferring sandy, coastal regions.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center, Savannah River Ecology Lab)

Pigmy rattlesnake

What they look like: Pigmy rattlesnakes have gray, pinkish or red skin with a dark, spotted pattern. They grow only to about 1-2 feet in length.

Pigmy rattlesnakes do rattle, but the rattle sounds more like a buzz.

The bite: Bites from rattlesnakes are more severe than copperheads or cottonmouths and are considered a medical emergency.

Where are they? These snakes are found in the southeastern part of North Carolina, particularly in forests.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)

Timber rattlesnake

What they look like: The timber rattlesnake can vary in color but has dark bands on lighter skin with a rattle at the end of its tail. Coastal varieties have what looks like a brown or orange “racing stripe” down the middle of the back.

Timber rattlesnakes grow to about 4 feet in length.

The bite: Bites from rattlesnakes are more severe than copperheads or cottonmouths and are considered a medical emergency.

Where are they? Timber rattlesnakes can be found throughout North Carolina, preferring forests.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)

Eastern coral snake

Coral snakes are actually extremely rare in North Carolina and are considered endangered, but they are quite venomous.

What they look like: These snakes are slender with red, yellow, and black rings. The coral snake closely resembles the scarlet kingsnake (which is harmless), but there’s an easy way to tell them apart. Just remember this rhyme: “Red touches black, friend of Jack; red touches yellow, kills a fellow.”

Another way to tell a scarlet kingsnake from a coral snake is by the color of its snout. A scarlet kingsnake has a red snout, and a coral snake has a black snout.

A coral snake’s snout is also blunt shaped, especially compared to most snakes.

The bite: Coral snake venom attacks the central nervous system, and death, if it occurs, is usually the result of respiratory failure.

Where are they? Coral snakes live in sandy areas nearer the South Carolina border and stay underground most of the time.
(Source: Herps of NC)

If you have been bitten by a snake, you SHOULD:

Sit down and stay calm.

Gently wash the bite area with warm, soapy water.

Remove any jewelry or tight clothing near the bite site.

Keep the bitten area still, if possible, and raise it to heart level.

Call the Carolinas Poison Center: 1-800-222-1222.

Note: If a snakebite victim is having chest pain, difficulty breathing, face swelling or has lost consciousness, call 911 immediately.

If bitten by a snake, you SHOULD NOT:

Cut the bitten area to try to drain the venom. This can worsen the injury.

Ice the area. Icing causes additional tissue damage.

Apply a tourniquet or any tight bandage. It’s actually better for the venom to flow through the body than for it to stay in one area.

Suck on the bite or use a suction device to try to remove the venom.

Attempt to catch or kill the snake.

Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for questions about a snake bite or for more information.
(Source: Carolinas Poison Center)

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