All posts by aholden

Sandcastle Building Contest at the Festival by the Sea

Every year in late October the popular North Carolina Festival by the Sea event takes place in Holden Beach. This year the festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25. It’s open to all residents and vacationers alike!

NC Festival By the Sea

This 2-day festival begins with a jubilant parade that proceeds down the Holden Beach Causeway on Saturday. This is the only day of the year that you can walk across the bridge to Holden Beach.

Festival By the Sea

During the festival, there will be arts & crafts vendors open all day, both days. Full-filled events will be taking place like a horseshoe tournament and a sandcastle-building contest. Everyone is invited to participate!

Sandcastle building contest at NC Festival by the Sea

If you’re entering the sandcastle building contest here are some tips to help you increase your chances of winning:

1. Use moist sand!
2. Build towers using funnels and shovels.
3. Bring tools such as plastic cutlery to add details to towers such as carving the roofs, making walkways and creating windows.
4. Create a wall connecting the towers.
5. Add details to the wall with a smaller tool like a knife.
6. Create steps going up to the tower.
7. Carefully dig out an arched doorway in the middle of the castle wall.
8. Stand back and admire a job well done but try to be humble!

Facepainting at Festival By the Sea

A special treat for children will be the face painting, huge kites flying overhead and children’s rides and amusements.

And last but not at all least — bring your dancing shoes because there will be live musical entertainment both days at the Holden Beach Pavilion. All of us at Alan Holden Vacations hope to see you there!




Free Family 5k Color Run

Every year Holden Beach hosts a free, family-oriented 5K race that all Brunswick County locals and vacationers alike are welcome to participate in. On October 10, the Free Family 5k Color Run is taking place starting at 123 Jordan Blvd., Holden Beach.

 Free Family 5k Color Run

Come out and join in this family fun event whether you walk, run or do a little bit of both – everyone is welcome to join us! Younger children, age 5 and under, that want to ride their bikes are welcome to do so.


For the best effect, either wear a white shirt or purchase a white event t-shirt, and enjoy the color burst. There are 400 t-shirts available for this race so please reserve your t-shirt by emailing your size to T-shirts are $10 each. Your shirt will be held for until 30 minutes before the race. All t-shirt money will go back into this race and the other running programs that keep kids active.


Be here by 9 a.m. for registration. The race begins at 10 a.m.! The start of the Color Run is just a short distance from any of our Alan Holden Vacation rentals.


Free Family 5k Color Run


The purpose of this event is to have as many families as possible come out and enjoy getting exercise. Dogs, cats, gorillas, and baby strollers are also all welcome!



Featured Property: Club Ed

While the last month of summer may be upon us, the warmer weather will continue for a few more months. This is a great time to book a vacation rental as there is just more availability later in the season, like this month’s Featured Property. Many families have already turned their thoughts to their children returning to school. That frees up many vacation rentals for the  beach vacation you’ve been promising your friends.

Featured Property: Club Ed

Our Featured Property this month is Club Ed located at 107 Seaview Drive, Holden Beach, NC. This is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath dune home that accommodates up to 6 guests comfortably.

If you’re looking for a one story vacation rental, this is it. You’ll also be just a short walk to your own private beach access at the end of the street.

Club Ed has central heat and air, dishwasher, microwave, washer and dryer, ice maker, cable TV, VCR, DVD player, CD player and telephone.

Other amenities include open and covered porch, screened porch, enclosed outside shower with hot and cold water and parking underneath the house. This is a non-smoking home.


What’s Happening Around Holden Beach

So you’ve decided you’re spending your summer on Holden Beach, North Carolina, this year. Congratulations! This is one of the most laid back and family oriented beaches along the North Carolina coastline and you’re going to have a wonderful summer here. We have many summer vacation rentals that are available weekly or monthly that you’re just going to love!

What's Happening Around Holden Beach

When you’re filling out your calendar of things to do you’ll want to prepare for fun times and free concerts every Sunday night at Holden Beach! Dance a little and smile a lot or dance a lot and just keep smiling! Refreshments will be for sale on site so when you need to take a break to refresh and recover you won’t have far to go.

Every Sunday night through September 6, 2015 there will be free concerts open to the public from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Holden Beach Pavilion on Jordan Boulevard. The music ranges from beach music to jazz to oldies and some good old rock ‘n roll. Here’s the run down on who’s playing and when.

June 7 – The Entertainers

June 14 – Brickhouse Band

June 21 – Steve Owens & Summertime

June 28 – Rick Strickland Band

July 5 – Gary Lowder & Smoking Hot

July 12 – Jim Quick & The Coastline

July 19 – Marsha Morgan

July 26 – Fantastic Shakers

August 2 – Embers featuring Craig Woolard

August 9 – Carolina Breakers

August 16 – The Attractions

August 23 – Band of Oz

August 30 – Sea Cruz

September 6 – The Imitations

This free concert series at Holden Beach is sponsored by the Holden Beach Merchants Association.


2015 Summer Beach Concert Schedule

Summer on the Brunswick Islands just wouldn’t be the same without the fun-filled summer beach concert series that take place each and every year around the islands. People from all around the area attend these free concerts — some to dance and others just to sit and enjoy listening to the music while enjoying a picnic dinner.

2015 Summer Beach Concert Schedule

Whether you’re in the area on vacation, visiting relatives and friends, or you live here year round, be sure to take in as many of these concerts as you can this summer. After all, they’re free!

Ocean Isle Beach Concerts
Friday nights beginning May 22 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Location: The Museum of Coastal Carolina, 21 E. Second St., Ocean Isle Beach

Ocean Isle Beach hosts free concerts on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. beginning on May 22 featuring Holiday Band. Come listen to beach and other varieties of music at the Museum of Coastal Carolina Parking Lot. In case of inclement weather, concerts may be cancelled. To check cancellations, please visit (parks and recreation main page) or call 910-253-2031.

2015 Summer Beach Concert Schedule

Holden Beach Concerts
Sunday nights beginning May 24 at 6:30
Location: Holden Beach Pavilion, Jordan Blvd., Holden Beach

Every Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. families gather at the Holden Beach Pavilion for a free concert. The Imitations will perform their Beach/Motown sound on May 24. Put on your dancing shoes and bring your lawn chair. In case of inclement weather, concerts may be cancelled. To check cancellations, please visit the parks and recreation website,, or call 910-253-2031.

2015 Summer Beach Concert Schedule

Sunset Beach Concerts
Wednesday nights beginning May 27 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: 1790-4 Queen Anne Street, Sunset Beach

Gary Loweder and Smokin’ Hot will perform rhythm, blues & soul music. A special Memorial Day tribute and Pre-Show featuring CC Martin will kick off the summer concert season. Concerts are held Wednesdays at the Gazebo in the Village Park on Queen Anne Street. Concerts are from 6:30-8:30. Weather permitting. Please call 910-367-6396 or visit the parks and recreation website at for cancellations.



Featured Property: Carolina Reel Time

This month’s featured property is Carolina Reel Time. A 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home located at 155 Southshore Drive in Holden Beach NC. You’re going to love this beautiful waterway home. Bring your boat, jetski, kayaks and canoes and launch them just steps outside your back door.

Featured Property: Carolina Reel Time

Plan on some intense relaxation while you’re staying in this home. Whether you’re doing it on the water in your own boat as you fish or tour around or you’re hanging out at home, time moves slowly here at the coast. Plan to kick back and sit a spell on the porch where you’re sure to thoroughly enjoy watching the boats go by.

Two of the four bedrooms in this home are located on the first floor – a great benefit for those that find stairs to be a challenge. Amenities in the home include a large open kitchen and living area perfect for entertaining family or guests, central air and heat, fireplace, cable, DVD player, washer/dryer and wireless Internet.

Featured Property: Carolina Reel Time

This coastal vacation rental comes fully furnished with everything you’ll require for a comfortable stay with your family or friends while you’re here. The kitchen is well equipped for preparing meals for any number of people. Don’t settle for a hotel this year where you’ll have to go out for all of your meals. Enjoy the convenience and savings of having your own kitchen right where you’re living! Outdoor amenities include a screened in porch, enclosed outside shower, boat dock and both covered and open parking.

When you in our Holden Beach vacation rentals you’ll be situated close to the fishing pier, an ice cream shop and a small grocery store. The convenience of having easy access to anything you may need from the store is priceless. Be sure to ask about the Military Discount and/or Senior Discount at Alan Holden Vacations if you qualify.


Featured Property: Hold’n Calls

This month’s featured property is Hold’n Calls. A 4 bedroom, 2 bath home located at 487 Ocean Blvd. West in Holden Beach NC. You’re going to feel so relaxed just gazing out the back door and seeing how close to the oceanfront you are. With your own private walkway to the beach, there’s nothing stopping you from scheduling beach time multiple times a day.

Featured Property: Hold'n Calls

This oceanfront, single family home, provides bed linens to guests staying for the week during mid- and prime seasons. Accommodating up to 12 people comfortably, you’ll be able to bring some friends along with you this trip. You’re sure to enjoy the amenities such as high speed wireless internet, DVD player, and a washer/dryer in the home. Outdoor features of the home include a covered porch, outside shower, sun deck and panoramic views from the widow’s peak.

This coastal vacation rental comes fully furnished with everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay while you’re here. The kitchen is well equipped for preparing meals on site for any number of people. Don’t settle for a hotel this year where you’ll have to go out for all of your meals. Having the convenience of a kitchen in your rental will save you not just money but time too!

Featured Property: Hold'n Calls

When you choose Hold’n Calls for your accommodations you’ll be situated close to the fishing pier, ice cream shop and a small grocery store. The convenience of having easy access to anything you may need from the store is priceless. If you qualify, be sure to ask about our Military Discount and/or Senior Discount.

If you’re interested in more details about this property or any others that you see on our website, give Holden Beach Vacations a call at 800-720-2200 or 910-842-6061. We can also be reached through the Contact Us form on our website. We’d love to hear from you to discuss your future vacation plans and how we may help you!


Vacationing with Your Baby

For first-time parents vacationing with a baby there are some things you need to know to ensure your baby is happy and safe. When you make your reservations for one of our vacation rentals be sure you let us know if you will be bringing your baby along. Some rentals come with baby equipment (cribs, highchairs, play yards, etc.) at no extra charge. When you’re browsing different properties check the list of amenities to be sure baby gear is available. If not, you’ll need to either bring your own, rent some locally or choose one of our other rental properties.

Vacationing with Your Baby in Tow

With a little well-planned effort, vacationing with your baby can be a pleasant and fun-filled event. Honest! Just remember that as long as your baby’s basic needs are met they’ll be pretty happy to go anywhere you’re going. Just be sure to keep them on their eating and sleeping schedule and all should work out well.

Here are some tips that may help you with your plans for traveling with your baby. You’ll probably find that some of our vacation rentals are more suitable to a family with a baby than others so take your time and look over what we have.

  • Choosing the Best Time. Try to schedule your flights when the baby normally naps. Walk and play with the baby while in the airport. More energy exerted while off the plane will be less energy the baby exerts while on the plane. Your fellow passengers will thank you.
  • Keep to a Schedule. While you’re on vacation try to maintain the schedule you have at home as closely as possible. That means the time you wake up and go to sleep, the time you eat meals, and when naptime is. Don’t throw caution to the wind just because you’re on vacation. Your baby doesn’t know the difference and won’t understand the change.

Vacationing with Your Baby in Tow

  • Bring baby’s favorites. If your baby is used to a musical stuffed animal at bedtime, a special blanket, pacifier or certain toys, be sure to bring them along on vacation with you.
  • Ask First. Does the rental where you’ll be staying provide sleeping arrangements for babies? Ask about car seats from the car rental agency, too.
  • Stay Calm. Don’t stress out getting ready for your trip. Stay calm, move slowly, and the baby will stay relaxed.

Vacationing with Your Baby in Tow

  • Less is More. With babies the rule really is “Less is more.” Don’t over stimulate the baby. Provide a quiet and comfortable space for them to take their naps and if needed, lay down with them. Afternoon naps improve the chances of a quality evening but don’t let them sleep an excessive amount of time.
  • Use Sunscreen. Because you’re visiting a coastal location be sure to keep babies out of the midday sun. Dress them in hats and lightweight clothing. Apply sunscreen to any areas of skin showing and consider renting a cabana or sun tent to shield everyone from the sun.
  • Babyproof Everything. If your baby is mobile, be sure to baby proof your accommodations immediately upon arriving.

Follow these tips and there is no reason why you can’t have a wonderful time with your baby on your vacation. Once your accommodations have been fully baby proofed you can get on with the pleasure of having an enjoyable and relaxing beach vacation as a family. If we can answer any questions you may have about your upcoming vacation please don’t hesitate to call us at Holden Beach Vacations at 800-720-2200 or 910-842-6061.


Keeping Your Pets Safe Throughout the Holidays

The holidays are such a delightful time of year, filled with happy anticipation and joyous celebrations with family and friends. There are trees all a glitter with lights and ornaments and tinsel, too. This time of year can be especially hazardous for our pets so it’s important to keep a close eye out on what they’re up to. Help your pets celebrate the season this year whether you’re at home or in one our holiday vacation rentals by protecting them from these holiday hazards:

Keeping Your Pets Safe Throughout the Holidays

* Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and Christmas lilies are all toxic to pets. If you’re using holiday plants to decorate your dining table, move them to a location that’s out of reach to pets.

* Tape down electrical cords for holiday lights to prevent your pets for chewing on them out of boredom. Always unplug tree lights before leaving home.

* Secure your Christmas tree to the wall or ceiling to prevent it from falling on pets or with them in it. Cats are curious enough that many try climbing up inside looking for a comfortable place to sit.

* Never allow pets to drink water from the Christmas tree holder.

Keeping Your Pets Safe Throughout the Holidays

* Keep tinsel and other ornaments well out range of pets. Cats in particular like to play with tinsel, and some will eat it, which will block their intestines. Pets can mistake ornaments for toy balls, and shards from broken glass ornaments can cause injury to mouths and paws.

* To reduce stress, maintain the normal routines of your pets whether traveling or entertaining at home. Even when vacationing walk your dogs as you always do. Serve their meals at regular times and make sure fresh water is always available to them.

Keeping Your Pets Safe Throughout the Holidays

* Many holiday foods that are fine for people can make pets seriously ill. Macadamia nuts can cause muscular weakness, depression, vomiting, disorientation, tremors, abdominal pain and muscle stiffness in dogs. Chocolate can be fatal; ingesting as little as 1/4 ounce can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and increase thirst, urination and heart rate. Be safe and keep these items up and out of reach.

Whether you’re staying home this holiday or traveling, there’s no reason your pets can’t have a safe and merry Christmas, too!


Spending the Holidays in Holden Beach NC

When it comes to holidays, not everyone has a large family nearby to celebrate the occasion with. For some, family is a long distance away and some simply can’t afford the time or expense to travel there. Too many others are estranged from family members for one reason or another. There are many people that simply don’t celebrate the holidays in any meaningful way at all. Well, we believe that it’s never too late to begin a new tradition.Spending the Holidays in Holden Beach


These days, many things are being redefined from the way we’ve always known things to be. Change is a good thing, right? Nothing says we have to celebrate Thanksgiving by bringing our family around the table to have a meal together. Sure, it’s the traditional way of celebrating it but new traditions within families are being developed all the time. Maybe it’s time for your family to make some.


We can’t think of any better place to start a new tradition than to celebrate a holiday in one of our Holden Beach vacation rental homes. The first year it could be just your immediate family. In subsequent years, you can invite extended family or just your friends. Some people join with other couples to celebrate and enjoy a weekend together. It’s a memorable way to spend a holiday.


Our home rentals are available right on the ocean or set back from it. All come fully furnished and beautifully decorated with beach decor. We provide many photos of our holiday beach rentals right here on our website so you can see first hand the interior and exterior of the various properties.

Spending the Holidays in Holden Beach NC

The kitchens in our vacation rentals are well equipped with everything you need to prepare a simple meal or an extravagantly elegant candlelit dinner. There’s a large grocery store in Holden Beach where you can purchase any supplies you need for meal prep, too.


With Myrtle Beach, SC, to the south and Wilmington, NC, to the north, you’ll be just a short drive from a vast assortment of entertainment, shopping and dining venues available to you. Whether you opt to rent beach bicycles and pedal along the water’s edge, play a few rounds of golf on any of the golf courses located nearby or head out on a fishing charter for the thrill of the big catch, there’s always plenty of things to do around the Brunswick Islands of coastal North Carolina no matter what time of the year it is.