Exploring Sunset Beach

The band The White Buffalo sings the song Sleepy Little Town that talks about how “you can feel it in the air, you can catch it if you dare all you got to do is wait around” and “getting lost in the blue of a lazy afternoon”. Sunset Beach has something for everyone if you just take the time to explore. Whether you are a history buff, a romantic, in need of some tranquility - the white sugar sands of our little town has it all!

Sunset Beach was ranked #4 in National Geographic’s 21 Best Beaches of the World list for 2017 and we’re proud of our quaint beach town! With a population just under 5,000 residents, Sunset Beach welcomes people of all walks of life looking for a charming town offering the uniqueness you’ve been craving.


Kindred Spirit

First and foremost what sets Sunset Beach apart and inspired the famous author Nicholas Sparks with his most recent novel is Kindred Spirit Mailbox - yes, it’s real!

For more than 30 years, this mailbox has not only seen all kinds of weather, but it’s been home to love, grief, apology, and letters to say goodbye - this is where the mailbox’s magic comes from. Most people leave no name to their letters, while others include their first and last and then some sign off with a single initial. It’s been estimated more than 100,000 have visited this town landmark located on Bird Island. The best way to get to the mailbox is to start at the Public Beach Access located at West 40th Street. Take the access to the beach, and head Southwest (away from the pier). You can either walk or ride a bike, it is about 1.5 miles from the 40th Street access to Kindred Spirit.


Bird Island

Composed of more than 1,200 acres of sugar sand beaches, natural dunes, salt marsh and tidal creeks is Bird Island. Not only is it a place to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and salty waves, it also allows access as an outdoor laboratory for scientists, students and the public to learn about our coastal area. This destination is also popular for boaters and bicyclists to enjoy the coastal sanctuary. 40th Street & West Main Street

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Old Swing Bridge & Museum

Standing strong from 1958 to 2011, the iconic swing bridge in Sunset Beach was, at the time, the only link that connected the island to the mainland. In 2011, the bridge was decommissioned when the Mannon C. Gore Bridge came to completion in October and opened to the public. The old swing bridge and tender house were relocated to dry land where they now greet you as a museum and gathering place for the community. Museum exhibits in the Tender House include artifacts from the Blockade Runner Vesta which ran aground on Sunset Beach. 109 Shoreline Drive

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Ingram Planetarium

Whether you’re interested in stars, the galaxy or space exploration, Ingram Planetarium has something for everyone. Here you’ll find state-of-the-art high definition projection systems in their 85-seat SciDome Sky Theater. There’s always an event going on and something to interest every member of the family. Enjoy pointing out stars, lazer music shows and interactive exhibits! Programs and hours are seasonal so don’t forget to give them a call or check out their website. 7625 High Market Street


Boating Access Area & Fishing Pier

Located on the mainland side of Sunset Beach, the boating access and fishing pier includes a boat ramp, a floating dock, breakwaters, a parking area, and a small public fishing pier. Find Town Park and you’ve found the boating access. Click here for a map of all the paddle trails and water access sites in the area. 101 Sunset Blvd N

Waterfront Park

The Park is always open and walking trails can be enjoyed along the beautiful waterfront. Access the Intracoastal Waterway on the kayak launch or use the nearby boat ramp. In the summer you’ll find activities and farmers markets: Mondays the Grateful Hearts Market and on Thursdays the Pure Markets. 206 Sunset Blvd N


Sunsets on Sunset Beach

Cliche? We don’t care! There’s nothing like a cotton-candied sky sunset at the end of the day here, and with so many spots to choose from you can watch it from different angles every evening. Whether you’re on the beach, walking on the pedestrian-friendly Gore Bridge, or at the end of West Main Street, don’t miss what this town was born to do.