Sunset Beach vacation rentals

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Popular amenities for Sunset Beach vacation rentals

Stay near Sunset Beach's top sights

Sunset Beach Fishing Pier16 locals recommend
Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center3 locals recommend
Oyster Bay Golf Links‎6 locals recommend
Sandpiper Bay Golf & Country Club6 locals recommend
Thistle Golf Club3 locals recommend
Bird Island Reserve11 locals recommend

Quick stats about vacation rentals in Sunset Beach

  • Total rentals

    400 properties

  • Nightly prices starting at

    $40 before taxes and fees

  • Total number of reviews

    9.8K reviews

  • Family-friendly rentals

    330 properties are a good fit for families

  • Pet-friendly rentals

    80 properties allow pets

  • Rentals with a pool

    250 properties have a pool

Your guide to Sunset Beach

All About Sunset Beach

Like many of the neighboring beach towns that comprise North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, the community of Sunset Beach was established in the 1950s, when developers staked out its picturesque beach as a vacation destination. But most people don’t realize how remarkable this small town’s strip of sand really is: It’s been named as one of the world’s best beaches. Stunning sunsets are only half the story of this oceanfront town, where vacation homes and cottages line a two-mile residential strip, each block with its own boardwalk. Inland, a trio of lush golf resorts draws golfers from all over the country, while nature buffs retreat to the quiet sanctuary of the Bird Island Preserve.

The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Sunset Beach

Like the surrounding Brunswick Islands, Sunset Beach’s weather is largely influenced by the nearby Gulf Stream, pushing balmy temperatures and warm waters its way. As a result, it enjoys a humid subtropical climate, with temperatures peaking in the high 80s Fahrenheit on either side of the summer months. Many locals get around in flip-flops during the summer, but dress in layers during the winter, when temperatures drop into the 40s. It should be noted that the Brunswick Islands lie in prime hurricane territory. If you plan to travel during hurricane season (summer through fall), keep a close watch on local news.

Top things to do in Sunset Beach

Old Bridge Museum

Until fairly recently, Sunset Beach was accessible from the mainland only via an old-fashioned single-lane swing bridge. Connected to roads on either side of the Intracoastal Waterway, the entire bridge pivoted, rather than raised, to let boats pass at scheduled times. Though this often caused traffic headaches during Sunset Beach’s busy summer season, many locals felt it reinforced the town’s relaxed pace. The former bridge was preserved when it was finally replaced in 2010 by a traditional arc bridge similar to other Brunswick Islands destinations. Now anchored on land and maintained by the Old Bridge Preservation Society, you can walk the old bridge at your leisure — without waiting on traffic.

Bird Island

Walk along the sand to the western end of Sunset Beach’s residential strip, and you’ll eventually cross over into the Bird Island Coastal Reserve, 1,481 acres of natural shoreline, marshland, and dunes. One of ten sites comprising North Carolina’s Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, Bird Island is a safe haven for significant regional plant and animal species that are endangered, protected, or otherwise of interest, including the area’s well-known loggerhead sea turtles.


Sunset Beach’s collection of golf courses are some of the best in the region, designed by the sport’s top visionaries and enjoyed by players of all skill levels. The newest course, Leopard’s Chase, is considered one of the best in the country, while Thistle’s Scottish-themed-trio of 9-hole links are also worth a visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is the weather in Sunset Beach?

    Sunset Beach experiences a humid subtropical climate, with summer highs averaging around 85°F (29°C) and winter lows averaging around 35°F (2°C). Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, with September being the wettest month on average.

  • What are some of the best things to do in Sunset Beach?

    Sunset Beach invites you to explore its pristine coastline, engage in water sports, and visit the Kindred Spirit Mailbox, a unique interactive landmark. For nature lovers, the Bird Island Reserve is a frequently suggested site for bird watching and leisurely walks.

  • What is the best time of year to visit Sunset Beach?

    The most popular time to visit Sunset Beach is between May and September when the weather is warm, averaging 85°F (29°C). The annual Paws-Ability BandFest in June and the Octoberfest in October are two popular local events during these months.

  • What are the best places to stay in Sunset Beach?

    Popular areas to stay in Sunset Beach include the main island with its beachfront properties and the mainland, known for its peaceful residential neighborhoods. Alternatively, the Sea Trail area has a variety of vacation homes, often near golf courses.

  • What are the best places to visit in Sunset Beach?

    Popular places to visit in Sunset Beach include the iconic Sunset Beach Swing Bridge and Museum, the Ingram Planetarium, and the Bird Island Reserve. The charming Kindred Spirit Mailbox, tucked away on a secluded beach stretch, also draws many visitors.

  • What are some hiking trails in Sunset Beach?

    While Sunset Beach is primarily known for its sandy stretches, it also provides opportunities for light hikes. The Sunset Beach Nature Preserve and Bird Island Coastal Reserve are often recommended for their scenic walking trails.

  • What are some family activities to do in Sunset Beach?

    Families can enjoy a variety of activities in Sunset Beach, such as building sandcastles on the beach, exploring the Ingram Planetarium, or joining a turtle watching tour during nesting season from May to October.

  • What are some of the best day trip ideas in Sunset Beach?

    Day trips from Sunset Beach can include visiting the historic town of Wilmington, 55 miles (88 km) north, or exploring the vibrant Myrtle Beach, 20 miles (32 km) south. Nature enthusiasts might enjoy a trip to the Green Swamp Preserve, approximately 32 miles (51 km) inland.

  • Are there condo rentals with a dedicated workspace in Sunset Beach?

    Yes! Work meets play with ease at over 110 condo rentals in Sunset Beach featuring dedicated workspaces. Stay connected and productive in your home away from home.

  • How much does it cost to stay in house rentals in Sunset Beach?

    Experience the best of Sunset Beach with our house rentals, starting at about $80 per day, before taxes and fees. Embrace comfort and style while staying within your budget in your home away from home.

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