Everything You Need To Know About Holden Beach Sea Turtles [2020 Update]

It’s Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Season Here at Holden Beach

While summer doesn’t officially start until June, a certain guest starts checking in for oceanfront stays as early as May 1st. Each year, hundreds of loggerhead sea turtles come to the shores of Holden Beach and the other Brunswick Islands to lay their nests and eggs, which will hatch sometime before October 31st. And when you stay in one of our oceanfront Holden Beach rentals, you may have the opportunity to see a nest or even a turtle.

Holden Beach Sea Turtle Nesting Season

It’s Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Season Here at Holden Beach
Turtle nest after it has been marked for safety.

Many of the local residents’ love turtle nesting season not only for the warm weather, but also because it means that they’ll start seeing their favorite quests roaming the beaches. Turtle nesting season in Holden Beach starts on May 1st and ends on October 31st each year and is the one of the most magical times to be on the North Carolina coast. Female sea turtles only leave the water to lay nests once every two or three years, and will lay anywhere from two to seven nests per season. Each nest will contain about 120 eggs, however many of them will not actually hatch.

How to Find Sea Turtle Nests on Holden Beach

The first thing that you should know about finding sea turtles and sea turtle nests on Holden Beach is that you should never approach a nest, turtle, or hatchling if you come across one. Try to keep a safe distance so that you don’t disturb the animal, and if it appears to be in distress please contact the Holden Beach Turtle Watch’s 24 hour hour emergency hotline at 910-754-0766.

Your best chance at finding a sea turtle nesting is to venture out onto the beach at night, just be sure to leave your flashlights off. Any light shining on the beach could disorient nesting turtles, and many will not lay eggs on a beach if there’s too much light pollution. Additionally, nesting loggerhead sea turtles rely on the light from the moon for navigation, and manmade light pollution can severely limit their ability to get around. If you’re staying in an oceanfront rental or are close to the beach, we ask that you turn off exterior lights at night, and do your best to keep curtains closed if lights are on inside. It may sound silly, but even the smallest amount of light can make or break sea turtle nesting season.

Holden Beach Turtle Patrol

Also known as the Holden Beach Turtle Watch program, the Turtle Patrol is a group of volunteers that help discover, monitor, and collect important data about the loggerheads that come to shore. They start making morning rounds up and down the beach starting May 1st, searching for the first of the nests. So if you happen to see someone riding a red ATV early in the morning, it’s likely the Holden Beach Turtle Patrol!

Once the Turtle Patrol has identified a nest site, they make sure that it is in a safe, ideal location. If it isn’t, then they will carefully reconstruct the nest exactly as it was made by the mother sea turtle in a better location, before safely transporting the eggs. Once the nest has been deemed safe, it is marked off and labeled for safety, and one egg is taken to have its DNA examined.

Even though we’re not members of the Turtle Patrol ourselves, we love to walk the beaches in search of these awesome creatures. In fact, we encourage all of our guests to be their own independent “turtle scout” while on vacation in Holden Beach. The best way to find hidden sea turtle nests is to look carefully for small tracks left behind by mother sea turtles. Pay careful attention to look out for two small sets of tracks, running in opposite directions to and from the sea as this is a telltale sign of loggerhead activity. Just remember to not get too close if you find one!

How You Can Help Protect Our Loggerhead Sea Turtles

The locals on Holden Beach take protecting our loggerhead sea turtles very seriously as they have made their home on our beautiful shore. To help us keep them safe and sound, here are a few rules to follow while you are vacationing to Holden Beach during turtle nesting season:

  • Please keep your distance from the turtles nest and the mothers who lay the eggs.
  • Don’t disturb the nests or the grating that are covering the nests. These grates help keep predators away from the eggs and hatchlings.
  • Don’t use your flashlight on your phone and don’t leave the outdoor lights on overnight at your oceanfront vacation rental. The turtles use the moonlight to help guide them to the ocean and any other lights will distract them from what they came to shore to complete.
  • Please clean up after your day at the beach and don’t leave any of your beach equipment on the beach overnight. This can prevent sea turtles and hatchlings from freely navigating the beach.
  • Please keep the beaches clean from any trash or plastic on the days you spend at the beach. We like to keep our beaches free of trash to help with the new hatchlings as much as we can.
  • If you see a mother who is in distress, injured or unmarked nests, please contact the Holden Beach Turtle Patrol at 910- 754-0766.
It’s Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Season Here at Holden Beach

While there are many other things that you can do while on vacation to Holden Beach during the turtle nesting season, these are the most important ones we wanted to share. If you haven’t made your family vacation to Holden Beach yet, now is the time. We can’t wait to see you and your family on your next vacation to our beautiful Holden Beach this summer!

Find Beach Treasure on your Next Family Vacation to Holden Beach

Find Beach Treasure on your Next Family Vacation to Holden Beach

Is your family vacation to Holden Beach coming up soon? If the answer is yes, then we just have to tell you all about the treasure you may find on the beach. When you are staying with us in one of our Oceanfront vacation rentals, you will be close to where the treasure hunt begins. There are many different kinds of treasure on the beach that you may not have known about or just forgot what is out there. Adventure is out there and getting the kids involved in the hunt can be more fun. Let’s look at what kind of hidden treasure you may find while on the beach with your family.

Sand Dollars

Find Beach Treasure on your Next Family Vacation to Holden Beach

Did you know that you can find sand dollars on the Carolina Coast? While many thinks that these beautiful treasures can only be found in the warmer climates such as the tropics and in tropical waters. Any day you are visiting Holden Beach you and your family will be able to find several different sizes of sand dollars. Sand Dollars are also known to many as “flattened” sea urchins so having the kids on the hunt for those can make for a great day of treasure hunting.  You may be able to find sand dollars after a storm during low tide. What a great souvenir to take home and share with others as you display them in your home.  

Sea Glass

Sea glass is another treasure that you and your family can hunt for while on vacation to Holden Beach. This can be a wonderful item to look for just before low tide comes or just after low tide comes. In order to find them we have a few different ways to begin to search for the sea glass. Look for a beach full of shell beds rather than smooth sand because it can be found here. Zig zagging will help you find the sea glass a little better as you will be covering more ground that way. We suggest that you don’t look down at the sand, but straight ahead because you will be able to spot the sea glass better. Sea glass can be in several different colors so be on the look out while on your walk.


Find Beach Treasure on your Next Family Vacation to Holden Beach

As you are on your hunt for the sea glass, you can also be on the hunt for some pretty interesting sea shells too. The North Carolina coastline have some beautiful shells that you will be able to take home with you. As you go for your late evening walks with the kids on the beach, be sure to bring a shell bag or a mesh bag with you. This is a good way to keep up with what you collect but won’t have to worry about bringing home more than shells. Sometimes if you wade a little in the water and dig around you can find some treasure too.

While there are many other things that you can hunt for while on vacation to Holden Beach, these are the few activities we thought you’d like. If you still haven’t made your vacation reservations yet in one of our Oceanfront vacation rentals, now is the time. We can’t wait to see you and your family as you come and hunt for treasure together!

Beach Bag Essentials for Your Holden Beach Vacation

Beach Bag Essentials for Your Holden Beach Vacation

Headed to the sandy beaches of Holden Beach for a getaway or vacation? Nothing says vacation like spending the day at one of North Carolina’s beautiful beaches. Whether you are staying in one of our Oceanfront vacation rentals, having the right beach bag essentials will help make your vacation much better. Be sure to check your “beach bag” essential list before you leave for your trip to guarantee you’ll have a good time.

Beach Bag Essentials

Beach Bag

Having the right beach bag can make ALL the difference in the world. Sure, you can throw all your essentials into any bag, but did you know that all beach bags were not created equal. We suggest looking at the size, water and sand resistance, security and stylish when searching for your bag. We have found that even using a backpack, diaper bag or an even a large utility tote bag works perfect for a beach bag.

Beach Towel

Beach Bag Essentials for Your Holden Beach Vacation

Pack a towel for everyone in your family or group whether you are going to sit in the sun or swim in the ocean. Bringing an extra towel with you is always a good idea especially if you have little ones with you. Having a beach towel with a different design can help each member in your group remember which one theirs is.


With the southern sun on Holden Beach, sunscreen is a must for any beach bag. Use a sunscreen that is designed for your beach activities such as waterproof, sport, high SPF, etc.). Dermatologists recommend that you use a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF while you are enjoying the sunshine. And don’t forget to Reapply throughout your day as we don’t want you to ruin your vacation the very first day your here with a sunburn.

Water Resistant Phone Pouch

Between the water, sun and sand, the beach is filled with many things that can damage your phone. Bringing a water-resistant pouch to the beach can be a lifesaver for many. If you come on vacation and realize you don’t have one, a sandwich bag or Ziploc bag will do the same as the phone pouch. They will keep your phone protected from the elements at the beach and you can even use it while it’s in the bag or pouch.

Reading Material

Beach Bag Essentials for Your Holden Beach Vacation

One way that you can improve your tan and your mood is by bringing a book or magazine to the beach. We understand that bringing your children to the beach means less time to read a book, but maybe bring a few of their books too. This way when you are ready to read a little, have them come play in the sand near where you are or have them sit under the umbrella and read a little bit of their own book.

Hat & Sunglasses

Bringing both of these items can be very useful for anyone who visits the beach. The sun in the south is a lot warmer than it would be up north, and so we want to make sure you are protected. Having sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun bright rays and will offer you some relief when trying to keep an eye on your little ones playing. Whether you have a floppy hot or a baseball cap, you will be happy that you brought these along with you. Be sure to pack one for each member of your family.

Water Bottle

When you are spending the day in the sun and at the beach, you will want to stay hydrated as well. Throw a few water bottles in the cooler or bring a reusable bottle such as a Yeti Cup or a S’well bottle as they will keep your drink ice cold all day long. The sun and salt will dry you out so make sure that you have enough water to go around for everyone in your family for the whole day. If you are staying in one of our Oceanfront vacation rentals, then you will be able to go back to refill the bottles.

Baby Powder

Beach Bag Essentials for Your Holden Beach Vacation

You may not have thought that this would be an essential, but it is whenever you go to the beach. Whether you are staying in an oceanfront vacation rental or you decided to drive your car to the beach access, sand will be all over you when you leave the beach. So, bringing baby powder in your beach bag will magically get the sand off of your body without irritation and leave a nice scent too.

Leave-in Conditioner

Bringing some leave-in conditioner with you to the beach can not only help with your hair, but it will help with everyone’s hair. Whenever you are at the beach and you’ve been in the ocean, you may notice that you get those beach waves in your hair from the saltwater. But keeping a small bottle of leave-in conditioner in your beach back and applying to your hair, will help rehydrate your hair as well.

There are many other things that you can pack into your beach bag for your next visit to Holden Beach, but these are the essentials we thought you should have with you. If you are still looking for a place to stay for your next getaway or vacation, then check out our Oceanfront vacation rentals today. We can’t wait to see you and your family on your next adventure to Holden Beach this year!