Sunset Beach : North carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is a small and affluent beach town of just over 2,200 people on the southern end of North Carolina. It is just north of Myrtle Beach and south of Wilmington.   The average age here (60) is relatively high, reflecting its popularity as a retirement spot. Other nearby towns on this site worth checking out include Ocean Isle Beach and Southport. In late 2010 a high-arc bridge replaced a pontoon bridge, improving access to this community. Photo of Sunset beach bridge courtesy of Wikipedia and and J. Paylor, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/

Where to Retire in Sunset Beach and Home Prices

The town is an active resort with many retirees who either live along the beach or in one of the many active adult communities here (see link at left ).

Real Estate Values
Real estate prices were very volatile in 2007-2010. Average prices were in the $200's in 2010 according to City-Data, and then climbed to $300,000 at the end of 2011, and back down to $200,000 by the end of 2013, and continued to slide during 2014 to the mid- $100's. However, many retirees choose to live on the mainland side of the beach, where real estate prices are significantly less.In early 2020, Zillow reported the median home value to be $333,538, about a 16% rise over the past year.  You can find a very nice home (1500-2000 sq. ft.) in a new community, for $150,000-$200,000.  Being on the beach island itself will start at $350,000 and go up in price considerably for ocean front.


What Is Special about Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is a great beach and resort town. It's close enough, but not too close to Myrtle Beach so there is a lot to do.  The beach itself is rated the best beach in North Carolina, and the key reason is that it is small (3 miles long) and does not get a lot of tourists - uncrowded.  Beautiful sand that is very flat going out into the ocean.

What Is Not Special about Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is a very small town, so it's not for everyone. Buying almost anything requires a drive.  You will find Food Chain supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, and medical right over the bridge on the mainland.  However, shopping such as Walmart, Lowes, other major stores will require 10-15 minute drive. 


Who Will Like Retirement in Sunset Beach

People who like quiet beach towns on the Atlantic will love Sunset Beach. This is definitely retirement country, since the average age is 60+. 


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism and Professional Services


Climate and Physical Environment

Sunset Beach is at the end of North Carolina, almost in South Carolina. The town is at the end of a barrier island that runs almost the length of NC. Great four seasons with winters averaging in the 50's, and summers averaging in the 90's.  Best part is the extended Spring and Fall weather.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

For culture you will want to head on down to Myrtle Beach. What we love in Susnset Beach is that we do not have any of the traffic you hit in Myrtle Beach in prime season.  So, we have the quaintness of a small town, yet can jump either to Myrtle Beach or Wilmington (with its historical district) easily.  Myrtle Beach is very dynamic from March through During the summer months, several local towns have a weekly beach concert series that is very nice.  And, we have great seafood restaurants - especially noting that the seafood capital of NC (Calabash) is next door to Sunset Beach (5-10 minutes).


The crime rate is less than half the national average.

Medical Facilities

Dosher Medical Hospital is 20 miles away in Southport. A brand new Novant Medical Hospital is about 15 miles away in Brunswick County.


Myrtle Beach airport is about 33 miles, Wilmington's is just over 50 miles

Valuable Links

Sunset Beach NC

City-Data link for Sunset Beach
North Carolina retirement guide


What people are saying about Sunset Beach

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