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What is the history of the Sun and Surf Motel in Carolina Beach?

Ken Little

The Sun-N-Surf Motel, in a post card from the 1960s. Photo courtesy of Elaine Henson.

Q. My family stayed at the Sun and Surf Motel in the ‘70s in Carolina Beach. I remember it was a stone’s throw from the North Pier. Does anyone know any history on it?

A. The Sun-N-Surf Motel dates to the 1950s or early 1960s.

It was purchased in 1963 by Mr. and Mrs. P.T. Barbour, parents of former Carolina Beach Mayor Dennis Barbour and owner of Island Tackle Hardware at the beach, Barbour told Elaine Henson, who is a member of the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society’s board of directors.

“The reader stated that it was the north end pier, but she must be mistaken as that pier is at the end of the 1600 block of Carolina Beach Avenue North. Dennis Barbour told me that the motel was located near the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and South Lake Park Boulevard,” Henson said.

The Sea Colony Condominiums are located on the site of the former motel, she said.

The pier in the background of one Sun-N-Surf Motel postcard shared by Henson is the Center Pier.

“The Center Pier was damaged during Hurricanes Bertha and Fran; what is left is now the Tiki Bar at the Ocean Grill, 1211 South Lake Park Blvd.,” she said.

A Sun-N-Surf Motel postcard from the 1960s advertises “Free T.V., Room Controller Air Conditioning & Heat” and a swimming pool, although one is not shown on the front of the post card. A second, later postcard shared by Henson shows a swimming pool in front of the motel, and lists Fred and Annie Wright as owners.

Other owners of the property over the years included Mr. and Mrs. Willis Spong and Dwight and Grace Austin.


Who bought the old motel in Carolina Beach named Buccaneer?

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Who sang the song ‘Carolina Beach’ and how can I get the lyrics?

User-contributed question by:
Kelsy Teague

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One Response to “ What is the history of the Sun and Surf Motel in Carolina Beach?”

  1. On June 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm Kelsy Teague wrote:

    I remember the pool was roadside in front, to the right as you entered the motel parking lot. Memories, memories. I look forward to returning to my old childhood haunt on the week of July 4th.

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