Beach visitors enjoy last day of free parking in Carolina Beach

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WWAY) — On this final day in February, many people flocked to Carolina Beach to enjoy the sunny weather.

Beachgoers were eager to see the month wrapping up on a summer-like note.

“It’s a blessing to have this right now, its been really cold, and now it’s really nice. I’m a fan,” said Dug Glatt, beachgoer.

“It’s beautiful out here, it’s definitely a much needed thing for everyone. You know, a nice sunny beach day, late-February going into March, spring showing up,” said local visitor Micah Appleton.

“Honestly, I’m surprised there’s not more people out here, because it a great day to be out on the beach,” said Caden Carter, beachgoer.

Some beachgoers offer their thoughts on the newly increased paid parking rates for Carolina Beach, that will be going into effect on March 1.

Parking lots and meters without time limits are $5 per hour, up to $20 per day. Meters with time limits are $3 an hour.

“I know people going to pay it, because they want to come to the beach, to enjoy themselves. I don’t want to say it’s a shame, but just coming out here to a public beach to be able to park, having to pay five dollars, during a pandemic, I wouldn’t agree with that, but we got to do what we got to do,” said Anita Miller, beach visitor.

“It’s kind of ridiculous, because the beach is a great place, it’s a public place, everyone should be able to come here for pretty cheap, if not free. So, I think 5 dollars might stop some people from coming out here,” said Carter.

Two beach visitors said the paid parking rates won’t stop them from returning to Carolina Beach.

“I will still show up at this beach, it’s beautiful, I love this beach,” said Nathaniel Garcia, who traveled from Fayetteville.

“Parking is not going to affect coming to this beach at all,” said Sebastian Giurintano, who traveled from Fayetteville.

Beginning Monday, the paid parking season in Carolina Beach will be in effect until October 31, and the rules will be enforced from from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week.

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