(Pictured Above: Kure Beach Pier frequent visitors, Ferry from Fort Fisher to Southport, Carolina Beach Lake Park bike path, Sunset over the lower Cape Fear at Carolina Beach State Park, Arial view of Carolina Beach Municipal dock with many of the boats out for the day, Fort Fisher battlefield mounded fort.)
Carolina Beach State Park:
Wind your way through habitats along nature trails with more than 30 species of trees, shrubs and plants, including the rare Venus-flytrap. The State Park has approximately 700 acres with a visitor center, fishing pier, picnic and camping (Area 2 campsites are wheelchair accessible), marina, trails, and water activities. Educational programs are offered. For information call (910) 458-8206.
Carolina Beach Lake Park:
Carolina Beach Lake was once noted in the Guiness Book of World Records as being the freshwater lake closest to salt water. It is a great place for a picnic and the site of Pleasure Island’s “Light Up The Lake” celebration during the holiday season. This 11-acre lake offers 4 gazebos, restrooms, sheltered picnic area and playground equipment.
Residents and visitors have long enjoyed the beach area now known as Freeman Park. It is one of two beaches on Pleasure Island where you can drive your 4x4 vehicle on the beach. The area has become one of Carolina Beach's major attractions and is popular with residents and tourist alike. Whether coming to the area to fish, swim, go boating, crabbing or casting for minnows, people love Freeman Park. They are drawn to the beautiful beach with its variety of wildlife, dunes and majestic sea grasses indigenous to the region.
Daily passes may be purchased for $10.00 at the entrance of Freeman Park or you may purchase an annual pass for $50.00.
Fort Fisher is the third most visited historical site in North Carolina. During the Civil War, it was the largest sand and earth fortification of the Confederacy. Its job was to protect blockade runners en route to Wilmington with supplies for the Confederacy and it was the fall of this Fort in 1865 that opened the way for the Union victory.
In addition to the historical significance, Fort Fisher offers miles of undisturbed beaches. Enjoy a leisurely day at the ocean shore. Comb the beach for sea stars, keyhole urchins and whelk shells. Or, simply lie back on the sand and enjoy the aerial acrobatics of seagulls, terns and brown pelicans as they soar above the waves. You may want to venture into the mud flats and marshes to watch sandpipers and other shorebirds as they search for food. Learn about endangered species. Loggerhead sea turtles, piping plovers and other rare species nest along this sandy shore. Explore the North Carolina coast; visit Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. This stretch of pristine shoreline offers many enjoyable activities. Also, Fort Fisher is the second beach area on Pleasure Island that permits operation of 4x4 vehicles in designated areas ($10/day-$40/year).
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher:
The aquarium is one of three state aquariums along our coast. It offers a variety of hands-on programs while visitors marvel at sharks, eels, sea turtles and other fascinating forms of marine life. Educational programs area offered, and popular exhibits include the touch pool and the state-of-the-art ocean habitat.
Fort Fisher Ferry:
Grab the Ferry from Fort Fisher over to Southport. While there, have lunch on the water and take in the sites of this quaint and historical town. From there, head back home on the inland roads and stop at Orton Plantation. It is a beautiful plantation with majestic gardens. And while there, make sure to look around at the various ponds and lakes, you may spot an alligator or two.
Fishing and Boating:
Pleasure Island is one of the premier bottom, pier and surf fishing sites on the east coast. For deep-sea fishing, the Carolina Beach Yacht Basin is the center of boating activities and boasts one of the largest recreational fishing fleets north of Florida. Charter boats and head boats leave the municipal marina each day and return with catches of grouper, snapper, dolphin, flounder, plus much more. Bait, poles and tackle are provided, but you may bring your own.
Kure/Carolina Beach Pier:
Carolina Beach Pier: 1800 Carolina Beach Ave N., Carolina Beach - (910) 458-5518
Carolina Beach Skate Park: