January 12, 2011

What's New on Pleasure Island, NC in 2011

The Wilmington/Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau recently released a PR with what is new in the Wilmington area for 2011. The list is quite extensive but here is a breakdown of the parts that addressed things here on Pleasure Island.

HEADLINE NEWS:

N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher Celebrates "Year of the Turtle"; Debuts New Interactive Outdoor Play Space & Shark Exhibit: The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher will promote Partners in Amphibians and Reptiles Conservation's (PARC) 2011 Year of the Turtle with special turtle programs the 2nd day of every month starting January 2, 2011. A 1,200-square-foot "Adventure Reef" interactive outdoor play space is under construction and will open in Summer 2011. A "Megalodon Shark" exhibit is also slated for Summer 2011. www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

The 150th Anniversary (Sesquicentennial) of the Civil War in North Carolina will be observed from 2011 until 2015. North Carolina will commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial with initiatives and programs during the years 2011-2015. Fort Fisher State Historic Site near Kure Beach will kick off NC's Civil War sesquicentennial with its 146th anniversary program "Glory Enough for All" on January 15, 2011. New Hanover County offers three sites on North Carolina's Civil War Trail: Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Cape Fear Museum, and Battle of Forks Road site at Cameron Art Museum. For details on NC's Civil War Sesquicentennial: http://www.nccivilwar150.com/ For details about Fort Fisher programs:
www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher/fisher.htm

ATTRACTIONS & EXHIBITS

Carolina Beach Boardwalk Makeover is an ongoing campaign to improve the historic Boardwalk area. Summer events for 2011 include: Boardwalk Blast (music & fireworks on Thursday evenings), Family Nights (Tuesdays), Boardwalk Bingo (Wednesdays), Jazz Under the Stars (Wednesdays), and Summer Amusements (rides, games). Other events include Saturday Farmer's Market at the Lake (April-Oct.) and Christmas by the Sea (Nov./Dec.).
http://www.boardwalkmakeover.org/

Carolina Beach State Park News: The park's newly renovated marina is now open. The park also offers a secluded camping area, excellent fishing, and miles of hiking trails, including the Venus Flytrap Trail where this rare indigenous plant grows in its natural habitat.
www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/cabe/main.php

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher News: The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher continues to add new exhibits, programs and activities. The "Shadows in the Sand" exhibit now features three baby bonnethead sharks that were born inside the aquarium's 235-gallon saltwater tank in December 2010. A 1,200-square-foot "Adventure Reef" interactive outdoor play space is under construction and is expected to open in Summer 2011. A new "Megalodon Shark" exhibit is also coming in Summer 2011.
www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

RECENTLY RENOVATED (Lodging):

Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach recently completed renovations, including its meeting rooms. Guest rooms now include flat screen TVs, new carpet, wallpaper, furniture and artwork. A new bistro was added to the restaurant, serving healthy sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts, and Starbucks coffee beverages. New fitness center equipment includes private TVs and free weights, and the lobby has a touch screen information board, media stations and a business center. Director of Sales: Amy Johnson 910-458-2030;
http://www.courtyardcarolinabeach.com/

NEW MANAGEMENT/AMENITIES/AWARDS:

*Cabana Condominiums (222 Carolina Beach Ave. N., Carolina Beach) now offers condos in a gated community.
http://www.ncvacations.com/

EVENTS NEWS

Farmer's Markets: Carolina Beach Farmer's Market made its debut in 2010 and will return to Carolina Beach Lake in 2011 (Saturday mornings, April-Oct.
www.facebook.com/pages/Carolina-Beach-Farmers-Market/113902938643321.

Civil War Sesquicentennial 150th Observance. Events to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War in N.C. will take place across the state from 2011 through 2015. The commemoration of North Carolina's Civil War 150th is sponsored in part by the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency dedicated to the promotion and protection of N.C.'s arts, history, and culture. Local sites on N.C.'s Civil War Trail include: Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Cape Fear Museum, and Cameron Art Museum. Fort Fisher will kick off the state's sesquicentennial observance on January 15, 2011 with a special "Glory Enough for All" 146th anniversary program. Cape Fear Museum will host a series of Community Conversations on "Life during the Civil War" in October, November, March and April. Other events TBA. For details about NC's Civil War sesquicentennial:
http://www.nccivilwar150.com/

NC Museums and State Historic Sites will once again offer "2nd Saturdays," a series of hands-on activities to promote heritage, arts and fun during summer 2011. The Battleship North Carolina and Fort Fisher State Historic Site will participate in this initiative with special activities planned for 2nd Saturdays in June, July, and August.
http://www.ncculture.com/

For a complete 2011 Event Calendar with hundreds of event listings, visit
www.gocapefearcoast.com/events

MEETINGS UPDATE

Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach recently completed renovations, including its meeting rooms. Guest rooms now include flat screen TVs, new carpet, wallpaper, furniture and artwork. A new bistro was added to the restaurant, serving healthy sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts, and Starbucks coffee beverages. New fitness center equipment includes private TVs and free weights, and the lobby has a touch screen information board, media stations and a business center. Director of Sales: Amy Johnson 910-458-2030;
http://www.courtyardcarolinabeach.com/

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

Red Hotz is a new electric car rental business at Carolina Beach. The vehicles seat up to four people and are street legal and allowed on the beach. Red Hotz offers a fleet of 18 cars that reach speeds up to 25mph. They can be rented by the hour, daily or weekly.

RECREATION/SPORTS

Carolina Beach Municipal Marina recently added 8 new transient slips, a floating dinghy dock, and pump-out station. Slips are for boats shorter than 25 feet that can dock for up to 3 hours.

Carolina Beach State Park's newly renovated marina and boat access reopened in Fall 2010 with new floating docks and additional boat slips, as well as boat ramp improvements, walkways, above-ground fuel tanks, and re-designed parking.

An 18-hole Disc Golf Course is being constructed behind Joe Eakes Park by the Town of Kure Beach. Once complete, the facility will be available for disc golf tournaments.

SHOPPING/DINING

Michael's Seafood Restaurant in Carolina Beach won first place in the 2010 Schweppes Great Chowder Cook off, a national seafood chowder contest held in Rhode Island. It is the 2nd consecutive year that Michael's received top honors.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Future Greenway: New Hanover County Parks Department plans to develop the Pleasure Island Bike and Pedestrian Greenway, a proposed 9.5-mile long, 12-foot wide multi-use paved path from Sumter Ave. in Carolina Beach to the Fort Fisher Historic Site, south of Kure Beach. The greenway will provide a safe and green alternative for traveling around Pleasure Island.
http://islandgreenway.org/ and http://www.nhcgov.com/

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher will introduce a whale and dolphin exhibit in 2012.
www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

Oceanfront Park in Kure Beach. The Town of Kure Beach plans to construct an oceanfront park with a gazebo, two-story pavilion, and other features.
www.townofkurebeach.org/oceanfrontpark.html

Long-Range Projects

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher long-range expansion plans include: The Aquarium will introduce a new whale and dolphin exhibit in 2012. The Aquarium is also partnering with the Town of Carolina Beach on a proposed Aquarium Pier near the Boardwalk (anticipated opening 2016).
www.ncaquariums.com/aquarium-piers/carolina-beach

Read the full
Press Release
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