November 23, 2013

“ENCHANTED AIRLIE” IS A HOLIDAY LIGHT & LEGO EXTRAVAGANZA
















9th Annual Event Features 300,000 Lights, Music, Santa & Colorful LEGOs  

November 2013, Wilmington, N.C.: Tis the season to be enchanted! And what could be more enchanting than a glittering landscape of lighted oaks and twinkling displays in a coastal garden setting?  Visitors who travel to Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and island beaches during the holiday season will have the opportunity to experience “Enchanted Airlie” each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from November 29 through December 21, with additional dates on Wednesday, December 18 and Sunday, December 22. 

Now in its ninth season, Enchanted Airlie (Nov. 29-Dec. 22) presents a holiday light extravaganza with tastefully decorated gardens, magical evenings and fond memories for visitors and local residents. On select dates beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving and continuing into late December, Airlie Gardens is transformed into a visually stunning wonderland of theatrically illuminated large oaks, small native trees, holiday flowers, and elegant displays. Prepare to be enchanted by a world of holiday fantasy that features 300,000 lights and whimsical LEGO exhibits to delight visitors of all ages.  

Always a crowd favorite, the colorful LEGO exhibit returns with more than 250,000 LEGO bricks that set a world record as the largest crowd to see a single LEGO display. Inside the garden services center, guests will marvel at an actual running LEGO train set constructed by NCLUG (North Carolina Lego Group Users). Other highlights include: a Poinsettia Paradise with more than 400 holiday plants; live musical entertainment and visits with Santa. Families can also have their pictures taken in Airlie’s 2,400-square-foot floral conservatory. Refreshments will be available for purchase and the Airlie gift shop will be open.  

Want to go? Enchanted Airlie runs November 29-30; December 5-7, 12-14, and 18-22 in two time slots: 5:00-7:00 p.m. and 7:00–9:00 p.m. Enchanted Airlie tickets must be purchased in advance, no later than 4:00 p.m. the night of the event. Due to the popularity of this event, it is recommended that visitors purchase tickets for their preferred dates prior to arrival. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.airliegardens.org or in-person at Airlie Gardens service center (300 Airlie Rd., Wilmington) between 9am and 4pm. Single admission tickets cost $10 for individuals over the age of 4. Children under age 3 are free. Couples arriving in the same vehicle can purchase a couples ticket for $15. An economical green option is the carload ticket for $22, which will cover as many people as will safely fit into an automobile; no individual tickets or parking passes are required for this option (excludes buses and large, multi-passenger vans).


Airlie Gardens, located at 300 Airlie Road, is a 67-acre historic public garden bordering Bradley Creek in Wilmington, North Carolina. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly and comfortably for the half-mile outdoor walking tour on gravel, sand, and mulch paths. For details about Enchanted Airlie, please call 910-798-7700 or visit the Airlie Gardens website www.airliegardens.org for event information, rules, restrictions and rain policy.  

Go “coastal” this holiday season! From the river to the sea, more than 50 holiday-themed events celebrate the season in Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. To download a free holiday brochure, visit http://tinyurl.com/2013HolidayBrochure. For seasonal specials and visitor information for Wilmington, N.C.’s historic river district and island beaches, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com. For a free official visitors guide, call 1-866-266-9690, email visit@wilmingtonandbeaches.com, or stop by the Visitors Information Center at 505 Nutt Street, Unit A, in historic Downtown Wilmington.     

November 22, 2013

Island Women Embarks on Recyclable Beach Bag Initiative

Some of the members from the Island Women Bag Committee who meet weekly at Port City Java.  L to R are:  bottom row:  Becky Murphy; Carol Konicki and second row:  Sara Smith, Kim Faust, Noel Stevens, Juliet Wright, Cindy Linville, and Committee Chair Debi DiNatale

(November 22, 2013) – Pleasure Island, NC – A local non-profit organization, The Island Women, recently launched a new fundraising initiative, designing and delivering 5,000 unique and recyclable beach tote bags to the Pleasure Island community before the 2014 Memorial Day holiday. Island Women, dedicated to improving the quality of life on Pleasure Island for residents and guests, designed a campaign to achieve three main goals: First, an illustrative representation of all that Pleasure Island has to offer, noting landmarks such as the Boardwalk, Freeman Park, Carolina Beach Lake, Kure Beach Park and North and Kure Pier, as well as the columns entering Fort Fisher and the Fisher State Recreation Area. Second, the bag will serve as a general navigation tool to attractively illustrate businesses and third, it will serve as a great souvenir for vacationers to take home and share Pleasure Island information with friends and family. The bag also represents the Island Women’s mission in the support of environmental efforts and specifically endorses the use of reusable, recyclable products in our coastal area. The beach bag provides opportunities for businesses on the Island to cameo their locations while supporting the Island Women organization and its mission.

“We are proud to offer this new and unique opportunity for our area with the Island Women’s new beach/tote bag initiative,” said Debi DiNatale, owner of the Carolina Beach Inn and the Chair of the Committee who is volunteering to see the project through. “We have a great response from businesses so far, and it is our plan for the bag to become an annual fundraiser for Island Women,” she added. “The best outcome is that our businesses gain valuable visibility, through an aesthetically-pleasing bag that will, in essence, be walking around the island this summer season. The bonus is that it provides an opportunity to return to visitors’ hometowns as a souvenir depicting a great vacation destination and showcasing all that Pleasure Island has to offer. We are proud, too, that the funds raised will be invested in future efforts of supporting Pleasure Island.”

Businesses can participate in the bag project through sponsorship at varying affordable levels. Each level provides advertising opportunities, Island Women promotions, and a quantity of bags for distribution to business clients, VIPs, or to sell. The bag, designed by Sandpiper Marketing & Communications, a Carolina Beach business, will provide opportunities for island businesses to have their physical business site designed and illustrated on the bag itself, along with their logos and websites on sides of the bag, depending upon the level of sponsorship. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, the Island Women organization, or how you can be more involved, contact Debi DiNatale at 910.622.8393 or islandwomenpi@gmail.com or visit www.islandwomen.org.

Island Women is a diverse group of local women who use their talents and resources to improve the quality of life on Pleasure Island for residents and guests. Island Women is a non-profit group that is not affiliated with any companies, governments or special interests groups. The Pleasure Island recyclable bag is just one of the many projects that Island Women organization supports. Other projects include the Beach Bound project that funded the purchase of beach accessible wheel chairs, island beautification projects and other environmental initiatives.

Press release provided by Sandpiper Marketing & communications.

THE 2013 HOLIDAY SEASON COASTAL FLOTILLAS DAZZLE AND DELIGHT

Sparkle and shine. Dazzle and delight. Lighting up the holidays is a hallmark of Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. During this festive time of year two colorful nighttime flotillas illuminate our waterways: the 30th Annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla at Wrightsville Beach on Saturday, November 30 and the Island of Lights Holiday Flotilla at Carolina Beach on Saturday, December 7. The boat parades feature brightly lit sailing vessels, ranging from tiny rowboats to luxury yachts.

While flotillas can occur any time of the year, the holidays are perfect for nautical festivities. Each year thousands of visitors travel to Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach to line the waterways and cheer for the twinkling boats as they drift by in competition for the coveted “Best in Show” prize. Captains and their crews go all-out to please the crowds, decorating their boats from stem to stern in themes that range from traditional to contemporary. This originality reflects the independent spirit and creative energy that defines Wilmington, N.C.’s historic river district and island beaches.

A Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event for November 2013, the time-honored flotilla kicks off the holiday season the weekend after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29-30). To celebrate its 30th year, the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla promises an impressive show with a record number of glimmering boats. Visitors can celebrate all weekend, beginning Friday night when the island’s official Christmas tree is lit at 5:45 p.m., followed by visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Town Hall. At 7:00 p.m., there’s an Atlantic Marine Launch Party at the Blockade-Runner Beach Resort with live music and heavy hors d’oeuvres (admission charge for gala). On Saturday, a full day of entertainment begins with a free Festival in the Park from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Wrightsville Beach Park featuring arts and crafts vendors, antique / classic car show, kids’ activities, food, entertainment, and amusements. Then, at 6:00 p.m. the main attraction—the holiday flotilla—gets underway along Banks Channel, beginning with a fireworks volley, followed by the boat parade and a stunning fireworks show. This year’s event includes a Crowd Favorite winner determined by audience text-votes. Visitors who wish to make the most of their beach weekend can also enjoy the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, narrated cruises, fresh seafood at island restaurants, and shopping at surf and specialty shops. For details about the N.C. Holiday Flotilla, visit www.ncholidayflotilla.org, email info@ncholidayflotilla.org or call 910-256-2120.

On the first Saturday in December (December 7th), the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla in Carolina Beach features electrically decorated fishing boats and pleasure crafts in a spectacular display of light and sound along the Intracoastal Waterway. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. the merry boat parade cruises from Snows Cut to Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back. The best viewing station is at Carolina Beach Boat Basin. Visitors who arrive on Friday can usher in the holidays during the annual Island of Lights Nighttime Christmas Parade on Friday evening (December 6th). Santa’s official arrival in Pleasure Island is preceded by an elaborate procession of electrical floats, marching bands, queens, and more. The Friday night parade begins at 7:30 p.m. along Lake Park Blvd. from Atlantic Avenue to Federal Point Shopping Center in Carolina Beach. Plan a weekend getaway that includes the parade and the flotilla, as well as a visit to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for this year’s Christmas by the Sea festivities. While on the island, you can enjoy Kure Beach’s new Ocean Front Park and visit the Fort Fisher State Historic Site & Civil War Museum, Carolina Beach State Park, and the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher. You’ll also find unique gifts in museum shops and beach boutiques at Carolina and Kure beaches. For details about the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla and Nighttime Parade: www.islandoflights.org.

Events such as the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla and the Island of Lights Festival provide a fun and affordable way to experience the holidays coastal-style. More than 50 holiday events celebrate the season in Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. To download a free Holiday Events guide: www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/media/images/2013HolidayBrochurefinal.pdf

For a free Official Visitors Guide, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com, call 1-866-266-9690, or email visit@wilmingtonandbeaches.com, or stop by the year-round Visitors Information Center located at 505 Nutt Street, Unit A, in Wilmington’s historic river district.

July 18, 2013

Video: 9' Alligator Captured on Carolina Beach

Beachgoers had a bit of a surprise this past weekend when on Sunday, July 14, 2013, they encountered a nine foot alligator on the shoreline at Freeman Park in Carolina Beach.

According to someone on the video, the shark was first noticed by some children at the waters edge. Authorities were summed and they were able to quickly wrangle the alligator and move it off the beach.

The women taking the video was upset because there were no signs stating that alligators will, on very rare occasions, make an appearance in ocean waters near inlets.  In almost all cases, the alligators get caught up in strong currents following a heavy rain and get washed out into the ocean.  Salt water is not part of its normal habitat and the alligator's primary goal will be to find its way back to fresh (or brackish) water.  

To my knowledge, there has never been a case of an alligator biting a human while it was in salt water.

The video was posted on Youtube by dant025 and is 2:06 in length.  (CAUTION: Adult language)

June 16, 2013

USA Today: 24 Best Boardwalks for Food in America

The Carolina Beach Boardwalk made the top 24 list of the Best Boardwalks for Food in America.  The list/article was initially posted on The Daily Meal and then carried by USA Today on June 16, 2013.

The CB Boardwalk was listed as number 8 and the writeup was centered solely on Britt's Donuts.  Here's the part about CB:

[i]There's no embellishment necessary at Britt's Donut Shop, where the big O's have been served hot, fresh, and in one variety only — glazed — since 1939. Unless you want to get glared at by the locals, don't suggest they expand their menu; just order a dozen and try not to eat them all in one sitting.[i]

Read the entire article here.

June 6, 2013

Swimmer in Nags Head Has Close Encounter with Humpback Whale

Wow, a swimmer in Nags Head has a close encounter with a humpback whale.  The video was shot from Jennette's Pier by Daryl Law.  According to Daryl, whales and numerous dolphin have been feeding around the pier for three days straight.

New's story: http://wtkr.com/2013/06/05/close-encounters-with-whales-in-nags-head/


April 30, 2013

Carolina Beach Receives $800,000 CAMA Grant to Renovate Boardwalk

We received some wonderful news today from Mayor Bob Lewis regarding a $800,000 CAMA grant to be used for renovating the Carolina Beach Boardwalk.

Here's the email from Bob which outlines the preliminary plans for improving the boardwalk:

We had another great meeting with our legislators, senators and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Steve Shuttleworth, Tom Bridges and I met with numerous representatives this morning in Raleigh to help secure over $800,000 in grant money from CAMA. 

The new boardwalk will feature: gazebos, covered areas, a wide promenade, swings, seating, ocean views, a children's featured playground feature, upgraded showers and more beach access areas. Our plan is to included a number of residents and organizations in various aspects of design features and develop a plan to present to the community within the next 60-90 days. Mayor Bob 

April 26, 2013

Rumor Has It: Indie Surfing Movie to Film on Pleasure Island

Well it looks like Pleasure Island is going to be home to some tinsel town magic in the coming weeks.  The independent movie The Perfect Summer is rumored to heading to Pleasure Island for the bulk of filming and is slated to start in just a couple of weeks.

They are still in the process of casting the movie but according to the blog Wilmywood, Sydney Penny (All My Children and The Bold and the Beautiful) and Jason Castro (season 7 of American Idol) have already been signed on.

Not many details have been released about the film but it does center on surfing and the production company recently held a casting call for surfers ages 16-25.

And for a bit more Hollywood rumor news close to home, the power house movie Tammy, which stars Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, and Kathy Bates, is slated to film at least one scene at Snow's Cut Park.  The movie is described as such: After Tammy (McCarthy) loses her job and discovers that her husband has been unfaithful, Tammy hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother (Sarandon).  It's also worth noting that Will Ferrell is a producer on the film.

Finally, the movie Arthur Newman, which stars Emily Blunt, Colin Firth and Anne Heche is now showing in limited release.  Scenes from the movie were shot in Carolina Beach and Fort Fisher.  You can view some island filming photos here.

April 23, 2013

The Thread Pleasure Island Kicked Off Last Week

The Thread Pleasure Island, a no-fee network group for business owners in the Pleasure Island and Monkey Junction area, launched this past week at an event Thursday evening.

The Thread was founded by Sandpiper Marketing & Communications, LLC and Linquist/Keenan Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage Realty. Members network with other business owners over drinks, learning about each others’ businesses, trading leads, and having fun doing it! Additionally, members will be giving back to the community it serves as they donate as a collective group to a chosen local charity.

The Thread Network:
•Together, we share perspectives of business ownership;
•Help by giving to others readily--don’t worry about “quid pro quo”;
•Recognize that we achieve more together;
•Encourage through sharing your passion and advice;
•Accept and strive to understand others’ challenges and needs; and
•Do! Reach out and expand each others’ network

Spread the word to Pleasure Island business owners about the Thread and ask them to join online at www.thethreadpleasureisland.com and check them out on https://www.facebook.com/WeAreTheConversation?ref=ts&fref=ts

The Thread welcomes business sponsors for upcoming events! The Thread’s quarterly featured business(es) is a special sponsor who is willing to donate food, drinks, and/or a give-away valued at $150 for the event. For that, your business will be advertised as the Thread's quarterly featured business on the web page with their logo (with a link to your website) and during the night of a Thread event. If any business would like to partner with the Thread for a specific quarter, contact them at info@thethreadpleasureisland.com or 443.333.0571.

Business owners, mark your calendar now for the next Thread event on Thursday, July 18th, location TBD!


CELEBRATE MOM WITH A MOTHER’S DAY GETAWAY TO WILMINGTON, N.C. & ISLAND BEACHES

Mother's Day (Sunday, May 12) is a time to celebrate Mom and show her how much you appreciate all she does for the family. Why limit the fun to just one day when you can celebrate all weekend in Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach? It’s the ideal Mother’s Day getaway with great shopping and dining, affordable accommodations, and lots to see and do from the river to the sea. To help plan Mom’s special trip, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com or call 1-866-266-9690 or and request a free official visitors guide. 

Here’s a sampling of events and activities to enjoy with Mom:
May 10: Birding Tour. 9am. Impress Mom by taking her on a birding tour with a NC Audubon naturalist. Free. Public Access 43 (South end) at S. Lumina Ave. & Jack Parker Dr., Wrightsville Beach. 910-686-7527; www.ncaudubon.org
May 10: Outdoor Concert. 6pm-8pm. Does Mom love music? Take her to hear a free acoustic rock concert with music by The Other Guys & A Gal. Free. Mayfaire Town Centre, Wilmington; www.mayfairetown.com
May 10: National Public Gardens Day. Treat Mom to a blooming good time at world-class Airlie Gardens’ 67 acres of historical gardens and lakes. Admission is free today in observance of National Public Gardens Day. Free (today only), Airlie Gardens, Wilmington. 910-798-7700; www.airliegardens.org
May 11: Super Saturday Fun Time-Theatre: 11am. Is Mom into history and mysteries? Take her to a family-friendly live adventure and variety show where Dock the Dog and the Dock Street Kids solve this week’s history-mystery. Admission charge. Theatre Now, Wilmington. 910-399-3NOW; www.theatrewilmington.com .
May 11: National Migratory Bird Day. Celebrate National Migratory Bird Day with a day filled with bird hikes, presentations, and craft activities for kids. Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach (a NC Birding Trail site). Free. 910-458-8206; www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/events-calendar/national-migratory-bird-day/
May 11: Family Farm Day. 9am-12pm. Introduce Mom to life on the farm: meet farm animals, ride ponies, plant herbs, make butter, create art and enjoy milk-and-cookies during story time. Admission charge. Wilmington Children’s Museum, Wilmington. 910-254-3534; http://www.playwilmington.org/index/page/family-farm-day.
May 11: Farmers' Markets. Saturdays 8am-1pm. Rise early for regional produce, plants, herbs, and fresh flowers. The Riverfront Farmers’ Market (Downtown Wilmington) & Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market (Carolina Beach Lake) feature local farmers, artists, crafters, food, music. Free admission; charge for food and products. www.wilmingtonfarmers.com & www.facebook.com/CarolinaBeachFarmersMarket
May 11: Confederate Memorial Day. Give Mom a history lesson with a tour of Fort Fisher, followed by a special memorial service at 4pm to honor Confederate soldiers. Free. Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Kure Beach. 910-458-5538; www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher/fisher.htm.
May 11 & 12: N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher: Moms love our aquarium and appreciate its special programs: “AUARIST APPRENTICE” (2pm, Sat.); “BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR” (1pm, Sun.) and “SALT MARSH & CRABBING” (2:30pm, Sun.). Admission/program charges apply. Pre-registration required for all programs. NC Aquarium at Ft. Fort Fisher, Kure Beach. 910-458-7468; www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher.
May 12: Mother’s Day Riverboat Luncheon Cruise. 1pm-2:30pm. Board an authentic riverboat and treat Mom to a deli buffet lunch and narrated scenic tour of the Cape Fear River. Admission charge. Pre-paid advance reservations required. Boarding begins at 12:30pm. Henrietta III, riverfront at S. Water & Dock Streets. Cape Fear Riverboats celebrates 25 years in 2013. 910-343-1611; 800-676-0162; http://www.cfrboats.com/proddetail.php?prod=1020.
May 12: Mother’s Day Cruise of Harbor Island. Moms cruise FREE on Mother’s Day (with at least two paid $20 passengers in her party). 1-hour historic harbor cruises depart at 11am, 12pm; 1pm; 2pm; 3pm; 4pm; 5pm. Sunset cruise at 6:30pm. Reservations recommended. Wrightsville Beach Scenic Cruises, Waynick Ave. (across from Blockade Runner Resort), Wrightsville Beach. 910-200-4002; www.wrightsvillebeachscenictours.com.
May 12: Mother’s Day Dessert Cruise. 1pm & 2:30pm. Treat Mom to a 90-minute narrated dessert cruise of the storied Cape Fear River. Admission charge. Advance reservations. Boards at 12:45pm & 2:30pm from Riverwalk at 212 S. Water St., between Orange & Ann streets, Wilmington. 910-338-3134; www.wilmingtonwatertours.net

OTHER MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND IDEAS
OUTDOORS & MORE: There are many ways to explore the natural beauty of Wilmington, NC and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. Learn to surf or standup paddle. Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle around our marshes, rivers, inlets and the Intracoastal Waterway. Watch for birds at one of the NC Birding Trail sites (www.ncbirdingtrail.org) or take a leisurely paddle-boat ride on scenic Greenfield Lake and Carolina Beach Lake. Ride a bicycle or surrey along the Carolina Beach Boardwalk or Carolina Beach Lake. Stroll along the Riverwalk, fish from an ocean pier, or charter a boat for offshore fishing. Hike a nature trail at area parks/gardens, including Carolina Beach State Park. Walk The Loop fitness trail around Wrightsville Beach Park.

BLOOMING GOOD TIMES: Dazzle Mom with beautiful spring flowers at the world-class Airlie Gardens (www.airliegardens.org). Other showcase gardens are at Latimer House (Victorian), Burgwin-Wright House & Gardens (Colonial), and Bellamy Mansion (Antebellum). There’s also a free arboretum with 4,000 species of native plants on seven acres (www.gardeningnhc.org). In addition there are public parks and gardens, and a university ‘arboretum’ campus (www.uncw.edu). You can search for rare Venus Flytrap and other carnivorous plants at Carolina Beach State Park. Just outside of town, the grounds of Poplar Grove Plantation are lovely in the springtime. 

THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE: DINING, SHOPPING, DAY SPAS: Introduce Mom to regional cuisine served at casual bistros, upscale restaurants, old-fashioned diners, and outdoor caf├ęs. Restaurants from the river to the sea serve Sunday brunch. Mother’s Day is a busy day so reservations are strongly encouraged. On Saturday, treat Mom to a Heart of Downtown restaurant tour (2:30pm-5:30pm; www.lizbiro.com/tours.html). For restaurant listings, visit www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/restaurants. Find a unique gift at specialty shops, beach & downtown boutiques, custom jewelers, museum shops, antique shops & art galleries. Or, Mom can rejuvenate at a day spa. 

TOURS DU JOUR: Impress Mom with a guided tour. Downtown tours that depart at the foot of Market & Water streets include: Horse-drawn carriage/trolley tours (www.horsedrawntours.com, 910-251-8889); Wilmington Trolley Company (www.wilmingtontrolley.com, 910-763-4483); Culinary Adventures with Liz Biro (Sat. 2:30pm-5:30 pm; www.lizbiro.com/tours.html; 910-545-8055); Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington (www.hauntedwilmington.com, 910-794-1866); Hollywood Location Walk of Old Wilmington (www.hollywoodnc.com; 910-794-7177); Tour Old Wilmington walking tour (http://touroldwilmington.blogspot.com; 910-409-4300). Just a few blocks north: Cape Fear Segway Tours (www.capefearsegway.com; 910-251-2572).
MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS: Explore the history, art and culture of the Wilmington region at one of our fine museums! 

Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design Arts: “IVEY HAYES RETROSPECTIVE” art exhibit (thru May 17). Admission charge. Bellamy Mansion, Wilmington. 910-251-3700; www.bellamymansion.org
Cape Fear Museum of History & Science: “CAPE FEAR STORIES: LAND OF THE LONGLEAF PINE” (ongoing); “IMPRESSIONS OF THE LOWER CAPE FEAR” (through Oct. 27, 2013); “COLLECTION SELECTION: BREAKFAST” (opens February 11, 2013), collection includes more than 100 artifacts that document how Wilmingtonians made breakfast at home and also represent the Port City’s breakfast eateries of the past and present. Admission charge. Cape Fear Museum, Wilmington. 910-798-4350; www.capefearmuseum.com.
Cameron Art Museum: “HERE & NOW: A DECADE OF CONTEMPORARY AQUISITIONS” (through July 21, 2013). Admission charge. Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington. 910-395-5999; www.cameronartmuseum.com
Wilmington Railroad Museum: Learn about Wilmington’s railroad history, climb aboard a real train, operate a scale model railroad, and participate in a scavenger hunt. Admission charge. Wilmington Railroad Museum, Wilmington. 910-763-2634; www.wrrm.org
 
Family-friendly activities abound in Wilmington, N.C.’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. Before traveling great distances for an event, please contact organizer/venue directly to confirm details. To find out about special offers, events and experiences in Wilmington, N.C. and its island beaches, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com, www.visitcarolinabeachnc.com, www.visitkurebeachnc.com, and www.visitwrightsvillebeachnc.com. For a free Official Visitors Guide, call 1-866-266-9690 or visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com.

2013 Pleasure Island Entrepreneur of the Year Award

The Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the UNCW Entrepreneurship Center has selected Matt Piccinin and Sean Cook, owners of Shuckin’ Shack in Carolina Beachand downtown Wilmington winners of the 7th Annual Pleasure Island Entrepreneur of the Year for 2013. Shuckin’ Shack will be honored at an awards breakfast held May 23rd at the UNCW Burney Center along with other Chamber winners and the 2013 Coastal Entrepreneurs of the Year.

The UNCW Entrepreneurship Center, the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, and local Chambers of Commerce organized the competition to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the Cape Fear region and to help foster entrepreneurial activity in our region.

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar was the brain child of two local friends Matt Piccinin and Sean Cook. They felt that Pleasure Island needed an Oyster Bar and a place to enjoy great local steamed seafood in a relaxed atmosphere. Shuckin’ Shack opened 5 years ago in Carolina Beach with only 6 employees. It has now expanded to include a downtown Wilmington location and over 30 employees. You can also find Shuckin’ Shack Oysters and Shrimp at local events such as The Seafood Blues and Jazz Festival, Pleasure Island Chowder Cook Off and Step Up For Soldiers Back Yard BBQ. The Shack can even bring the party to you including an oyster steamer, official shack shucking tables, and all the fixings!

Shuckin’ Shack has received rave reviews from local print media and is a hot spot for locals and tourists. This year they were honored to be runner up for best oysters in Encore Magazines “Best of Wilmington”. When you walk into the new location It is obvious, from the local memorabilia and photographs displayed on the bar top, that even though The Shack is expanding its roots are deep in Carolina Beach and the local customers who have become more like family. Owners Matt and Sean give back to their community by supporting local children’s athletics including sponsoring and coaching Myrtle Grove Baseball and the new Pleasure Island Youth Baseball as well as sponsoring a team for Pleasure Island Soccer for the past 4 years. They are also involved in several charities including Got Em On Live Bait Club, Nourish NC, and Ashley High School Boosters.

Listed below are past recipients of this prestigious award:
6th Annual 2012 Ea Ruth & Anne Brodsky Palm Air Realty
5th Annual 2011 Michael & Shelly McGowan Michael’s Seafood & Catering
4th Annual 2010 Duke & Tracee Hagestrom Wheel Fun Rental, Fudgeboat & Krazy Kones
3rd Annual 2009 Janet & Mike Hoffer Snow’s Cut Media
2nd Annual 2008 Jackie Oakes Coastal K9 Bakery
1st Annual 2007 Roxanne Thompson Island Floiras by Roxanne

 For more information please call the Chamber at 910-458-8434 or email at greg@pleasureislandnc.org.

April 11, 2013

Pic of the Day: Seagull in Carolina Beach

Free as a bird in Carolina Beach. Photo by Benson Stephens.

Huffington Post: Best U.S. Island Getaways: 10 Tranquil Destinations For Rest And Relaxation

An island vacation is the perfect way to leave the everyday stress of urban life behind -- but you don't have to head halfway around the world to Fiji or Bali to enjoy a tranquil beachside getaway.

Take advantage of the stress-relieving benefits of some of the U.S.'s best islands, from the tropical beaches of southern Florida to the beautiful Northern Islands...

Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Take a trip to "Old Baldy," the oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina, when you visit Bald Head Island, located across the Cape Fear River from Southport, NC. Hop on the ferry to the small, southernmost Cape Island, and enjoy 10,000 acres of quiet, serene beaches, marshlands and maritime forests...
 
Click here to read about the other U.S.locations that made the list
Photo from article.

Photo: Suring on my Mind

One of the problems of living at Carolina Beach while going to school...it can be hard to focus at times.

Photo credit.

Video: Time-lapse Carolina Beach Pier

Carolina Beach in high gear. Video by Michael Sing.

Pic of the Day: Carolina Beach 1940's

Sarah Jane Efird allowed us to share this very cool photo showing Carolina Beach boooming in the late 1940's or early 50's. She notes that her mom in on the bottom left (behind the dark headed girl) and the lifeguard stand is labeled with her Dad's name as it was his stand.


Pic of the Day: Sea of Shadows at Wrightsville Beach

Today's pic of the day is from OTB (over the bridge) and was taken by Chris Brehmer Photography. He titled it 'Sea of Shadows' and it was taken at Wrightsville Beach.

Pic of the Day: Pelican in Carolina Beach

Pelican R&R in Carolina Beach. Photo by Michael Sing Photography.

Pic of the Day: Sweeping View of Carolina Beach

Beautiful wide shot of Carolina Beach, NC. Photo by Michael Sing Photography

March 23, 2013

Britt's Donuts Now Open for 2013 Season

Summer is getting closer...how do I know?  Britt's Donuts is now open!

Britt's Donuts hours:
Fri 4:00pm until dark; Sat & Sun 8:00am to 5:00pm
Starting Memorial Day weekend, they will be open 7 days a week.
Phone: (910)707-0755

Pic of the Day: Lo Tide Run

Paul at Southern Digital Art.com captures the excitement as participants race to the finish line at this year's 9th Annual Steve Haydu St Patrick's Lo Tide Run.

Pic of the Day: USS North Carolina Battleship at Sunset

Again we are going with an OTB (over the bridge) photo for the pic of the day. Clearly this beautiful shot needs no further description. Photo by Lotus Lily-Photography.

Carolina Beach Hampton Inn Project Moving Forward

Good news, it now looks like the Hampton Inn Hotel project is moving forward and we might finally see this being constructed in the near future. Mayor Bob Lewis posted the following comment on Facbebook on March 15, 2013:

"Big thanks goes our to Mayor Pro Tem, Steve Shuttleworth who has taken the lead on working out the details to get a large developer to construct a new 108 room Hampton Inn and Suites at the CB Boardwalk. Steve has resurrected the deal and working with a bank to help remove the obstacles to getting the developer to break ground within the next couple months. Steve has given up a lot of personal and business related time to make this happen for CB."

Pic of the Day: Sunset at the Carolina Beach Lake

Michael Sing offers us this beautiful shot from the Carolina Beach Lake.

March 12, 2013

7th Annual Pleasure Island Entrepreneur of the Year

The Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce in concert with the UNCW Entrepreneurship Center are now accepting nominations for the 7th Annual Pleasure Island Entrepreneur of the Year

Pleasure Island Chamber of CommerceCarolina Beach, NC March 11, 2013 - The mission of the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards is to help foster entrepreneurial activity — and higher paying jobs — in our region. The winners will be profiled in a special Coastal Entrepreneur Awards section in the May 10th Greater Wilmington Business Journal and honored at a large Awards breakfast May 23rd at UNCW’s Burney Center.

Last year’s recipient was Ea Ruth and Anne Brodsky of Palm Air Realty. In 2012, this prestigious award was won by Michael and Shelley McGowan of Michael’s Seafood Restaurant. In 2011 the award was won by Duke and Tracee Hagestrom, owner of Wheel Fun Rental, The Fudgeboat & Krazy Kones; the 2010 award winners were Janet and Mike Hoffer, owners of Snow’s Cut Media, Jackie Oakes, owner of Coastal K9 Bakery was the 2009 award winner and Roxanne Thompson, owner of Island Florals by Roxanne was our inaugural winner in 2008.

The Award will be presented on May 23rd at an official Awards breakfast at UNCW’s Burney Center located on the UNCW Campus
.
To qualify for nomination, the business owner must:
  • Have an aggressive and focused entrepreneurial spirit
  • Be effective and efficient in the recognition and implementation of change
  • Have experienced, rapid and significant business growth
  • Demonstrate innovativeness in their business
  • Display active community engagement and involvement
*Please provide a written synopsis verifying successful nominees meet all of the aforementioned criteria in able to be considered. 

All nominations must be submitted by 12:00 noon on March 29th, 2012, in writing to: Greg Reynolds, Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, Carolina Beach, NC 28428 or by email to: greg@pleasureislandnc.org. For more information call 910-458-8434.

March 11, 2013

Video: Seagull Rides Pelican in Hopes of Stealing Catch

One of the joys about fishing at the beach is that there is always room for everyone and you never feel closed in by other anglers.  So you have to empathize with this poor pelican who was minding his own business fishing near the Kure Beach Pier when a gull decided to cut in. 

The pelican was having some good luck on this cold winter day when a seagull decided he wanted a piece of the action.  Not only did gull close in on the pelican's fishing grounds, he decided to land on the pelican's back (at the 0:33 mark) with hopes of getting some of his catch.

It surely is a bird-eat-bird world out there.  Video posted on Youtube by allstonbasement1987.  (1:31 in length.)

Pic of the Day: Reflections at Fort Fisher

Evening reflections at Fort Fisher. Photo by Lotus Lily-Photography.

March 10, 2013

Arthur Newman Set for U.S. Release in April 2013

Arthur Newman is set for a limited US release on April 26, 2013.  The movie filmed in the Wilmington area in Fall 2011 and they spent about a week on Pleasure Island filming in Carolina Beach and on the beach at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area.

The movie stars Colin Firth and Emily Blunt and centers around a man (Firth) who fakes his own death and assumes a new identity in order to escape his life.  He then moves in with a woman (Blunt) who is also trying to leave her past behind.

To view more filming photos from Carolina Beach, click here.

Here are a few shots from Fort Fisher with Colin Firth (thanks to D. Anderson)




March 8, 2013

Kure Beach's Ocean Front Park Celebrates Grand Opening April 26

Ocean Front Park – Kure Beach’s largest public green space – will hold its grand opening ceremony on Friday, April 26, followed by Kure Beach’s annual street festival on Saturday, April 27.

Kure Beach, NC – March 6, 2013 – Kure Beach, North Carolina’s small wonder, is welcoming spring this year with a two-day oceanfront celebration for the whole family. Ocean Front Park – Kure Beach’s largest public green space – will hold its grand opening ceremony on Friday, April 26, followed by Kure Beach’s annual street festival on Saturday, April 27. Both events are free and open to the public.

Ocean Front Park’s Grand Opening will kick off at 11:30 a.m. and last until 10:00 p.m. that evening. Planned activities include speeches from government officials, performances and special exhibits by local school children, and live musical performances by popular bands like South of K Bluegrass, The Imitations and Wilmington Big Band.

Ocean Front Park is located in the heart of Kure Beach’s quaint business district near the town’s iconic fishing pier. The park will feature a boardwalk, a playground, benches, swings, rain gardens, oceanfront benches and public restrooms. It will also have a “tot lot” playground for children ages 3 to 6 complete with a pirate ship, fish and turtle, perfect for climbing and exploring. One of the biggest attractions at the park is an open-air pavilion with a stage area to be used for concerts, weddings and educational events.

As part of this massive project, the existing boardwalk from K Avenue to M Avenue and one of the beach accesses was replaced in order to meet ADA standards. Atlantic Avenue also received a face-lift, with new asphalt sloping to pavers to increase storm water drainage.

Keep the fun going all weekend long by attending the 2013 Kure Beach Street Festival on Saturday. Enjoy festival food, arts and crafts, and live entertainment. Kids activities will include a clown, balloon animals and face painting. The festival begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 9:00 p.m. with a fireworks show over the ocean.

Trade the stress of everyday life for the natural beauty and laidback atmosphere of Kure Beach. In addition to Ocean Front Park, there are plenty of family-friendly events taking place over the next few months. Now is a great time to book a getaway to Kure Beach to enjoy these upcoming events. Lodging options range from family-owned motels to vacation rentals. Visit our website for details on special rates.

Special Programs at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Varies days/times
Whether it’s an Easter egg hunt with a reptilian twist or a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is always an exciting and educational family destination.
The 12th Annual Alligator Easter Egg Hunt will take place on March 23, 29 and 30. Kids will have the chance to see a live baby alligator, as well as create their own special alligator egg basket and search for candy-filled “alligator eggs.” Then celebrate “green think” during St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. Activities will include a recycled craft project, guided garden tours, scavenger hunts, games and prizes. There will be two behind-the-scenes tours highlighting the Aquarium’s conservation and sustainability efforts. Registration is also now open for the Aquarium’s various summer camps. Space is limited advance registration is required for many of these special programs, so make sure to visit the website to pre-register.

Pleasure Island Chowder Cook-Off
April 13, 2013 beginning at 11:00 a.m.
A favorite event for 16 years, this year’s 17th annual event will once again feature an all-day lineup of area chefs and their award-winning chowder, live music and children’s activities. Make sure you bring your appetite along with you to Carolina Beach Lake Park!

Bluegrass by the River Festival
May 4, 2013 beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Back by popular demand, this second annual event will feature live music by a variety of bluegrass bands, clogging and an open jam session. Pickers of all kinds are invited to bring their instruments and enjoy bluegrass…island style. The event will take place at Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area.

Confederate Memorial Day
May 11, 2013 – 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
This annual memorial service at Fort Fisher State Historic Site honors the sacrifice of Confederate defenders of Fort Fisher. The event is free and open to the public.

About Kure Beach
Kure Beach, North Carolina’s small wonder, offers a naturally beautiful setting and small-town atmosphere. The coastal beach community, with its relaxed pace, lets visitors unplug and reconnect while they enjoy an undeveloped beach and signature state attractions, including the Fort Fisher State Historic Site and the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. For more information, go to www.VisitKureBeachNC.com or call (800) 631-1460. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KureBeachNC and Twitter @KureBeachNC.

Navigate Toward What’s Important with a Spring Holiday in Wilmington, N.C.’s Historic River District & Island Beaches

As the spring holiday season approaches, destinations that provide meaningful experiences are especially popular. This spring, navigate toward what’s important to you. Surrounded by water, Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach offer a single destination with multiple vacation choices. From the river to the sea, Wilmington, N.C. & Island Beaches is an affordable destination with accommodations in all price ranges, as well as budget-friendly attractions, tours, and restaurants. Great shoulder-season rates plus kid-friendly activities add up to a meaningful spring coastal getaway that won’t break the bank. To plan your visit, call 1-866-266-9690 or email visit@wilmingtonandbeaches.com and request a free 2013 official visitors guide. Or visit the website www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com where you’ll find seasonal specials, events and experiences. 

HERE’S A SAMPLING OF HOLIDAY-THEME EVENTS FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY:
 
MARCH 23, 29 & 30: ALLIGATOR EGG HUNT. 10am & 1pm. See a live baby alligator and learn about these fascinating animals. Next, create an alligator egg basket and search for candy-filled “alligator eggs.” Recommended for ages 3-10; must be accompanied by an adult. Admission charge for kids and adults. Pre-registration required (by March 23 & March 27). NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach; 910-458-7468; www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher
 
MARCH 28: SPRING EGG-VENTURE AT HALYBURTON PARK. 9am-12noon. Join the ‘eggcitement’ at Halyburton Park. Programs include Animal Eggs & Nests, Egglympics, Storytime, and Spring Nature Hike. Egg hunts for children ages 3-5, 6-7 and 8-10 will take place at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30. Space is limited; pre-registration required. Admission charge. Halyburton Park, 4099 S. 17th St., Wilmington. 910-341-0075; www.halyburtonpark.com

MARCH 29-30: BUGS & BUTTERFLIES SPRING EVENT. 9am-12noon. Learn about local insects and participate in egg-citing art activities, face-painting, gardening, spring outdoor games, and more. Museum admission charge includes event. Children’s Museum of Wilmington; www.playwilmington.org
 
MARCH 29: EASTER EGG HUNT & CARNIVAL AT BATTLESHIP PARK. 10am-2pm. Kids ages 2-9 are invited to join Buddy the Battleship Bunny for continuous egg hunts, inflatable bounce house, pony rides, petting zoo, and more. Admission charge; pre-registration required. Battleship Park, Wilmington; 910-251-5797; www.battleshipnc.com
 
MARCH 29-31: EASTER ‘BUNNY’- DRAWN CARRIAGE TOURS. 11am-10pm (March 29-30) & 10am-4pm (March 31), weather permitting. Experience the beauty of spring in historic Wilmington via a ‘Bunny’ horse-drawn carriage or trolley. Treats for kids. Admission charge. Market & Water sts., Downtown Wilmington; 910-251-8889; www.horsedrawntours.com

MARCH 31: MASONBORO ISLAND EASTER EGG HUNT. 11am; 1pm & 3pm. Experience a unique Easter boat trip and egg hunt when you cruise to Masonboro Island, one of the largest marine sanctuary islands in Southeast N.C. Adults must accompany children. Admission charge; advance reservations. Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours departs across from Blockade Runner Resort, 275 Waynick Blvd., Wrightsville Beach. 910-200-4002; www.wrightsvillebeachscenictours.com

Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach are a convenient drive along major highways, including I-40 and U.S. 74, both with easy access from I-95. For seasonal specials and experiences, or to download an official visitors guide or a complete event calendar, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com. For last-minute hotel discounts, visit www.sunnysavers.com.

Pic of the Day: Pink Skies at the North End

This Pic of the Day was sent to us by Lynda F. Turbeville and was taken by her son who uses the name Jynxx Midnite for his photography.

The photo was taken at Freeman Park or more commonly known as the North End.

Video: Visitor's Rave Reviews About Kure Beach

What do visitors have to say about Kure Beach? Check out this tourism video from the Wilmington and Beaches CVB.

Video: Clamming in the Carolinas

The ins & outs of clamming. From the southern OBX. 05:28 in length and very relaxing to watch.  This how-to video was posted on Youtube by Bryan Goodwin.

Pic of the Day: Nightime in Downtown Wilmington, NC

Although we typically feature photos from Pleasure Island for the Pic of the Day, we occasionally branch out when presented with a fantastic shot. Here's a night photo from 3rd Street in downtown Wilmington. Photo by Chris Brehmer Photography.

March 5, 2013

SkyWatch Bird Rescue Fundraiser at Might As Well March 20, 2013

Skywatch is hosting a fundraiser at Might As Well on March 20, 2013 from 7:00pm to 2:00am.
 
SkyWatch is the only licensed/certified bird rescue-rehabilitation organization in the area and serves Pleasure Island along with the rest of NH county. Local animal control (via 911) will not respond to bird calls but will generally give out SkyWatch's number instead. As a 501(c)3 It operates solely on donations.  

They will have 1/2 priced martinis and 1/2 priced bottles of wine.  Please stop by for some dinner or an app and some drinks!

They will also be raffling off prizes throughout the night! Raffle tickets are 1 for $1 or 6 for $5.

If you bring in five (new or used) beach/bath towels, you will receive a free raffle ticket! Towels are something Skywatch is ALWAYS in need of and this way, you also get something in return.

Skywatch will also be re-naming some of the martinis to coordinate with the bird theme.  If you have a unique martini recipe, please let them know and they will passs it along to the bartender.
 
Please spread the word and invite your friends. 10% of total sales from 7pm-2am go to Skywatch for the building of a new sanctuary!
 

Spring is Ideal for Active Vacation in Wilmington, N.C. & Island Beaches

Spring is the ideal time for an active vacation in Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. Fitness trails from the river to the sea make it easy to stay fit while enjoying a coastal vacation. More than 54 parks and gardens include the 1.75-mile Wilmington Riverwalk in the historic river district and Wilmington’s new Gary Shell Cross-City Trail, an off-road, multi-use trail with bicycle and pedestrian access to numerous recreational and cultural sites.

On the island of Wrightsville Beach, visitors and locals walk and jog along The Loop, a fitness trail that circles the town’s park. Two North Carolina state parks are located on Pleasure Island: Carolina Beach State Park and Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, both of which offer hiking and cycling along trails, as well as fishing and other recreational activities. Kure Beach boasts a new oceanfront park and the area’s only disc golf course. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Fear River, and numerous marshes and channels, there are abundant recreational opportunities for fishing, boating, and paddling.
 
Wilmington is a Bicycle Friendly Community, as designated by the League of American Bicyclists. Bike routes and maps can be found online at www.wmpo.org/WMBPC/index.html. For cyclists, Blue Clay Trail offers an intermediate level mountain bike trail: http://sirbikesalot.com/entry.php?fid=56. Cape Fear Cyclists post ride calendars on their website at www.capefearcyclists.org. Runners can find information on races and weekly runs by connecting with the Wilmington Roadrunners www.wilmingtonroadrunners.org. Surfers can find daily surf reports and competition information online at www.surfchex.com, www.wblivesurf.com, and www.hotwaxsurfshop.com.
 
With all this activity it’s easy to see why Wilmington is a “North Carolina Fit Community” (www.fitcommunitync.com) and ranks on RelocateAmerica.com’s Top 10 Recreation Cities list (2010). Wilmington and the destination’s fitness-oriented beach towns of Carolina, Kure, and Wrightsville also host sports events throughout the year.

Wilmington’s inaugural Susan G. Komen-Race for the Cure gets the season off to a running start on Saturday, March 2, followed by the Azalea Triathlon on March 9, the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon and Half-Marathon on March 17, and the Wrightsville Beach Biathlon on March 23. From 5k and 10k races to marathons and triathlons, surf and standup paddle competitions, soccer tournaments, and exciting events take place nearly every weekend March through May and beyond.

Spring spectator sports heat up in April and May when Wilmington’s professional soccer (Wilmington Hammerheads) and baseball (Wilmington Sharks) teams take to the fields. In mid-May, the Seaside Soccer Classic brings youth soccer players from across the Southeast. These are just a few of the highlights. Following is a roundup of spring sports events:
 
RACES
March 2: Susan G. Komen-Race for The Cure (5k walk/run). 8:30am. A USATF Certified 5K route (1-mile route also available). Downtown Wilmington (2nd & Market streets). http://komennctc.org/
 
March 9: Azalea Triathlon. 8am. UNCW Natatorium and campus. http://www.setupevents.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=event_detail&eventID=2184
 
March 2: Cardinal Strut 5k & 10k. 8am. Holly Tree Elementary School, Wilmington. http://www.cardinalstrut.com/
 
March 15: SAO Midnight 5k for Ovarian Cancer. 11:59pm. UNC-Wilmington, Wilmington. http://www.active.com/running/wilmington-nc/sao-midnight-5k-for-ovarian-cancer-2013
 
March 16: 9th Annual Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s Lo-Tide Run. 8am. Carolina Beach Boardwalk, Carolina Beach. http://www.lotiderun.org/
 
March 16: Quintiles Wrightsville Beach 5k. 5pm. Mayfaire Town Center, Wilmington. http://its-go-time.com/wrightsville-beach-marathon-5k-march-16
 
March 17: Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon & Marathon. 6:15am. Wrightsville Beach. http://www.wrightsvillebeachmarathon.com/
 
March 23: Blue Ribbon Run 5k. 4pm. Autumn Hall, Wilmington. http://its-go-time.com/event-registration?ee=52
 
March 23: Wrightsville Beach Biathlon. 9am. Stand-up Paddleboard and Run. Blockade Runner Resort, Wrightsville Beach. http://wbb.eventbrite.com/#
 
March 24: Poplar Grove Plantation Peanut 5k. 8am. Abbey Nature Preserve, Poplar Grove Plantation. http://www.poplargrove.com/5k_run.htm 
 
 
April 4: 2nd Annual Donut Dash. 6pm. UNC-Wilmington, Wilmington. http://its-go-time.com/event-registration?ee=66
 
April 6: Azalea-Big Buddy 5k/10k/Fun Walk. 8am. Mayfaire Town Centre, Wilmington. 910-392-8180; http://www.ncazaleafestival.org/events/azalea-5k10kfun-walk-2013/
 
April 7: Paws4People 5k/10k. 9am. UNCW University Station, Wilmington. www.p4pwilmington5k.com 
 
April 13: Son Run 5k. 8:30am. Wrightsville Beach Park. http://wilmingtonroadrunners.org/events
 
April 21: 5k Race for the Planet. 7am register; 8am race. Earth Day event. NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach. 910-458-7468; http://www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher/5k-race-for-the-planet-2
 
April 27: Coastal NC Run for Autism. 8am. Mayfaire Town Center, Wilmington. http://www.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1052901
 
April 27: The Great Glow Run 5k. 8pm. Hugh MacRae Park, Wilmington. http://www.greatglowrun.com/
 
April 27: Step Up For Soldiers Combat Mud Run. 8am. National Guard Armory, Wilmington.
 
June 13: NewBridge Bank Bridge to Bridge. 6pm. CFCC Schwartz Center, Downtown Wilmington.
 
May 18: 2013 Patriot Rush 5k & 1-mile walk/run. 8am. Grace Baptist Church & Wilmington Christian Academy, Wilmington. http://its-go-time.com/event-registration?ee=58
 
May 25: Flashback 5k & 10k. 8am. Mayfaire Town Center, Wilmington. http://wilmingtonroadrunners.org/events/icalevent.detail/2013/02/21/132/-
 
May 30: Wilma Dash. 6pm. A women’s only walk/run through Wilmington’s historic district. Begins at Coastline Event & Conference Center, Wilmington. http://www.wilmaontheweb.com/Wilma-Dash
 
SURF COMPETITIONS
May 18-19: 11th Annual Kona Waterman’s Classic. Longboard surf competition (day 1) & standup paddleboard race (day 2). Crystal Pier at The Oceanic, Wrightsville Beach. http://wblasurf.org/2013/02/20/2013-kona-waterman-classic 
 
April 25-28: Carolina Cup Stand Up Paddleboard Event. A national qualifier race for the World SUP Championships. Blockade Runner Resort, Wrightsville Beach.http://wrightsvillebeachpaddleclub.com/about-the-carolina-cup 
 
August 17-18: Wrightsville Beach Wahine Classic. Women’s surf competition. South end of Wrightsville Beach. http://wblasurf.org/category/events/
 
SPECATOR SPORTS
April 9-August 17: Wilmington Hammerheads Soccer Season Begins! April 9-August 17. Home games at Legion Stadium, Wilmington. www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com
 
May 18-19: Seaside Soccer Classic. Cape Fear Regional Soccer Park & others, Wilmington. 910-392-0306; www.capefearsoccer.com
 
May 28-August 5: Wilmington Sharks Baseball Season Begins! May 28-August 5. Home games at Legion Stadium, Wilmington. www.wilmingtonsharks.com
 
It’s not only easy to stay fit while on vacation in Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach, it’s also an easy drive from Raleigh, Durham and Greensboro along I-40 and from the Charlotte area along US 74, with easy access from I-95. For more information on seasonal specials, featured events and experiences, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com. For a free Visitors Guide to Wilmington, North Carolina's historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, please call 866-266-9690, or email visit@wilmingtonandbeaches.com.
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