About the Area
Carolina Beach is located 15 miles south of Wilmington, N.C., on the northern end of Pleasure Island, the larger of two barrier islands in New Hanover County. Established in 1857 and incorporated in 1925, Carolina Beach has a welcoming, small town atmosphere.
Embrace the unique beachside boardwalk, named one of the top boardwalks in the country by Food & Wine Magazine – where you can browse shops, eateries, and arcades…and feel like a kid again. There are countless ways to tempt your taste buds at Carolina Beach from gourmet cuisine and sushi to tiki bars and grills to award-winning chowder and the famous, family-owned Britt’s Donuts, where mouthwatering doughnuts have been prepared and served warm since 1939.
For those who love boating or fishing, Carolina Beach is home to some of the best on the North Carolina coast. The Carolina Beach Fishing Center and Marina is home to one of North Carolina’s largest selections of recreational fishing fleets and party boats. It also offers charters for inshore, offshore, Gulf Stream and tournament fishing excursions, as well as eco-tours, and sightseeing and evening cruises. There are opportunities for surf fishing, bottom fishing, shell fishing and deep-sea fishing.
Carolina Beach Lake Park — according to the Guinness Book of World Records — is the largest freshwater lake (11 acres) near saltwater. There, visitors can rent paddleboats and kayaks or take in a concert at the nearby amphitheater. The 761-acre Carolina Beach State Park is home to the rare and beautiful Venus flytrap, as well as nature trails, campsites, a visitor’s center, marina and educational programs. A popular area of beach known as Freeman Park is a standard spot for fishing, camping and four-wheeling. And, the adventurous will enjoy the Carolina Beach Skate Park, located at Mike Chappell Park. For history buffs, Carolina Beach offers the Federal Point History Center. Visitors can learn about the history and development of Carolina Beach. Pre-historic, Colonial and Civil War periods are also portrayed through a series of exhibits and audio-visual presentations.
Neighboring Kure Beach
Kure Beach is a little bit further down the beach on the southern tip of the island. It's a little bit more off the beaten track and filled with a lot of what you're hoping to find: clean, expansive beach; beautiful, natural surroundings with vistas of the ocean and the river; a state aquarium and park; relaxed people enjoying a small-town atmosphere; and the kind of local character that seems to have all but disappeared from coastal towns.
There's always plenty to do around here - you can stroll along the shore at the new Ocean Front Park, cast a line from the 712-foot long fishing pier, one of the oldest on the Atlantic Coast, or explore nearby Fort Fisher State Historic Site, the last stronghold of the Confederacy. Explore the 200,000+ gallon saltwater tank at the aquarium, or hike along the 6-mile stretch of undeveloped beach in the state recreation area. Even hop a ferry for a breathtaking view on a trip to the mainland.