Historic Wilmington & NC’s Cape Fear Coast encompasses the city of Wilmington and the island communities of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. Its beautiful, uncrowded beaches and nearby estuarine reserves provide a true haven for sunseekers, beachcombers and nature lovers, and a sportsman’s paradise for anglers, mariners and watersports enthusiasts.
Wilmington’s picturesque riverfront emerges from the Cape Fear River. Gracing its banks is one of the state’s largest historic districts, numbering approximately 230 blocks. See the historic district’s mansions and landmark buildings via horse-drawn trolley or carriage tour, riverboat cruise, restored trolley car, or take a walking tour given by some of the port city’s most intriguing residents. Across the river on Eagles Island rests the majestic Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, a restored World War II memorial. There are also other museums for children, fine art lovers, railroad and history buffs, including North Carolina ‘s oldest history museum.
Home to Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, Pleasure Island embodies coastal Americana. Its gazebo, Boardwalk, piers, marinas and amusement park add to its nostalgic appeal. When it’s time for revelry, there are party cruises, deep sea fishing excursions, shopping and attractions galore, including a state park where you can wind your way through nature trails in search of the rare indigenous Venus Flytrap. Step back in time at a Civil War battlefield and museum, or while away hours at the Aquarium’s state-of-the-art ocean and Cape Fear River habitats.
North of Pleasure Island is Wrightsville Beach, where island life is distinguished by its village charm and cosmopolitan lifestyle. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride or take a harbor cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway. Visit the island’s history museum or spend the day shopping or playing tennis at the park or volleyball on the beach. From sea turtle-watches to exciting watersports, there’s something for those seeking a quiet respite or a more active pace.