Wilmington's beach communities introduce new generations to old-style, vintage experiences when the past and present collide happily at Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, North Carolina, forming a perfect mix of things to see and do that combines new features with historical milestones. From the Carolina Beach Boardwalk to Fort Fisher State Historic Site, you can visit several present-day attractions offering a nod to the past. These coastal communities are ideal for groups like multi-generational travelers – you will find plenty to please everyone from grandma and grandpa to the grandkids, and everyone in between.
Carolina Beach Boardwalk
Captain John Harper built the first boardwalk in 1887 as a walkway on the sand made from boards so visitors could stroll the beach without sinking into the sand. Over the years, the boardwalk was rebuilt and restored numerous times as a result of natural wear and tear. The vintage icon has since made Budget Travel’s list of America’s Most Awesome Boardwalks and has been featured by CNN, FOX News and USA TODAY.
Fort Fisher served as a vital port during the Civil War, allowing blockade runners to supply necessary goods to Confederate armies inland. By 1865, the supply line through Wilmington was the last remaining supply route open to Robert E. Lee’s army. Fort Fisher finally fell after a massive assault in 1865 and the Confederacy was defeated. Today, you can tour the remains of the fort at Fort Fisher State Historic Site – approximately 10 percent of the fort still stands along with a restored palisade fence.
Carolina Beach Music Festival
Legend has it that shagging and beach music originated at Carolina Beach around 1948 and became widely known by the term “beach music” by 1965. The genre died out in the late 1960s but experienced a revival a decade later and is still going strong today. The first Carolina Beach Music Festival was held in 1985.
Kure Beach Fishing Pier
L.C. Kure built the original Kure Beach Fishing Pier in 1923. The pier was rebuilt and restored several times as a result of wear and tear over the years. The Kure Beach Fishing Pier is now one of the oldest piers on the Atlantic Coast.
Travelers have been visiting Carolina Beach and Kure Beach long before high-rise condos and hotels were built on the coast. Popular guest accommodations in Kure Beach have their beginning decades ago, like the Beacon House Inn Bed & Breakfast that was originally built as a boarding house in the 1950s, the cozy Palm Air Cottages that were built in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the Moran Motel, a one-story wing building that originated in 1959. In Carolina Beach, the Joy Lee apartment complex has been enjoyed as a vacation spot since 1945, while the wooden-framed Wanda Inn dates all the way back to 1910.
Carolina Beach offers the best of a North Carolina beach experience from the past with a family-friendly spin for today. Experience a nationally recognized seaside boardwalk, Carolina Beach State Park, one-of-a-kind events, world-class fishing, miles of beautiful beach, and all kinds of people united by their love of good times. There are a lot of beaches in North Carolina, but only one Carolina Beach.
Kure Beach offers a naturally beautiful setting in a peaceful, small-town atmosphere. North Carolina’s small wonder lets you relax and reconnect at the kind of naturally beautiful beach you visited as a kid, while also enjoying nearby state attractions like Fort Fisher State Historic Site and the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, an oceanfront park, and a historic pier.