So you may be planning to attend the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival which is packed with many activities for the old and young alike. However you may want to add a few extra days to your visit and explore Wilmington’s beautiful area beaches.
The Wilmington area is home to many beautiful beach areas but the top 4 are Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach , Kure Beach, and Masonboro Island. Let’s take a look at each one.
This picturesque small beach town has mom and pop restaurants and shops and It’s a quick 30 minute drive from downtown Wilmington. It’s located on a barrier island separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway. Here you still see kids and adults alike riding bikes and walking from the beach to the beautiful beach homes and small eateries. Beside offering up one of our most beautiful beaches there are also many opportunities for water sports including kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, and more. There’s also an area known as “the loop” where walkers enjoy the beautiful marsh and intercostal as their view while exercising.
Visiting Carolina Beach is like stepping back in time. There is a quaint timeless beach boardwalk adorned with ice cream shops, restaurants, souvenir stores and the world famous Britt’s Donuts. https://www.brittsdonutshop.com/ At Britts you can find yourself waiting in line for up to an hour to taste this mouth watering delight. Carolina Beach Boardwalk is known to host nightly live music events and a summer beach music festival. Aside from exploring the boardwalk and swimming in the beautiful water, visitors love going on the boardwalk amusement park rides.
Kure Beach is a great getaway beach. It is home to the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast where you can take a relaxing stroll or throw in your fishing line and test your luck. Right beside the pier is Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion. https://www.townofkurebeach.org/recreation/ocean-front-park-and-pavilion There is an open air small stage where local bands perform on Sunday afternoon and beach church takes place on Sunday mornings. There are a handful of restaurants and a small park with an outdoor playset near the beach. . If you are into history you can pay a visit to the Fort Fisher State Historic Site which is just a few miles away. https://historicsites.nc.gov/all-sites/fort-fisher
Sandwiched between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Masonboro Island is the largest untouched barrier island on the North Carolina coast. However Masonboro is only accessible by boat therefore making it a little more exclusive to visitors. But you can opt to charter a boat for the day and enjoy Masonboro’s beauty. Once on the island you’ll witness the natural habitats of sea turtles, birds, and more. While visitors can only access specific trails, there are more than eight miles of undisturbed beach to explore. If you decide to venture out to the island, be sure to bring supplies as there are no facilities on the island. https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/coastal-management/nc-coastal-reserve/reserve-sites/masonboro-island-reserve
See you at the Azalea Festival and remember to start planning now for some beach time while you are here. For more information on these beaches and other area beaches visit; https://www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/