Coastal NC

VOL12ISS1 2016

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14 THe oRIGINAl ReloCATIoN GuIDe — CoAsTAl NC | Volume 12—Issue 1 coastal living community. Carolina Beach State Park is one of the coast's most popular destinations. A marina provides access to great fshing, a secluded camping area and more than six miles of hiking trails. Visitors also fock to the area in the fall as the much-loved Loggerhead sea turtle nests scattered along the shoreline begin to hatch. Take a walk on the popular Carolina Beach boardwalk. Renovations include an 875-foot extension complete with benches and swings. The popular boardwalk is named one of the top 10 boardwalks in the country by Food & Wine. Play in the arcade, see the ocean from the Ferris wheel, or dance the night away to live music. Take a box of famed Britt's Donuts with you for breakfast the next day. Walk or bike on the Island Greenway, the 1.2-mile paved multi-use trail that leads to Carolina Beach Lake Park (separate from Carolina State Park), an 11-acre freshwater lake with paddleboat, surrey rentals and a weekly farmer's market. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day watch free family movies on Sunday nights topped off with freworks. Restaurants make their homes in unusual locations: an old 1916 beach cottage and a former Presbyterian church. A local favorite is Surf House restaurant where the farm-to-table philosophy shows up in every plate. Have a beer at Good Hops Brewery and then try your hand at the free 9-hole disc golf course adjacent to the brewery. It's harder than it looks. Signature events on the islands are the Carolina Beach Music Festival and Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues and Jazz Festival. The end of Carolina Beach blends into the beginning of neighboring Kure Beach, the home of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and the Fort Fisher Historic Site, the state's most visited historic site. The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher has plenty to brag about. For starters, it is among TripAdvisor's "Top 25 US Aquariums" (2015). 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of North Carolina Aquariums and anniversary events will run throughout 2016 with a commemorative celebration the weekend of September 24. A new exhibit at the aquarium is thrilling children and adults. Animatronic dinosaurs have invaded the aquarium's outdoor garden with the life-size beasts that roar, spit and wow visitors through September 2016. The popular Butterfy Bungalow, a greenhouse-like enclosure with exotic butterfies from around the world, returned in late April and will be open through September 2016. The Aquarium is one of three state aquariums in North Carolina. The Fort Fisher State Historic Site has new ocean side and Battle Acre interpretive markers that tell stories of those who served, fought and sacrifced at Fort Fisher. The historic site will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of U.S. involvement (and Fort Fisher's role) in WWII in October.

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