The Cape Fear area of North Carolina, bounded by the Cape Fear River on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, includes the city of Wilmington, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, and Bald Head Island.
Wilmington, NC, is a modern city in every way, yet it retains much of the charm of the Old-South city it was and is. There are many attractions here, from the shops and restaurants along the restored waterfront to the brilliance and thunder of the sound and light shows conducted about the battleship USS North Carolina, a floating memorial to World War II. Take a pleasant horse-drawn carriage ride through Old Town by night, or sign up for a cruise aboard the sternwheeler riverboat Henrietta III.
Pleasure Island is located twenty minutes south of Wilmington along US 421. A fixed-span bridge over Snow's Cut separates the island from the mainland. After you cross the bridge, to your right is Carolina Beach State Park and straight ahead is the town of Carolina Beach itself. A classic beach town, Carolina Beach features a boardwalk, numerous restaurants, and, in the center of town, the harbor. If deep-sea fishing is your interest, you can charter a boat here. Or, if your desire runs more to a short moonlight cruise, you can find that here, too. For more information on the Pleasure Island and Cape Fear areas, feel free to visit The Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Kure Keys Motel, located in Kure Beach, NC is located just 2 miles south of Carolina Beach. Smaller, quieter, and less crowded than Carolina Beach, Kure Beach still features a world-class fishing pier and several fine restaurants, all within easy walking distance of the motel. You will feel safe and secure in this small town, which also provides lighted public tennis courts and a great park and playground for the kids. The flat terrain makes bike riding a breeze.
Further on south is Fort Fisher. The fall of this Confederate fort, built during the Civil War to prevent Union warships from reaching Wilmington along the Cape Fear River, was a disaster for the South. The Museum at the site tells the whole story.
Beyond the museum is the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, where you can view the local sea life up close. The aquarium is not to be missed.