Carolina Beach, NC
Carolina Beach, just 30 minutes from downtown Wilmington by car, is on a narrow slip of land between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. Separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway (Snow's Cut), the island is called Pleasure Island. Established in 1857, when Joseph Winner planned the streets and lots for the 50 acres of beach property he had purchased, the island's only access then was by water. In 1866 a steamship began carrying vacationers down the Cape Fear River to Snow's Cut and a small railroad took them the rest of the way into Carolina Beach. In later years, a high-rise bridge was built over Snow's Cut connecting the island with the mainland.
The Carolina Beach/Kure Beach strand has about seven miles of beaches for swimming, protected by lifeguards in season and re-nourished by man if Mother Nature washes the beaches away. Both Carolina Beach and Kure Beach have numerous public beach accesses, many with parking, some with restrooms, and the entire strand is open to the public.