Wind your way through habitats along nature trails with more than 30 species of trees, shrubs and plants, including the rare Venus-flytrap. The State Park has approximately 700 acres with a visitor center, fishing pier, picnic and camping (Area 2 campsites are wheelchair accessible), marina, trails, and water activities. Educational programs are offered. For information call (910) 458-8206.
Carolina Beach Lake Park
Carolina Beach Lake was once noted in the Guiness Book of World Records as being the freshwater lake closest to salt water. It is a great place for a picnic and the site of Pleasure Island’s “Light Up The Lake” celebration during the holiday season. This 11-acre lake offers 4 gazebos, restrooms, sheltered picnic area and playground equipment.
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
North Carolina Aquarium is one of three state aquariums along our coast. It offers a variety of hands-on programs while visitors marvel at sharks, eels, sea turtles and other fascinating forms of marine life. Educational programs area offered, and popular exhibits include the touch pool and the state-of-the-art ocean habitat. For information call (910) 458-8257.
Fishing and Boating
Pleasure Island is one of the premier bottom, pier and surf fishing sites on the east coast. For deep-sea fishing, the Carolina Beach Yacht Basin is the center of boating activities and boasts one of the largest recreational fishing fleets north of Florida. Charter boats and head boats leave the municipal marina each day and return with catches of grouper, snapper, dolphin, flounder, plus much more. Bait, poles and tackle are provided, but you may bring your own.
From the northern extension of the Island down to the southern tip, surfcasters land red drum, flounder, bluefish, plus much more. For the pier fishermen, two fishing piers are located along the seven miles of Pleasure Island. In addition to local marinas, public N.C. Wildlife boat access ramps are available at both ends of the Island. No license is required to saltwater sports fishermen.
For the competitive fishermen, Pleasure Island hosts three fishing tournaments each year: the Atlantic Anglers’ Spring Classic Surf Fishing Tournament in May, the East Coast Got-Em-On-Live-Bait Classic King Mackerel Tournament by the in July, and the Carolina Beach Surf Fishing Tournament in October.
Island of Lights
The entire Island is illuminated with Christmas displays from mid-November through New Year’s Eve. Local residents and businesses along with the town municipalities join together to create a magical holiday wonderland for everyone to enjoy. The Island of Lights Committee sponsors this event.