The great state of North Carolina provides visitors with a wide array of outdoor beauty and opportunities for adventure. From the mountains, down across the rolling hills of the Piedmont region, and out to the Atlantic coast, there’s an abundance of things to do in Mother Nature. If you’re headed to the coast for a North Carolina vacation and you’re looking for a small beach town to take you in and allow you to explore the great outdoors, Carolina Beach might just be the place for you. The following are three of the best places to enjoy the great outdoors near Carolina Beach:
Fort Fisher State Historic Site
No outdoor experience near Carolina Beach is complete without a trip to Fort Fisher. Only 10 minutes away, Fort Fisher is the site where confederate soldiers held their ground and kept the port to neighboring Wilmington open for blockade runners to bring goods and supplies to the armies inland. Partial remains of the fort and battery still stand, although less than 10% of the entire structure is left. You can take an audio-visual tour at the Visitor Center to learn the story of the land beneath your feet. The highlight, however, are the beautiful trails that meander along the shore, amongst the ruins of the fort, over the sandy beach, and through the distinctive grove of the gnarly live oaks that twist together, protecting each other for years from the salty winds of the sea. If it is a breath of fresh air you seek, take a few hours to explore For Fisher. It should do the trick!
Zeke’s Island Reserve
One of the most important shorebird feeding habitats on the East Coast, this lagoon-like waterway is a part of the Cape Fear River basin and was one of the first National Estuarine Research Reserves named in 1985. The reserve is intended to protect the coastal habitats of the many bird species that can be found here, including: Dunlin, Black-Bellied Plovers, Short-Billed Dowitchers, White Ibises, Great Blue Herons, Black Ducks, Mallards, and Pintails. The unique landscape features tidal flats, salt marshes, sand dunes, maritime forests and ocean beaches. About 15 minutes from Carolina Beach, this is a great place to take an afternoon adventure with the family or a close loved one and explore the island. Endangered loggerhead sea turtles occasionally nest on the beaches and other endangered wildlife are also often spotted on Zeke’s Island Reserve.
Freeman Park Recreation Area
Located about one mile north of Carolina Beach is one of the town’s most beloved attractions, Freeman Park. This 4×4 beach provides adventurers with miles and miles of sprawling coastline to explore, and for only 20$ per day, or $100 per year, visitors have their pick of their very own ocean front camping spot. Bring your tent, your fire pits, and your good times, because Freeman Park is open year round.
If you find yourself deciding on a beach getaway destination in North Carolina, consider a Carolina Beach vacation, and explore come of the state’s greatest outdoor gifts. The coastal land, history, and wildlife of the area will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.