Pleasure Island is a vibrant, multi-town beach community that incorporates the different regions just beyond Snow’s Cut Bridge. Comprised of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Fort Fisher, the area is known for its rich history, relaxed atmosphere, and array of activities. It is equally cherished by locals and visitors; however, residents of Carolina and Kure Beach enjoy a variety of conveniences that are unlikely to be found in other corners of New Hanover County. One rarely has to venture off of the island.
Both Carolina and Kure Beach offer a golf-cart friendly lifestyle and possess a vast selection of local restaurants and markets. Integral to Carolina Beach is Britt's Donuts, Wilmington’s landmark donut joint; other classic eateries in the town include the Veggie Wagon, Deck House, and Pop’s Diner. Kure Beach also boasts a variety of long-standing restaurants, including old-school Italian Restaurant Freddy’s and seafood favorites Big Daddy’s and Jack Mackerels.
Apart from its beach strand, Carolina Beach is known for its colorful vintage boardwalk, fishing pier, and various parks. On the western edge of Pleasure Island is Carolina Beach State Park, a destination for fishing, secluded camping, hiking, and boating; on the northern border of the town is Freeman Park, one of the region’s few 4WD friendly beaches. Centrally-located Carolina Beach Lake Park is also a local favorite. Featuring an 11 acre freshwater lake and exercise path, it is especially popular for its weekend farmers market and free movie screenings.
Similarly, residents of the town of Kure Beach enjoy access to a town park, fishing pier, and newly renovated boardwalk. Fort Fisher State Historic Park, the site of the Civil War’s largest land and water battle, lies within Kure Beach on the southernmost edge of Pleasure Island. Earthen remains of a wartime fort, interpretive trails, and a unique maritime forest are among the many attractions at the historic site. Other noteworthy destinations in Fort Fisher include the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher– one of only three state-managed aquariums–, Fort Fisher Recreation Area, and the scenic Zeke’s Island Reserve.