Monthly Archives: February 2013

Wilmington Beaches: Spotlight on Kure Beach

Kure Beach North Carolina

Where it’s Located

Just past Carolina Beach on the southern-most tip of Pleasure Island; Kure Beach is a small, quiet and relaxed beach town. Surrounded by natural beauty and home to some major American history, it is a great place to spend the day.

To get there from Wilmington: take Carolina Beach road, (also known as Highway 421). It will take you about 30 minutes from the downtown area.

The Beach

If you are looking for a quiet and open beach just a short drive from all the city action then Kure Beach is for you. The natural surroundings of this white sandy beach will appeal to those wishing to experience the beach away from the crowds. Oak trees, tidal creeks, and marches are scattered about with the several areas boasting incredible views of the ocean and river. A large part of this land remains undeveloped, exhibiting the wonders of a natural coastal environment. You may see parts of the beach roped off as Kure is a nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles and other rare species.

The Town

At the small town center, you’ll find the Kure Beach Pier, several restaurants, a convenience store and amusements for the kids. You can walk to town or bike on a bike path.

The Kure Beach Pier is a public fishing pier.  They sell fishing tackle, bait, rod and reel combos on site. There is also a concession stand, arcade and large souvenir area. It is open April-November.

Dining

  • Freddie’s Restaurant is a friendly, family-owned establishment serving up authentic Italian cuisine. The small restaurant is located right by the pier and is a local favorite. The atmosphere is cozy and casual. Freddie’s menu has various Italian staples such as lasagna, ravioli and spaghetti; however, they are best known for their “special” pork-chops. If you have a larger party, be sure to call ahead for reservations.
  • Jack Mackerel’s Island Grill is a Caribbean-feel restaurant and bar located just steps away from the pier. The restaurant features island inspired seafood dishes and tropical drinks. Inside you will find a colorful island atmosphere or you may dine upstairs on the outdoor deck seating area that has views of the ocean. There is also a full bar with 10 wide screen TV’s throughout the bar area.

Attractions

  • Fort Fisher State Historic Site, the “Last Major Stronghold of the Confederacy,” is North Carolina’s most visited historic site and the scene of the two largest naval bombardments of the Civil War. The official website states that “Ft. Fisher kept Wilmington’s port open to blockade runners supplying necessary goods to Confederate armies inland… this was the last remaining supply route open to Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. When Ft. Fisher fell after a massive Federal assault on January 15, 1865, its defeat helped seal the fate of the Confederacy.” Today, the Fort Fisher visitor center boasts an exhibit hall detailing the battles and presents the history of the fort. A half-mile outdoor tour trail circles the remains of the western bastion of the fort. Visitors may enjoy the scenic views of both the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean as they explore the site. Admission is free. 
  • North Carolina Aquarium. This beachfront aquarium is a must-see for anyone visiting Kure Beach. Recently expanded and remodeled the aquarium showcases both fresh water and salt water aquatic life. Tanks inside display a large assortment of sea life including: moray eels, stingrays, sharks, jellyfish, sea horses, octopus, sting rays, and various types of fish. There is also a rare albino alligator on the premises, named Luna. Watch as divers feed sharks and fish or head over to the “Coastal Waters Gallery” to get some hands-on action. Here you can actually touch sea urchins, horseshoe crabs and other sea critters. Admission is $8 for ages 13 to 61, $7 for ages 62 and older, and $6 for children ages 3 to 12.

Events

Dig the blues? Want to sample some tasty, locally caught seafood? The Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival is a two-day festival held annually in October. Set between the ocean and the Cape Fear River at the Fort Fisher Military Recreation Area in Kure Beach, there is music on two stages and two days filled with great music, delicious local seafood, and much more. Check out their website for tickets and dates.

Front Street Brewery – Wilmington’s Only Brewery and Restaurant

Brewery Tour Wilmington North Carolina

For those of you who enjoy a handcrafted beer (or several) be sure to stop by Front St. Brewery, less than a mile from the new Port City Marina. Located in the heart of downtown Wilmington at 9 North Front Street; the brewery is built into an historical building that dates back to 1865. Front St. Brewery is Wilmington’s only microbrew pub and restaurant and is a hot attraction for visitors and locals alike.

With a year-round selection of hand-crafted micro brews and seasonal beer on tap, you have plenty of choices available. The beer sampler is a great introduction and well worth the $5.99 (you will get 4oz. of any 5 of their beers to taste).

Front St. Brewery also serves a full menu until midnight, 7 days a week, and has a great deal on half-priced appetizers every day from 4-6pm and after 10pm.

Tours
Interested in knowing how beer is brewed? A free brewery tour is offered at Front St. Brewery every day from 3-5pm. Brew-masters Kevin Kozak and Christopher McGarvey will walk you through their brewery and teach their brewing process; explaining ingredients and flavor profiles for their most popular and seasonal microbrews. Oh, and it also seems worth mentioning that they offer free samples upon the conclusion of the tour. That’s right: free tour, FREE beer.

Visit Front St. Brewery’s website for more information.

PCM at the Miami International Boat Show

Miami Boat Show - Port City Marina

Port City Marina representative Larry Rizzo will be attending the Miami International Boat Show this week.  The show features more than 3,000 boats and 2,000 exhibitors from around the globe.

Are you or your business be attending the show? If so, let us know by emailing Larry at larryr@portcitymarina.com or give us a call at 910-251-6151.

Downtown Wilmington’s Riverwalk

Riverwalk Downtown Wilmington NC

A stroll along the Riverwalk, located in the historic district of downtown, is a great way to experience Wilmington’s charm. This 1.8 mile boardwalk lines the Cape Fear River and, when complete, will run directly in front of the new Port City Marina.

Scenery
The views along the Riverwalk are ever-changing. Take in sites of the bustling city or watch as boat traffic moves up and down the river. Keep your eyes open for wildlife as locals have been known to spot gators and dolphins in the water regularly.

If you happen to be around in late afternoon, take a seat at one of the many benches or picnic tables looking out onto the river and prepare to experience a sunset like no other. The scenery as the sun goes down over the Cape Fear River and the U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship is impressive.

Shops and Dining
Several restaurants and shops border the Riverwalk.

  • Casual Elijah’s has a popular oyster bar and a primarily seafood based menu. A little more upscale, The George has everything from soups and salads to shrimp & grits. It also boasts a pretty impressive martini menu. The George is also the only restaurant in downtown to feature “dock and dine.” Boaters can pull up and dock free of charge while dining. Both establishments have outdoor patio seating overlooking the Riverwalk and Cape Fear River as well. For a quick snack, Bella’s Sweets and Spirits is a causal coffeehouse and bakery that offers delicious bagels (made fresh every day), pastries, paninis, and numerous coffee beverages.
  • Chandler’s Wharf is a gorgeous warehouse building overlooking the Cape Fear River. Unique, locally owned shops, businesses, and galleries are nestled inside. Artichoke is a women’s designer clothing store offering choices from places such as France and Germany. River to Sea is an art gallery showcasing the work of Wilmington’s talented artists. In the gallery you will find photography, pottery, original paintings, jewelry, and more.

Events and Concerts
Special events and festivals occur along the Riverwalk during summertime.

  • The Downtown Sundown concert series is particularly enjoyable. This popular Friday night live music entertainment is free admission and there is beer and wine available for purchase.
  • The Riverfront Farmer’s Market takes place on Saturdays from 8am-1pm, in April through December. This riverside market is extremely popular with Wilmington residents and features local farmers, producers, artists and crafters. The market’s website states that products include “fresh fruits and berries, vegetables, plants, herbs, flowers, eggs, cheeses, pickled items, legumes, meats, seafood, honey, baked goods, jams and jellies, wine, art, crafts and more.”

The Riverwalk is the perfect place to get outside and experience historical Wilmington’s ambiance. It can be found along Water St. and it is wheelchair accessible.

Port City Marina at the Raleigh Boat Show

Raleigh Boat Show - Port City Marina

Port City Marina Representatives Larry Rizzo and Matt Rogers are attending the 21st Annual Raleigh Convention Center Boat Show. This is the largest boat show of its kind in North Carolina with over 150,000 square feet of boat displays and exhibitors from the insurance, finance, and boat brokerage arenas.

You can find out more on the Raleigh Boat Show by visiting their website.  Send us an email if you are exhibiting or visiting the show and our representatives will stop by and say hello. For those of you attending the show, here is a coupon for a $2 discount:

Raleigh Boat Show Coupon