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10 Fun Facts Only Locals Know About Carolina Beach, Kure Beach & Around

Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, nestled on North Carolina’s Pleasure Island, are renowned for their pristine shores and laid-back charm. But there are so many lesser-known stories about these two beach communities and the entire region that are simply delicious to uncover.

And they give you a glimpse into the culture, history, or natural wonders of a place, even if you’ve never been there.This blog will bring you quirky and fascinating local tidbits that go beyond the usual tourist fare. Armed with this unique knowledge, your experience will definitely be a lot better in these two North Carolina gems!

Let’s dive into a world of curiosity!


Interesting and Fun Facts about Pleasure Island

1. Island or Peninsula?

Guess what? Pleasure Island wasn’t always an island. Before 1930, it was actually a peninsula known as Federal Point and connected to the mainland. The creation of a man-made canal called Snow’s Cut separated the parts, officially forming Pleasure Island.

2. Marketing Masterpiece

Curious about this stellar name? The name Pleasure Island itself is a creative invention and a marketing move. In 1972, local Chambers of Commerce wanted a catchy way to promote the area’s beautiful beaches and coastal resources. The name stuck, and Pleasure Island continues to live up to its promise of fun and relaxation.


Interesting and Fun Facts about Carolina Beach

3. Dust off your dancing shoes!

While the exact origin is debated, Carolina Beach is a strong contender for the birthplace of the Carolina Shag. This energetic dance style, suited for the upbeat tempo of beach music, originated in the Carolinas during the 1940s, and Carolina Beach was a hotspot for live music and shag competitions.

The Carolina Shag isn’t just a historical footnote. It’s a cherished tradition that continues to this day.

4. The second-best doughnut in the nation

Sweet tooths rejoice! Britt’s Donuts is a Carolina Beach institution, serving up warm, mouthwatering doughnuts since 1939. This family-owned business is a local favorite and a must-try for any visitor.

Bobby Nivens and his wife have owned Britt’s for over 40 years. Britt’s is known for their famous homemade glazed donuts. The business frequently makes the national top 10 doughnut shop lists, and it received recognition in MSN City Guides as the second-best doughnut in the nation.

5. Carnivorous Beauty

Carolina Beach State Park is one of the few places in the world where you can see the carnivorous Venus Flytrap, a fascinating plant native to the temperate and subtropical wetlands of North Carolina and South Carolina.

With their unusual, spiky leaves that function as traps for catching insects and other small invertebrates, once ensnared, the plant oozes special digestive juices, dissolving the insect’s insides and turning them into a nutritious soup. After a few days of feasting, the trap reopens, ready for the next hungry encounter.

Want to see them up close in their natural environment? Carolina Beach State Park provides an ideal habitat for Venus flytraps to thrive. Aren’t you happy you’re not an invertebrate?

Interesting and Fun Facts about Kure Beach

6. “Curry” Beach

Many visitors get tripped up by the pronunciation of Kure Beach. Unlike “cure” for illness, the town’s name is pronounced “Kure-ee,” sounding almost like “curry.”

The name reflects the prominence of the Kure family, who were prominent landowners in the area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

7. Oldest Fishing Pier on the Atlantic Coastline

Head to Kure Beach and you’ll find a local landmark — the Kure Beach Pier. Built in 1923, it holds the title of the oldest fishing pier on the entire East Coast of the USA. The initial goal was to create a pier that would be the centerpiece of a grand entertainment complex.

The current pier, however, is not the original 1923 structure. In fact, the initial 120-foot long pier was destroyed within a year, thanks to sea worms and other marine burrowers, and was replaced with a 240-foot long structure with reinforced concrete.

8. Nature’s Hidden Treasure

Keep your eyes peeled at low tide! Kure Beach is home to a unique natural wonder – a coquina rock formation. This rare sight is made up of seashells and coral cemented together, estimated to be 12,000 to 80,000 years old.

Coquina rock formations provide valuable insights into the geological history and processes that have shaped coastal environments over time. They are a testament to the dynamic interplay between land, sea, and erosion forces!

9. Kure Beach loves the Grinch!

Kure’s favorite grumpy mascot? The Grinch! Kure Beach Holiday Whoobie Whatty is a unique and fun Christmas celebration held at Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion. This annual Grinch-themed outdoor holiday celebration starts with a screening of the 2000 version of the film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Alongside, several activities will be happening, including face painting, Grinch crafts, cookie decorating, and photo opportunities with the Grinch himself.


10. Graveyard of the Atlantic

Several Civil War-era ships were lost off the coast of Kure Beach and nearby areas because of various factors, including storms, accidents, and engagements with Union naval vessels.

These shipwrecks include both Confederate and Union vessels, each with its own story and historical significance. These underwater archaeological sites are considered historical sites and are protected under state and federal laws. They attract divers from around the world.

Learn More Facts and Curiosities By Yourself

Know a good way to learn more interesting facts about Carolina Beach and Kure Beach when you visit? Explore the area! Here are some ideas of places you can visit and activities that are educational and will make your curiosity thrive.

Carolina Beach State Park

The park is known for its diverse habitats, which include maritime forests, wetlands, and freshwater ponds. The park is also home to the Venus flytrap we mentioned above, a carnivorous plant that is native to North Carolina.

If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, Carolina Beach State Park is a great option. With its variety of activities and beautiful scenery, the park will satisfy the curiosity and exploration cravings of visitors of all ages.

Kure Beach Pier

The Kure Beach Pier is a historic landmark and family-friendly destination. The pier itself is a 711-foot-long wooden structure that extends out into the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can enjoy strolling along the pier for free, taking in the gorgeous views of the coastline and the opportunity to do some people-watching.

For those interested in fishing, a nominal fee allows you to cast a line off the pier. There’s also a bait and tackle shop located on the pier that sells everything you need to get started.

Federal Point History Center

This small, non-profit museum is dedicated to the history of Federal Point, which includes the areas of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. They have exhibits from the Colonial period through World War II, which include original documents, paintings, sculptures, and memorabilia from these eras.

Fort Fisher State Historic Site

This is the remains of a vast Confederate fort that played a significant role in the American Civil War. The site has a visitors center with displays of artifacts, as well as hiking trails that allow you to explore the fort’s ruins. If you are a history buff, it’s certainly worth a visit.

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

While not exactly a history museum, this aquarium offers a fascinating look at the marine life off the coast of North Carolina. This can be a great way to learn about the natural environment that has shaped the history and culture of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach.

Fun Facts About Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, NC

These places are packed with history and charm, right? But Carolina Beach and Kure Beach have even more to offer the curious adventurer. As you explore these coastal gems, a treasure trove of delightful discoveries awaits!

And what better way to crack the code of these beach havens than by chatting with the locals? Armed with a wealth of insider knowledge and salty tales, they’ll share fascinating tidbits that bring Carolina Beach and Kure Beach to life.

Want more tips? In our destination blog, we’ve written extensively about both Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, including the best time of the year to go fishing, what it’s like to visit the area with your pets, and even what it’s like to live in Carolina and Kure Beach year-round. Many more articles and local tips are awaiting you!


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