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United Beach Vacations Blog

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tepid water, fun bars, pet-friendly areas

The ocean temperature is up to 62 degrees, and before you know it people will be complaining that the water is too warm. At a peak of between 80 and 85 degrees, I love an Atlantic bath tub. Meanwhile, fishing is good, it’s a great time of year to visit Carolina Beach State Park, and farmer’s markets have started up with fresh local strawberries, tasty lettuce and sweet potatoes, plus spinach, spring onions and radishes.

A friend writes that his favorite things about Carolina Beach are The Fat Pelican and The Last Resort, two bars that are so small you have to go outside to change your mind (to quote Bugs Bunny). While the Fat Pelican is long established and boasts a list of beers long enough to satisfy any trenchant lover of the golden beverage, The Last Resort is a newer watering hole that bills itself as the “smallest bar in North Carolina” and makes a helpful suggestion: “Don’t bring your friends; we don’t have room.” We like a place that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Truth be told, it’s a great spot for a cold one and some nice conversation and even has a little deck if it gets too crowded inside. At about 260 square feet, that can happen if a Beetle and a Camry unload a car full of peeps.

More and more folks are considering bringing their pups to the area. Although dogs are not allowed on the beach from March 1 to Oct. 31 in Carolina Beach and from April 1 to Sept. 30 in Kure Beach, fear not. Here are alternative areas that are pooch friendly:
FREEMAN PARK: Located at the north end of Carolina Beach, this area is accessed by four-wheel drive vehicles ($10 day pass required) and dogs must be leashed.
FORT FISHER STATE PARK: Also accessible by 4-wheel drive and a $10 day pass, this popular park is located at the southern end of Kure Beach. Dogs are permitted at all times but must be leashed.
CAROLINA BEACH STATE PARK: This scenic 700-acre park features miles of trails through various habitats and is free and open to the public. Lest they be swallowed by a Venus Flytrap or a wandering alligator, dogs must be leashed at all times. More likely, your pet will be tempted to run after a few passing deer, so please be alert.
There are also a few dog walking parks in the area so please inquire about those.

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