Before 1952,Masonboro was attached to the mainland.That year, Carolina Beach Inlet was cut, giving Carolina Beach a booming tourist fishing trade and creating the largest undisturbed barrier island on North Carolina's southern coast. Eight miles long, Masonboro Island consists of 5,046 acres,4,300 of which are tidal salt marshes and mud flats. Masonboro is part of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve, which also includes Zeke's Island south of Federal Point on Cape Fear River. Carolina Beach
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina - The barrier islands along the coast of North Carolina are one of the best places in America for a classic laid-back beach vacation, with miles of pristine sand, great surfing, and unparalleled shelling. The protected status of Cape Hatteras National Seashore keeps the influences of commercial development in check.