Alternate between nearly six miles of pristine beach and trails through salt marsh brimming with wildlife at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, a park touching both the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. Development on this protected shoreline is limited to a visitor center and related facilities and boardwalks that attract birders and photographers. Loggerhead sea turtles, piping plovers and other rare species nest along the sandy shore. The park is popular for surf fishing, and four-wheel-drive vehicles are allowed seasonally with required permits. On this tip of Pleasure Island, visitors will also find a state aquarium, Civil War-era historic site and a boating ramp and paddling launch nearby.