Seaside Town Full Of History and Relaxation

The charming coastal town of Kure Beach, NC is rich with history and an abundance of seaside activities.

Visitors to Kure Beach often search for relaxing activities that make life move at a relaxed, steady pace. Located 19 miles south of Wilmington, NC, on the southern end of Pleasure Island, North Carolina’s small wonder delivers, delighting vacationers and families looking for a coastal getaway with its spacious beach, small-town atmosphere and serenity. 

Historic Attractions

Kure Beach is known for the state's most visited historic attractions. The Fort Fisher State Historic Site and Civil War Museum is home to the largest earthen fort in the South. Indoor and outdoor exhibits featuring artifacts and military vehicles encompassing all branches of service can be viewed at the NC Military History Museum, and the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Center provides exhibits on dive sites and maritime history dating from prehistoric to Civil War to present.

Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Another top state attraction, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher showcases marine life in the Cape Fear River basin and the nearby beaches, estuaries and ocean. The Aquarium features a 230,000-gallon saltwater shark tank; the half-acre Cape Fear Conservatory with alligators, sturgeon and other freshwater species; the Open Oceans Gallery that focuses on marine creatures and the nearby ocean reefs; and  “Exotic Aquatics,” showcases lionfish, cuttlefish, a living Pacific coral reef, and Pacific sea nettles.

Plan Your Stay

In addition to its family-friendly attractions, Kure Beach offers a variety of restaurants, shops and accommodations. For those planning a family vacation, group tour or destination wedding, it’s the perfect place to unwind, reconnect with family and friends, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Fishing

While the beach is the main attraction for visitors to Kure Beach, the town is also a prime destination for those who enjoy fishing. The convergence of the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean make fishing near Kure Beach the best around. There are opportunities for surf fishing, bottom fishing, shell fishing and deep-sea fishing. In addition, the iconic 712-foot-long Kure Beach Fishing Pier is where visitors can enjoy a day of fishing or play some games in the arcade.

Eco-Tourism

Eco-tourism opportunities are plentiful in Kure Beach and there are numerous botanical and marine-focused attractions within a few minutes’ drive of the town. Local outfitters offer nature excursions and guided tours to areas that are only accessible by boat, such as the NC National Estuarine Research Reserve, which includes Zeke’s Island, a popular spot to view the endangered loggerhead sea turtles. The NC Ferry at Fort Fisher will take you on a 30-minute scenic trip across the Cape Fear River to historic Southport. Nature enthusiasts will also enjoy sites on the North Carolina Birding Trail.

Scuba divers come to Kure Beach to experience waters filled with the remains of more than 200 shipwrecks. Instruction, offshore charters, certification and equipment rentals are available from area dive shops.

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

The Fort Fisher State Recreation Area provides families with the opportunity to enjoy a six-mile stretch of undeveloped beach that is home to nesting loggerhead sea turtles. Its public beach access and protected swimming area, picnic area with grills and a visitor’s center provide the perfect setting to enjoy the lazy days of summer or the cool fall ocean breezes.

Seasonal Events

Kure Beach and Carolina Beach play host to a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. The Carolina Beach Music Festival in June, the Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues and Jazz Festival in October, and the Island of Lights Holiday Flotilla and Parade in December are some of the most popular. The New Year is ushered in with a street dance, fireworks and the lowering of a giant lighted beach ball.

Nearby on the Island

To the north of Kure Beach is Carolina Beach, home to a Municipal Marina that features one of North Carolina’s largest selections of recreational fishing fleets and party boats. Carolina Beach features a variety of parksincluding the 761-acre Carolina Beach State Park, which is home to the rare and beautiful Venus flytrap. Visitors to this seaside town will find bike rentals along the town’s boardwalk and paddleboat rentals at Carolina Beach Lake Park.