From the closest holiday market to the Atlantic Ocean to an aquatic winter wonderland, Kure Beach will have you feeling the holiday spirit in no time. A holiday getaway to Kure Beach is a fresh way to spend the most wonderful time of the year by the sea.  

Holiday Markets

If you’re someone that loves the beach and the holidays (and who doesn’t?), then a trip to the Kure Beach Holiday Market is a must. Stop by the oceanfront market on Nov. 18 or 25 to shop handcrafted items that will make the perfect thoughtful gift for your loved ones.

Aquatic Winter WonderlandChristmas tree through a sharks mouth

Walk into a winter wonderland under the sea during the Cape Fear Festival of Trees at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. This heart-warming holiday tradition, held Nov. 20 through Dec. 31, transforms the Aquarium into an enchanted forest with glittering trees for an evening of holiday elegance.

Also at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, the Holiday Elf Camp gives kids the chance to be Santa’s helpers for the day. Kids can make magical memories under the sea and gifts to put under the tree, while the adults enjoy some kid-free relaxation.

Island of Lights

Kick off the holiday season coastal-style during the Island of Lights Festival. Island of LightsThis island-wide festival begins Nov. 24 and features signature events through Dec. 31, all at Kure Beach and neighboring Carolina Beach. The festival hosts a spectacular Christmas Flotilla with decorated boats of all sizes lighting up the Intracoastal Waterway on Dec. 2. The festivities continue at the Tour of Homes on Dec. 9 taking visitors through some of the most beautiful homes on the island, all decked out in their holiday best. To cap off the holiday season, families can count down to the New Year while awaiting the beach ball to drop at the Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Celebration at Carolina Beach’s famous Boardwalk. The free, family-friendly event features a DJ, dancing, refreshments and party favors for all to ring in 2018.

A Victorian Christmas

Head back in time and celebrate the holiday season during Fort Fisher State Historic Site’s Victorian Christmas Open House on Dec. 5. Visitors can immerse themselves into the holiday spirit with refreshments, an appearance by Father Christmas, beautiful decorations and entertainment including musical performances throughout the day.