Find Your Summer Sanctuary at the Shore

Step back in time to the nostalgic summer family beach vacation you remember from childhood. Discover six miles of unspoiled coastline at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, walk on the wild side with the lorikeets at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher and Boogie in the Park to live music seaside with the whole family. Retro motels showcase modern amenities, historic sites wait to be explored by curious young minds, sand and shore exude serenity while a number of family-friendly attractions and activities offer the perfect vacation balance between fun and relaxation.


Summertime fun in the sun

Get away to North Carolina's small wonder for a vacation that is both invigorating and relaxing. Boogie down with the whole gang during the Boogie in the Park Concert Series every Sunday, June - October, at the Kure Beach Ocean Front Park and Pavillion where musical acts range from bluegrass and country-rock to Motown and big band swing. Rest and recharge taking in views or casting a line off the oldest privately owned fishing pier on the east coast, the Kure Beach Fishing Pier. Named one of the 11 beaches in the world where history was made, experience history firsthand at Fort Fisher State Historic Site then take the whole family for a day under-the-sea at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher or fly high at the Lorikeet Landing exhibit running until Sept. 30. Feed colorful lorikeets from your hand while enjoying these beautiful exotic birds as they fly freely around.

Fairytale Family Memories

Join princesses and fairytale friends for Story Time by the Sea every Wednesday through Aug. 14, along with stories, crafts and games. Nearby in Carolina Beach, bring your blankets and beach chairs and find a spot on the lawn for Free Movies at the Lake offered each Sunday through September. Screenings include The Little Mermaid, The Lego Movie 2 and How to Train your Dragon. Every second and fourth Friday, June - August, dance with the fam during Summer Concerts at Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area. Pack a picnic and enjoy live music in a laid back setting. Bring your shovels and buckets ready to dig, learn and explore during the Ocean Life Project Family Beach Walk and hear about Kure Beach history, area wildlife, shell and fossil finding tips and more Sundays through August 18. Learn about the nesting sea turtles that call this area home and find out how you can help save this endangered species at Turtle Talks, hosted every Monday through Aug. 26.

Seafood by the Seashore

From low-key dining steps from the shore to sit-down restaurants with local seafood, find your food fit at Kure Beach. Step back in time at the Kure Beach Diner where home-style breakfast items include a country ham biscuit, French toast platter and more classic combos. Take a break from the beach and dine on thick, juicy burgers, hot dogs and fish sandwiches at Beach House Burgers, a seasonal walk-up where you can take your meal to-go. Dine outdoors on the second-floor deck of the family-friendly Jack Mackerel's Island Grill where Caribbean-influenced items showcase fresh-caught seafood and Calabash platters with flounder, shrimp, oysters and scallops. Discover a hidden gem at Freddie's Restaurant where authentic Italian dishes are served in the "Most Romantic" dining spot on Kure Beach.

Find Buried Treasures

Let the summer sun guide you as you embark on eco-adventures around Kure Beach. Prehistoric fossils wait to be discovered on the ocean's natural ledges, dive deep to explore the Condor, a sunken Civil War ship and North Carolina's first Heritage Dive Site or embark on a number of SCUBA dive adventures to historic shipwrecks off the coast. Take home unique seashells after taking a guided kayak journey to an uninhabited island through Kayak Carolina. If land adventures are more your speed, explore a WWII bunker along the Basin Trail at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area then follow a boardwalk trail across the marsh leading to an endpoint with stunning views of the Cape Fear River and Zeke's Island Reserve.

Eclectic Places to Stay

Retro motels and charming cottages offer a dose of nostalgia coupled with modern amenities. Here, life moves at a more relaxed pace so unplug and unwind in a variety of lodging and budget options. Plan your getaway now!