Fall Vacation Ideas in Kure Beach NC

Less Crowds. More Room to Wander.

Fall adventure awaits as warm temperatures and coastal sunshine continue on in Kure Beach. Outdoor activities are still in season as you hike the trail at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area or take a guided kayak tour to a bird sanctuary on Zeke's Island. For a fall refresh that’s a little more peaceful, relax beneath majestic live oaks on a picnic or enjoy a sunset four-wheel drive on the unspoiled coastline. Come see why the Kure Beach area was named one of 11 Secret Beaches Perfect for Social Distancing on the East Coast. Whether it’s kayaking on an eco-adventure or walk along a secluded shoreline, we’re ready for whatever helps you get away.

What to Expect When Visiting

Thank you for trusting us with your care and safety as you travel to the area. We encourage you to travel and enjoy responsibly by practicing social distancing, wearing masks and following other guidelines for your safety. With safety concerns top of mind for travelers, many lodging properties are following enhanced safety guidelines provided by corporate offices, as well as guidance from the American Hotel & Lodging Association, U.S. Travel Association, and the CDC that are designed to provide consistent cleaning safety standards. A statewide “Count on Me NC” program with the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association, Visit NC and NC State University provides specific guidance and training to local restaurants, hotels, and other public-facing businesses on best practices. Please find on-going COVID travel updates here.

Stay With Us Awhile

Places to stay range from retro motels to charming cottages and offer a dose of nostalgia coupled with modern amenities and new cleaning safety standards. Choose a vacation rental and enjoy the comforts of working or learning from home at the beach, including full kitchens, outdoor grills, oceanfront decks and patios. When late summer turns to fall, look for off-season rates found on many lodging partner websites and book midweek (Sunday – Thursday) for the best savings. Here, life moves at a more relaxed pace so plan to unwind on an escape to Kure Beach.

Explore Outdoors

Take a well-deserved break and get away from it all with the added benefits of mild weather and fewer crowds. Take a walk through history at Fort Fisher State Historic Site and Museum and explore the South’s largest earthen fort. Walk the many winding pathways, and view the beautiful old live oak trees oceanfront and along the Cape Fear River shaped by centuries of salt, sand, and wind. Enjoy an under-the-sea experience at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher and see the animals up-close, then head out to the aquarium gardens, spy feathered friends off the birding deck and take a stroll around the pond. Ideal temperatures make fall the perfect time of year to discover the peaceful sanctuary at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, a pristine, undeveloped stretch of shoreline. Stroll along six miles of beach and keep your eyes peeled for loggerhead sea turtles, sea stars and keyhole urchins. Hiking the maritime forest along the Basin Trail is a great way to take in the sights and explore a WWII bunker hidden within the forest. Pack a picnic and rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle plus permit through SunFun Rentals to cruise along the beach strand at the recreation area. Unleash your frisbees and let the dog roam free at Joe Eakes Park's Disc Golf course and Bark Park. 

Hidden Gems & Eco-Adventure

Set out on a guided tour with Kayak Carolina and paddle to Zeke's Island Reserve, one of the most important shorebird feeding habitats on the East Coast and home to salt marshes, maritime forests, ocean beach and unique wildlife. Paddle out on a kayak or canoe rental to Shark Tooth Island, an uninhabited island home to coveted seashells and shark teeth. Only visible during low tide, Kure Beach's coquina rock formation is a natural hidden gem cemented together by seashells and coral with origins dating from 12,000 to 80,000 years ago. Dive deep to discover The Condor, a sunken Civil War ship, and North Carolina's first heritage dive site or head to nearby Carolina Beach Marina to embark on a number of SCUBA dive adventures to historic shipwrecks off the coast with charters available through late October.

Small Town, Big Flavor

Fill your getaway with beach-favorite dining options from seafood to pork chops. Pick up your order to-go from the Kure Beach Diner, a local favorite with hearty breakfast items ranging from biscuits and gravy to French toast. Grab a Mermaid Magic Cold Brew, Normal-Seas Smoothie or kombucha to enjoy along the pier from Happy Hippies Java Hut. Order takeout and pick up curbside from Freddie’s Restaurant and savor the famously braised pork chops served eight different ways, or taste Caribbean flavors on the laid-back patio at Jack Mackerel's Island Grill. Discover a relaxing outdoor patio to be enjoyed with cocktails, appetizers, fresh seafood and steak entrees at Big Daddy's Restaurant.

Fishing Fun

From surf fishing or casting a line off the pier to deep-sea adventures, Kure Beach is known for great fishing with plenty of options to reel in a catch. Grab bait, tackle and souvenirs from the gift shop, drop a line off the Kure Beach Fishing Pier and take in the culture of the oldest fishing pier on the East Coast. Spend a family fun day of surf fishing and sunbathing at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area or take your conquests to the ocean with a half-or whole-day fishing charter offered nearby at Carolina Beach Fishing Center and Marina.