12 Best Things To Do In Kure Beach, North Carolina

things to do in kure beach north carolina

A little off the beaten path, this coastal town has plenty of outdoor treasures, relaxed, small-town atmosphere, and of course, an immensely serene beach. Kure Beach is located in New Hanover County, North Carolina about 15 miles (24 km) south of Wilmington. Its rich history adds an old-world charm to the city. It also offers Airbnbs and other vacation rentals for visitors. Despite having so much to do, you might end up simply basking in the sun, unwinding in the breathtaking coastline.

Let’s explore the 12 best things to do in Kure Beach:

1. Fort Fisher State Historic Site

Ft Fisher Monument
Source: Photo by user Pastelskies used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Built in the 18th-century, Fort Fisher is the South’s largest earthen fort, which played an important role during the largest land-sea battle of the American Civil War. This fort was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1961, the first in North Carolina. The Fort Fisher Historic Site includes the main fort complex, a museum, a visitor center, and a scenic trail. There are guided tours available and the site also offers kids’ programs, cannons, and artifacts, that engage all in a history lesson like no other, in a place like no other.

Fort Fisher State Historic Site

Address: 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd S, Kure Beach, NC 28449

Website: Fort Fisher State Historic Site

2. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

The Fort Fisher State Recreation Area consists of the remains of the earthen Fort Fisher, the Fort Fisher State Historic Site, a visitor’s center, a beach pavilion, a lagoon, a picnic area with grills and a long, six-mile (9.6 km) stretch of undeveloped, secluded beach, which is home to nesting loggerhead sea turtles & piping plovers.

It also served as a home for the Fort Fisher Hermit, Robert Harrill. The park touches both the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. This area is the perfect place to unwind and relax, amidst the cool ocean breeze.

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

Address: 1000 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, NC 28449

Website: Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

3. North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher attracts hundreds of visitors, every month. It showcases various aquatic environments, with a wide variety of marine life, from salt marshes and tidal pools to a two-story 230,000-gallon (870,644.7 liter) saltwater exhibit, featuring sharks, rays, and eels.

The half-acre (.2 hectare) Cape Fear Conservatory exhibits a rare albino alligator, sturgeon, and other freshwater species. The Open Oceans Gallery has marine creatures from nearby ocean reefs. The Exotic Aquatics gallery showcases lionfish, cuttlefish, a living Pacific coral reef, and Pacific sea nettles.

While you might be busy adoring the baby sea turtles, there are plenty of free, daily live shows, animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, outdoor activities and kids camps. There is also a gift shop, from where you can collect a souvenir for your friends and family.

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Address: 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, NC 28449

Website: North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

4. Kure Beach

When you visit Kure Beach’s miles of untouched coastline you will realize, “Life’s a beach”! Home to the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast, an oceanfront park, a nearby state aquarium and a historic fort, with beautiful seaside surroundings, Kure Beach provides the perfect setting for you and your family to explore and reconnect in this pure and natural playground.

Relive your childhood by fishing off the 711-foot (216.7-meter) pier, buy tackle, bait, rod and reel combos, or enjoy visiting the nearby concession stand, arcade and large souvenir area. The beach hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. In 2017 you can expect the line-up of Blues and Jazz Festival in October, and the Island of Lights Holiday Flotilla and Parade in December. The New Year is also pretty special, as it is ushered in with a street dance, fireworks and the lowering of a giant, lit up beach ball.

Kure Beach

Address: 100 Atlantic Ave, 28449 Kure Beach, North Carolina

Facebook: Kure Beach

5. Coquina Outcrop

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Coquina Outcrop, or Rocky Outcrop, near Fort Fisher, is the only naturally occurring rocky formation in North Carolina. Located at a short distance from the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, it can be viewed only at low tide. This is a rare, natural wonder, with fascinating treasures, like hermit crabs and interesting shells. If you can get the timing right, watching the sunset here is a magnificent experience.

It is advisable to reach this site an hour in advance of low tide (check the website for daily tidal charts) and wear good footwear. Kids love this experience, as this is one of the very few beaches on this side where they can see how the waves interact with the rocks. Be aware though: the rocks are covered with moss and algae and sharp mussel shells deposited during high tides, so it tends to get slippery and a fall can scrape your legs.

Coquina Outcrop

Address: Kure Beach, Kure Beach, NC

Website: Coquina Outcrop

6. Carolina Beach State Park

Source: Photo by user FL Smith used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Spread over 761 acres (308 hectares), at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, Carolina Beach State Park is home to some of North Carolina’s best fishing spots, 6 miles (9.6 km) of trails, a secluded camping area, with the option of tent adventures or cabins, a visitor center/exhibit hall, and several picnic spots.

The park is famous for containing the Venus Flytrap, one of the world’s most unique, carnivorous plants. Although the park remains open all year round, timings vary seasonally.

Carolina Beach State Park

Address: 1010 State Park Road PO Box 475, Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Website: Carolina Beach State Park

7. Ocean Front Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Kure Beach’s largest public green space is at Ocean Front Park, which is located in the heart of the downtown area. As its name signifies, the park is facing the ocean. It has an open-air pavilion with a stage, public restrooms, a walking path, a play area with swings, and rain gardens, all by the ocean.

Ocean Front Park

Address: 105 Atlantic Avenue, Kure Beach, NC 28449

Website: Ocean Front Park

8. Kayak Carolina

Kayaking People Recreation
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Almost 30 years ago, owner Angela finished her 312 mile (502 km) Kayak expedition at Carolina Beach and thus, Kayak Carolina was found. Irrespective of whether you are a professional, an amateur or a first-time kayaker, Kayak Carolina offers safety-oriented courses by certified instructors before you start your kayaking adventure. The beautiful sandy beach is the perfect backdrop for some kayaking fun.

Kayak Carolina

Address: Kure Beach, NC 28412

Website: Kayak Carolina

9. Hi-Tech Arcade

 Arcade Game Amusement Park
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If you are traveling with young adults or would like to spend some time away from the beach, head to the Hi-Tech Arcade. It is a fun and entertaining place, with lots of arcade games, including basketball, skeeball, car racing, Colorama and frog-hop.

Hi-Tech Arcade

Address: 111 K Avenue, Kure Beach, NC 28449

10. Joe Eakes Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Joe Eakes Park is a popular destination across all age groups because it has so much to do. There is baseball, volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, picnic areas, playgrounds and an 18 hole disc golf course.

Joe Eakes Park

Address: K Avenue & S 7th Ave, Kure Beach, NC 28449, USA

Website: Joe Eakes Park

11. Dine at Freddie's Restaurante on the beach

Pasta Tomato Italy
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Freddie’s Restaurante serves authentic Italian food at Kure beach and it’s popular because of the Irish pub ambiance as well. The family-owned business built a well-deserved reputation for great food over the years. Locals and visitors to the town love the varied menu. Best known for their pork chops, that’s not the only delicious item on the menu. Huge portions come along with great variety.

Try the crab manicotti, Tuscan scallops, or lasagna, steak, eggplant Parmesan, and seafood Alfredo. Sometimes, as it’s a small place, you may have to wait a bit for seating. However, the kids won’t be bored as there’s an arcade next door and the beach is right there as well. Parking is free and the service is excellent.

Freddie's Restaurante

Address: 111 K Ave, Kure Beach, NC 28449-3614

Website: Freddie’s Restaurante

12. North Carolina Military History Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Approximately seven miles from Kure beach on Riverfront Road is the North Carolina Military History Museum. History buffs will enjoy the interesting displays of the military. The area is fully wheelchair accessible as well, and there’s free parking at the back. Tanks, badges, photos and even a helicopter are displayed. Run by the North Carolina Military Historical Society, the place serves to protect the history and stories of the brave men and women. Most of the displays relate to modern warfare.

Allow for a few hours to see everything. Before you leave, remember to call into the gift shop to pick up some mementos. They open from noon until 4:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s not very far from the Ocean Dunes Resort, so you could make a day of it.

North Carolina Military History Museum

Address: i16 Air Force Way, Kure Beach, NC 28449-3750s

Website: North Carolina Military History Museum

Are you ready for the time of your life?

Apart from so many things to do, there’s always a festival organized on the beach, all throughout the year. There’s the beach music festival, a kite festival, jazz festival and a lights festival. So, irrespective of when you go, don’t forget to book a vacation rental and gear up for a fun, adventurous, laid-back vacation and happy traveling!

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Best Things To Do In Kure Beach, North Carolina
Source: Trip101

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Ishita Gupta is a freelance Indian writer with a passion for travelling extensively and discovering new destinations that also reflects in her style of writing. While charting the road less...Read more

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