Content Produced in Partnership with Kure Beach

Far enough away from the hustle and bustle but still close enough to other beach activities, Kure Beach gives new meaning to “relaxing and fun beach vacation.” Home to some of the best fishing opportunities in the entire state of North Carolina, Kure Beach’s miles of undeveloped beach are ripe for exploring — on and off its sandy shores. With a state aquarium and historical site as well as dozen of outdoor adventures at the ready, you’ll find Kure Beach is far from a sleepy beach town. Actually, we think you'll find it’s exactly the sort of place your family will want to vacation at for many years to come.

NC Aquarium Photo by NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Take your aquarium visit a step further

More than 2,500 animals call the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher home. Aside from its array of exhibits (both indoor and outdoor) and daily presentations, you can take your visit from the aquarium straight to the source with a guided canoeing tour of the Cape Fear River. Led by aquarium officials, the three-hour tour will take you to and from nearby Zeke’s Island Reserve for an in-depth look at the conservation efforts as well as the crabbing, birding, and fishing activities in the area. Because the aquarium is so close to the beach and the marshland, it also offers a salt marsh tour as well as a surf fishing class, which will introduce you to a few fishing basics so you can hold your own with the Kure Beach locals.

Fort Fisher State Historic Site Photo by Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau

Get your history lesson of the day in

Located at the very top of Kure Beach is the Fort Fisher State Historic Site, the location of the largest land and sea battle during the American Civil War. Located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, Fort Fisher stood as a Confederate stronghold for most of the Civil War and protected important trading routes to and from the Port of Wilmington. The defeat of Fort Fisher in 1865 was a huge blow to Confederate forces and ultimately led to the Union victory of the Civil War. As it turns out, the famous Armstrong Gun now located at West Point Military Academy is from Fort Fisher because the Union seized it as a war trophy. The one located at Fort Fisher today is just a replica.

Kure Beach Ocean Front with Pier Photo by Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau

Visit the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast

The Kure Beach Fishing Pier has been a mainstay in the community for nearly 100 years. When it first opened in 1923, the pier was only 120 feet long. Now stretching more than 700 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, the Kure Beach Fishing Pier is open 24 hours a day from April through November. During that time, fishermen, visitors, and hungry pelicans line the pier, hoping to score the catch of the day (or at least see it being reeled in). There’s no fee to walk the pier, but there is a small fee for fishing.

Kure Beach Ocean Front Park Photo by Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors BureauFind some space at Ocean Front Park

Kure Beach Ocean Front Park is located minutes away from Kure Beach Fishing Pier and is Kure Beach’s largest public green space. During the summer months, it’s bustling with activity, including open-air markets, festivals, and sunrise yoga sessions. There’s a park perfect for children nearby and the pavilions provide just the right amount of shade when you need a cool break from the summer sun.

Kure Beach Kids Photo by Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau

Play in the sand and surf

It is the beach, after all. When it comes to beach escapes in North Carolina, it doesn’t get much better than Kure Beach. The Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is home to a six-mile stretch of undeveloped beach that’s perfect for exploring and finding the very best seashells for a souvenir to take home. Farther down the beach by the pier, you can enjoy onshore fishing as well as an array of watersports like kiteboarding and stand-up paddleboarding. Add in the friendly locals and the small town vibe and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a winning family vacation.

KB Kite Flying by Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau

Plan your visit

Kure Beach has plenty of vacation rental and seaside hotel options that can fit your budget and your travel style. Located just 40 minutes from Wilmington International Airport, Kure Beach allows families to relax, explore, and reconnect in a truly picturesque setting. Ready to go? Start planning your summer vacation to Kure Beach now.