Carolina Beach and Kure Beach Welcome 2017 with New Lodging Options, Outdoor Activities, Exhibits & Tours

Kure Beach, NC – Located on the same island along the southeastern coast of North Carolina, Kure Beach and Carolina Beach are home to a variety of things to see and do. Kure Beach was included on's list of 10 Best Beaches in North Carolina. This year, these two beach towns have even more to offer first-time visitors and repeat visitors alike thanks to a new hotel and other lodging, land- and water-based outdoor activities, and several new exhibits and tours, including a limited-time appearance from a group of famous mermaids.

Exhibits and Tours

  • The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, located in Kure Beach, will welcome the world famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids for two magical weekends on March 3-5 and 10-12. These live mermaids will swim into town to perform multiple underwater shows each day with sharks, gliding stingrays and a green sea turtle. The mermaids will also be on hand to meet and greet visitors. Fins and feathers will once again flock together when Lorikeet Landing, an interactive, live-animal exhibit featuring tropical birds, returns to the Aquarium this summer.
  • Discover the rich history of the island while enjoying tastings from some of its best restaurants during a History Tasting Tour. In 2017, a new “Eat Around the World” tour will celebrate international cuisines.
  • A new exhibit for the visitor center and more interpretive waysides are now underway at Fort Fisher State Historic Site. These additions are intended to better tell the story of Fort Fisher, the site of the largest amphibious battle of the Civil War. The 32-pounder “Rifled & Banded” cannon in Shepherd’s Battery – a restored gun emplacement – was also completely refurbished in the fall of 2016.

Outdoor Adventure

  • Learn about the different habitats that exist within Carolina Beach State Park and how each habitat affects the plants and animals that call the park home during a park ranger-guided Biological Wonderland Hike. Participants are encouraged to wear good walking shoes and dress for the weather. Dates and times for the hike are available online. The park’s popular Carnivorous Plant Hikes will resume in May 2017, when hikers are likely to spy the indigenous Venus flytrap.
  • Paddle NC will offer overnight expeditions starting in 2017, thanks to a new fleet of overnight kayaks. The new expeditions will let visitors explore both coastal and land areas surrounding Carolina Beach State Park. Avid kayakers can receive ACA (American Canoe Association) instruction through a program started by Paddle NC in 2016.
  • Tony Silvagni is no stranger to the winner’s circle: the owner of Tony Silvagni Surf School in Carolina Beach is a former Olympic gold medalist. He added to his impressive resume in 2016 by winning first place at the World Surf League Trump Hyuga Pro Men's Longboard Tour in Japan in October, and a national title at the USA National Pro Longboard Championships in California in November. His namesake surf school offers surf camps, paddleboard lessons, kayak tours and more.


  • Kure Beach’s Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area is home to vacation units, multiple camping sites and RV areas reserved exclusively for military personnel, veterans or anyone with a current Department of Defense identification card. Recently updated units range from one-bedroom to four-bedrooms and are equipped with linens, towels and basic kitchenware; some even include a washer and dryer.

About Kure Beach
Kure Beach, North Carolina’s small wonder, offers a naturally beautiful setting in a peaceful, small-town atmosphere. The coastal community, with its relaxed pace, lets visitors reconnect while they enjoy nature unspoiled and nearby signature state attractions, including the Fort Fisher State Historic Site and the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Kure Beach visitors can escape the busy pace of life and embrace the curiosity and innocence of childhood in this pure and natural playground. For more information, go to or call (800) 631-1460. Find us on Facebook at and Twitter and Instagram, @KureBeachNC.

Sara Beth Doherty
French West Vaughan