Looking back on 2016, it is safe to say North Carolina’s small wonder was packed with big adventures. From attending special events, discovering the island’s natural beauty, competing in exciting tournaments, or simply enjoying spectacular views by the sea, fans on social media highlight some of the best adventures for visitors to Kure Beach.

Stay tuned for what is to come in 2017, and share your photos using #KureBeachNC!

Live by the Land and Sea

Each year, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher installs a new, one-of-a-kind exhibit. For the first time ever in 2016, visitors had the chance to view animatronic, life-size dinosaurs at the aquarium! While the dinosaurs have packed their bags and headed back to their prehistoric home, you can experience a day in the life of your favorite creatures during every season – the aquarium is open year-round. A big thank you to @dtdadrock and @bisassy_1 for capturing these memorable moments. 

Reel It In

Get your tackle box ready for a fishing frenzy! The late spring through the fall is packed with annual fishing competitions like the Pleasure Island Fall Surf Fishing Challenge, King Mackerel Tournament and Fall Memories Flounder Tournament. Fishing is a popular year-round pastime at Kure Beach, where you can cast a line off the Kure Beach Fishing Pier, fish from the surf or even reserve a fishing charter for an afternoon adventure. Our fan @fursty11 shared this surf fishing photo earlier this year.

Outdoor Adventure

Jump start your day with the sunrise or unwind with an unforgettable view of the sunset. Get outdoors while exploring Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. Bike the trails, hike through the salt marsh, paddleboard down the coast or simply pack a picnic. Cheers to @coda_visual for capturing this spectacular moment in November.

Fun in the Sun

Throughout 2016, visitors let loose during the Boogie in the Park Concert Series, featuring live music performances, then shopped local at the Kure Beach Open Air Market, filled with handcrafted goods. You can always count on a one-of-a-kind experience at the island’s legendary annual events like the Pleasure Island Chowder Cook-Off and Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival. Get inspired to participate from @kimberlylmans’ photo of this year’s Cape Fear Kite Festival!

Stay Active

Find your zen by practicing yoga on the beach, catching a wave while surfing, or embarking on a kayak adventure at Zeke’s Island Reserve. Take a tip from @rob_dunham and hang ten during your next visit!