If you’re searching for the perfect spot for your family’s summer vacation, look no further than kid-friendly, peaceful Kure Beach. Known for its spacious, naturally beautiful beach, it’s the perfect place to relax, reconnect with nature and keep the kids entertained outdoors.

Cast a Line

Novice and avid anglers alike will enjoy casting a line from land or sea to reel in a catch of the day. Grab your fishing gear or rent rods at the Kure Beach Fishing Pier to see who can bring in the biggest fish (with no license and only a nominal fee required). Stroll down the century-old, 711-foot pier to enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.


Head a few miles south of the pier to Fort Fisher State Recreation Area to try your hand at surf fishing. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are allowed seasonally on the state park’s beach with required permits. For an offshore adventure you’re sure to remember, head to nearby Carolina Beach Fishing Center and Marina to set sail on a private fishing charter with an experienced captain.

Island Escape

Let your worries slip away at one of Kure Beach’s scenic island oases. Rent one-or two-person kayaks from Kayak Carolina and paddle out to Shark Tooth Island, where adults and children will enjoy searching for seashells and shark teeth buried in the sand. You can also visit Zeke’s Island Reserve, an important shorebird habitat with tidal flats, salt marshes, dunes and ocean beaches to explore. Take in the beauty of tranquil wildlife and landscapes during a guided Kayak Carolina tour as you paddle and glide through the calm waters.


From ocean to river, Fort Fisher State Recreation Area offers six miles of undeveloped shoreline and 288 acres of wide-open space. During North Carolina’s 2023 “Year of the Trail,” explore the state park by hiking its shaded Basin Trail for views of the maritime forest and soundside flora and fauna. Take your four-wheel-drive vehicle for a ride along the sandy shore by purchasing a day pass and find the perfect place for a scenic picnic lunch. Adventurers are welcome year-round with park hours varying seasonally.

Natural Adventures

Experience education and maritime history at Fort Fisher State Historic Site, home of the Civil War’s largest amphibious battle. The whole family will be engaged while exploring the gigantic Fort Fisher earthworks and cannons. Catch a respite from the sun under the shade of the nearby gnarled live oak trees.


For more summer fun in the sun, pack up the whole family and head to Joe Eakes Park for a round of disc golf or bocce ball, or a game of basketball, volleyball, baseball or tennis. Four-legged family members will especially enjoy the Gurney Hood Barking Lot dog park, where they can romp around all afternoon off-leash.

Explore Kure Beach’s largest public green space, Ocean Front Park, which features a walking path, swing benches facing the ocean and a play area for children. The seaside park also hosts Story Time by the Sea and Turtle Talks weekly during the summer.

Head under the sea and come face to face – or even face to fin – with a plethora of sea creatures at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Discover a two-story open ocean exhibit featuring sharks, eels and rays, as well as a family of adorable Asian otters, a rare albino alligator and more. Delight the family by reserving a behind-the-scenes tour for backstage access to exhibits and spaces for animal holding and husbandry. Visit the SharkBites concession stand for kid-favorite snacks and frozen treats, then unwind in the outdoor garden area and watch the little ones let their imaginations run wild at the Adventure Reef play area.


Savor Island Flavors

What’s a beach vacation without indulging in some of your favorite island flavors? From coastal cuisine to juicy burgers and Italian fare, there’s something for the whole family in Kure Beach. Dine at Freddie’s Restaurant, Kure Beach’s Italian staple serving pizza and pasta dishes that will satisfy your cravings after a long day. Enjoy al fresco dining at Jack Mackerel’s Island Grill, where you can feast on Caribbean-inspired fare, or savor seafood specialties on the patio at Big Daddy’s Restaurant. Located next to the Kure Beach Fishing Pier, Beach House Burgers, is the perfect stop for a seaside lunch to go. Stop into Ocean View Restaurant for a homestyle breakfast or signature fried chicken.


Sample seafood, sandwiches, tacos and salads alongside craft cocktails, local brews and amazing sunsets at Riverview Restaurant. The owners of nearby Wilmington’s acclaimed PinPoint Restaurant operate this hidden gem located on the riverbanks of the Blakeslee Air Force Recreation Area. The family-friendly waterfront restaurant is seasonally open to the public for dinner on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, as well as lunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays.


From beach eats to history to outdoor adventure, visit Kure Beach this summer for a vacation to remember.