If you’re searching for the perfect spot for your family’s summer vacation, look no further than classic and kid-friendly Kure Beach. Known for its spacious, naturally beautiful beachfront, 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 capture the catch of the day. Grab your gear and head to the Kure Beach Fishing Pier to see who can bring home the biggest fish (with no license and only a nominal fee required) or take a stroll down the 711-foot pier to enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. You can also drive a few miles south of the pier to Fort Fisher State Recreation Area to try your hand at surf fishing.
For an offshore adventure you’re sure to remember, head to the nearby Carolina Beach Fishing Center & Marina to set sail on a private fishing charter with an experienced captain.
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, one of the most important shorebird habitats with tidal flats, salt marshes, dunes and ocean beaches to explore. Take in the beauty of tranquil wildlife and nature during a Kayak Carolina tour as you glide through the calm waters of the bays and marsh creeks.
From ocean to river, Fort Fisher State Recreation Area offers six miles of undeveloped shoreline and shaded trails for hiking among its 288 acres of wide-open space. 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 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. June to August, with hours varying seasonally.
Experience education and fun as you discover the coastal history of Fort Fisher State Historic Site, the home of the Civil War’s largest amphibious battle. The whole family will be entertained while exploring the gigantic Fort Fisher earthworks and cannons, and can 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 classic 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.
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. Delight the family with exhibits including 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. Afterwards, wander down the path out back to Nature Play, where little ones can dig, climb, jump, swing and build in the outdoors.
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 offering pizza and pasta dishes that will satisfy your carb cravings after a long day. Enjoy alfresco dining at Jack Mackerel’s Island Grill to feast on Caribbean-inspired fare, or savor seafood specialties on the patio at Big Daddy’s Restaurant with seasonal outdoor music. Beach House Burgers, located next to the Kure Beach Fishing Pier, is the perfect stop for a seaside lunch to go. Stop into Ocean View Restaurant for a homestyle breakfast or their signature fried chicken.
Sample seafood, sandwiches, tacos and salads alongside craft cocktails, local brews and amazing sunsets at Riverview Restaurant. The owners of the acclaimed PinPoint Restaurant – in nearby Wilmington – quietly opened this hidden gem on the riverbanks of the Fort Fisher Seymour Johnson AFB Recreation Area. It is open to the public for dinner on long weekends (Thursday through Saturday) and lunch and dinner on Sundays.
From beach eats to history to outdoor adventure, visit Kure Beach this summer for a vacation to remember.