Experience the natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere of Kure Beach, where undisturbed habitats and complex ecosystems thrive. As you escape from the noise pollution of everyday life, join our beach community in protecting and celebrating these environments to ensure their presence for future generations.
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is an NC Green Travel Participant and Ocean Friendly Establishment partner dedicated to protecting marine treasures through research, education and sustainable practices. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction), its conservation and research initiatives include rehabilitating, releasing and protecting endangered species like sea turtles, Carolina Gopher frogs and Sand Tiger sharks. The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher collaborates with the University of North Carolina Wilmington Marine Mammal Stranding Program to respond to animal strandings along the state’s southeastern coast. Additionally, the aquarium has installed floating wetlands in its garden pond area to act as a natural water filter and protect fish from predators while attracting birds and pollinators.
Break out your running shoes for the 5K and One Mile Fun Run: Race for the Planet and take in views of the ocean, maritime forest and Fort Fisher State Historic Site. Starting and ending at the Aquarium, the course's flat terrain makes it enjoyable for runners of all skill levels. The event's proceeds support conservation and sustainability efforts, and runners can choose to donate a portion of their registration fee instead of receiving a t-shirt to reduce their carbon footprint. The race occurs annually around Earth Day, and the next one will be held on April 21, 2024.
Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project
The Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project is dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles throughout all life stages. With the help of volunteers, the organization ensures the protection of threatened and endangered species within federal and state guidelines. Join the project on Monday evenings during the summer months for Turtle Talks, an educational program at Kure Beach Ocean Front Park and Pavilion. The event is free and fun for the whole family to learn about sea turtles and how to get involved and help these beautiful creatures.
The NC National Estuarine Research and Reserve program safeguards 44,000 acres of estuarine land across the state, providing essential habitats for the area’s wildlife. Located in the Cape Fear River Basin near Kure Beach, Zeke’s Island Reserve is a national reserve site. It is only accessible by boat and assists in protecting and preserving natural resources for research and education. Adventurists can get an up-close look at the reserve’s diverse habitats through Kayak Carolina's Zeke's Island adventure, nature or sunrise guided paddle tours.
Discover a 6-mile undeveloped shoreline at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, a popular spot for beachcombing and birdwatching. Take a stroll along the Basin Trail through the marsh to spot the maritime forest and soundside flora and fauna. An observation deck at the trail's end provides breathtaking views of the Cape Fear River. At nearby Fort Fisher State Historic Site, pause for a moment in the shade of gnarled live oaks, or walk along the beach to discover one of nature's wonders: a rare coquina rock outcrop visible only at low tide.
Kure Beach is a welcoming oasis to recharge and reconnect with nature. Visitors can support conservation efforts and projects while gaining a new perspective on essential habitats for native wildlife.