Stay cool in Kure Beach with refreshing activities like diving into educational wonders at an aquarium, strolling through historic sites or splashing along the coast.

Staying Shady

Find shade along the scenic trails at Fort Fisher State Historic Site, where gnarled live oaks create a cool spot for exploring history. As the South's largest earthen fort, this site served as the setting for the Civil War's largest land and sea battle. You can view the historical earthworks along the Tour Trail, which is lined with exhibit panels offering a mini history lesson. Step inside the Visitors Center to explore exhibits, including "Fall of Fort Fisher," which dives into the fort's role during the Civil War and WWII, along with the history and significance of the United States Colored Troops.


Travel through coastal habitats and maritime forests along the Basin Trail at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. The trail runs through the state park, passing a World War II-era bunker that was once home to the Fort Fisher Hermit. With sections located along the beach, wooden boardwalks or natural surfaces, the trail also passes through wooded areas that offer shade from the sun.


By the Sea

Cool off with a dip in the ocean. Rent all the necessities for a fun day in the water from nearby Pleasure Island Rentals, including boogie boards, surfboards and more. The outfitter also offers beach chairs and umbrellas to keep the sun at bay when taking a break from the waves. Secure the perfect spot by the sea at local-favorite public beach accesses.

Embark on a kayak adventure through nature’s playground, including tranquil waters, marshes and secluded sandy shores. Whether you're a novice or an experienced paddler, Kayak Carolina offers sunrise tours perfect for taking in the views before the heat sets in. Or, go on their guided tour to the uninhabited Zeke's Island Reserve, a protected shoreline only accessible by boat, during the coolest time of day.


Discover the hidden treasures of Kure Beach and the surrounding waterways abundant with mesmerizing dive sites along the ocean's natural ledges. Among these sites is the Condor, a Civil War blockade runner resting off the coast of Fort Fisher and North Carolina's first Heritage Dive Site. Get a glimpse into the past with nearby Carolina Beach Scuba for an immersive experience guided by professionals.

Air-Conditioned Adventures

Imagination runs wild inside the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, where curious minds can explore the wonders of marine life. Experience the beauty of nature indoors as you journey through distinct habitats and meet the Aquarium’s 2,500 animal residents. Watch a frisky family of Asian small-clawed otters in the Otters on the Edge exhibit, get hands-on with stingrays and other sea life in the touch tank and meet Luna, the rare albino alligator. Be sure to reserve tickets for the Aquarium online before your visit.


When you need a break from the beach, step into an indoor time machine at Hi-Tech Arcade, where classic games live on. Go head-to-head in a friendly game of basketball or skeeball, enter an alternate universe racing cars or try your luck spinning the Colorama wheel.

Frozen Treats

Cool off with a frozen latte from Happy Hippies Java Hut, where each signature latte can be served iced or blended. Try Blackbeard's Booty, a rich combination of chocolate, chocolate chips and espresso. If you're not a coffee drinker, choose from options like orange cream frappé, frozen hot chocolate or a refreshing fruit smoothie.

Visit Beach House Burgers, a family-owned walk-up restaurant located next to the Kure Beach Fishing Pier. Here, you can enjoy a tried-and-true soft-serve ice cream cone or a milkshake—perfect for a refreshing break on a sunny day.

Find relaxation under the sun and in the shade at Kure Beach. Whether exploring shaded trails, enjoying indoor activities or diving into aquatic experiences, there are plenty of ways to stay cool this summer.