Take a relaxed journey back to the good old days with a nostalgia-inducing Kure Beach vacation. This hidden gem’s peaceful and vintage ambiance invites you to leave modern-day stress behind as you embrace timeless beach experiences and recharge in charming retro motels.

Retro Stays

Unwind in cozy accommodations that feel like a welcome step back in time. Original to the island since 1984, Admiral's Quarters retains its retro vibe with charming motel rooms and a distinct teal and green exterior. Enjoy a beach read in the shade of the motel’s oceanfront gazebo, lounge by one of the pools or head to the shore via the private beach access.


Across the street from the beach, Moran Motel has welcomed generations of visitors for more than six decades. This casual, seasonally-open motel stands out with unique architectural features and a seafoam green façade that has served as a backdrop for films and TV shows – and will be a memorable setting for your nostalgic stay.

The family-friendly South Wind Motel offers Southern hospitality and a prime location just steps from local eateries and the beach. Book an oceanfront unit with a private balcony or the Family Suite apartment that sleeps seven guests. Sunbathe by the oceanfront pool, access the beach with a convenient private walkway and dig into lunch at one of the motel’s picnic areas.

Situated a stone’s throw from the shore and the heart of Kure Beach, the mid-century modern Kure Lighthouse Inn offers nine newly renovated, boutique apartment-style suites. Rooms accommodate four to six guests and feature private balconies offering refreshing ocean breezes and views. After returning from the nearby beach access, wash off sandy feet in the outdoor shower and gather around the firepit to reminisce over old stories.


Seaside Simplicity

Soak up the coastline’s natural beauty as you stroll along the century-old Kure Beach Fishing Pier. On the pier’s sun-faded wooden railings and benches, you’ll spot initials and messages carved by past beachgoers. Relive childhood fishing memories as you cast a line. Find your fishing necessities at the pier’s Bait Shop and Store, which offers seasonal rod and reel rentals. Stop by the nearby seasonal concession stand to savor nostalgic delights like ice cream and arcade games.


Located in the heart of downtown, Ocean Front Park & Pavilion is the largest public green space in Kure Beach. Take a breather on one of the seaside swing benches as the salty breeze carries your modern-day worries away. During the summertime, hear your favorite throwback tunes of all genres performed by local bands during the Boogie in the Park Concert Series.

Rediscover the pleasures of simpler times with quintessential beach day activities like building sandcastles and beachcombing for shells and other curiosities. Shred the surf with skim or boogie boards from Pleasure Island Rentals, known for its extensive inventory ranging from bocce ball sets to beach chairs. Explore the island the old-school way – on two wheels – with beach cruiser bike rentals from the nearby iRide Carolina Beach.


Rad Restaurants

Few flavors conjure beloved beach memories quite like fresh seafood – and you’ll find a full menu of Calabash-style platters and more while dining on the deck of Big Daddy's Restaurant, open seasonally. Since the 1970s, this family-owned seaside spot has become a Kure Beach tradition for generations of locals and visitors alike.

Satisfy your craving for classic American fare with burgers, BLTs, onion rings and soft-serve ice cream from Beach House Burgers’ walk-up window. The seasonal shack's quaint pink and green exterior will charm and transport you back to simpler times.


Get groovy at Happy Hippies Java Hut, a local joint that serves classic coffee creations and specialty drinks, including local kombucha and its signature Mermaid Magic. Browse funky handmade gifts and jewelry, just as unique as the hut's purple exterior and colorful décor.


Known way back when as Bud & Joe's Tavern, Bud & Joe's Sandbar is Kure Beach’s longtime favorite beach bar. The spot’s ice-cold beers and casual drinks have quenched beachgoers’ thirsts for decades. Let the good times roll as you rack 'em up with a game of pool and play past decades’ hit songs on the jukebox.

Plan a vintage getaway in the kind of small-town beach you visited as a kid. Located right down memory lane on the Carolina coast, Kure Beach offers retro stays and timeless beach activities that will harken back to yesteryear’s beach vacations while creating new memories.