Discover the rich history and charm of Kure Beach and how it comes to life with new milestones, tours and an exciting future expansion during a trip to our small beach town in 2023. Keep reading to find out what activities and events you should add to your itinerary.
A Centennial Celebration
Known for being one of the oldest fishing piers on the Atlantic coast, the Kure Beach Fishing Pier is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Initially built in 1923, the pier has undergone several phases of reconstruction and repairs due to the effects of time and weather. Today, the pier spans 711 feet and has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations. Visitors can stop by the bait shop and store for fishing gear, souvenirs and concessions during the season. No license is required to fish, so anyone can cast a line, and those interested in the spectacular ocean views can walk along the pier year-round for free.
Features of Fort Fisher
From miles of undeveloped shoreline and North Carolina’s only coquina rock formation to the site of the Civil War’s largest amphibious battle site, there is no shortage of natural wonders to explore at Fort Fisher. Journey along the Basin Trail at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area as we celebrate outdoor adventures during the state’s 2023 “Year of the Trail.” One of two state parks located on the island, Fort Fisher Recreation Area is also popular for sunbathing, surf fishing, shelling and birding. Or, visit the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, which has been featured multiple times as one of the top aquariums in the U.S. by Tripadvisor.
Highly anticipated additions and upgrades to Fort Fisher State Historic Site are underway as the construction of the new visitors center and conservation lab continues. In order to accommodate the ever-growing number of guests, the 20,000-square-foot visitors center will almost triple in size and include an orientation theatre, a multipurpose room and additional exhibits. Installation of a new state-of-the-art conservation lab for the Underwater Archaeology Branch of North Carolina’s Office of State Archaeology is also a part of the expansion. With these new additions under construction, the public parking lot has been relocated to the area commonly known as the South Airstrip. The current visitors center remains open, and the site recently launched a History Highlights tour marked by with engaging signage along the back side of the fort.
Throughout the year, our quaint beach town hosts several not-to-be-missed events ranging from a free summer concert series to holiday festivals and everything in between.
Starting in early May and continuing through mid-October, the Boogie in the Park Concert Series at Ocean Front Park & Pavilion is the perfect family-friendly evening activity during the summer for seaside live music, activities and more. The annual Cape Fear Kite Festival in November is the season's final professional kite flying event in the country. The festival is open to the public for free, and spectators can enjoy live bands and food trucks or head to the beach to see unparalleled displays of color soar through the sky. Boats of all shapes and sizes float through the waterways decked in holiday lights the Friday after Thanksgiving for the annual Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla. Be sure to check our full events calendar for specific dates and times.
With several future additions coming to Fort Fisher, special events throughout the year and a milestone celebration, Kure Beach has some exciting things on the horizon for 2023.