Known as North Carolina’s small wonder, Kure Beach offers one-of-a-kind outdoor experiences in a scenic coastal setting. Opt for unique ways to reconnect with nature on your next getaway by exploring the seaside surroundings and rich natural diversity of the island. Whether you prefer to paddle out on the island’s calm waters, discover an oceanfront park or relax as you breathe in the salty air, read on to discover wilderness and wellness activities in Kure Beach.
Unearth Hidden Gems
Clear your chaotic schedule for a day spent exploring tucked-away sanctuaries. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is home to six miles of undeveloped shoreline and miles of trails ideal for walking or jogging, bird watching, surf fishing and more. Secure the proper permits to drive along the beach in a four-wheel drive vehicle and enjoy a picnic and relaxing day on the shore. And don’t miss the chance to spot rare and endangered wildlife like piping plovers or Loggerhead sea turtles in their natural habitat.
At Fort Fisher State Historic Site, home of the Civil War’s largest land-and-sea conflict, hit the walking trail to discover the remains of the gigantic Fort Fisher earthworks. Kure Beach’s rich military history is on full display in this scenic outdoor oasis, where the live oaks provide the perfect shade for reflecting or meditating.
Head to the coast near Fort Fisher at low tide to spot the coquina rock formation. Estimated to be anywhere from 12,000 to 80,000 years old, the formation is home to a rare mossy hard rock outcropping held together by coral and seashells.
Only accessible by kayak, canoe, boat or stand-up paddleboard, Zeke’s Island Reserve offers distinctive landscapes to explore, including tidal flats, marshes, dunes and beaches. The island is one of the most important shorebird habitats along the East Coast, so keep your eyes peeled for native species like black-bellied plovers, white ibis, great blue herons and more as you wander along the shoreline.
Parks to Explore
Get moving outdoors with a day spent at Joe Eakes Park, where you’ll find baseball, volleyball and basketball courts. The park is also home to an 18-hole disc golf course that can prove to be quite a challenge for novices and pros alike thanks to its vegetation and terrain. Bring the kids along to get their daily dose of fun on the playground, and don’t forget Fido, who will be eager to enjoy the fenced off-leash dog area.
The largest public green space in Kure Beach, Ocean Front Park & Pavilion, is the perfect place to soak up some sunshine and the ocean breeze. Take a scenic stroll along the boardwalk while the kids spend time in the play area. Or, keep everyone entertained with family-friendly events taking place during the summer months, like Story Time by the Sea and the Boogie in the Park Concert Series.
Salute the sun with Kure Beach Yoga and allow the peaceful sounds of the ocean to relax you. Yoga classes are offered right on the beach, at Ocean Front Park or in the Kure Beach Community Center.
Round out your wellness- and wilderness-inspired itinerary with abundant ways to experience the water. No experience is needed to embark on an adventure with Kayak Carolina, where you’ll learn all the skills you need to paddle out. Or, sign up for a kayak tour with an experienced guide to learn more about the Cape Fear River’s coastal ecosystem and discover Shark Tooth Island, where you can hunt for shells and sharks’ teeth along the shore.
Nearby on the island, go under the sea with Carolina Beach Scuba, a full-service dive center offering training and daily dive charters. Get a glimpse at shipwrecks, fossil ledges, coral reefs and more, and hunt for giant Megalodon teeth to save as a souvenir.
Explore uniquely coastal wilderness and abundant wellness activities in Kure Beach with local parks, programs and attractions. No matter how you choose to reconnect with nature, these outdoor escapes will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.