Kure Beach, NC Tours & Cruises
Tours of North Carolina's Small Wonder
For a small beach town, there are a lot of big things to do and experience at Kure Beach. Set out for tours of the largest amphibious battle site of the Civil War or spend time with locals hearing about treasured island tales. For time with aquatic animals, head to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher to learn about the unique wildlife that inhabits the area. Or, embark on a self-guided tour and visit top filming spots from hit television series and movies.
Under the Sea Adventures
Make your way to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, named one of the best aquariums in the country by USA Today’s 10Best, to experience more than 2,500 animal residents including Luna, the albino alligator and Maverick, the bald eagle. Meet Asian small-clawed otters in their freshwater habitat featuring streams, waterfalls, an enclosed pool and a log slide. Families feeling adventurous can reach into tanks and touch sea stars, horseshoe crabs and dog sharks, too. Catch a dive show or embark on a behind the scenes tour, where you’ll get an up-close view of some of the aquarium’s friendliest animals. Afterwards, grab lunch at the snack bar, SharkBites and enjoy it outdoors in the aquarium’s Nature Play area, where children and families can climb, build, swing, jump and imagine in a natural space, or Adventure Reef, an outdoor interactive play area for kids.
Explore one of the most influential battle sites of the Civil War. The largest land-sea battle of the war was fought at Fort Fisher, located at the south tip of Kure Beach. Visit Fort Fisher State Historic Site to explore the South’s largest earthen fort and site of this historic battle. Approximately 10% of Fort Fisher still stands along with a restored palisade fence. See an impressive reconstruction of a 32-pounder seacoast gun at Shepherd's Battery. All tours of the grounds begin in the Visitors Center which features an audiovisual program about the history of the fort. Then meander along a scenic outdoor trail shaded by live oaks, featuring interpretive exhibit panels. The site hosts historical reenactments throughout the year, including an event commemorating the Battle of Fort Fisher each January.
Top Filming Locations
Embark on a self-guided tour to discover filming locations in Kure Beach and Fort Fisher. Check out top spots from iconic television series "One Tree Hill," "The Summer I Turned Pretty" and "Dawson's Creek," and feature films like Nicholas Sparks' "Safe Haven." Visit Fort Fisher State Recreation Area where Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough filmed scenes for "Safe Haven." Or, walk along the south end of Fort Fisher and see where Nathan (James Lafferty) and Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz) were married in "One Tree Hill." Stroll along the paved trail near the rocks at Fort Fisher State Historic Site to trace the steps of "The Summer I Turned Pretty" characters. At North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, swing by the Cape Fear Shoals exhibit, a quarter-million gallon saltwater fish tank that doubled as "Cape Cod Shoals" in "Dawson's Creek." Find more details, locations and other filming locations on our map.
Scenic Ferry Cruise
Walk or drive on to the Fort Fisher Ferry for a 45-minute cruise to the mainland. The ship leaves from the tip of Fort Fisher, heads up the Cape Fear River and docks two miles from the historic town of Southport. Enjoy beautiful views along the way from the observation deck.