Kure Beach

Kure Beach is a small town beach in New Hanover County in North Carolina. It is 15 miles to the south of Wilmington. The town was named after a family of settlers in the area. The fishing pier on Kure Beach is one of the oldest on the Atlantic Coast. It was originally built in 1923. The pier has been rebuilt and restored over the years. Kure Beach is on the Southern part of Pleasure Island.

The town of Kure Beach is a haven of wildlife and native plants. There are many opportunities to explore and discover new species in various locations. The town has conservancies and aquariums to help preserve the North Carolina wildlife. The town also has a rich history that is depicted everywhere you visit. Each place has its story.

Historic Attractions

Kure Beach is famous for its incredible historic attractions. The attractions hold both educational and recreational value. These include;

1. Fort Fisher State Historic Site

Fort Fisher was a Confederate fort built at the beginning of the American Civil War. They used it to protect important trading routes leading to the port at Wilmington. It was operational from 1861 to 1865 when it was captured by Union forces.

2. Civil War Museum

The museum has many historic artifacts from the American Civil War. It has remnants from fighting gear and vessels used at the time. There is also a vast collection of information about the civil war.

3. North Carolina Military History Museum

This houses all information on the United States Military.

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

The aquarium is home to many species of aquatic life. It encompasses life in the Cape Fear River basin. The animals also come from nearby estuaries, beaches, and the ocean. It has a 230,000-gallon saltwater shark tank willed with marine wonder.

The Cape Fear Conservatory has alligators, sturgeon, and some freshwater species. The Fort Fisher Aquarium also has various galleries for different classifications. The Open Oceans Gallery is focused on marine creatures and ocean reefs in the area. Exotic Aquatics focuses on coral reefs, lionfish, cuttlefish, and Pacific sea nettles.


There are many opportunities to become a tourist in Kure Beach. Botanical gardens and marine-based attractions are in plenty in the area. Some locals have gone into eco-tourism. They offer guided nature tours, especially by boat.

Zeke’s Island is a great location to view loggerhead sea turtles that are endangered. They can also be found at the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve.

There is also the option of a scenic ferry ride. The North Carolina Ferry at Fort Fisher is great for this. Take a memorable trip on the Cape Fear River to Southport. Those who enjoy nature will have a blast at Kure Beach. The North Carolina Birding Trail is perfect for bird watching.

The waters of Kure Beach hide the remains of more than 200 shipwrecks. It is a great opportunity for scuba divers. The dive shops at the shore offer all the equipment and certification needed. You can experience the many shipwrecks on the ocean floor.


Carolina Beach and Kure Beach host many festivals and events each year. These include;
1. The Carolina Beach Music Festival (June)
2. The Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues, and Jazz Festival (October)
3. The Island of Lights Holiday Flotilla and Parade (December)
Other events happen between these, like the New Years’ Party. It includes a street dance, fireworks, and a giant beach ball that is lit.

Kure Beach Fishing Pier

Fishing is one of Kure Beach’s main attractions. The beach offers many opportunities for fishermen. There are miles of fishing grounds in the oldest pier in North Carolina. The pier is at the center of town and is 711 feet long.

You will be required to pay a small fishing admission fee to receive a fishing license. This fee is applicable only to those who plan to fish. It is free for those who only want to experience the gorgeous ocean view.

Fishing tournaments are often hosted. The annual mackerel tournament allows participants to compete to catch the biggest fish. There are also surf fishing tournaments.

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

This recreational area has over 6 miles of undeveloped shoreline and it is filled with wildlife native to North Carolina. It is a very family-friendly location. The area is suitable for viewing wildlife in its natural habitat. The location requires a day pass and a four-wheel drive car to navigate the sandy shores. Some of the attractions to the area include;

  1. Loggerhead sea turtles
  1. Coquina rock formation at low tide
  1. Basin Trail – Includes a hike through a maritime forest and salt marshes
  1. Sunset views
  1. Bird watching – there are miles of trails through the beaches. Explore a maritime forest and marshes.

The forest is the habitat of many bird species, including;

  • Warblers
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • Mockingbird-sized shrike
  • Peregrine Falcon – the world’s fastest bird
  • Red-throated Loons
  • Brightly-billed Surf Scoters
  • American Oystercatchers – this is a bird that feeds solely on shellfish
  1. Kayaking – The staff from Kayak Carolina are available for lessons. They teach beginners how to navigate the Cape Fear River safely. Experienced kayakers can paddle away into the river. The journey leads to Shark Tooth Island. It is an uninhabited island with seashells and numerous shark teeth. These are often taken as souvenirs.
  1. Sea turtles – The Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project is a great learning experience. The project teaches about different turtle species and how to care for them. The staff are all volunteers.

Kure Beach is an incredible place to channel your adventurous side. There are animals, birds, plants, and locations waiting to be discovered. The town has new attractions and exhibits with new experiences for those who visit. There are chances to get active and recreational with kayaking, fishing, and surfing. The small town also has incredible restaurants that offer local cuisine. You can never run out of activities to do in Kure Beach.