23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Kure Beach (NC)

In search of the best and fun things to do in Kure Beach, NC?

Kure Beach is a town in New Hanover County, North Carolina state, United States. It is the county’s seat. Its population was 2,148 in 2021

Kure Beach, recognized as a part of the Wilmington Metropolitan Area, is home to a rich maritime history, including piers and fishing.

The town houses the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast, known as the Kure Beach Fishing Pier, which dates back to 1923.

Kure Beach offers tourists incredible opportunities to the gateway from the bustling and hustling to a place where they can unwind.

Examples of the places to visit in Kure Beach include Fort Fisher State Historic Site, North Carolina Military History Museum, Kure Beach Surf Camp, Jack Mackerel’s Island Grill, Coquina Outcrop, and more.

Here are the best things to do in Kure Beach, NC.

Things to Do in Kure Beach, NC

1. Visit Kure Beach

Kure Beach
Credits: Chris Dotson / Shutterstock
Kure Beach

If you are looking for a lovely setting to spend time with your loved ones, Kure Beach is one of the best places to visit in Kure Beach, NC.

Kure Beach features Atlantic Coast’s oldest fishing pier, with a state aquarium found close by and a historic fort.

The Beach provides an excellent setting for families and friends to reconnect and explore the natural and pure environment.

Purchase tackle, rod, bait, and reel combos and set out for fishing as you explore the pier of 711-foot. A concession stand is close by, offering a wide variety of snacks and beverages, a souvenir area, and an arcade.

Kure Beach is a venue for various events and festivals held all year round, including Blues & Jazz festival and more.

If you visit the town during the New Year, Kure Beach is usually special, with fireworks, street dances, and so on.

Address: 100 Atlantic Avenue, 28449 Kure Beach, North Carolina, United States.

2. Coquina Outcrop

Coquina Outcrop
Credits: Lisa Susan / Facebook
Coquina Outcrop

North Carolina’s only rocky formation, which formed naturally, the Coquina Outcrop, is found close to Fort Fisher.

The Coquina Outcrop is not too far from the Fort Fisher State Recreation area, though you can only see it from the Low tide.

This unique and rarely-seen phenomenon has amazing treasures, such as fascinating shells and hermit crabs.

If you visit the place on time, you will love the amazing sunset views. This is something you shouldn’t miss.

Coquina Outcrop is a place every kid would love to visit as this is one beach where they get to watch waves connected to the rocks.

These rocks are coated with algae and moss with mussel shells left during high tides, So you’re highly advised to put on the perfect footwear.

Address: Kure Beach, Kure Beach, North Carolina, United States.

3. North Carolina Military History Museum

A visit to North Carolina Military History Museum located on Riverfront Road is one of the top things to do in Kure Beach, NC.

North Carolina Military History Museum is an excellent place for history enthusiasts who want to learn about the history of the military.

The Museum is wheelchair accessible with a free parking space right at the back. North Carolina Military History Museum showcases photographs, tanks, a helicopter, and badges.

It is operated by the Historical Society of the North Carolina Military, which is committed to preserving the tales and history of selfless women and men.

North Carolina Military History Museum also features exhibits relating to the current welfare. You will find artifacts from Emmett Casciato’s collection.

The Museum is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 12 pm to 5 pm, plus a gift store filled with unique memorabilia.

Address: i16 Air Force Way, Kure Beach, NC 28449-3750, United States.

4. Fort Fisher State Historic Site

Fort Fisher State Historic Site
Credits: Gerry Dincherv / Flickr
Fort Fisher State Historic Site

Fort Fisher State Historic Site was erected in the 18th century. It is the biggest earthen fort in the South region.

The Fort played a significant role during the greatest battle of the land and sea of the American Civil War.

The structure was proclaimed in 1961 as a National Historic Landmark, making it the first in North Carolina.

The Fort Fisher State Historic Site comprises a visitor center, a museum, a major fort complex, and a scenic trail.

Guided tours are offered in the facility, as well as kids’ programs, artifacts, and cannons which take children on a historical journey.

The Fort backed the Confederate war action by opening the pot of Wilmington for those supplying materials to the troops fighting.

Address: 1610 Fort Fisher Boulevard S, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States

5. Ocean Front Park

Ocean Front Park
Credits: Billion Photos / Shutterstock

Ocean Front Park, recognized as the biggest public green area in Kure Beach, is nestled in the center of the downtown region.

Ocean Front Park offers a perfect escape from the crowds, where you can spend alone time and have fun.

There is an uncovered pavilion featuring a stage where events and private gatherings can be held, with a play area featuring rain gardens and swings for children.

The Park features a walking path through which you can take a peaceful walk around the area and sink into the beautiful environment.

Ocean Front Park provides a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere with a clean environment and restrooms.

Address: 105 Atlantic Avenue, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States

6. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
Credits: Dincher [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
Among the fun things to do in Kure Beach, NC, is visiting Fort Fisher State Recreation Area.

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is home to the remnants of the earthen Fort known as the Fort Fisher State Historic Site.

It features remains of a visitor’s center, a lagoon, a beach pavilion, and a trail of six miles with a picnic area and grills.

You will find a lengthy spread of undeveloped beaches packed with piping plovers and loggerhead sea turtles.

The Recreation Area features the Robert Harrill, Forth Fisher Hermit, with linkage to the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean.

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is perfect for relaxing and hanging out with loved ones. It is also an ideal place for sightseeing and photography.

Address: 1000 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States.

7. The North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Center

Your historical tour in Kure Beach wouldn’t be complete without an excursion at the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Center.

The North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Center features a collection of exhibits relating to the Civil War and dive sites.

The Underwater Archaeology Center was founded in 1967 to find, collect, and preserve artifacts kept in ancient wrecks.

Visitors would also find exhibits consisting of recent projects like U-boats from the Civil War era that roamed the coastline.

The North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Center has recorded more than one thousand archaeological sites underwater, including civil war shipwrecks, dugout canoes, and more.

Address: 1528 Fort Fisher Blvd S, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States

8. North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Credits: Chris Short / Flickr
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

An amazing attraction in Kure Beach is the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, which draws thousands of people to the town.

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher features displays of different aquatic environments with several species of marine life.

It features a 2-story saltwater exhibit with tidal pools and salt marshes of 230,000-gallon consisting of eels, rays, and sharks.

The Cape Fear Conservatory displays of two hectares include sturgeon, an albino alligator, and other species.

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher houses the Open Oceans Gallery, packed with marine creatures, plus an exotic aquatics gallery featuring pacific sea nettles, cuttlefish, lionfish, and more.

There is a gift shop offering a wide variety of souvenirs for your family and friends, including unique gifts for yourself.

Address: 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States.

Explore this list of things to do in Sanford and things to do in Sylva for a memorable North Carolina road trip.

9. Kayak Carolina

Kayak Carolina
Credits: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Kayak Carolina is owned by Angela, who found the business after her 502km kayak voyage at Carolina Beach.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an expert. Kayak Carolina is open to everyone and provides significant safety-based courses.

These courses are headed by professional instructors who offer guidelines on how to start your kayaking adventure.

Kayak Carolina takes you through the gorgeous shiny sandy beach, which offers the perfect background for kayaking.

For 23 years, Kayak Carolina has allowed guests to explore the waters of the Carolinas, such as the Cape Fear River, Masonboro Island, and Zeke’s Island.

You can book them for family adventures, guided nature tours, kayaking instructions, self-guided rentals, and even days-long expeditions.

Address: Kure Beach, NC 28412, United States.

10. Freddie’s Restaurante

Freddie's Restaurante
Credits: Freddies Restaurante of Kure Beach / Facebook
Freddie’s Restaurante

Are you a fan of Italian food? If yes, having a meal at Freddie’s Restaurante is one of the top things to do in Kure Beach, NC.

Freddie’s Restaurante is a family-owned and operated restaurant well known for serving delicious Italian cuisine.

The owners have successfully built a reputation over the years, which makes it stand out from others and make it one of the most frequented places.

Many visitors and locals are drawn to the restaurant because of its great show of hospitality and impressive menu.

Freddie’s Restaurante offers the best eggplant parmesan, pork chops, steak, lasagna, seafood alfredo, Chicken Parmigiana, Lasagna Bolognese, Chicken Marsala, House Garden Salad, Bread Basket, and more.

Next door, there is an arcade for kids to explore and have fun, so as long as they are here, they won’t get bored.

 Address: 111 K Avenue, Kure Beach, NC 28449-3614, United States.

11. The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Credits: Chris Short / Flickr
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

If you’re an animal lover in need of what to do in Kure Beach, NC, consider visiting the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher offers you a chance to get closer to the planet earth’s marine life.

The Aquarium is a component of a system featuring the aquarium at Roanoke Island, Jeanette’s, and pine knoll shores.

Visitors will find a diverse collection of marine life in their various habitats, and the aquarium publicizes the reasons for animal welfare, recreation, science, and conservation.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher showcases an Asian family of small-clawed otters in its conservatory.

It offers free programs, adventures, and guided tours daily from 9 am to 5 pm, which enlightens the public about everything they need to know about marine life.

Address: 900 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States

12. The Kure Beach Surf Camp

Kure Beach Surf Camp
Credits: J_K / Shutterstock

If you have always wanted to become a professional surfer, joining a class at Kure Beach Surf Camp is one of the best things to do in Kure Beach, NC.

The Kure Beach Surf Camp offers extensive surfing lessons with the backing of the North Carolina Aquarium’s Education Department.

The facility is concerned with training amateur surfers by teaching them the basic surfing guidelines.

The vacation package of the camp extends for three days, where you get to develop your confidence and master your skills.

The Kure Beach Surf Camp features certified instructors who spend time enlightening their students through the experience they have gained.

Address: Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States

13. 1921 Fort Fisher Monument

As a history enthusiast, ensure to visit the 1921 Fort Fisher Monument in Kure Beach.

1921 Fort Fisher Monument is found at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site on Batte acre. It was created to honor the souls of the unknown Confederate soldiers who lost their lives during the Fort Fisher Battle.

During the Monument’s launch, many cows were brought to moo continuously and loudly.

The Monument is made up of a long granite column with a massive bronze plaque that illustrates the Battle of Fort Fisher.

Stop by the 1921 Fort Fisher Monument and enjoy scenic views of the ocean and other things the Battle Acre comes with.

Address: Battle Acre Rd, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States.

14. The Bud & Joe’s Sandbar

Bud & Joe’s Sandbar
Credits: Nitr / Shutterstock

A perfect place to loosen up after a long day of exploring, the Bud & Joe’s Sandbar is the place perfect for you.

The Bud & Joe’s Sandbar has been in existence since 1972 and has become a popular choice for the people of Kure Beach.

You can stop by the Bud & Joe’s Sandbar for some delicious and flavorful chilled drinks with your friends.

They offer a wide variety of specialty cocktails and cold beers, which are served cold or however you want them.

Bud & Joe’s Sandbar features table pools with a jukebox that allows guests to choose some songs and relax.

This place is excellent for numerous events, including weddings and receptions of individuals who plan to create special memories.

Address: 108 K Avenue, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States

15. The Kure Beach Pier

Kure Beach Pier
Credits: Jay Yuan / Shutterstock
Reno arch

The Kure Beach Pier, a must-visit attraction in Kure Beach, was constructed in 1923 and is Atlanta Coast’s first fishing pier.

The Kure Beach Pier was brought down five times before it was demolished in 1954 by the famous Hurricane Hazel.

There is no fee to get to the Beach Pier compared to its counterparts within the Outer Banks. Kure Beach Pier is known for its fishing competitions, focusing on Spanish and king mackerel, bluefish, tarpon, sheepshead, pompano, and more.

Within the area where Kure Beach Pier is located, there is a concession stand, a souvenir store, a bait, and an arcade.

The Kure Beach Pier is a wonderful place to spend the day; once you’re tired of fishing or watching others do so, you can stop by any of the fun attractions in the area.

This significant historic landmark is one of the best places to visit in Kure Beach, NC. Every visitor should definitely visit before leaving the town.

Address: 100 Atlantic Ave, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States

Considering a North Carolina road trip, check out our guides on things to do in Hatteras , and things to do in Oak Island for a memorable trip.

16. Robert Harrill Hermit House

Robert Harrill Hermit House
Credits: Dincher [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Robert Harrill Hermit House
In 1993, Robert Harrill, a local of North Carolina, made the decision to leave the unique and special elements of life to become a hermit.

He lived under an evacuated WWII artillery bunker and started surviving completely off the land through fishing, clamming, and scavenging.

Robert was first apprehended and harassed by those in authority for vagrancy, but he became a followed figure attracting more than 100,000 persons from different parts of the world.

He founded his life philosophy known as the “School for common sense,” which still has many followers.

In 1972, Robert was killed in bizarre situations, which also increased his almost legendary reputation.

The only thing he left behind was the bunker which was filled with so many memories of his remarkable life.

When you visit Kure Beach, make sure you visit his home, which is just eight miles from Fort Fisher State Recreation Area Visitor Center.

Address: Address: 1000 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach, North Carolina, United States

17. Jack Mackerel’s Island Grill

Jack Mackerels Island Grill
Credits: Jack Mackerels Island Grill / Facebook
Jack Mackerels Island Grill

If you’re searching for a place where you can enjoy some delicious seafood, one place to visit in Kure Beach is Jack Mackerel’s Island Grill.

Jack Mackerel’s Island Grill doesn’t fail to provide a comfortable and relaxing setting for friends and family.

They offer lots of outdoor and indoor seating where guests can relax and enjoy their meals, depending on their preferences.

The restaurant uses the freshest locally grown ingredients in preparing the meals served with a mix of Chef Anthony’s magic.

They offer a wide range of options for customers, such as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Jack Mackerel’s Island Grill offers Crispy Calamari, Buffalo Shrimp, Shrimp and Flounder Platter, Seafood Dip, Seafood Chowder, Quesadilla, cheeseburger, Clam Chowder, Cajun Chicken Alfredo, and more.

Address: 113 K Avenue, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States.

18. Hi-Tech Arcade

Credits: iChzigo / Shutterstock

Are you a game buff? If you think you’re up to the task, include a visit to Hi-Tech Arcade to your list of fun things to do in Kure Beach, NC.

Hi-Tech Arcade is a must-visit for the young lads as they get to spend time playing thrilling games.

This exciting and entertaining center offers an extensive collection of arcade games, skeeball, basketball, frog-hop, Colorama, and car racing. If you’re a game expert, do well to visit Hi-Tech Arcade and discover how good you are.

Address: 111 K Avenue, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States.

19. Joe Eakes Park

Joe Eakes Park
Credits: ESB Professional / Shutterstock

An exciting park where children and adults can spend quality time playing and running around.

Joe Eakes Park is a favorite place for many families in the area because of its good number of amenities.

The Park features tennis courts, baseball fields, a basketball court, and volleyball courts for those who want to engage in friendly competitions.

There is also a premier 18-hole disc golf course, ideal for players of all skill levels, including beginners and intermediate who would like to improve their skills.

Joe Eakes Park is home to a beautiful gigantic playgrounds specifically for children to have fun with one another.

There are beautiful picnic areas for families who would like to have a simple but intimate picnic together.

When visiting, make sure you come with enough food, drinks, and water so, after much play, you and your companions can have a nice picnic.

Address: K Avenue & S 7th Avenue, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States.

20. Pleasure Island

Pleasure Island
Credits: T. Markley / Shutterstock
Pleasure Island

Pleasure Island, one of the islands located on the Southern side of the Cape Fear area, is bounded by Snow’s Cut to the north.

Around 1930 when the artificial Snow’s Cut was created, Pleasure Island was a peninsula linked to the northern region of Cale Fear, formerly known as Federal Point.

There are two major beach cities within Pleasure Island, Kure Beach and Caroline Beach, with a third town, referred to as Wilmington Beach.

The third town was initially situated on the Island before it was later connected in 2000 by Carolina Beach town.

Pleasure Island is easily accessed from Wilmington; visitors will find several attractions and sites after crossing the bridge.

Address: 1121 N Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428, Kure Beach, NC 28449-0103, United States.

21. Beach House Burgers

Beach House Burgers
Credits: Virginia (Ginny) Sanderson / Flickr
Beach House Burgers

Beach House Burgers offers seasonal walk-up plus take-out beside the Kure Beach Fishing Pier and serves deliciously prepared meals.

As a family-owned and operated restaurant, Beach House Burgers caters to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals.

They offer an extensive menu featuring a wide variety of American fares with contemporary and unique twists. 

Beach House Burgers is known for its delicious juicy burgers made with chicken nuggets, hot dogs, French fries, fish sandwiches, onions rings, fish sandwiches, hot dogs, and more.

 They also serve drinks to blend with them, such as Pepsi, Coke, Dt Pepsi, Dt Coke, Mt Dew, Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Sundrop, Cheerwine, Root Beer, Lemonade, Tea, and Water.

You can stop by Beach House Burgers after a stressful day of exploring to refill your tank and an empty stomach.

Address: 118 Fort Fisher Blvd N, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States.

22. Happy Hippies Java Hut

Happy Hippies Java Hut
Credits: NARONG JHANWATTANA / Shutterstock

To your list of what to do in Kure Beach, NC, include a visit to Happy Hippies Java Hut, which serves the best coffee in the area.

Happy Hippies Java Hut was founded in July 2018 by Barb and Terry, who were glad to have had the opportunity.

They both grew up in Gordon, a small town in Wisconsin with an unincorporated population, but the town has so much to offer.

They moved to their country home after living in the town, and they felt blessed to reside on Bass Lake as they took advantage of Wisconsin’s four seasons.

Terry served at a school district for about fourteen years as a special education paraprofessional before opening this coffee shop.

Happy Hippies Java Hut offers a variety of drinks like chai, cappuccino, caramel macchiato, espresso, sassy cheeky monkey, hot chocolate, orange cream, coffee on the rocks, beach bum, and more.

Address: 109 K Avenue, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States.

23. Battery Buchanan

A significant historic site, Battery Buchanan is another part of the remnants of the Civil War earthworks.

Battery Buchanan, located at Federal Point overlooking the Fort Fisher Rocks, was built in 1864.

These remains were named after Confederate Admiral Franklin Buchanan. The Battery was the absolute earthwork constructed to safeguard Fort Fisher and the important shipping lanes it assisted.

The Battery was successful during Federal troops’ first main attack in 1864 but was fruitless together with Fort Fisher.

You will find a nice tree with a bench perfect for family or group pictures. In addition, there are rocks covered with moss in the Cape Fear River area.

Address: Pleasure Island, Kure Beach, NC 28449, United States.

Would you like to know some of the best attractions in North Carolina?, here is a tourist guide on things to do in Mt. Airythings to do in Mooresville for a fun time, also check out things to do in Franklin if you have more time in North Carolina.

Plan Your Trip to Kure Beach

Kure Beach is one of those towns in North Carolina you should visit, whether alone or with your loved ones.

Despite its size, Kure Beach presents amazing attractions and activities to give you a fun vacation experience.

Start planning your trip to Kure Beach!