Kure Beach’s Guide to Family Adventures and Historical Explorations

Kure Beach Pier

Kure Beach is a hidden gem in coastal North Carolina with several exciting attractions to discover. We’ve uncovered the best Kure Beach hidden gems fit for your whole family to have a blast.

We’re sure the beach is already on your must-do list. So, what else is there to do in Kure Beach? Guests staying in our Kure Beach vacation home rentals with their families can sprinkle in the fun to their vacation with these activities.

 Educational Fun at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

While the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher isn’t a hidden gem, some of the activities it offers may not be as popular with unassuming visitors.

Check the calendar for special events geared toward the entire family. Go on a scavenger hunt to locate endangered marine life swimming in the aquarium tanks. Arrive early for Toddler Story Time every Tuesday morning between Labor Day and Memorial Day, which includes a child-safe animal encounter. Keep teens excited with aquarium behind-the-scenes tours.

Walk through the exhibitions to find the Rocky Outcrop Touch Pool with sea stars, urchins, hermit crabs, and stingrays.

Replay History at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site

Step out of the classroom and into real-life history at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site. Fort Fisher dates back to the 1800s when it served as the coastal protection for the Wilmington port. Visit for a chance to walk the grounds of one of the most important battles during the Civil War, which occurred in 1865.

You’ll need to go back a few generations for first-hand accounts of Fort Fisher’s history, but this site preserves many of these stories in an engaging way for the entire family.

Educational workshops to learn how to load cannons or exploring daily life in the fort help reconnect you to the past. Civil War re-enactments are a page out of your school history book with wartime-era costumes, dialogue, and cannon firing! Cover your ears!

Gone Fishing on the Kure Beach Pier

Fishing Kure Beach Pier

Cast a line into the Atlantic Ocean from the Kure Beach Pier. Built in 1923, it’s been a popular place for father-son bonding, sibling rivalry, and family portraits.

Kure Beach Pier is an iconic landmark on the North Carolina Coast. It stretches 711 feet, approximately the size of two football fields! You’ll add a mile to your pedometer if you complete three full-length walks.

Fishing is a family affair at the pier, where you’ll even see little kids hanging out late. See if you can catch a bluefish, flounder, or the rare King Mackerel.

Set sail on a historic boat tour

Our guests love spotting boats from the deck of the Perfect Kure Oceanview vacation rental. Bon Voyage on your own boat excursion to explore sights that have lined the waterfront for centuries.

Board the Fort Fisher Ferry to sail the Cape Fear River, where pirates used to attack ships. Look for familiar sights used in popular films and TV shows.

For more boating fun, browse local kayaking tours or charter your own boat for family reunions with Yacht Source.

Grab a Sweet Treat

You can have a sweet tooth at any age. Everyone will feel like a kid in a candy store when trying to decide which ice cream flavor to order. Going out for ice cream is a long-time tradition for Kure Beach visitors. And with the best local ice cream spot near the pier, you can enjoy your cone by the ocean.

Hershey’s Ice Cream and Tropical Sno are part of the same shack, offering two of the most popular sweet treats for beachgoers. Build your own snow cone with fruity flavors like cotton candy, blue raspberry, and piña colada. Splurge on a triple scoop of lip-licking flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough, caramel cheesecake Cookie Monster, and Superman!

Story Time by the Sea at Ocean Front Park & Pavilion

Oceanfront Park and Pavilion

Start your beach day with Storytime by the Sea. It’s a seasonal event at the Ocean Front Park & Pavilion, a kid’s playground next to the Kure Beach Pier.

The Atlantic Ocean is the perfect backdrop to captivating fairytales about princesses and kid’s crafts. It happens every Wednesday between June 15 and August 17, so reserve your Kure Beach vacation home during this time to attend.

It’s the perfect prelude to enjoying swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, and other water fun at Kure Beach.

Collect Shells at the Coquina Rock Outcrop

If the North Carolina Aquarium piques your interest, consider checking out the Coquina Rock Outcrop. Imagine putting the touch tank in a natural setting—that’s what you’ll get!

The Coquina Rock Outcrop is only accessible during low tide, so pack your patience. Your patience will be rewarded with a site more than 12,000 years old full of marine life and interesting rock formations. Kids will love sifting through the sand to find shells while you’re busy snapping photos of the mossy coastal rocks.

Save on tickets to the aquariums and find marine life, such as sea stars, conchs, and sea stars left behind at low tide.

Gaming at Hi-Tech Arcade

The kids don’t have to stay away from their video games for too long during your family trip to Kure Beach. Play your way through video game history at the Hi-Tech Arcade. It has everything from retro arcade gaming to ticket-winning machines.

This arcade will give your family hours of fun. Compete for the high score on skeeball. Shoot it out with your basketball jump shot. And cross your fingers that you will win a prize on the tricky crane machine.

Save your tickets till the end for a fun souvenir to remind you of your exciting Kure Beach vacation.

Drop your anchor at our Kure Beach vacation rentals to explore these Kure Beach hidden gems for families. Our spacious accommodations are excellent for large families, family reunions, and visitors staying with kids. We’re just a couple blocks away from the Kure Beach Pier! Be the first to call dibs on a room when you reserve your stay today.

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