Top 8 Things To Do in Carolina and Kure Beach


Carolina Beach and Kure Beach are located along the picturesque coast of North Carolina and serve as idyllic destinations for vacationers looking to soak in the sun, dive into history, and embrace the natural beauty of the Atlantic shoreline. From the serene to the adventurous, these neighboring beach towns offer a plethora of attractions that cater to every interest. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the top 10 things you can’t miss when visiting Carolina Beach and Kure Beach.

1. Carolina Beach State Park


Carolina Beach State Park is a crown jewel among North Carolina’s coastal attractions, offering visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and educational opportunities. Spread across a vast expanse of land near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, this state park is renowned for its distinct ecosystems, including maritime forests, dunes, and wetlands, which play host to a diverse array of flora and fauna.

One of the park’s most fascinating features is its population of Venus flytraps, a carnivorous plant species that is native only to this region. Nature enthusiasts are drawn to the park for the chance to witness these rare plants in their natural habitat, along with other carnivorous species like pitcher plants and sundews.

Carolina Beach State Park also boasts a network of hiking trails that cater to all skill levels, providing picturesque views and opportunities to observe wildlife. For those interested in aquatic activities, the park offers a marina with access to some of the best fishing spots in the area, as well as kayaking and paddleboarding through serene waters. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat in nature or an educational outing, Carolina Beach State Park delivers an unforgettable experience.

2. Kure Beach Pier


Kure Beach Pier, a venerable icon of the North Carolina coastline, offers a charming blend of history, leisure, and scenic beauty, making it a must-visit destination in the region. Established in the late 1920s, it stands as one of the oldest fishing piers on the Atlantic Coast, embodying a rich heritage that has been passed down through generations. Stretching majestically into the Atlantic, the pier provides an ideal vantage point for breathtaking ocean views, spectacular sunrises, and a tranquil spot for fishing enthusiasts to cast their lines in hopes of a bountiful catch.

Surrounding the pier, the vibrant community of Kure Beach comes to life with quaint shops, local eateries, and friendly faces, offering an authentic glimpse into coastal living. The pier’s atmosphere is one of relaxation and recreation, where visitors can enjoy the rhythmic sound of the waves, the gentle sea breeze, and the simple joy of strolling above the ocean’s surface. Whether you’re an avid fisherman, a family looking for a beautiful picnic spot, or a photographer in search of the perfect shot, Kure Beach Pier promises an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of seaside charm and the enduring spirit of coastal Carolina.

3. Fort Fisher State Historic Site


Fort Fisher State Historic Site stands as a testament to the pivotal role this area played during the Civil War, making it an essential visit for history enthusiasts and casual tourists alike. Located near Kure Beach, the site was the location of one of the conflict’s most significant and decisive battles. Fort Fisher protected the vital supply lines to the Confederate armies, and its fall in January 1865 marked a turning point in the Civil War, leading to the eventual defeat of the South.

Today, visitors to the Fort Fisher State Historic Site can immerse themselves in the rich history through well-preserved earthworks, a comprehensive visitor center, and engaging exhibits that detail the fort’s construction, its strategic importance, and the intense battles that took place here. Guided tours and educational programs offer deeper insights into the lives of the soldiers stationed at Fort Fisher and the broader implications of the fort’s fall on the outcome of the war.

The site also offers scenic views of the surrounding landscape and the Atlantic Ocean, making it not just a place of historical significance but also a beautiful spot to reflect on the past. Fort Fisher State Historic Site serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience and sacrifices of those who lived through one of America’s most tumultuous periods.

4. North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher


Found near the shores where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is a mesmerizing gateway to the underwater world. This captivating attraction is a highlight for visitors to Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, offering an immersive experience into the aquatic life that thrives both in local waters and around the globe. The aquarium’s well-designed exhibits transport visitors from the freshwater streams and rivers of North Carolina, teeming with bass and catfish, through to the exotic reefs of the Caribbean, alive with vibrant corals and colorful fish.

One of the aquarium’s standout features is its massive two-story ocean tank, which provides a window into the life of sharks, rays, and schooling fish, all coexisting in a simulated ocean environment. Interactive touch pools allow guests to get up close with sea stars and horseshoe crabs, making the experience both educational and engaging for all ages. The aquarium also plays a critical role in conservation, offering insights into the rehabilitation of sea turtles and the preservation of delicate marine ecosystems. Whether you’re a family looking for an educational outing or an ocean enthusiast eager to learn more about marine life, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is an unforgettable stop on your visit to Carolina and Kure Beaches.

5. Carolina Beach Boardwalk

Carolina Beach Boardwalk

The Carolina Beach Boardwalk, a vibrant centerpiece of this charming coastal town, stands as a beacon of summertime joy and year-round entertainment. Recognized as one of the nation’s best boardwalks, it encapsulates the essence of a traditional beach vacation with a modern twist. Stretching along the scenic shoreline, the boardwalk is lined with an eclectic mix of shops, eateries, and amusement options that cater to every taste and age group.

During the summer months, the boardwalk comes alive with the sound of music, laughter, and the nostalgic clinks of arcade games. Classic amusement park rides, including a Ferris wheel that offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, add to the timeless appeal. Weekly fireworks shows light up the night sky, creating a magical backdrop for evening strolls or beachside dinners.

The Carolina Beach Boardwalk also serves as the venue for numerous events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and seafood to holidays and local culture. Whether you’re indulging in a freshly made donut from a local vendor, dancing to live music, or simply soaking in the ocean views, the Carolina Beach Boardwalk delivers unforgettable moments and a genuine slice of Americana beach life.

6. Freeman Park

Freeman Park

Freeman Park, a serene stretch of coastline located at the northern tip of Carolina Beach, stands as a testament to the unspoiled beauty of North Carolina’s beaches. This unique area offers visitors a rare opportunity to drive directly on the beach, making it a favored spot for those looking to explore the coast in a more intimate and adventurous manner. The park’s expansive sandy shores provide the perfect backdrop for a variety of activities, from surf fishing and beachcombing to simply soaking up the sun amidst the soothing sounds of the Atlantic waves.


What sets Freeman Park apart is its allowance for overnight camping and beach bonfires, offering an unparalleled experience of falling asleep under the stars to the gentle lullaby of the ocean. It’s a haven for nature lovers and adventure-seekers alike, providing a slice of coastal wilderness that is increasingly rare in today’s developed beachfronts. With its blend of accessibility and natural charm, Freeman Park invites visitors to step away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse themselves in the peaceful rhythms of seaside living, making it an essential stop on any visit to Carolina Beach.

7. Carolina Beach Fishing Charter


Carolina Beach Fishing Charter offers an exhilarating adventure that stands out as a must-do activity for anyone visiting the Carolina Beach/Kure Beach area. These charters offer a unique opportunity to explore the rich waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River, providing both novice and experienced anglers with the chance to reel in a wide variety of fish species, including flounder, red drum, Spanish mackerel, and even the elusive marlin and tuna on deeper sea expeditions.

Guided by seasoned captains and crews who know these waters intimately, guests are equipped with top-notch fishing gear and bait, ensuring the best possible fishing experience. Beyond the thrill of the catch, these charters offer stunning views of the coastline and the chance to spot marine wildlife such as dolphins and sea turtles in their natural habitat.

Whether opting for a half-day inshore trip or a full-day offshore journey, Carolina Beach Fishing Charters cater to all levels of fishing expertise and interests, making them a perfect addition to any vacation itinerary. It’s not just a fishing trip; it’s an adventure that captures the essence of coastal living and provides lasting memories of the beautiful Carolina coast.

8. Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion

Kure Beach Pavillion - Photo by Town of Kure Beach

Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion stands as a scenic centerpiece in the heart of Kure Beach, providing a serene and inviting space for visitors and locals alike. This beautifully designed area offers a unique blend of natural beauty and community spirit, making it a must-visit destination on any trip to the area.

The park features ample amenities that cater to every age and interest. Its oceanfront swings offer a peaceful spot to soak in the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a perfect backdrop for relaxation or even a romantic moment. For families, the park includes a well-equipped play area that keeps children entertained with its safe and engaging structures.

The Pavilion, known for hosting a wide array of events ranging from concerts to markets, fosters a sense of community and provides entertainment for visitors throughout the year. Whether it’s a lively summer concert or a festive holiday market, the Pavilion is a hub of activity and joy.


Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion is not just a park; it’s a vibrant community space that encapsulates the charm and beauty of Kure Beach. Its blend of natural beauty, recreational facilities, and community-focused events make it an essential stop for anyone exploring the Carolina Beach/Kure Beach area.

In conclusion, the coastal havens of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach are brimming with a constellation of attractions that guarantee an enriching visit filled with enduring memories. From the tranquil allure of Carolina Beach State Park to the storied corridors of Fort Fisher and the buzzing allure of the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, each site interlaces a distinctive enchantment into the tapestry of your experience.

Whether it’s embarking on aqueous escapades, immersing yourself in the corridors of history, or seeking a serene seaside sanctuary, these coastal jewels deliver copiously. As you navigate the top must-see attractions, the essence and vibrancy of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach unveil themselves, ensuring your moments here are etched with significance.

Choosing to stay with us at Carolina Beach Realty elevates this experience, as you’re not simply finding a place to sleep, but a local touchstone that understands and amplifies the charm of Pleasure Island. 

With a diverse portfolio of rentals from oceanfront condos for breathtaking views to large beachfront homes perfect for family reunions, we cater to all desires and budgets while emphasizing the local spirit. We pride ourselves on supporting the surrounding community, ensuring that your vacation is anchored in the unique culture and warm hospitality that only Carolina Beach and Kure Beach can offer.

Pack your bags, embrace your spirit of discovery, and get ready to surrender to the unique and mesmerizing attractions of the beautiful North Carolina coast, all while enjoying the comfort and connection that our properties at Carolina Beach Realty provide.