Kure Beach is one of the many barrier islands situated between the Atlantic Ocean and back bays of North Carolina. This charming town caters to tourists seeking a getaway from the bustle of daily life. In addition to the beach, there are plenty of other attractions and activities ranging from museums and parks to kayaking trips and surfing lessons. Opt for a Kure Beach vacation rental to be within a short distance from all of these fun activities.

1. See the Fish

The North Carolina Aquarium features not only fish, but birds, reptiles, and amphibians as well. One exhibit has an albino alligator, Luna, and another has a rescued bald eagle. These fish come from all over the world from the tropics to freshwater streams. The touch pool has starfish and crabs, and it’s a perfect way for kids to get excited about nature. Take the family on an aquarium canoeing tour where you can see some of the wildlife in their natural habitats.

2. Play at the Hi-Tech Arcade

Stop at Hi-Tech Arcade whether you’re escaping the heat outside or are just in the mood for some gaming. This arcade features some of the classic standbys that even adults remember, such as Frog Jump, as well as some newer ones. Try your hand at skeeball or car racing, and then challenge your kids to some arcade basketball.

3. Tour Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher was an important Civil War installation as part of the Confederate supply line, and its defeat by the Union army helped to bring the war to a close. You can teach your kids about history by visiting the fort’s exhibits. For instance, Shepherd’s Battery are the cannon that lie along the battlements, waiting for unsuspecting ships. In fact, these cannons can and do fire during special occasions. There is also a fiber-optic battle map commemorating the decisive battle called the Battle Acre monument as well as a walking trail, visitor center, and overlooks to see.

4. Visit the North Carolina Military History Museum

While getting into history, stop by the North Carolina Military History Museum that features exhibits from a variety of wars. There are tanks from World War II, helicopters from the Vietnam War, and military artifacts that made their way across different continents throughout the decades.

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5. Explore a Battleship

Climb aboard a real World War II-era battleship at Battleship North Carolina, a floating museum. This battleship, actually named for the state in which she now resides, was in the Pacific Ocean during the war. There’s a movie that takes you through the ship’s history and nine levels to climb and explore.

6. Visit North Carolina Maritime Museum

The North Carolina Maritime Museum celebrates all things water from surfing to shipwrecks. You can look at North Carolina surfing through the ages, or visit the eco-educational platform where kids can learn to value nature. There’s also a diving exhibit where experts, such as divers and underwater archaeologists, talk about the mysteries of the deep.

7. Go Kayaking

Hop onboard Kayak Carolina, literally, and explore the surrounding wetlands. Kayak Carolina features a range of tours such as the Zeke’s Island Family Adventure tour. You and the family kayak to Zeke’s Island and learn about the wildlife of the area. The kids learn valuable lessons in handling and caring for the boats. The Adventure Kayak Company gives guided tours as well, catering to everybody from beginners to experts.

8. Learn to Surf

Enroll in WB Surf Camp where you can learn to ride the waves like the professionals you saw at the Maritime Museum. Take an afternoon to learn the basics of the craft or opt for a more intense week-long camp. Tony Sullivan Surf School has private surfing lessons as well as surf camps. Its equipment rentals give you everything you need for your adventure.

9. Go Paddle Boarding

If you’re more of a paddle board sort of person, both WB Surf Camp and Tony Sullivan Surf School offer lessons and rentals. Carolina Beach State Park has paddle board tours as well. Its intro sessions provide beginner classes before taking you out to Shark Tooth Island and Lower Cape Fear. Keep your eyes out for dolphins and interesting birds.

10. Learn to Sail

If you like exploring the water from a distance, charter a sail boat. Southport NC Sailing Charters offers a relaxing trip on the S/V Kelly Allen sloop. You can get more involved and take sailing lessons at Southport Paddle and Sail, which instructs both stand-up paddle boarding and boat sailing.

11. Walk a Haunted Trail

One of the most thrilling things to do for both children and adults is to go on a ghost walk. The Old South Tour Company helps you learn a little history by delving into the local ghost stories.

12. Catch a Show

Escape the heat at the Surf Cinema, a small theater with a lot of punch. It boasts an IMAX screen and Real D 3D shows to heighten your experience. Grab some snacks from the concession stand and settle down for some entertainment.

13. Visit an Old Jail

If you haven’t had your fill of history, tour the Old Brunswick County Jail Museum and pretend to lock your kids inside. You can opt for a self-guided tour or a docent-guided tour. The 1904-built building has two cells and a runabout complete with historic-era furnishings. However, what the jail is really known for is appearing in the movie Crimes of the Heart starring Sissy Spacek.

14. Go Birding

Kure Beach and the surrounding area is filled with many animal-related attractions such as birding. The wetland habitat and marshes host dozens of species of birds like the rare bald eagle. Carolina Beach In-Shore Adventures guides you to the best birding areas where you can view the fowls up close.

15. Go Clamming

Catch your dinner the hard way by going clamming. Carolina Beach Inshore Adventures offers a range of excursions, one of which is the art of finding clams in the sand bars at low tide. Bring your swimsuits, and prepare to get wet, muddy, and have a ton of fun.

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