Whether you love playing at the beach, hiking the maritime forest just outside town, or exploring the rich history of the Fort Fisher State Historic Site and Civil War Museum, Kure Beach has offerings perfect for all the members of your family. With a friendly family atmosphere and great ocean views, Kure Beach vacation rentals provide the perfect place to relax between your family’s coastal adventures. Choose a location close to the beach and the center of the town, and leave your car at your rental while you play in the water and explore the local shops and restaurants.

1. Dip Your Feet in the Ocean

Of course, the highlight of any Kure Beach vacation is the actual beach. Head over to one of the eight convenient beach accesses to wade along the shore or go for a long swim. Don’t forget your sand toys, just be sure to fill in all holes when you are done to help protect the area’s sea turtles.

2. Play on a Pirate Ship

Your littlest ones will enjoy spending an hour or two at the fabulous playground in Ocean Front Park. Featuring a toddler-sized pirate ship, this playground also has oversize sculptures of the area sea life for climbing and plenty of comfortable benches from which caregivers can enjoy the ocean view while keeping an eye on their little ones.

3. Connect With Aquatic Creatures at the Ft. Fisher Aquarium

From electric eels to albino alligators, this aquarium gives your children a chance to get up close and personal with aquatic wildlife. Check the schedule to see what animal encounters are available during your visit. You may be able to touch a stingray, talk to an alligator, or get cozy with a jellyfish. The zoo also lets you talk to divers working inside the actual an actual aquarium swimming with its residents and provides regular behind-the-scenes tours for families with young children.

4. Shop at the Beach Market

Browse fresh locally grown produce and hand-crafted souvenirs while enjoying the warm ocean breezes at the outdoor Kure Beach Market. Your kids will love bringing their carefully selected fruits and vegetables back to your vacation rental and helping to prepare them for a delicious lunch or dinner.

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5. Fish Off the Pier

Head over to the Kure Beach fishing pier to try to catch a big one. The pier rents all the fishing equipment you’ll need, and doesn’t require a license. While you’re there, tune your kids into the structure’s history; it’s the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic coast, dating back to 1923. The pier is also a great location to watch the water, and it has a gift shop, video arcade, and concession stand, making it a fun place for the whole family to spend the day.

6. Spend the Day on a Boat

Bring your kayaks to Kure Beach, and explore the diverse plants and animals living in the area’s salt marshes. Calm waters make it easy for the younger set to keep up. Keep an eye out for interesting shore birds including black-bellied plovers, short-billed dowitchers, and magnificent great blue herons. A vacation rental with a garage gives you somewhere to store your boats between excursions.

7. Learn About Sea Turtles

Bring your kids to an informative presentation by the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project to learn more about the threatened sea turtle species that use area beaches for their nesting grounds. These dedicated volunteers are happy to teach your kids how to help protect the turtles and show them video footage of the turtles nesting on the beach. Check with their office for dates and times for presentations in the Kure Beach area. If the presentation piques their interest, head up the coast to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital in Surf City to view live sea turtles and learn even more.

8. Ride a Jet Ski

Older kids will love the thrill of a jet ski ride. North End Jet Ski rentals offer equipment and lessons. Although drivers need to be age 16 and up, kids as young as four enjoy riding along with their parents or older siblings to cool off on a hot summer’s day.

9. Immerse Yourself in History at Fort Fisher

Step back to the time of the Civil War with a visit to the Fort Fisher historic site. Kids are sure to love checking out the Civil War era weapons and uniforms on display in the onsite museum and then roaming over the remnants of the original fortress still remaining at the site. Take your time wandering through the 15 outdoor exhibits on the self-guided tour trail. When you’re done, look for seashells at the adjacent Fort Fisher State Recreation Area.

10. Try Surfing

Sign your family up for a semi-private surf lesson from the Tony Silvagni Surf School and learn to catch some waves. The school offers equipment rentals making it easy to give the sport a try. If surfing seems a little too far out, the school also provides instruction and equipment rentals for stand-up paddleboarding.

11. Fly a Kite

The beach is a perfect place to try your hand at kite flying, and your kids will delight in catching the breeze with a colorful kite and watching it fly. Look in the local shops for easy-to-fly delta kites if you’re inexperienced, or check out a stunt kite if you’re ready to learn some tricks. Watch for other kite flyers, many practice their art on area beaches in preparation for the annual Cape Fear Kite Festival.

12. Take a Ferry Ride

The Fort Fisher Ferry travels regularly between Fort Fisher and Southport giving your family the opportunity to enjoy scenic views of the Cape Fear River from the water. The trip lasts about 30 minutes one way, just the right length of time for your younger children. The ferry has a top level for a better view and also offers an indoor air-conditioned seating area for comfort on hot days. The concession stand offers drinks and snacks to help keep your energy levels up during your adventure.

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