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Navigating the Carolinas: Fort Fisher, Kure Beach

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jon LaDue
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Small cottages, big memories. 

This simple but playful phrase is posted on one of the hotel signs as you enter Kure Beach, N.C. and seems to ring true to the city's subtle nature. 

Kure Beach is probably, to some, an afterthought being that it is about 15 miles south of the more well known and commercialized Wilmington. 

The drive to Kure Beach is just under three hours, which is far enough to get away from everyday life but close enough to make it a reasonable get away for an extended weekend or short vacation. 

Kure Beach boasts a smalltown atmosphere with accommodations for the entire family. The main strip is mostly lined with hotels and condos, but has beach shops and restaurants as well. 

The short drive to Wilmington provides access to a mall, movie theater, numerous restaurants and tourist attractions such as the U.S.S. North Carolina and Coast Guard Museum. 

A big advantage, as military members, is that Kure Beach is also home to Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area. Fort Fisher AFRA is operated by the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Force Support Squadron and offers well-priced accommodations with great location near many different attractions. This includes endless miles of beaches, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, the Fort Fisher Civil War Museum and Fort Fisher State Recreation Area just down the road. 

Fort Fisher AFRA has more than 20 cottages, 80 hotel rooms and camping and RV sites available. The grounds also boast an outdoor pool, beach bar and grill and recreation center.
In the heart of Kure Beach is a souvenir, bait, and ice cream shop that connects to the town's pier. This is a place where visitors can fish or simply gaze into the ocean.
Kure Beach is just small enough to avoid a crowded vacation but just big enough to relax comfortably. As the hotel sign entering the city suggests, vacationing in a small town doesn't mean you can't have great memories and lots of fun. 

Accommodations at Fort Fisher AFRA are open to all military and Department of Defense identification card holders. For more information, visit