One of the perfect places for families is the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, listed by the Travel Channel as one of the 20 best aquariums in the country.
Carolina & Kure Beach
Joseph Winner, a foresighted beachfront property owner, established the town of Carolina Beach on the northern end of the island in 1857. Some years later, a Dane named Hans Anderson Kure founded Kure Beach a few miles further south. Originally, vacationers came over to the island by boat and then were conveyed to the beach by a small steam railroad. In 1929, Snow’s Cut was dredged to make it part of the Intracoastal Waterway and was connected to the mainland by a small swing bridge.
Carolina Beach evolved into the commercial center of the island, a tourism destination and a residential community. In 2002, the 10-story oceanfront Courtyard by Marriott resort became the town’s first franchise hotel situated at the south end of the Boardwalk. In 2016 a 100-room, 87.5-foot-tall Hampton Inn and Suites opened at the opposite end. Together with extensive renovation of the Boardwalk itself and significant efforts by shop owners, the beachfront and central business district are now very inviting.
Kure Beach has always been more of a residential community that has seen extensive construction of upscale homes and condos in recent years. While shunning efforts to bring in more businesses, this pleasant community sports an attractive boardwalk and a popular fishing pier.