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WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

FREE Carolina Beach and Kure Beach summer activities

Posted May 27, 2015

Carolina Beaches photo coutesy of the Wilmington and Beaches CVB.

If you are heading to the beach this summer, check out this list of frugal and free activities at Carolina Beach and Kure Beach! Although we have done many of the fun activities on the list, there are a few I still want to try.

Please share any other frugal beach activities or events you know about.


Enjoy fireworks by the sea. The Carolina Beach Boardwalk comes alive Thursdays during the summer with live music (6:30 p.m.) and seaside fireworks (9:00 p.m.).

Hint: Check out the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, which has been recognized by the likes of CNN, FOX News and USA TODAY and recently celebrated a grand opening after undergoing a series of renovations.

Catch an outdoor lakeside movie. These free weekly movie showings take place Sundays during the summer at Carolina Beach Lake Park.

Hint: Movies start at 8:45 p.m. Arrive early and let the kids get some energy out running around the lake path or playing on the playground.

Get off the (beach) grid. Kure Beach’s Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is known for its six-mile stretch of undeveloped beach, perfect for swimming, sun bathing, fishing and birding.

Hint: The grove of live oak trees – twisted and bent by centuries of sea breezes – is the perfect spot for a shady picnic.

Take your pick of free outdoor concerts. Boogie in the Park takes place at Kure Beach’s Ocean Front Park on the first and third Sundays. And the Summer Concert Series at Fort Fisher takes place the second and fourth Fridays.

Hint: Bring along lawn chairs or blankets to get comfy.

Become one with nature at a state park. Carolina Beach State Park is home to a secluded camping area and more than six miles of hiking trails, and is also one of the only places in the world indigenous to the Venus flytrap.

Hint: Hike Sugarloaf Dune Trail where the scenery ranges from North Carolina pine forest to white sandy beach.

Explore a coquina rock formation. This less well-known area of Kure Beach is only visible during low tide. It’s host to a very rare and distinctive mossy hard rock outcropping, which is cemented together by seashells and coral with origins dating back as far as 80,000 years ago.

Hint: It’s a great place for shelling.

Go green. Ocean Front Park is Kure Beach’s largest public green space. It features a boardwalk, a “tot lot” for young children, swings, rain gardens and oceanfront benches.

Hint: The park hosts special events throughout the summer including Turtle Talks (Mondays) and Story Time by the Sea (Wednesdays).

Park it. Kure Beach’s Joe Eakes Park is home to a playground, basketball courts, tennis courts and bocce ball courts.

Hint: Try your hand at disc golf – it’s the only course in the area.

Beach it. There are few things better than a day at the beach, especially if it’s Carolina Beach.

Hint: With 20 lifeguard stands, it’s a great spot to go with kids. Many of the beach access locations are suitable for strollers and offer convenient parking, concessions and public restrooms with showers.

Travel back in time. Travel back to 1865 to Fort Fisher, the location of one of the most significant battles of the Civil War. Approximately 10 percent of the fort still stands today.

Hint: Kids will love the museum’s fiber optic battle map, complete with sound effects. The trail at the fort also features new educational panels.

Walk the plank…or pier. Carolina Beach and Kure Beach’s fishing piers are both family owned and operated. The Kure Beach Fishing Pier is one of the oldest piers on the Atlantic Coast.

Hint: Drag yourself out of bed to catch a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.

Thanks to the Wilmington and Beaches CVB for all the great activities.

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