A resort community on a strip of sand locals know as Pleasure Island, Kure Beach is home to Fort Fisher State Historic Site, a 712-foot fishing pier, and one of North Carolina's three aquariums. At the southern end of the beach, twisted live oaks still grow behind the dunes. The community has miles of beaches; public access points are marked by orange-and-blue signs. A stroll down the old-fashioned Carolina Beach boardwalk,
lighted at night, is fun for the family or a romantic cap to an evening.