Family memories are made on tall ocean piers where kids reel in their first big catches. You can kiteboard over the big blue sea or scuba dive down to find some of the Cape Fear Coast's dozens of shipwrecks. Wildlife excursions set off from various nature trails, birding sites, and miles of undeveloped beach. Shorebirds and loggerhead sea turtles inhabit the remote reserve named Zeke's Island. At Fort Fisher, the Confederacy's largest earthen fort, you can track Kure Beach's history. Amenities: food and drink, lifeguards, parking. Best for: sunrise, sunset, surfing, swimming, windsurfing.