I spent what seemed like forever finding the perfect location for a quick visit to the North Carolina shore with my sister and her family. I liked the idea of Okracoke and the outer banks very much, but a five hour drive with her twin two year olds was just too much.
Seeking a shorter drive, I started at Wrightsville Beach and worked my way south. I stumbled upon the perfect little beach town: Kure Beach, North Carolina. Kure is small and will stay that way; surrounded by state parks and ocean, there’s nowhere for developers to go.
Carolina Beach, the next town over, has a traditional ‘boardwalk’ with carnival rides and a renowned independent donut store, but we mostly stuck with the kid friendly beach in front of our condo. There was even a sea turtle nest roped off directly in front of our condo! Just a pile of sand but still kinda cool to know it was there.We made simple meals (sandwiches, fruit, a frozen pizza) and had a great time swimming and just hanging out with our family. I am sure that my older niece and nephew will never forget walking the beach at night with flashlights, finding shells and seeing sand crabs run across the sand.
Before we left, we took in the Kure Beach Aquarium. Doable in an hour or two, the striking thing about it was how well-designed the exhibits are. Kids (or kids at heart) can really get an up-close and personal view of the animals. This is also the site of a Civil War battle, and I wish we’d allowed more time to explore. If we go again someday, we’ll rent some board games and make it a more relaxed week.
Wanna go? I can’t speak highly enough of www.palmaircottages.com Our rental condo was clean and comfortable and the folks were oh-so-friendly. This region has an unusual quirk for rental properties, though; although there are pillows and quilts, sheets are NOT included but can be provided for an extra fee. We brought our own from home and it was no big deal, but something consider when planning your trip.Most rental companies will only rent in one week increments, unless it is less than 14 days before your trip and they happen to have a vacancy. Also consider bringing a canopy tent for shade- There are rental places in Carolina Beach that have them as well.