Visitors to North Carolina’s small wonder, Kure Beach, will be greeted with plenty of new things to see and do in 2015. This coastal beach community will soon be home to several exciting new exhibits, featuring everything from exotic birds to rare wartime memorabilia. The New Year will also welcome enhancements that will bring modern upgrades and exterior modifications to several nearby signature state attractions, including the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and Fort Fisher State Historic Site.
Whether they come from near or far, first time and veteran visitors alike will find plenty of new reasons to add Kure Beach to their 2015 itineraries.
· Recently named a top 20 aquarium in the U.S. by Trip Advisor, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher will welcome a brand new interactive lorikeet exhibit. Guests will enjoy hand feeding these tropical birds featuring dazzling color combinations, from brilliant blues and greens to exquisite reds, yellows and deep purples. While the details are still in progress, the temporary, seasonal exhibit opens in April 2015.
· For a limited time, Aquarium visitors also have the opportunity to join the sea turtle rehab tour, which offers a special look at the Aquarium’s efforts to care for more than 20 endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles injured in a mass cold-stunning event along the New England coast in November of 2014. Aquarium staff provides the turtles with daily care, special diets and close monitoring. Initially, short recuperation times were expected for the majority of the turtles, but a number of the animals will require more in-depth and longer medical care. As the animals recover, they will be released into the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream. For now, tours are available on January 3, 4 and 19.
- In 2015, Fort Fisher State Historic Site will add 19 interpretive exhibit panels that offer self-guided historical insight along the site’s ¼-mile long trail. The massive palisade fence that encircles the remains of the fort will also be replaced. Outside, visitors to the trail can experience interpretive exhibits, cannons and artifacts that represent what’s left of the South’s largest earthen fort and site of the largest land-sea battle of the Civil War. Inside, there will be new museum exhibits that include the legendary 12 Pounder Whitworth Gun, personal effects of Fort Commander Col. William Lamb, and the Medal of Honor earned by Private Bruce Anderson of the 142nd New York Volunteers. The 12 Pounder Whitworth Gun is on loan from the United States Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. and accompanies two other British-manufactured rifles, including the huge Armstrong Rifle and a very rare 18 Pounder Blakely Rifle, all of which are original to the fort and only on display for a limited time.
· History fans will also want to mark their calendars for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Fisher. On Jan. 17-18, Fort Fisher State Historic Site will host a living history program that will feature reenactments of the January 1865 Union attacks on Fort Fisher, with as many as 500 reenactors representing Union and Confederate soldiers, sailors and Marines. Participants will set up displays of Civil War camp life and talk about the life of the Confederate infantry and artillery troops during the January 1865 campaign. Other event highlights will include Civil War authors, artillery and infantry demonstrations, and cannon and small arms firings.
· Visitors to Kure Beach’s most celebrated musical events – the Pleasure Island Seafood Blues & Jazz Festival and the free summer concert series, will soon see a newly overhauled Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area. The site is replacing the long-standing military-style housing for retired military personnel with modern coastal cottages as part of an $11-million investment that represents the largest capital improvement effort at the recreation area to date.
· Travelers can also enjoy updates to Palm Air Realty’s private cottages in 2015, which are nestled around a swimming pool and just a short distance to the ocean, fishing pier and restaurants. The office will move to the corner of L Avenue and N. Fort Fisher Blvd.
About Kure Beach
Kure Beach, North Carolina’s small wonder, offers a naturally beautiful setting in a peaceful, small-town atmosphere. The coastal community, with its relaxed pace, lets visitors reconnect while they enjoy nature unspoiled and nearby signature state attractions, including the Fort Fisher State Historic Site and the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Kure Beach visitors can escape the busy pace of life and embrace the curiosity and innocence of childhood in this pure and natural playground. For more information, go to www.VisitKureBeachNC.com or call (800) 631-1460. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KureBeachNC and Twitter, @KureBeachNC.