by Kristen Bagwell
Our family loves to visit the beaches of NC and SC, and ever since I-40 was extended all the way through, it's been a breeze to get there. Some days are just too hot, though, or rainy, etc etc, so today we're bringing you a new day trip spot: The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher.
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, located in Kure Beach, NC is at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. In addition to the indoor activities and exhibits, visitors can enjoy “The Waters of the Cape Fear”, as they take a journey down the Cape Fear River – from freshwater streams and swamps, to coastline habitats, reefs and the open ocean.
- Creature feature 11:30a - meet sea creatures up close and personal! Rays, crabs, turtles, and more.
- Ocean Odyssey 1:30pm - Discover fascinating facts about aquarium topics
- Animal feedings 11am, 3pm - click here for the daily schedule
- Animal encounters 12:30pm - meet reptiles, amphibians, and more
- Coastal adventure 3:30 - guided visit through the aquarium's "back yard"
From Raleigh, you can get to the aquarium in about two and a half hours, and once you're there, the usual exploration takes between 2 and 3 hours. If you are planning to come in April or May, be aware you may share your experience with some large school groups, who generally visit the aquarium between 10am - 2pm during those months (weekdays). There is a snack bar on-site called Shark Bites , along with a gift shop. The snack bar is open daily from March through September and on weekends during October and November. If you miss out on the snack bar don't worry; there are tons of great restaurants and snack spots on the way to the aquarium.
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is open daily from 9am to 5pm, and is located on US 421 approximately 15 miles south of Wilmington, just beyond Kure Beach. If you use a GPS, input this address: 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, NC 28449.
Admission prices are as follows. To purchase tickets for your aquarium visit, click here.
- Adults: Ages 13-61: $8
- Seniors: Ages 62+: $7
- Children: Ages 3-12: $6
- Ages 2 and younger and North Carolina Aquarium Society Members: FREE
- Discounts for active duty and retired military
There are 3 other NC Aquarium locations: Pine Knoll Shores, Jennette's Pier, and Roanoke Island. We hope you choose to visit one at some point - it's a blast for kids and parents too!