Autumn is nearly here and I've never wanted a sunburn to stick around so badly. Google Maps says Kure Beach is a four-hour drive from Charlotte, but in reality it's a little over three-and-a-half if you leave on Friday at lunchtime. As far south in North Carolina as you can go on Highway 421 with public beach access before hitting the historic grounds of Fort Fisher or Zeke's Island Coastal Reserve, it's perfect for a super relaxing weekend trip!
The biggest lesson learned about this place is that rocks can bite just like bugs. Yowza! A short walk into the surf at mid-tide and I stumbled, literally, onto big, rough rocks. They'll tear your feet up, so beware. This beach may be more scenic and less popular than Carolina Beach (which is 20 minutes north), but if your priority is to not come out of the water bruised and bloody, you're going to want to avoid this particular spot. But surfing seems to be alright from the number of surfers out there.