We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

Fort Fisher State Historic Site

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd S, Kure Beach, NC 28449-3755
Phone Number: +1 910-458-5538
See all hours
Tue - Sat 09:00 - 17:00

At the dawn of the American Civil War, the Confederacy took control of land...

At the dawn of the American Civil War, the Confederacy took control of land in southeastern North Carolina near one of the two outlets to the Atlantic Ocean from the Cape Fear River. Fort Fisher was the largest earthwork fortification in the Confederacy and was constructed to protect this vital opening. Ships running the Federal blockade of the port of Wilmington, known as blockade runners, supplied necessary goods to Confederate armies inland. By late 1863, the supply line through Wilmington was the last remaining supply route open to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

The Federal Army and Navy attacked Fort Fisher December 24, 1864. After two days of fighting with little headway, Federal commanders concluded that the fort was too strong to assault and withdrew their forces. However, they returned for a second attempt on January 12, 1865. For two and one-half days, Federal ships bombarded the fort on both land and sea face. On the fifteenth, more than 3,300 Union infantry, including the 27th U.S. Colored Troops, assaulted the land face. After several hours of fierce hand-to-hand combat, Federal troops captured the fort that night.

The Confederate army evacuated their remaining forts in the Cape Fear area, and within weeks Union forces overran Wilmington. Once Wilmington fell, the supply line of the Confederacy was severed, and the Civil War was soon over.

This site has been declared national historic landmark. Along with a restored palisade fence, approximately ten percent of the fort still stands. Guided tours, outside panel makers and museum exhibits provide a historical point of reference. Shaded by gnarled live oaks, a scenic trail leads tourists from the visitor center past the gigantic earthworks and around to the rear of the fort. Visitors are invited to tour the remains of the fort's land face featuring an impressive reconstruction of a 32-pounder seacoast gun at Shepherd's Battery. Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located in Kure Beach on what was then known as Federal Point and today as Pleasure Island.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 352 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 188
  • 134
    Very good
  • 22
  • 3
  • 3
Very nice

Stopped here only a short time, but it was really interesting. Nice walking trail. The outdoor "exhibits" were a great idea. Quite informative.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 weeks ago
La Vergne, Tennessee
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

352 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 350: English reviews
La Vergne, Tennessee
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Stopped here only a short time, but it was really interesting. Nice walking trail. The outdoor "exhibits" were a great idea. Quite informative.

Thank smithsonfamily
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I haven't been here since I was a kid but I am glad I came back. They have a battle board with led lighting that will reenact the battle along with commentary. Very educational as well as plenty of artifacts to check out from the forts occupation. If you are a history buff or find artifacts to pleasant tot eh... More 

Thank mikepopejr
Alexandria Bay, New York
Level Contributor
169 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Still lots of history here and very well done. It's trying to be preserved but Mother Nature has taken quite a chunk of the fort away. Still can see the dunes that were built for protection and can feel the history. Short movie to check out before you start.

Thank SusanRVer
Level Contributor
108 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2016

Chatty guide who did repeat himself quite often, but the site is well maintained, well marked, gorgeous. No matter where you are from, the savagery of the Civil War and the stories of the sons and fathers touch your heart.

Thank Janice G
Mountain Top, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
75 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2016

The interior of the museum is not all that large but it is very interesting. Be sure to check out information on the blockade runner, Tommy Thompson. If you are a Civil War fan, you will find this most interesting. Once this area fell, the Confederate Army could no longer be resupplied and the Union blockade effectively ended the war.... More 

Thank Dave S
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2016 via mobile

Pretty nice trails and Fort Buchanan access. Very picturesque. Good walking/ bike trails and beach view.

Thank Edward B
Level Contributor
65 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2016

Well-documented historic site with interior and exterior exhibits. 10-minute film shown periodically throughout the day gives a good overview and background for touring through the displays. Really gives a good feel for what happened at Fort Fisher, which was the site of a very important battle in the Civil War.

Fairborn, Ohio
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016 via mobile

My husband and I were visiting the area for the first time and discovered this museum and historic site when we drove by while exploring the area. The site is informative and fascinating. I didn't know the significance of Fort Fisher before this visit, but really learned a great deal. There is a level path around the earthen mounds (which... More 

Thank rebeccawt
Huntersville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
59 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2016

We did this museum along with the aquarium. It is a small but very informative museum about the fort and the War between the States. Then you can leave the museum and go walk the old fort. My kids enjoyed running and seeing the fort. Bring water and bug spray. The bugs were not horrible but I could see them... More 

Thank Spydermn
Level Contributor
133 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2016

We visited on a day when there was a REALLY severe storm passing overhead and as the facility was having its roof replaced it was a bit of a wash out both inside and out. We are talking Niagara Falls levels of water here so a review is not fully possible other than to say that it looked like a... More 

Thank Mac W

Travellers who viewed Fort Fisher State Historic Site also viewed

Kure Beach, North Carolina Coast
Kure Beach, North Carolina Coast

Been to Fort Fisher State Historic Site? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Fort Fisher State Historic Site and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question
Jonesboro, Georgia
over a year ago

See all questions (2)

Questions? Get answers from Fort Fisher State Historic Site staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?