Military history buffs can explore decades of local and national artifacts that range from medals to actual tanks and helicopters with a visit to the North Carolina Military History Museum. Equipped with both indoor and outdoor exhibits, this unique coastal museum showcases the region’s and the country’s role in the last major military conflicts in a fascinating new light.

The museum is located in the coastal town of Kure Beach along the aptly named Air Force Way, and is therefore easy to reach for visitors staying throughout the coastline, from the Kure Beach oceanfront hotels to the heart of downtown Wilmington. Visitors can marvel at a wealth of both indoor and outdoor exhibits, which include fully intact military tanks and helicopters in an array of sizes, old uniforms, helmets, and protective gear, ancient photographs and memorabilia, and even scale models of historic aircraft. The museum curator, Brad Holland, is happy to answer questions on any of the unique pieces, and there’s even a gift shop on-site to pick up military-themed souvenirs. With all branches of service represented within the thorough collection, both local and visiting military history fans alike will be impressed with the wealth of artifacts at this fascinating museum.

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