Best Things to Do in Oak Island, North Carolina (NC): For those seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, a non-stop, action-packed vacation might not be the ideal choice. Instead, if you yearn for a more laid-back and tranquil escape, look no further than Oak Island, North Carolina, and the serene southernmost coast of the state known as the Brunswick Islands. This hidden gem promises an oasis of relaxation and leisure amidst the natural beauty of the region.
Oak Island is strategically located approximately an hour’s drive to the south of Wilmington and an hour to the north of the vibrant Myrtle Beach. Nestled between these two bustling destinations, Oak Island offers a distinct experience that’s far removed from the frenetic energy of its neighbors. Here, you’ll discover a haven where time seems to slow down, and the worries of the world melt away. In this article, we will explore 36 wonderful things to do in Oak Island, ranging from outdoor adventures to relaxing spa experiences.
Table of Contents
Best Attractions in Oak Island, North Carolina (NC)
One of the key draws of Oak Island is its unwavering commitment to providing family-friendly adventures that create cherished memories. Imagine evenings spent gathered around a crackling fire pit, roasting marshmallows for that perfect s’more. The salt-tinged breeze rustles the palm fronds overhead as you share stories and laughter with your loved ones. This is the essence of Oak Island—a place where the bonds of family are strengthened, and the simple pleasures of life are celebrated.
For those seeking a touch of entertainment, Oak Island offers a delightful experience at the park. Picture yourself lounging on a beach blanket, the sun gently warming your skin, while a live beach band serenades you with the soothing sounds of the ocean as the backdrop. The park becomes a hub of joy and relaxation, where you can tap your toes to the rhythm of the music or simply lose yourself in the endless expanse of the sea.
Oak Island understands that vacations should be tailored to individual preferences. It provides a canvas for you and your group to paint your own perfect getaway. Whether you’re an adventurous soul looking to explore every nook and cranny of the island’s natural beauty or someone who prefers the art of doing nothing more than listening to the waves caress the shore, Oak Island accommodates it all.
The island’s pristine beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, inviting you to take long, leisurely strolls along the shoreline. Sea birds glide gracefully overhead, and dolphins occasionally breach the surface of the glistening waters, offering an impromptu show. It’s a place where you can unwind, collect seashells, build sandcastles, and let the rhythm of the tides wash away your cares.
If you’re an angler at heart, Oak Island provides abundant opportunities for fishing. Whether you’re casting your line from the pier, chartering a boat for deep-sea excursions, or simply trying your luck from the shoreline, the waters here teem with an array of fish waiting to be caught. There’s a sense of anticipation and excitement as you wait for a tug on your line, signaling a potential catch of the day.
For those with a penchant for exploration, Oak Island beckons you to discover its hidden treasures. Explore the maritime forests, marshlands, and pristine creeks that crisscross the island. Kayak through tranquil waterways, keeping an eye out for egrets and herons, or embark on a paddleboarding adventure to connect with nature on a more intimate level.
Oak Island’s quaint shops and local eateries offer a taste of coastal culture and cuisine. Savor fresh seafood caught that very day, indulge in delectable desserts, and peruse charming boutiques for unique souvenirs. The island’s welcoming atmosphere extends to its local residents, who are always eager to share their love for the area and provide recommendations for the best experiences.
As the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in a palette of vibrant hues, Oak Island reveals its most magical side. The tranquil evenings invite you to stargaze on the beach, where the absence of city lights allows you to witness the celestial wonders above in all their glory.
So, Oak Island, North Carolina, and the Brunswick Islands present a haven of tranquility and family-friendly adventures. It’s a place where you can choose to immerse yourself in a world of leisure, connect with loved ones, and relish the simple pleasures of life. Whether you decide to embark on exciting adventures or simply unwind by the shore, Oak Island’s gentle charm and natural beauty offer the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable family getaway.
1. Oak Island Beaches
Oak Island boasts miles of pristine sandy beaches, where you can unwind, soak up the sun, or take a leisurely stroll along the shore. The gentle waves of the Atlantic Ocean make it a perfect spot for swimming and beachcombing.
2. Oak Island Lighthouse
Visit the iconic Oak Island Lighthouse, a symbol of the town, and climb its 131 steps to enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline and surrounding islands.
3. Ocean Crest Pier
For the angler in you, Ocean Crest Pier offers a great opportunity to fish for a variety of species or simply enjoy the serene views.
4. Environmental Overlook Trail
Hikers and nature enthusiasts will love the Environmental Overlook Trail, a serene path that winds through the coastal marshes, offering glimpses of indigenous wildlife.
5. Oak Island Pier
Another fantastic fishing spot, Oak Island Pier is equipped with everything you need for a successful day of angling.
6. The Point
The Point is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Intracoastal Waterway, making it a popular spot for fishing, birdwatching, and picnicking.
7. The Hoarders
For those seeking unique finds, explore The Hoarders, a treasure trove of antiques, collectibles, and vintage items.
8. Oak Island Farmer’s Market
Discover fresh, local produce and artisanal goods at the Oak Island Farmer’s Market, open seasonally.
9. Fort Caswell
History buffs will enjoy visiting Fort Caswell, a historic military fort with guided tours that delve into its rich past.
10. Solar Brewing Company
Sample local craft beers and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere at Solar Brewing Company, a great place to unwind after a day of exploration.
11. Haag and Sons Seafood
Savor delicious seafood at Haag and Sons Seafood, a popular restaurant known for its fresh catches and waterfront dining.
12. Oki Beachin Rides
Explore the island on golf carts from Oki Beachin Rides, a fun and convenient way to see the sights.
13. Cool Stuff
Browse Cool Stuff, a unique boutique store with an eclectic collection of gifts, jewelry, and beach-themed items.
14. Beachin’ Day Spa
Indulge in relaxation at Beachin’ Day Spa, where you can enjoy rejuvenating massages and soothing spa treatments.
15. The Grape & Ale
Wine and beer enthusiasts will appreciate The Grape & Ale, a shop offering a diverse selection of fine wines and craft beers.
16. Island Healing Chiropractic Center
If you’re in need of a little self-care, visit the Island Healing Chiropractic Center for chiropractic services and wellness treatments.
17. High Tide Helicopters
Get a bird’s-eye view of Oak Island with High Tide Helicopters, offering scenic helicopter tours of the coastline.
18. Oak Island Jungle Golf
Challenge your friends and family to a round of mini-golf at Oak Island Jungle Golf, a jungle-themed course that’s perfect for all ages.
19. Long Beach Paddle Company
Paddleboard or kayak through the serene waterways with Long Beach Paddle Company, offering rentals and guided tours.
20. Sea Dog Cart Rentals
Explore the island in style with Sea Dog Cart Rentals, where you can rent golf carts and explore Oak Island’s charming neighborhoods.
21. Pescado Y Amor
Satisfy your cravings with delicious Mexican cuisine at Pescado Y Amor, a local favorite for tasty dishes and refreshing margaritas.
22. Color me Carolina
Unleash your creative side at Color me Carolina, a pottery studio where you can paint your own unique ceramics.
23. Mermaid Cove
Shop for coastal-inspired gifts and home decor at Mermaid Cove, a charming boutique filled with nautical treasures.
24. Ageless Yoga Oak Island
Relieve stress and enhance your flexibility with yoga classes at Ageless Yoga Oak Island, suitable for all skill levels.
25. Mr. Beach Rentals
Rent beach equipment and outdoor gear from Mr. Beach Rentals, making your beach experience even more enjoyable.
26. Southport Gallery
Discover local art and crafts at Southport Gallery, showcasing the talents of artists in the Oak Island area.
27. A Plus Royal Cab
For convenient transportation around the island, consider using A Plus Royal Cab’s taxi services.
28. Art Time
Indulge your artistic side at Art Time, where you can create your own masterpieces through painting classes.
29. Oak Island Fishing Charters
Book a fishing charter with Oak Island Fishing Charters and experience the thrill of deep-sea fishing.
30. Suncoast Aviation Biplane Rides
Take to the skies with Suncoast Aviation Biplane Rides and enjoy a unique aerial perspective of the coastal beauty.
31. Fugitive Fishing Charters
Embark on a memorable fishing excursion with Fugitive Fishing Charters, known for their experienced captains and great catches.
32. Intercoastal Carts LLC
Rent a golf cart from Intercoastal Carts LLC to explore the island’s scenic spots at your own pace.
33. ISLAND DAN’S
Shop for beachwear, souvenirs, and coastal-themed apparel at ISLAND DAN’S.
34. Carolina Water Sports
Experience the thrill of water sports with Carolina Water Sports, offering jet ski and boat rentals.
35. The Oak Island Experience
Enjoy guided eco-tours and outdoor adventures with The Oak Island Experience, perfect for nature enthusiasts.
36. Never Ever Boards
Try stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking with Never Ever Boards, providing rentals and lessons for all skill levels.
Oak Island, with its beautiful beaches, rich history, and a wide range of activities and attractions, promises an unforgettable vacation for visitors. Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer, a history buff, or simply seeking relaxation, Oak Island has something for everyone. So, pack your bags, plan your trip, and get ready to experience the charm of this coastal paradise.
F.A.Q on Things to Do in Oak Island
Is Oak Island NC worth visiting?
Oak Island is great for year-round travel, but for the best weather, go in early or late summer.
Which side of Oak Island is best?
Oak Island’s West Beach, from Middleton Road to the western tip, offers stunning sunset views and is a popular spot for beach weddings and family vacations.
Is Oak Island NC expensive?
Oak Island, North Carolina has a cost of living that’s 1% below the national average. This can vary depending on factors like your job, local salaries, and the housing market.
Is Oak Island kid friendly?
If you want to explore nature or have exciting adventures with your kids, Oak Island and its nearby places are perfect for a fun vacation!
Is Oak Island NC crowded?
Oak Island has 8 miles of sandy beaches that are not as crowded as Myrtle Beach, so you’ll have lots of space for building sandcastles.
What is the crime rate in Oak Island?
In Oak Island, there were 14 violent crimes and 116 property crimes last year. This means there were 1.58 violent crimes for every 1,000 residents and 13.07 property crimes for every 1,000 residents.
Why is Oak Island famous?
The closest town to the island is Western Shore, and the nearest village is Chester. People are interested in the island because they think there might be hidden treasure or old things there, so they try to explore it.