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HomeRoad Trip12 Thrilling Issues to Do in Ocean Isle Seashore, North Carolina

12 Thrilling Issues to Do in Ocean Isle Seashore, North Carolina

Ocean Isle Seashore is an attention-grabbing place. To the north, Wilmington is busting on the seams, with over 100,000 residents clamoring for breweries, eating places, arts, and leisure within the historic port metropolis. To the south, the Grand Strand stretches alongside 60 miles of pristine South Carolina shoreline crammed with vacationer sights, flashing neon lights, and purchasing facilities. However within the center, Brunswick County has stubbornly resisted the event of the trendy seashore city.

READ MORE: 17 Craft Breweries You Have to Go to in Wilmington, NC

I had deliberate to traverse Brunswick County in a single day at first of my one-month street journey throughout North Carolina. Calabash had already floor these whirlwind plans to a halt after I stumbled upon the story behind calabash-style seafood. The following day, I rolled into Ocean Isle Seashore, intent on spending simply two hours exploring the seashore city.

However each place I visited, somebody advisable I spend two extra hours earlier than I left. The man behind the counter on the Ocean Isle Seashore Pier instructed me to get dinner at Jinks Creek and dessert at Ocean Isle Creamery. The woman on the OIB Surf & Java espresso store instructed me in regards to the Museum of Coastal Carolina and advised breakfast at Amelia’s Backstreet Grille.

Earlier than I knew it, my two-hour deliberate cease in Ocean Isle Seashore had grow to be a twenty-four go to – and I couldn’t have been happier.

No. 1

OIB Surf & Java

Begin the day with a go to to the OIB Surf & Java – a surf retail retailer and occasional store. Espresso beans are floor contemporary for each espresso served. Tables and chairs are unfold all through the store, intermingling with clothes racks and surf gear. Arrive early to assert one of many supremely comfy armchairs.

6278 Seashore Drive SW Suite 5, Ocean Isle Seashore, NC | 910-575-6277 |

No. 2

Ocean Isle Seashore Pier

The 968-foot wood pier on Ocean Isle Seashore was inbuilt 1957 by Odell and Virginia Williamson. It’s the one pier on the barrier island and the de facto coronary heart of the city close to City Heart Park.

Ocean Isle Seashore Pier is open for fishing with an authorized NC license. The bait and sort out store has an amazing variety of provides, from fishing rods to bait, simply in case you forgot something at house. For those who’ve ever needed to discover ways to fish, the pier gives a two-hour “Fishing 101” course that features tools, bait, and instruction.

Sightseers can take pleasure in a stroll alongside the wood pier for just some {dollars}. The pier stretches far past the crashing waves, leaving guests on the finish wrapped within the silence of the ocean. It’s the proper place from dawn till sundown to take pleasure in scenic views of the ocean, land, and wildlife.

Inside, take the children to the arcade for an hour or two of enjoyable. Browse the small present store for souvenirs. Get a snack on the grill. And it’s the proper place to cover throughout a type of pesky summer time thunderstorms.

1 West First Road, Ocean Isle Seashore, NC | 910-579-3095 |

Professional Journey Tip The Ocean Isle Seashore Pier is a good place to go to the seashore. Nevertheless, by no means get into the water inside 150-feet of a fishing pier. You don’t need to get tangled in fishing traces and lures!

No. 3

Ocean Isle Seashore Nature Path

The Ocean Isle Seashore Nature Path was essentially the most shocking factor I found on the barrier island – and I discovered it fully by chance.

The character path is a collection of wood boardwalks winding alongside the north fringe of the island overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s a peaceable escape on an already peaceable island. An ideal place to look at the sundown, take pleasure in a lazy afternoon, or simply stretch your legs.

The path stretches from Winston-Salem Road to Charlotte Road. There isn’t a official parking. Though streets have been laid, dozens of empty tons shockingly nonetheless cowl the island, giving folks a spot to park their automobiles alongside the abandoned streets. However this in all probability received’t final without end.

Ultimately, the one method to attain this lovely nature path will likely be strolling out of your rental property on the island.

359 East 2nd Road, Ocean Isle Seashore, NC

No. 4

Museum of Coastal Carolina

World Warfare II veteran Stuart Ingram envisioned sharing data together with his neighborhood. After many years of planning, his dream turned a actuality in 1991 with the opening of The Museum of Coastal Carolina.

The museum includes a compendium of information about coastal wildlife, historical past, and nature. It’s the place to be taught the identify of a fish, see the consequences of seashore erosion, and be taught in regards to the native fishing villages. Dip your palms into the contact tank, browse the collections of shark enamel and jawbones, and admire the dioramas.

The Ocean Reef Gallery is essentially the most attention-grabbing exhibit on the museum. A footbridge crosses by means of a life-size diorama of the ocean flooring. Blue painted partitions and dim lights create an exhilarating ambiance. Life-size sharks, turtles, and whales dangle from the ceiling on invisible strings. You received’t need to attempt onerous to think about your self swimming within the ocean on this fascinating exhibit.

In 2002, Ingram expanded his imaginative and prescient by opening Ingram Planetarium in close by Sundown Seashore. Take a stroll by means of the Paul Dennis Science Corridor to see present reveals, catch a present on the planetarium theater, or return later for laser music exhibits.

21 East 2nd Road, Ocean Isle Seashore, NC | 910-579-1016 |

No. 5

River Nation Mini Golf

In a county crammed with award-winning golf programs, it’s good to have a miniature golf course to putt round with the household. River Nation Mini Golf is centrally situated between City Heart Park and the fishing pier. Putt round water obstacles, quirky traps, and rating that gap in a single for bragging rights the remainder of the day.

1 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Seashore, NC | 910-579-2030 |

No. 6

The Swamp Park

The Swamp Park is nothing just like the identify suggests – it’s an outside journey park with zip traces, ropes programs, ATV trails, and a swamp boat eco-tour. Okay, so there’s a swamp.

The Cypress Cover Zipline Tour is a 2-hour journey alongside 1.25-miles of cables within the maritime forest. Adrenaline junkies will benefit from the Coastal Chaos Zipline Tour. The three-cable circuit solely takes 45 minutes to finish since you’ll go quick – actually quick.

The Outside Problem Course includes a steady belay system – as soon as your harness is safely secured, you by no means need to unhook to face the following problem. The course options 52 obstacles ranging in problem from straightforward to professional, making it a enjoyable expertise for any age.

For those who really feel like getting muddy – and you’ve got a legitimate driver’s license – go for a Guided ATV Tour. The 1.5-hour tour winds by means of the muddy swamps of the maritime forest.

Searching for a extra peaceable journey? The one-hour Shallotte River Tour is a peaceable eco-tour on the river bordering the park’s property. The flat backside boat has a number of comfortable seats and contains narration of the river’s historical past, nature, and wildlife.

5550 Watts Street SW, Ocean Isle Seashore, NC | 910-687-6100 |

No. 7

Fishing Constitution Boats

It solely takes twenty minutes for wave-pounding constitution boats to go by means of the Shallotte Inlet and head out to sea. Reserving a fishing constitution boat is an effective way to spend a day as a result of every thing is included – a educated captain, a seaworthy boat, and fishing gear and provides.

All you want to deliver is the muscle to reel within the catch and a YETI cooler stuffed together with your favourite beverage.

Guide a constitution with Ocean Isle Fishing Heart, Salt Fever Information Service, Speckulator Inshore Fishing Charters, or Observe Me Charters.

No. 8

OIB Standup Paddleboarding

Have you ever ever needed to discover ways to paddleboard? Are you a seasoned paddleboarder on the lookout for a guided tour? The Carolina College of Surf gives guided excursions with instruction from the general public boat ramp at Ocean Isle Seashore. The excursions hit the calm water of the Intracoastal Waterway and spend a few hours exploring the peaceable pure setting.

65 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Seashore, NC | 910-713-9283 |

No. 9

Brunswick County Golf Programs

Brunswick County seashores are outlined by their pure magnificence. However head inland, and the county’s mainland is outlined by world-class golf programs.

Over thirty golf programs populate the county, making it one of many high {golfing} locations on the East Coast. A lot of the programs are open to the general public, and some provide all-inclusive golf packages. Designed by famend architects, the programs may be difficult and thrilling to play.

Go to the Brunswick Islands tourism web site for an up to date record of public golf programs.

No. 10

Makai Brewing Firm

An hour north, Wilmington is busting on the seams with native craft breweries. However just a few have opened all through Brunswick County – and just one is a simple drive from Ocean Isle Seashore.

When Lowell Puckett opened Makai Brewing Firm, he needed to create a menu of craft beers impressed by his interest of island hopping by means of the Caribbean. Tropical totem poles stand guard beneath a ceiling of string lights. Mismatched tables and chairs are unfold throughout a concrete flooring. And flights of 4 craft beers are served on surfboard-shaped wood paddles.

READ MORE: 17 Craft Breweries You Have to Go to in Wilmington, NC

Practically a dozen craft beers are stored on faucet on the microbrewery. The variability contains conventional IPA and stout, however you’ll additionally discover lager and pilsner on their record. And, in fact, their specialty is the Kölsch – a crisp German ale that has grow to be a favourite amongst coastal breweries.

5850 Ocean Freeway West Unit 1, Ocean Isle Seashore, NC | 910-579-2739 |

No. 11

NC Oyster Pageant

In October 1978, folks flocked to Ocean Isle Seashore for the primary annual NC Oyster Pageant. Prizes had been awarded for catching the most important fish at one of many three native piers, a six-mile run was hosted on the seashore, and 700 attendees consumed 150 kilos of oysters and 250 kilos of fish.

The competition has solely grown from that humble starting.

The 2-day annual competition in mid-October costs a paltry $5 admission payment – they’d relatively attendees spend their cash on meals, beer, and souvenirs. Dozens of distributors arrange cubicles crammed with arts & crafts, jewellery, clothes, pottery, and residential décor. Bands take the stage Friday night time for a particular live performance after which fill the air with each sort of music all through the weekend.

One of the best ways to expertise the NC Oyster Pageant is to e-book lodging on the island for the weekend. Take a golf cart to the competition, keep away from the visitors congestion, and eat your coronary heart out. However when you’re staying off the island, make the most of the free shuttle buses for simple entry to the competition grounds.

No. 12

Summer season Live performance Sequence

The summer time live performance collection is one factor most seashore cities have in widespread – moreover the sand, surf, and solar. Each Friday night time all through June, July, August, and September, bands take to the brand-new stage at City Heart Park and fill the cool air with music.

The park’s grassy subject is the proper place to set out a blanket or pop up a few chairs. Convey a cooler loaded with plastic bottles – glass not allowed – of your favourite beverage. Order meals to go from a neighborhood restaurant. Declare your spot on the sector after 5 p.m. and await the music to kick off at 6:30.

11 East 2nd Road, Ocean Isle Seashore, NC |

Recent catch of the day with lump crab cake and caper sauce at Ocean Isle Fish Firm (high). Shrimp Cappellini – with an attention-grabbing ornamental flower – at Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille (backside).

The place to Eat

Causeway Drive is an avenue to savory meals in Ocean Isle Seashore. Connecting the mainland to the seashore, all of the eating places, espresso retailers, and dessert retailers are straightforward to entry, with massive parking tons and minimal fuss.

Your biggest dilemma will likely be selecting the place to eat.

59 Causeway Grill is a good place to start out the day with contemporary espresso and bagels. The baristas put together drip, espresso, and latte drinks with contemporary floor beans. You may also select from a wide range of smoothies and teas. Bagel sandwiches are made to order together with your selection of eggs, meats, and cheeses.

Amelia’s is likely one of the finest eating places on the town for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Begin the day with omelets and bagels, settle right down to a burger and hand-cut fries for lunch, or cease by for a dinner of delectable entrees like contemporary catch seafood and ribeye steaks. Drinks are served in Mason jars – it’s that sort of place – and also you’ll benefit from the comfy leather-based cushioned chairs.

Want a jolt of caffeine to make it by means of the day of exploring Ocean Isle Seashore? Drift Espresso Store & Kitchen is conveniently situated inside strolling distance of the fishing pier. The small hole-in-the-wall store options incredible espresso made contemporary with each order and a small assortment of baked items.

FEAST OIB is precisely the sort of restaurant you need to go to when you’re hungry for giant parts. Their menu contains appetizers, entrees, catch of the day, and lots of choices to construct your personal burger. The big eating house options comfy tables and cubicles the place you may take pleasure in your meal.

Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille is an off-the-cuff upscale restaurant with the perfect sundown view on the island. Daylight floods by means of the large image home windows across the eating space, however as soon as the solar goes down, the room is lit by intriguing chandeliers. The seafood-inspired menu options contemporary catch entrees, sandwiches, and pastas – their Shrimp Cappellini is divine.

For those who take pleasure in pasta, calzones, stromboli, and traditional Neapolitan pizza, Maria’s Pizzeria is the place to go. The native eatery makes every thing from scratch and gives extra toppings to customise your pizza. Browse the intensive wine and draft beer record, however don’t overlook the attention-grabbing whiskey bar menu.

Any day that ends with a visit to the Ocean Isle Creamery is an efficient day. Strolling distance from the fishing pier, the ice cream store includes a menu of do-it-yourself ice cream bowls, cones, milkshakes, and sundaes. Spruce it up with no matter toppings you want for the proper dessert to finish the day.

Opened in 2002 by Rube McMullan, the Ocean Isle Fish Firm includes a view of the Intracoastal Waterway that’s simply pretty much as good as their contemporary seafood meals. The seafood is moved from their fishing fleet on to the kitchen and cooked when ordered. Appetizers, seafood entrees, and burgers will depart you questioning what to order – may I counsel the Recent Catch OIFC type with a lump crab cake and caper sauce on high?

Sharky’s Waterfront Restaurant is likely one of the longest-running eateries in Ocean Isle Seashore. The restaurant options a big indoor eating space and a small out of doors deck overlooking the marina. Their menu contains seafood sandwiches, tacos, baskets, and entrees cooked the way in which you need.

The place to Keep

You received’t discover any company lodges inside ten miles of Ocean Isle Seashore – and that’s simply one of many alluring charms of the seashore city. Besides for 2 small oceanfront lodges which are extra like related condominium buildings, every thing in Ocean Isle Seashore is short-term leases like condos and homes.

The Ocean Isle Inn is a incredible place to spend a number of nights – or perhaps longer. The oceanfront lodge options free on-site parking, a surprising out of doors swimming pool, and quick access to the seashore. Select from rooms with two queen beds or one king mattress with both an island view or ocean view. | Expedia |

Subsequent door, the Islander Inn options an indoor and out of doors swimming pool, free on-site parking, and quick access to the seashore. Select from rooms with two queen beds or one king mattress with both an island view or ocean view. | Expedia |

After looking out the listings on VRBO, you may resolve to remain a bit longer with a cushty condominium or rental house. Choices vary from one-bedroom condos to huge properties massive sufficient to sleep a dozen. One in every of these properties can be good for the NC Oyster Pageant or simply spending all of your time on the seashore.

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