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

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Ocean Isle Seaside 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 full of vacationer sights, flashing neon lights, and buying facilities. However within the center, Brunswick County has stubbornly resisted the event of the trendy seaside 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 firstly of my one-month street journey throughout North Carolina. Calabash had already floor these whirlwind plans to a halt once I stumbled upon the story behind calabash-style seafood. The following day, I rolled into Ocean Isle Seaside, intent on spending simply two hours exploring the seaside city.

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

Earlier than I knew it, my two-hour deliberate cease in Ocean Isle Seaside had turn out 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 low 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 say one of many supremely snug armchairs.

6278 Seaside Drive SW Suite 5, Ocean Isle Seaside, NC | 910-575-6277 | www.oibsurfandjava.com

No. 2

Ocean Isle Seaside Pier

The 968-foot wood pier on Ocean Isle Seaside was in-built 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 Middle Park.

Ocean Isle Seaside Pier is open for fishing with an permitted NC license. The bait and deal with store has an incredible variety of provides, from fishing rods to bait, simply in case you forgot something at residence. When you’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 get pleasure from a stroll alongside the wood pier for only a few {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 get pleasure from scenic views of the ocean, land, and wildlife.

Inside, take the youngsters 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 season thunderstorms.

1 West First Road, Ocean Isle Seaside, NC | 910-579-3095 | www.oibpier.com

Professional Journey Tip The Ocean Isle Seaside Pier is a superb place to go to the seaside. Nonetheless, by no means get into the water inside 150-feet of a fishing pier. You don’t need to get tangled in fishing strains and lures!

No. 3

Ocean Isle Seaside Nature Path

The Ocean Isle Seaside Nature Path was probably the most stunning 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 observe the sundown, get pleasure from a lazy afternoon, or simply stretch your legs.

The path stretches from Winston-Salem Road to Charlotte Road. There is no such thing as a official parking. Though streets have been laid, dozens of empty heaps shockingly nonetheless cowl the island, giving individuals a spot to park their vehicles alongside the abandoned streets. However this in all probability gained’t final ceaselessly.

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

359 East 2nd Road, Ocean Isle Seaside, 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 grew to become a actuality in 1991 with the opening of The Museum of Coastal Carolina.

The museum includes a compendium of data about coastal wildlife, historical past, and nature. It’s the place to study the title of a fish, see the results of seaside erosion, and study concerning the native fishing villages. Dip your fingers into the contact tank, browse the collections of shark enamel and jawbones, and admire the dioramas.

The Ocean Reef Gallery is probably the most attention-grabbing exhibit on the museum. A footbridge crosses via a life-size diorama of the ocean ground. Blue painted partitions and dim lights create an exciting ambiance. Life-size sharks, turtles, and whales hold from the ceiling on invisible strings. You gained’t should strive laborious 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 Seaside. Take a stroll via 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 Seaside, NC | 910-579-1016 | www.museumplanetarium.org

No. 5

River Nation Mini Golf

In a county full of 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 Middle 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 Seaside, NC | 910-579-2030 | www.fb.com/River-Nation-Mini-Golf

No. 6

The Swamp Park

The Swamp Park is nothing just like the title suggests – it’s an outside journey park with zip strains, 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 should unhook to face the following problem. The course options 52 obstacles ranging in issue from straightforward to professional, making it a enjoyable expertise for any age.

When you really feel like getting muddy – and you’ve got a sound driver’s license – go for a Guided ATV Tour. The 1.5-hour tour winds via the muddy swamps of the maritime forest.

On the lookout 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 Highway SW, Ocean Isle Seaside, NC | 910-687-6100 | www.swamppark.com

No. 7

Fishing Constitution Boats

It solely takes twenty minutes for wave-pounding constitution boats to go via 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 part 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 along with your favourite beverage.

E book a constitution with Ocean Isle Fishing Middle, Salt Fever Information Service, Speckulator Inshore Fishing Charters, or Comply with Me Charters.

No. 8

OIB Standup Paddleboarding

Have you ever ever needed to discover ways to paddleboard? Are you a seasoned paddleboarder in search of a guided tour? The Carolina College of Surf gives guided excursions with instruction from the general public boat ramp at Ocean Isle Seaside. 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 Seaside, NC | 910-713-9283 | https://carolinaschoolofsurf.com/companies/paddle/

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. Many of the programs are open to the general public, and some provide all-inclusive golf packages. Designed by famend architects, the programs will be difficult and thrilling to play.

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

No. 10

Makai Brewing Firm

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

When Lowell Puckett opened Makai Brewing Firm, he needed to create a menu of craft beers impressed by his passion of island hopping via the Caribbean. Tropical totem poles stand guard beneath a ceiling of string lights. Mismatched tables and chairs are unfold throughout a concrete ground. 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

Almost a dozen craft beers are stored on faucet on the microbrewery. The range contains conventional IPA and stout, however you’ll additionally discover lager and pilsner on their listing. And, after all, their specialty is the Kölsch – a crisp German ale that has turn out to be a favourite amongst coastal breweries.

5850 Ocean Freeway West Unit 1, Ocean Isle Seaside, NC | 910-579-2739 | www.makaibrewing.com

No. 11

NC Oyster Competition

In October 1978, individuals flocked to Ocean Isle Seaside for the primary annual NC Oyster Competition. Prizes have been awarded for catching the largest fish at one of many three native piers, a six-mile run was hosted on the seaside, 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 price – they’d fairly attendees spend their cash on meals, beer, and souvenirs. Dozens of distributors arrange cubicles full of 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 simplest ways to expertise the NC Oyster Competition is to ebook lodging on the island for the weekend. Take a golf cart to the competition, keep away from the site visitors congestion, and eat your coronary heart out. However in the event 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 Collection

The summer season live performance collection is one factor most seaside cities have in widespread – in addition to 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 Middle Park and fill the cool air with music.

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

11 East 2nd Road, Ocean Isle Seaside, NC | https://www.oibgov.com/pview.aspx?catid=564&id=20824

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 Seaside. Connecting the mainland to the seaside, all of the eating places, espresso retailers, and dessert retailers are straightforward to entry, with giant parking heaps and minimal fuss.

Your biggest dilemma shall be selecting the place to eat.

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

Amelia’s is likely one of the greatest 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 snug leather-based cushioned chairs.

Want a jolt of caffeine to make it via the day of exploring Ocean Isle Seaside? 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 strictly the sort of restaurant you need to go to in the event 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 massive eating area options snug tables and cubicles the place you may get pleasure from your meal.

Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille is an informal upscale restaurant with the perfect sundown view on the island. Daylight floods via the big 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.

When you get pleasure from pasta, calzones, stromboli, and traditional Neapolitan pizza, Maria’s Pizzeria is the place to go. The native eatery makes every part from scratch and gives extra toppings to customise your pizza. Browse the in depth wine and draft beer listing, however don’t overlook the attention-grabbing whiskey bar menu.

Any day that ends with a visit to the Ocean Isle Creamery is an effective 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 go away you questioning what to order – may I recommend 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 Seaside. 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 gained’t discover any company motels inside ten miles of Ocean Isle Seaside – and that’s simply one of many alluring charms of the seaside city. Besides for 2 small oceanfront motels which are extra like related apartment buildings, every part in Ocean Isle Seaside 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 resort options free on-site parking, a surprising out of doors swimming pool, and quick access to the seaside. Select from rooms with two queen beds or one king mattress with both an island view or ocean view. Reserving.com | Expedia | Lodges.com

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

After looking the listings on VRBO, you may resolve to remain a bit longer with a snug apartment or rental residence. Choices vary from one-bedroom condos to monumental houses giant sufficient to sleep a dozen. Considered one of these properties could be excellent for the NC Oyster Competition or simply spending all of your time on the seaside.


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