A Traveler’s Guide to Oak Island’s Beach

If you are planning a trip to Oak Island Beach, North Carolina, you probably want to get as much as you can out of this adventure. Just south of Wilmington and Wrightsville, this is a beautiful place with tons of oceanfront vacation rentals, numerous animals, and soft, white sand. As a result, there are people who come to visit Oak Island from all over the country.

Regardless of whether you want to check out Bald Head Island or the Brunswick Islands on your getaway, you need to make sure you take advantage of everything this part of the Atlantic ocean coastline has to offer. This could include renting a kayak, visiting the Oak Island Lighthouse, checking out the Intracoastal Waterway, or keeping your eyes open for a sea turtle or two.

With all of this in mind, let’s dive right into everything you need to take advantage of the Oak Island Beaches and all they offer.

Take Advantage of Amazing Vacation Rentals in Oak Island

If you are looking for a beautiful rental home in the town of Oak Island with public beach access, be sure to check out a few of these amazing vacation rentals.

Many of the rentals available have easy boardwalk access and gorgeous views of this amazing Carolina beach. You might be looking for beachfront properties or you may be interested in family-friendly rentals with easy golf course access instead. Trust me, there’s the perfect place for your Oak Island vacation, regardless of what you’re after in your beach vacation.

Now that you’ve found the perfect rental opportunity, let’s hit the beach!

Photo Credit: digidreamgrafix

Enjoy the Oak Island Beach

Ultimately, if you really want to enjoy everything that Oak Island has to offer, you need to head out to the beach. There are miles of Atlantic coastline available, the water is warm during the summer, and there are plenty of opportunities to build sandcastles. Just don’t forget to bring some water and sunscreen with you!

The beach area is large and flat, especially during low tide. It’s the perfect beach to play games like bocce ball or build drip castles near the surf. It runs from Holden Beach to the west to Caswell Beach on the east. Although it looks like one long beach, it’s divided into separately named beaches with their own access points.

A few important points you should keep in mind about visiting the beach on Oak Island include:

Public Beach Access With Restrooms

There are several beach access points on Oak Island that have public restrooms.

They include:

  • The Point (which is located at the end of W Beach Drive)
  • NE 15th Street (which is near Veterans Park)
  • 14th Place East
  • Kings Lynn Drive

If you head out to any one of these beach access points, you should be able to access public restrooms.

Photo Credit: Edd Lange

Beach Parking on Oak Island

If you are looking for public beach access parking, most of the access points provide free parking. There are spaces that are designated for residents and visitors. If something is reserved for residents, do not park in that spot. If you do not have the right pass, or if your license plate does not match the owner of that spot, your car could get towed.

On the other hand, you may be able to rectify this issue if you rent a property with beach access. If you do not want to worry about driving to the beach, consider renting a property that is within walking distance of the water. Be sure to take a look at all of your options before you decide where to stay. 

Rinse Stations

When you are done for the day, you’ll most likely want to rinse off yourself and your beach gear. Many of the Oak Island public beach access locations have showers you can use to get the sand off of your body before you walk home or get back in the car.

In particular, Kings Lynn and SE 46th St beach access points have large rinse stations that you can use to get cleaned up before you go home. 

Other Rules To Note

There are a few other beach rules you should keep in mind. They include:

  • The sand dunes are very important to the beach and are protected. You are not allowed to run on them, climb on top of them, or try to burrow through them.
  • You are not allowed to have any glass containers on the beach. They are a serious safety issue, and you could be issued a ticket if you are found to have class containers with you.
  • Do not forget to take all your trash with you. Littering can be met by a pretty significant fine. 
  • You are allowed to bring your pets with you to the beach, but all of your pets need to be kept on a leash.

As long as you follow these rules, you should have a fun time during your visit to Oak Island. 

Although you can easily spend your entire trip to Oak Island simply enjoying the beach, if you’d like to see more of what the Island has to offer, here’s a list of our favorite things to see and do in the area.

Photo Credit: CeGe

Visit Oak Island Lighthouse

There are a number of significant landmarks scattered around Oak Island, and one of the most important ones is called Oak Island Lighthouse. It is hoisted high into the sky, and it cuts through the local landscape. It is the newest lighthouse in the local area, and it shines unique hues of gray.

In addition to checking out the beautiful lighthouse, there is a wooden boardwalk in the area. All you need to do is follow the boardwalk around to stand directly underneath this beautiful lighthouse. From this position, you can truly appreciate just how large this lighthouse is.

You can find it situated on Caswell Beach along Cape Fear River. If you want to get the true Oak Island experience, make sure you take a moment to take in this lighthouse.

Explore the Oak Island Nature Center

One of the first things you need to do during your visit to Oak Island at the check out the Oak Island Nature Center. This is a family-friendly destination with a wide variety of attractions. Even though you will have amazing views of the river and trees, you also have access to a variety of educational opportunities.

For example, you may want to take a look at a few fossil displays. Or, you may want to check out some of the exhibits that discuss some of the plants and animals that live in the area. This is also a great opportunity for those who love fishing because there is a T-dock in the area. 

Of course, countless people come to this Center because of the hiking opportunities. It is called the Talking Trees Walking Trail, and it is a relatively gentle hike for families with children. Be sure to take a closer look at the nature center during your visit to Oak Island.

The Nature Center is located at 5202 E Yacht Dr, Oak Island, NC 28465.

Photo Credit: Rick C Lanier

Visit the Ocean Crest Fishing Pier

Something else you might want to do during your visit to Oak Island is to check out the Ocean Crest Fishing Pier. This is the most popular fishing pier in the area. It is loved by visitors and residents alike. You can find a lot of children learning how to fish on the weekends, and you can find some of the most experienced anglers casting a line here, too.

Of note, it is the longest fishing pier on the Cape Fear coast, and it has led to a number of significant catches. If you want to bring in dinner for your family, then you’ll definitely want to check out this fishing pier. When compared to other fishing piers in the area, it is obvious that there is no comparison. You might even hook a King Mackerel or a Spanish Mackerel! This is a family friendly fishing pier, and you can always ask for some advice from the locals. 

If you want to check out this fishing pier, you can find it located at 1409 E Beach Dr, Oak Island, NC 28465.

Photo Credit: iofoto

Check Out the Water Sports

There are plenty of locations in the local area to check out water sports. Some of the most popular water sports in the area include paddle boarding, jet skiing, kayaking, and even canoeing. The intercoastal waterway is the perfect place to enjoy all of these activities.

Because there are a lot of options available, you should call around ahead of time to make sure they have the water sports you want. You have the option to rent certain pieces of equipment for an hour, a half a day, or even an entire day. You might even be able to hire a local guide who is willing to take you around the area.

Consider Taking a Helicopter Tour

If you are looking for a slightly different perspective of Oak Island, sign up for a helicopter tour. There are certain companies in the area, including High Tide Helicopter, that would be happy to give you a view of Oak Island from above.

You will certainly be given the geography crash course of the area, and you will learn a bit of local history along the way. In particular, pay attention to the lighthouses. The helicopter tour is going to take you on a tour of some of the oldest lighthouses in the area, so you will definitely want to take some notes.

You can find High Tide Helicopter Tours located at the Cape Fear Regional Jetport.

Photo Credit: Dmitry Chulov

Book a Fishing Charter

Another fun opportunity on Oak Island is to sign up for a fishing charter. If you want to see as much of the area as possible, then you will definitely want to sign up for a fishing charter. You will have an opportunity to explore the local waters, and you will be given an opportunity to catch a variety of fish!

Some of the fish you might catch during your trip include grouper, mahi-mahi, snappers, amberjacks, and wahoo. This is a family-friendly opportunity, so you should feel invited to bring your children along as well

Typically, fishing charters last the entire day, but if you are looking for something a bit shorter, they should be able to accommodate you. Take a look at some of the local companies that may offer a fishing charter.

This is a great opportunity for you to explore Oak Island!

Play Some Golf

Clearly, there is no shortage of outdoor activities on Oak Island but you should think about playing some golf as well. There are plenty of golf courses in the area, and some of the best golf courses in the state can be found on Oak Island. A popular option is the Oak Island Golf Club.

If your kids do not play golf, or if you are looking for something a bit more laid back, you should not hesitate to give mini-golf a try as well! There are a few mini-golf opportunities scattered across the island, so you may want to take a look if you are looking for a unique adventure.

Take Advantage of Everything Oak Island Has To Offer

If you are looking for a beautiful beach for your next vacation, visit Oak Island. There are numerous vacation homes available for rent on Oak Island Drive, and some of the best beaches in the southeast and certainly in Brunswick County can be found on Oak Island.

After a long day in the sun at the beach or exploring the best of Oak Island, don’t forget to get a delicious ice cream cone on Ocean Crest Pier! There is something for everyone here, so take a look at some of the best beach rentals near Oak Island Pier today!