Spend your summer months with your friends and family learning all about Ocean Isle Beach, one of North Carolina’s best beaches. Ocean Isle Beach is the ideal beach vacation destination for families.
Southern Living named this amazing beach and town on the North Carolina coast, the “Best Tiny Town” in 2018. Sunrises and sunsets are especially spectacular on Ocean Isle Beach, which extends for seven miles in an unusual east-west direction.
Ocean Isle Beach, the winner of the 2008 Best Restored Beach Award, is known for its best beach, fishing, golfing, and the simple pleasures of island life.
1. What Would We Know About Ocean Isle Beach?
Ocean Isle Beach is also known as the “Gem” of the beaches of the Brunswick Islands. Ocean Isle Beach began as a human-made barrier island formed by the construction of the Intracoastal Waterway in the 1930s and Odell Williamson’s land development efforts in the 1940s, who had a vision of creating a small, family-friendly beach town.
1.1. A Manmade Beach
A rare occurrence, Ocean Isle Beach was produced by the Intracoastal Waterway residual runoff. Although many people think it is a barrier island that naturally exists, it was made by humans in the 1930s.
When you want a quieter and more comfortable beach holiday experience to create memorable family moments, come to Ocean Isle Beach.
1.2. The Impacts of Hurricane Hazel on Ocean Isle Beach
This island is ideal for a family vacation. Just 20 years after Ocean Isle Beach’s establishment in the 1930s, Hurricane Hazel hit the island and nearly destroyed it. In October 1954, Hurricane Hazel made direct landfall as a category 4 storm on Ocean Isle Beach.
Hazel, one of the most powerful and destructive hurricanes in North Carolina history, destroyed all but two buildings in Ocean Isle Beach’s fledgling community. Fortunately, no hurricane has made direct landfall on Ocean Isle Beach since Hazel.
1.3. A President Paid a Visit to Ocean Isle Beach!
George Washington visited Ocean Isle Beach in April 1791. The president was on a southern tour when he stopped to visit the wealthy tar and turpentine merchant family, the Gauses, at their stately manor near where Bricklanding is now.
1.4. Ocean Isle Beach was Once Patrolled by Horses
During World War II, there was a constant fear that German U-Boats would attack the United States Atlantic Coast. The United States Coast Guard established mounted troop units that patrolled the beaches to help with shoreline defense. The US Coast Guard mounted troops on this mission for the first time.
1.5. Ocean Isle Beach is Adjacent to The Intracoastal Waterway
Ocean Isle Beach is sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW). Did you know the AIWW stretches 1,100 miles from Norfolk, Virginia to Key West, Florida? This vital waterway allows commercial and recreational vessels to travel safely on the Eastern seaboard.
1.6. There Are Sea Turtles on Ocean Isle Beach!
Every year, sea turtles come to the seashores of Ocean Isle Beach to lay their eggs and complete their life cycle. What can you blame them for? Even the sea turtle recognizes the beauty of these beaches.
1.7. Ocean Isle Beach Was Involved in World War Ii
A P-47D Thunderbolt crashed onto Ocean Isle Beach on June 29, 1944. The pilot was on patrol over the beach at the time of the accident. The pilot made a mistake during the flight and forgot to switch his fuel tanks. Perhaps he was taken in by the beauty of the ocean isle beach. Fortunately, the pilot escaped with only a bruised ego.
1.8. Ocean Isle Beach Attractions – Pirates Life for Me
Pirates used the barrier islands in the area to hide from patrolling vessels around a century before Washington’s visit. For years, these pirate hangouts in what is now known as Shallotte River were frequently used to avoid arrest.
1.9. Ocean Isle Beach’s First Airport Was Located on The Island
A small airstrip was built on the island when Ocean Isle Beach was first developed. However, it was no longer viable due to erosion and powerful storms. It was replaced with a mainland airstrip. Today, the airport is a thriving small aircraft facility that is ideal for all of you private aircraft owners.
1.10. Ocean Island Beach Has a Wonderful Pier
Ocean Isle Beach has a fantastic waterfront for catching fish and family-friendly activities. Since 1957, the Ocean Isle Fishing Pier has stood on Ocean Isle. It has withstood numerous storms and is an iconic feature that you will not want to miss seeing all through your Ocean Isle Beach vacation.
2. Things to Do in Ocean Island Beach
You’ll appreciate that Ocean Isle Beach isn’t overrun with big-ticket attractions and activities, which freed up your time to explore some of the region’s other beach towns and barrier islands.
We’ve listed some of the best things to do in Ocean Isle Beach for a family vacation, including where to stay, what to eat and drink, and what activities and tourist attractions to visit:
2.1. The Incredible Beaches of Ocean Isle
The beaches in southern North Carolina are simply the best; they have been voted the third best beaches in the country! The powder white sand and calm surf are ideal for families.
Unlike so many others on the east coast, it is not overcrowded with high-rises and flashy beach shops. This is how the beach should be, so grab some beach chairs, build a sandcastle, and relive the good ol’ days of sun-filled relaxation!
2.2. Check out the Ocean Isle Beach Pier
The pier is one of the most famous attractions to enjoy on Ocean Isle. It’s in the center of the beach and is a great place to fish, walk, or watch the sunset. You can also eat at The Pier House Grill or shop for ice cream, snacks, and fishing supplies at the gift shop.
2.3. Embark on A Flight Trip Over Ocean Isle Beach
With Epic Air Tours, you can see the elegance of Ocean Isle Beach and the Atlantic Coast from a different point of view. This plane ride is a one-of-a-kind experience that is ideal for a date night, family time, or an exciting outing with friends.
The cost of a tour ranges from $49 to $150. Views of Sunset Beach, Shallotte Inlet, Holden Beach, and Ocean Isle Beach are included in their most popular tour. Try the Sunset Air Tour for a romantic date, where you can see the sunset over the Atlantic.
2.4. Pick out A Stand up Paddle Board
Take a paddleboard and a board to the Intracoastal Waterway. If you don’t know how you can take lessons from the Carolina School of Surf. They’ll take you on a guided tour of the waterway, which is a calm body of water that differentiates the mainland from Ocean Isle Beach’s beachside.
2.5. Park & Outdoor Center on The Shallotte River
Start exploring the ecological benefits of this natural environment on a majestic tour or participate in one of the many action activities available at Shallotte River Swamp Park & Outdoor Center.
Discover the area with our guided Zipline tours, climb at the Aerial Adventure Park, or relax and enjoy the Shallotte River on a Swamp Tour. These stunning adventures and breathtaking views are all waiting for you, with something for everyone!
2.6. Take Your Children to A Splash Pad
OIB Town Center Park is a beautiful park just a block from the beach. There is a splash pad, a walking trail, a playground, a bocce court, and restrooms. They have movie nights and outdoor concerts on the amphitheater during the summer.
You can enjoy ice cream, food, or coffee in the park. Ocean Isle Creamery, Ms. Shores Kitchen, Drift Coffee Shop, and Pelican’s Perch Bar & Grill are all within walking distance.
2.7. Take An Inshore Fishing Tour
A Speculator tour allows you to go fishing in the marshes and creeks surrounding Ocean Isle Beach. Redfish, Trout, Flounder, Drum Mackerel, Bluefish, and Sheepshead are among the fish that can be caught.
2.8. Make a Beachfront Hotel Reservation
Are you searching for a place to stay during your next visit to Ocean Isle Beach? The Ocean Isle Inn or The Islander Inn are both excellent choices. Both hotels are directly on the beach, so you can wake up to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.
Ocean Isle Inn is 0.9 miles from Ocean Isle Beach’s center. This hotel has both indoor and outdoor pools, and you can book an oceanfront room to enjoy a great view of the island.
Some of the high-end amenities available in luxury North Carolina rentals for guests include private boat docks or ramps, continental breakfast, seafood, free wifi, private beach access, golf court, state-of-the-art gourmet kitchens, and much more.
2.9. Rent a Beachfront Home or Condo
Recommend living in an oceanfront home or apartment if you require more space than a hotel room. This 6-bedroom oceanfront home has its boardwalk to the beach as well as a private heated pool and hot tub. It’s close to ice cream shops, bars, shopping, and family activities.
2.10. Ocean Island Beach Has Local Shopping Boutiques
Vivi’s By The Sea is brimming with beautiful works by local artists, such as lamps, furniture, and florals. Whether you’re looking for the perfect beach house decoration or a special gift for a sea-loving friend, you’ll find something special here.
The Preppy Pineapple colorful boutique sells clothing for women and children, jewelry, home decor, and locally made beach gifts.
2.11. Have Fun at The Beach
Of course, one of the most fun things on any beach vacation is playing at the beach. And Ocean Isle is relatively empty. There’s plenty of space for visitors to sunbathe, play frisbee or bocce ball, fish, or swim. If you enjoy surfing, head to the jetty at the island’s east end.
There are several free public access points along the beach where you can park your car and walk to the beach. Many of them have showers to rinse off the sand. The Ocean Isle Beach Community Center, located at one of the public beach access points, has restrooms, a picnic shelter, and outdoor showers. The address is 44 E 1st St, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469.
2.12. Take A Pontoon Boat Tour Through Nature
A pontoon boat is an excellent means of exploring the Intracoastal Waterway, islands, and local rivers. Nature, island, and sunset tours are all available on Tour H20. And every one of their vessels is piloted by a US Coast Guard-licensed captain. Their tours allow you to see local wildlife as well as the area’s beautiful scenery.
2.13. Bicycle Around the Town
Island Hoppers Bicycle rents bicycles for about $50 per week. Isn’t that a great deal? And you’ll have a great time cruising around Ocean Isle Beach, a beautiful seaside town. They rent out a variety of bicycles, including beach cruisers, tandem bikes, adult tricycles, and children’s bikes. Helmets and pull-behind trailers are also available for rent.
2.14. Visit the Museum of The Coastal Carolinas
Who wants to go to a museum on vacation, you might think? But this isn’t like any other museum you’ve visited. Come learn about sharks, sea turtles, surfing, and even a touch tank! Summer camps and programs for children are also available at the museum. Visit for more information on what’s going on at the museum.
2.15. Ocean Island Beach Hosts Free Summer Concerts
Taking any opportunity to be outside is one of my favorite bits about summer! Ocean Isle Beach hosts a free outdoor concert every Friday featuring some of the best beach music, rock and roll, oldies, and Motown around!
The concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Museum of the Coastal Carolinas parking lot. Admission is free; simply bring a chair and prepare to dance all night!
We can continue to make a list of all the fun things to do in Ocean Isle Beach so you can make the most of your vacation. Apart from the activities listed above, this small town and beach in North Carolina have a plethora of other activities. Ocean Isle Beach is a good choice if you want a quiet place to relax or you want to be on your next adventure trip.