Situated near the southern edge of Brunswick County and separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway, Ocean Isle Beach is a small barrier island with large beaches, many shopping and dining options, numerous coastal homes and vacation rentals. With deep water channels at the east and west ends, a network of islands between the island and the mainland, a nearby marina & yacht club, and several neighborhoods with interior canals that connect to the waterway, Ocean Isle is a boater’s paradise.
Ocean Isle is a short drive away from Wilmington and Myrtle Beach via Highway 17. It is connected to the mainland by a modern, wide-span bridge, which aids congestion in the summertime, when the population swells with tourists and visitors, and facilitates easy commuting the rest of the year. Between the island and Highway 17 resides a small airport, a zip line & swamp tour facility, several country clubs and master planned golf course communities.
Things to Do in Ocean Isle Beach
Building sand castles, going swimming and walking on the beach are a few of the top things to do in Ocean Isle, a family-oriented place that features several local parks, including Ferry Landing Park, which has a gazebo, a fishing pier and a beach on the waterway that is good for small children. The OIB Town Center Park has live music in the summertime, and the Ocean Isle Beach Park on the mainland has a number of playgrounds, tennis courts and an amphitheater.
Fishing, kayaking and wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant, whether on the waterway in scenic Jinks Creek or on the ocean side, on the wooden fishing pier. For rainy days, there is the Museum of Coastal Carolina, plus the nearby Ingram Planetarium, a domed theater with 85 seats.
There are many restaurants in Ocean Isle, which run the gamut from fresh local seafood and burger joints to sports bars, and fine dining. For those who value peace and quiet, the small town atmosphere in Ocean Isle is an attractive feature, as it is a sleepy beach town for most of the year, with only a small number of year-round residents.