Oak Island is one of five Brunswick County barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. Surrounded by the Cape Fear River on the North, Lockwood Folly River on the South and the Intracoastal Waterway, Oak Island has a very specific draw that keeps visitors coming back year after year---- water, water and more water. There are more than 60 public access points along the ten miles of uncrowded beaches, two fishing piers, three public boat ramps and a couple of marinas thrown in for good measure in order to reach the good times quickly and easily. Whether it is fishing, surfing, kayaking, or wading, the allure of the ocean is all around you.
With a year round residency of approximately 7,200, Oak Island is hardly a metropolis except during the summer when the population swells to 30,000 people or more that revolves on a weekly basis. Most of the permanent residents are employed in some type of work that caters to vacationers because tourism is the number one business. Because of the unique dynamics of this area, there are restaurants galore, most of which are locally owned and operated. If you are interested in some Southern style fried seafood, you’re in luck. How about good ole North Carolina barbeque? No problem!!
To get a feel for the history of low country North Carolina, take a day and visit some historical sites. The Southport Ferry runs to the end of Highway 421 where Fort Fisher still stands. It once guarded the mouth of the Cape Fear to ward off the blockade runners of the Union. Stop and take a look at some of the Southern history on display. Pay close attention to the Oak trees in front of the fort that have been molded and shaped by an eternal wind blowing off the sea. Journey to downtown Wilmington where you will find cobble stone streets, horse drawn carriages and old buildings simply oozing with 18th century heritage. Head out of Wilmington on Highway 74 and exit on state road 133 then follow the signs to Orton Plantation. You will not believe the majestic beauty of this 6,400 acre plantation with a main house that was built in 1735. From there you’re headed back to Oak Island; your home for a week or two.
You will not grow bored with an Oak Island vacation. Whether it’s doing nothing or doing something, the choice is yours. After all, that’s what it’s all about, right?