Watching as baby sea turtles emerge from the sand and make their journey to the sea is awe-inspiring. You’ll need patience and a good bit of luck to catch a turtle nest hatching, but check in with the Oak Island Recreation Center to learn if any nests are being inventoried during your week. These nests have already hatched, but there’s still a chance you’ll catch sight of some tiny stragglers making their way to the sea.
Watch the Sun Rise & Set
Named one of “10 Incredible Phenomena You Have to See in Fall” by Weather.com, the beaches of Oak Island and Caswell Beach have the rare distinction of running east to west as they parallel the shore. Beginning in late fall and lasting through early spring, this orientation means that you can sit on our beaches and watch both the sunrise and sunset without having to move your beach chair or blanket.
Climb to New Heights
The Oak Island Lighthouse stands 153 feet tall and guides ships safely towards our shores with a light that can be seen up to 16 nautical miles out at sea. Those 9 years of age and older can climb the 131 steps, made up of a series of ships ladders, to the lantern gallery level by making a reservation two weeks in advance. For more information click here.
Drop a Line
Between the Oak Island, Ocean Crest and Southport Piers, there are plenty of options for trying your hand at reeling in the big one. For those with a half or full day, book a trip with one of the many fishing charters based in the area. With a charter, you’ll have the experience of a captain who knows where to find the fish whether you book an off shore, near shore or backwater excursion.
Take to the Air
Get a bird’s eye view of our beaches starting at the Cape Fear Regional Jetport, located just a mile and a half away from the Oak Island Accommodations office. There are a slew of great, locally-owned businesses here that can give your group a tour of the area by plane or helicopter. For the thrill seeker, try tandem skydiving.
Visit America’s Happiest Seaside Town
Spend a day exploring the galleries, boutiques and tree-lined streets of historic Southport. Hop on a golf cart tour in front of the Southport Vistor’s Center to learn about the area’s history and its connection to films like “Safe Haven,” “The Secret Life of Bees” and Crimes of the Heart.” You’ll want to venture beyond the streets closest to Waterfront Park. Rent a bike and explore the Old Yacht Basin, the Watertower District and the Olde Southport Village Shoppes.
Learn Something New
Whether you meet an albino alligator at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, gaze at the stars at Ingram Planetarium, delve into the swashbuckling history of the Cape Fear at the NC Maritime Museum at Southport, or walk the decks of the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington, there are fascinating discoveries to be made within a short drive or ferry ride from our shores.
Tee It Up
With over 30 courses, the Brunswick Islands are known as North Carolina’s Golf Coast. For a quick round just across the G.V. Barbee Bridge, check out the Oak Island Par 3 at South Harbour. Laid back golf can be found a short drive north at the Lakes Country Club or head south to play 9, 18 or 27 holes on a Fred Couples design at Carolina National.
Go Beyond the Beach
Rent a kayak or stand up paddleboard (SUP) and explore Davis Canal, the Intracoastal Waterway and Dutchman Creek. Try your hand at raking for clams off the northwestern tip of Oak Island. Stroll along one of the island’s scenic walkovers early in the morning to catch sight of deer and coastal birds in the marsh grasses.
Sip & Savor
Raise a glass to North Carolina’s liquid assets at an area winery, tasting room or brewery. Enjoy a romantic evening shared over a plate of oysters, locally caught seafood and farm fresh produce. Savor every sweet morsel of your favorite ice cream cone or milkshake on a balmy summer evening.