Ocean Isle’s Coastal Charms: From Eco-Tours to Beachside Fun

Ocean Isle North Carolina

Ocean Isle is your quintessential beach town, swimming in coastal charm. It’s hard to peel away from our picturesque ocean views—the good news is that you don’t have to! Ocean Isle Beach offers plenty of things to do near the coast, where you’ll only be a pebble toss away from the ocean. Relax beachside, explore local shops and dining, and see what unique things you’ll discover on the shore.

You’re overdue for a vacation to the North Carolina coast. Here’s a bit of coastal fun you can look forward to when staying in our Ocean Isle Beach vacation rentals.

Go to the beach

You can hear the ocean from the front steps of our Goin’ Coastal vacation rental. When the call of the ocean charms you enough, make it your reason to make the beach the highlight of your day. It’s just a short walk from the rental. We’ve even got beach towels and beach chairs for you, so you have everything you need to arrive and get right into the beach action.

Ocean Isle Beach stretches seven miles on the North Carolina coast, just before crossing the border to South Carolina. It’s a wide beach with enough room for sunbathers, beachcombers, and people tossing frisbees.

The powdery sand is perfect for the kids to build sandcastles. The water feels great for swimming, SUP, and surfing the mellow waves.

Hang out on the Ocean Isle Beach Pier

Ocean Isle Beach Pier

As you make your way down the coast, you can’t help but notice one of the most iconic landmarks: the Ocean Isle Beach Pier. It stretches 968’ into the Atlantic Ocean!

Ocean Isle Beach Pier is an idyllic coastal setting. Seabirds soar overhead while you attempt to count the number of wooden planks that reach the end of the pier. You’ll pass by tons of anglers waiting patiently for their next catch.

Check out some of the visitor facilities located on the pier. Grab a bite to eat at The Pier Grill. Finish off with a couple of scoops from Pier One Ice Cream. Later, see why sunsets on the pier are on the bucket list of anyone who visits Ocean Isle Beach.

Click here to watch the OIB Fishing Pier Live Beach WebCam to see what’s happening right now!

Look for seashells

The silver lining to occasional rainstorms on the beach is that afterward is the perfect time to start scouring the beach for seashells. The shell-dotted shoreline adds colorful beauty to Ocean Isle’s coastal charm.

Keep an eye out on the beach because shells here come in all shapes and sizes. Collect keyhole sand dollars, colorful coquina clam shells, and the spiraling moon snail. Hold the Lightning Whelk to your ear to hear the sound of the ocean anywhere you go.

Want to see what unique shells other visitors found at Ocean Isle Beach? Drop by the shell exchange and make a trade for your favorite.

Check out beach shops

Leave some room in your luggage while packing because you’ll end up with tons of new beach gear after your trip. Whether you need shades for our southern sun, a hoody for our chilly coastal nights, or souvenirs for your family back home, you’ll find everything you need and more at the local beach shops.

Running parallel to the coast, 1st Street is the go-to strip for the best beach shops in town. Stop by Beach Life for beach toys, floating gear, sunscreen, and other beach day essentials. Check out Flamingo Row for stylish OIB t-shirts and hats. Visit Salty’s, the largest surf shop in Ocean Isle Beach, to rent surfboards or simply dress the part!

Take a boat tour

Ocean Isle Boat Tours

What better way to appreciate Ocean Isle’s coastal charm than by taking in the waterfront scenery? From views of the beach and pier to excursions through nearby waterways, it’s one of the best ways to discover the diverse landscapes along the North Carolina Coast.

Glide across the water surface in powerboats on a guided tour with Carolinas Coastal Adventure Tours. These guided tours help spot wildlife lurking in the natural shorelines of Oak Island and Holden Beach. Join them for the sunset cruise while navigating to Bird Island.

Visit Shallotte River Swamp Park for the swamp boat eco-tour through the nearby swamplands.

Learn local history at the Museum of Coastal Carolina

The North Carolina coast is flowing with history. Learn all about it at the Museum of Coastal Carolina. Spend an hour uncovering everything these sandy shores have witnessed, from the days of its first inhabitants to the wildlife and marine life still thriving here today.

The museum features multiple exhibitions that immerse visitors in different parts of its history. See replica artifacts from Native American tribes that were excavated in the coastal area. Learn about the ocean reefs and see life-size models of the marine life living in them. Check out wildlife photography shots capturing the dynamic coastal scenery. Compare the jaw size of several shark species found in the area.

If these exhibitions wet your beak with information, it’s time to get your hands wet in the touch tank. Join in feeding time with sea urchins, horseshoe crabs, and sea stars.

Waterfront Dining

The Atlantic coast is always the perfect setting when dining out in Ocean Isle Beach. Our popular waterfront restaurants offer various views, from the coast to the Intracoastal Waterway.

Enjoy oceanfront dining at Breakers Pizza Grill & Arcade, home to the 16” pizza, and the Tipsy Turtle Tiki Bar. Just over the Ocean Isle Bridge are waterfront favorites like Sharky’s Waterfront Bar & Grill and the Ocean Isle Fish Company. Sit on the outdoor deck at Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille for views of the namesake creek snaking through the Intracostal Waterway.

Stay in Oceanfront Vacation Rentals

Ocean Isle Beach is a paradise on the North Carolina coast that you can call home while staying in our vacation rentals in Ocean Isle Beach. You’ll be just steps away from enjoying the local coastal charm, from the beach to coastal activities. Start planning your trip today!

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