Oak Island Recreation & Nature - Salt & Sand Realty and Vacation Rentals

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Recreation & Nature

No matter your interests, you’ll find something to fall in love with at Oak Island NC! It’s the perfect place for fishing, boating, watersports… and simply heading to the great outdoors for adventures, bird watching, nature hikes, and more. Check out some of our favorite Oak Island recreation & nature activities below:

Enjoy the Oak Island from the water

What beats a relaxing Oak Island sunset cruise or a fun-filled day offshore fishing? We don’t think much does, granted we might be a bit biased. The island is surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, making it easy to jump out on the water for a variety of family-friendly activities near Oak Island. From renting a boat from nearby Southport Boat Rentals to jet ski rentals from Carolina Watersports and many boat charter companies in the area, your options are almost limitless.


Fishing from the beach and local piers is a longstanding Oak Island recreation tradition and enjoyed by visitors and locals alike! Whether you would like to fish from land or the pier, go offshore, stay nearshore, or explore the backwater areas — you won’t be disappointed. The North Carolina coast is home to some of the best fishing in the country. You can expect to catch a wide variety of species like King Mackerel, Bluefish, Flounder, Bluefish, and even sharks. If you decide you’d like to experience the joys of deep-sea fishing, you can also expect to find Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, Red Snapper and Grouper. Fishing licenses can either be purchased online or found for sale in most local sporting goods, tackle, and gun shops. And, for those with a competitive streak, you’ll find over a dozen local fishing tournaments held in and around Oak Island every year.


In addition to jet ski rentals, other favorite water activities in Oak Island include kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, and even surfing! If you’re a seasoned pro and want to go out on your own, there are plenty of companies in the area that provide equipment rentals. Not as familiar with the area? Schedule a guided or private tour! No matter what you decide, we do recommend securing reservations for tours or rentals before you arrive.

Discover Oak Island nature & hiking trails

Coastal nature and wildlife is in abundance and awaits you here! Whether you’re looking for a leisurely afternoon discovering the area or a fast-paced adventure, there are many opportunities to enjoy the native animals, birds, and plants. You’ll find nature preserves, conservancies, marshes, swamps, and wetlands to discover. These unique and varied ecosystems throughout the area provide a wide range of captivating species that call Oak Island home — from loggerhead sea turtles, hundreds of species of birds, and even alligators.

Some of the most popular pastimes of locals and visitors include taking a leisurely stroll through the magnificent nature preserves, kayaking the many tidal creeks, visiting the Oak Island Recreation Nature Center to learn about native reptiles, shorebirds, and mammals, and discovering flora and fauna at the Talking Trees Walking Trail. Plus, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is a quick and scenic ferry ride away.

Explore the area by bicycle

If you’ve been here before, you know renting bicycles during your stay at Oak Island is an absolute must! Take a leisurely cycle down the beach, ride down to the nearest restaurant to grab lunch with an ocean view, or head out for an adventure through the charming seaside roads and discover parts of the island that can’t be found by car. Feel free to bring your own bikes with you, or consider renting them through a local company. Most provide adult and child cruiser or fat-tire bikes along with add-ons for younger family members (like trailers and specialty seats).

And golf away!

Breathtaking scenery, coastal surroundings, and a climate that allows for scheduling a tee time year-round is part of the magic that makes Oak Island a golfer’s paradise. With 6 golf courses nearby and numerous courses throughout Brunswick County, you’ll be able to find the perfect course that matches your skillset and will bring you back year after year. A few of the closest golf courses include the Oak Island Golf Club, Oak Island Par 3 at South Harbour, The Lakes Country Club, and the Bald Head Island Club. Many of these local courses also offer private and group lessons for golfers of all ages, so bring the family along for a day of fun!

Want to view area attractions and companies in the area? Check out our comprehensive list of Oak Island Activities and Attractions. Or, if you’re looking for information about the beach, we have you covered too! And, if you have any questions or would like assistance finding the perfect vacation rental for your next trip, give us a call or send us an email. We’d be happy to help you begin planning your upcoming visit.

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