Imagine sitting down to enjoy a freshly caught, expertly prepared seafood dinner plucked from the Atlantic Ocean that morning. You’ll be sitting in the warm, salt-scented air, with a perfect, uninterrupted view of the sunset over the sea. The sound of the frothy waves washes over you as you stick your fork into a decadent slice of cake and take one final sip of delightfully bubbly dessert wine. Yes, please!
All of that is possible when you visit the oceanfront restaurants on Oak Island in North Carolina! Whether you’re seeking a sandy surfside supper or an early morning coffee with sunrise views, there is a fantastic local restaurant to try. The trickiest part is choosing which exquisite eatery you want to visit first!
We’ve created this guide to show you where to eat on Oak Island if you want to enjoy an immersive sensory experience. Are you getting hungry? Read on to discover more about the best restaurants with a view on Oak Island!
Island Way is one of our favorite Oak island oceanfront restaurants, serving a full menu of surf and turf offerings for lunch and dinner! There is nothing like enjoying a bottle of wine on this eatery’s outdoor deck with the scent of the sea in the air and beautiful views of the ocean. When you dine at Island Way, the stunning Ocean Crest Fishing Pier will be your backdrop!
You can’t go wrong when you order the catch-of-the-day at this seafood house, though the steak is also phenomenal! The filet mignon and fresh lobster dinner are both out of this world.
Lazy Turtle Oceanfront Grille
If you’re looking for a casual hangout with top-tier American grub, Lazy Turtle is your place, even if you’ve still got beach sand between your toes! This relaxed local gem has tables on the sand, so you don’t need to pause your beach day to grab a bite. This place is family-friendly, so load up the kids and don’t worry about wrestling them out of their swimsuits first!
Burgers, tacos, and sandwiches reign at this relaxed lunchtime spot. They offer an extensive list of classy cocktails, like their signature “Turtle Juice.” After a day on the waves, order some incredible appetizers and chill out.
Koko Cabana’s menu might be the most stunning of all the seaside restaurants on Oak Island, but the views are the only thing more gorgeous! You’ll enjoy outdoor dining right on the Oak Island Pier and you might return more than once to try every last delectable drink on their list of signature cocktails! You’ll have time to taste it all. This local favorite is open for lunch and dinner all week!
Ruby’s Coffeehouse & Eatery
If you’re looking for the breakfast of champions, you’ll find it next door to Koko Cabana, on Oak Island Pier! You haven’t lived until you’ve sipped a Pistachio Coconut latte on the beach at sunrise. If you’re looking for some nosh to go with your caffeine, we recommend one of Ruby’s toasts.
If you’re sleeping in, you can stop by until 3:00 PM most days of the week. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a casual scoop of ice cream on the beach.
More Waterfront Dining in Southport
Southport is a quick 15 to 20-minute drive away and offers some fantastic casual waterfront dining options! All the restaurants below are situated on the Old Yacht Basin, with a panoramic view no matter where you’re seated. Here are a few of our favorites:
Fishy Fishy Cafe
When you think of Oak Island restaurants by the ocean, you probably think of seafood. It doesn’t get fresher or more delicious than the fresh-caught and fried offerings at Fishy Fishy Cafe in stunning Southport! The food is as fresh and authentic as you can get, and there are multiple outside seating areas to enjoy. For those visiting with kids, they have a full children’s menu and a casual atmosphere that families love.
Known as Provisions by the locals, this Southport restaurant has been serving some of the best food in town since 1993! It’s located a few doors down from Fishy Fishy and offers the spot to be for an ice-cold beer, peel-and-eat shrimp, or a burger and hot dog. If you’re here for the fish, you’ll find an assortment of grilled, steamed, and fried options to choose from on their menu. Plus, they’re open 7 days a week for both lunch and dinner.
Last by certainly not least, Frying Pan in Southport offers southern-style seafood with that incredible view in the background! It’s a particular favorite of Oak Island locals, casual dining at its finest, so you know it’s something special. Every meal starts with their world-famous sweet potato biscuits. For your entree, choose from blackened, pan-seared, and grilled seafood fresh from the Atlantic. End the meal with a serving of homemade sweet potato bread pudding as the sun sets over the waterfront. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
Notable Mention: Potter’s Seafood Market
Just a few steps down from Fishy Fishy, you’ll find the charming yellow fish house of Potter’s Seafood Market! While not a restaurant, this market is a notable mention for those looking to grab freshly caught seafood to prepare themselves at their vacation rental. Enjoy your feast on the sand or in the comfort of your oceanfront property and enjoy a personal, private seaside view!
Dreaming of Oceanfront Restaurants on Oak Island?
If you’re anything like us, you’ve already mentally placed an order at each of the phenomenal seaside restaurants on the list! The only thing better than dreaming about the views from the oceanfront restaurants on Oak Island is seeing them for yourself! These top-tier dining establishments are easily accessible from any Salt and Sand Realty property.
Before you can dig in, you’ll have to book your stay! An oceanfront Oak Island rental is waiting to welcome you on your next getaway, and our concierge services can help you choose where to go first. Start by browsing through our vacation homes today and turn your Oak Island dreams into a blissful reality.
Situated between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, Oak Island is a beautiful piece of paradise — no matter the time of year you visit! This paradisiacal place boasts stunning sandy beaches, mesmerizing blue-green waters, and tall dunes adorned with beach grass that sways gracefully in the breeze. It’s hard to imagine a better way to spend a family vacation than a trip to the beach, a stop for ice cream after a round of mini-golf, or throwing a line from the end of a long seaside pier!
Granted, each season lends itself to unique happenings, so there are benefits of traveling here at different times. Let’s look at some of the annual highlights so you can better figure out when the best time to visit Oak Island is for you.
Fall: Food, Festivals, and Fishing
What’s not to love about Oak Island in the fall? Warm afternoons and slightly cooler evenings with beautiful scenery and more activities than you can dream of — especially for those that love food, festivals, and fishing! Top annual events include the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament, Southport’s Wooden Boat Show, NC Oyster Festival at Ocean Isle, Wilmington’s Riverfest, and the Azalea Festival.
As for extra bonuses and wildlife, here are even more reasons why you should consider visiting Oak Island in the autumn months:
More Leisurely Pace and Reduced Rates
As the summer comes to an end, it’s school time for the kiddos… which means fewer families visiting and feeling as though you have the entire beach all to yourself! Plus, rental rates tend to drop after Labor Day weekend, so you’ll be able to enjoy the slower pace with lower rates.
Experience Sea Turtle Hatching Season
Oak Island is a fantastic place to witness baby turtles hatching and making their trek to sea! The nesting and hatching season starts around the beginning of May and goes through the end of October. It’s towards the end of the season when the babies begin hatching and making their way to the ocean for their great adventure. The Caswell Beach Turtle Watch and the Oak Island Sea Turtle Protection Program keep an eye out for new turtle nests and have dedicated volunteers that monitor them during the season.
Winter: Coastal Sunshine, Holidays, and Bonfires
What could be more fun than a winter getaway to Oak Island? You can leave behind the snow and icy temperatures to escape to one of the most stunning, pure, tranquil beaches on the North Carolina coast! Just imagine swimming in your own private (heated) pool, taking long walks on the beach, savoring mesmerizing coastal delicacies, and completing the day with a sunset and beach bonfire. Bonfires are allowed between November and April (just remember to get a free permit from the local fire department).
If we do say so, OKI also happens to be a magical family holiday destination! Learn all about what to expect when you visit during the winter months:
Holiday Events & Activities
Ready to get into the holiday spirit? Look no further than a trip to Oak Island for Christmas! Annual events and activities include the infamous Christmas by the Sea Parade, Southport’s Winterfest, and so much more. If you need last-minute gifts or something extra special and unique, the shopping opportunities are almost endless too.
Have the Island to Yourself & Get More Bang for Your Buck
If you’ve ever dreamed of practically having the entire island to yourself… then consider visiting during the winter months! Lower rates for vacation rentals continue into the winter months, and many of the area attractions will often offer special promotions during the off-season. This makes it the ideal time to experience this coastal oasis with an extended stay for a month or longer! We offer “Snowbird Rentals on Oak Island” for those looking for a tranquil island getaway to rest, relax, and take advantage of a wintertime beach trip with loved ones and friends.
Spring: First Blossoms with Beautiful Weather
There’s nothing like this time of year on the island — the weather starts to warm up, and the flowers begin to bloom! Daily high temperatures float anywhere from the mid-60s to the upper 70s with cooler nights. If you don’t mind those cooler temperatures, you’ll feel like you have the beach all to yourselves for most of March, April, and May when children are still in school.
With that being said, Easter and spring break weeks are an extremely popular time to visit, and you’ll find more people here than at any other time in the spring! This is when the island starts to come alive with family-friendly events like egg hunts, parades, and more.
Some of the best things to do in Oak Island during your spring vacation include:
Golfing and Fishing
Looking for a golfing destination that also offers fishing? Look no further than Oak Island! With its lush golf courses and proximity to the ocean, a visit here is perfect for those who love both recreations. There are over 20 golf courses within driving distance, and you can fish from one of the piers, book a deep-sea charter trip, or surf fish from the beach.
Birding and Nature Preserves
Oak Island is a nature lover’s paradise, most especially for those who love bird watching and exploring the great outdoors! If this sounds like fun, the best time to visit is when birds are migrating and breeding (which happens to be in the spring). A trip to the Oak Island Nature Center is always recommended for a relaxing afternoon of fishing, walking, and enjoying the scenery.
Summer: The Most Popular Time to Visit Oak Island
Summertime kicks off with Memorial Day and is undoubtedly the favorite season of the year for guests and island residents! No matter if you love incredible seafood, live music, getting out on the water, or arts and crafts, you’ll have a wide range of options. With temperatures averaging in the lower 70s to the high 80s, it’s also the perfect time to enjoy all the outdoor activities and weekly events on OKI.
Popular activities during the summer include lazy beach days (of course), leisurely bike rides, water sports, deep-sea fishing, going to the Oak Island Splash Pad at Middleton Park, history tours, and ending the day with a cone of your favorite ice cream! Granted, that’s only the beginning — and we haven’t even mentioned the NC Fourth of July Festival.
Can you guess what two of our favorite things to do in the summer months are? Keep reading…
Oak Island Summer Concert Series
Summer is a season for celebrations, and Oak Island is the perfect place to do it! The yearly Oak Island Summer Concert Series only gets better and better, with a lineup of outstanding performers that never fails to entertain. Oak Island is a top tourist destination with beautiful scenery, great weather, and many entertainment activities.
Relaxing on the Beach
Of course, summer cannot be complete without unwinding and rebooting in a tropical haven. You don’t need much more than a beach blanket, an umbrella, and a great book to enjoy the magnificent blue sky, the tranquil ocean waters, and the most refreshing air.
To top this off, you can go for a stroll or a bike ride on the beach, look for sea treasures, or watch the seabirds dive and plunge into the ocean for their next meal to round out the experience. For those looking for a true beach adventure, you can hear tales of real pirates while the sun sets over the ocean at The Point every Thursday to Sunday at 7:15! Learn more about Pirates at the Point by Black Sails Adventure Co.
Ready to Experience Oak Island?
We hope this helps answer when is the best time to visit Oak Island for you, your family, and your friends! No matter when you choose to travel here, we’re positive there’s something everyone in your group will love.
When you’re ready to start planning your trip, you can start by browsing through our exclusive vacation rentals on our website, and feel free to reach out to our team with any questions you may have! We’re available by phone, email, and live chat.
Have you been searching for the best pet-friendly beach destinations but haven’t discovered the perfect place for your next getaway? Welcome to Oak Island — a coastal town located on the shore of North Carolina filled with pet-friendly activities, restaurants, and a growing number of luxurious vacation rentals!
That’s right; there’s no need to leave your furry family behind at home! Bring them with you to enjoy the incredible sunrises and sunsets, memorable cuisines, and the calmness our special island offers! To help you plan your trip with your beach dog, we’ve put together this guide with pet-friendly things to do on Oak Island, along with what to expect when you get here:
Beach Days With Your Dog: Leash Laws and More
There’s nothing like a relaxing morning and afternoon on the beach, right? All you’ll have to do is grab a leash, the beach gear, and your favorite humans! As an added bonus, beach chairs and a wagon are provided at our pet-friendly vacation rentals on Oak Island.
But, before you head out the door, you might want to read over the leash laws on Oak Island. While dogs are welcome year-round on the beach, they are only allowed on the public island beaches without a leash from October 15 until March 15. You’ll find specifically marked locations where your four-legged friends can throw a beach party from the hours of 6am to 8pm every day.
Just keep in mind that there has to be proof of voice and visual control when they don’t have their leash on. We highly recommend viewing all of the ordinances and regulations on the town’s website for a full breakdown of everything you need to know before you go.
For a few tips and tricks from those who bring their pampered pooches with them to the Oak Island beaches:
- Don’t forget the freshwater and a travel bowl to keep them hydrated
- Try to go during the morning hours or later in the day when the sand is cooler (no burnt paws please!)
- They make doggy sunscreen for those with light-colored or shorter fur (sunburn sounds awful)
- It can get hot, especially during the summer, so make sure there are plenty of breaks between play sessions
- No tick and fleas here please – don’t forget your prevention medicine is key
- When in doubt, ask your family veterinarian for advice about beach days
Dog-Friendly Restaurants on Oak Island
The fun doesn’t stop at beach days, lounging around the private pool, and sunrises from the porch — there are numerous pet-friendly restaurants on Oak Island! Here are some of the top spots to bring your dog for many types of tasty treats:
- Bob’s Dogs: 8903 E Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465
- Lazy Turtle Oceanfront Bar & Grill: 601 Ocean Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465
- Shagger Jacks: 8004 E Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, NC 28451
- OKI Scoop Shop and Donuts: 4922 E Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, NV 28465
- The Grape & Ale: 8521 E Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465
- Island Jo Coffee-n-Cafe: 7916 East Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465
If you’re thinking about exploring Southport, Carolina Beach, or Wilmington, BringFido.com is an excellent resource for finding all the dog-friendly restaurants around the area! Before visiting, please check with the restaurant to clarify their pet policies and make a reservation for the patio (if allowed).
Parks to Take the Pooch on the Island
Playgrounds, pickleball courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, and more? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Middleton Park (a very dog-friendly park on Oak Island)! There’s even a picnic shelter to cool off under, restrooms, and beach access is right across the street.
If you’d like to let your little ones meet new friends and run around without a leash, there are two beautiful dog parks to check out while you’re here (both open from dawn to dusk)! The most popular is the Salty Dog Park of Oak Island, an off-leash dog park situated along the Cape Fear River. To get there, plug this address into your preferred GPS app: 4446 Fish Factory Road, Oak Island.
The second dog park on the island isn’t as well known and is smaller — it’s located at Hannon A. Templeton Park (NE 41st Street and Oak Island Drive).
Can Dogs Go on the Fort Fisher Ferry or the Bald Head Island Ferry?
Speaking of Southport, you might be wondering if dogs can go on the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry or the Bald Head Island Ferry… the simple answer is yes, dogs are allowed on both ferries! It’s such a fun way to make unforgettable memories with your pup.
As a disclaimer, we recommend keeping an eye on the weather if you decide to go on a ferry ride with the furry one in tow. There are a few things to take into consideration and be prepared for. First, the deck can get very hot and might not be the most comfortable for those precious paws. Additionally, they won’t be able to join you in the lounge, and your car can’t stay on for air conditioning to keep them cool.
So, long story short, make sure it’s a cooler day where all of you can stay in your car with the windows open comfortably. Read more information about the ferries and visit their website for all of the rules by clicking here.
Now You Know Some of the Top Pet-Friendly Things to Do on Oak Island
Ready for boundless fun for everyone and plenty of pet-friendly activities at the beach? Our team would love to help you plan your next stay and answer any questions you may have about bringing your four-legged family member with you.
Start by browsing our ever-growing selection of pet-friendly rentals on Oak Island, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with anything you can think of.
What better way to explore the island than a golf cart rental on Oak Island? Whether you’re traveling with little ones, carrying loads of beach gear, or you feel like taking it easy, a golf cart rental is a perfect way to save your legs and conveniently get from one destination to the next. Here is everything you need to know about renting golf carts on Oak Island, North Carolina:
Top Places to Rent Golf Carts in Oak Island
Several companies offer golf cart rentals to help you discover Oak Islands’ many delights! Here are three of the top rental companies in the area:
Modern Golf Carts offers four or six-passenger vehicles, all with extended tops to provide plenty of shade and 14-inch wheels for stability! Plus, their free door-to-door delivery service makes renting a golf cart a breeze.
In operation for more than 2 decades, Southport’s Golf Cart Outlet has a range of street-legal 4- and 6-seater low-speed vehicles (LSVs) to rent. They offer 3-day and weekly rental packages, including free drop-off and pick-up.
Located in Southport, Coastal Golf Cart Rentals also has four- and six-person golf carts to easily travel around Oak Island. There’s a minimum rental period of 2 days. They also offer power wheelchair rentals to allow easier beach access to visitors who would benefit.
LSV and Golf Cart Rules on OKI
Although often referred to as golf carts, you’ll find low-speed vehicles available for rent on Oak Island! They’re also known as LSVs, and have certain features that allow them to be fully street legal (often up to a certain speed limit).
The basic information you need to know is that the electric-powered LSVs can legally be driven on the streets, but golf carts (unless modified) cannot. Unless you’re hitting the links, actual golf carts can only be used on Oak Island by people with a mobility-related disability, and there are restrictions as to which roads they can use.
When you’re ready to get out on the road with your modified golf cart (or LSV), these are the basic Oak Island ordinances that will come in handy to know:
- No driving on the sidewalks
- Can only be driven on roads with a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or lower
- You can cross a road or street at an intersection with a higher speed limit
- Driver must be licensed and impaired driving laws apply
- All seat belt and children’s car seat laws apple
- Must be electric (cannot be powered by gasoline, diesel, or any other fuel)
- Can’t use it to tow a trailer or wagon (unless also registered)
You can find the most up-to-date information on the Town of Oak Island’s website and we also recommend asking your rental company any questions you may have about where you can and cannot use LSVs on the island.
Where to Go & What to See
So you’ve decided to rent a low-speed vehicle on Oak Island, but where should you go? As long as you’re traveling on a road or street that has a posted speed limit sign of 35 mph or lower… the island is your oyster! Here are some of our favorite activities to enjoy:
There’s quality relaxation time on the beach, of course! Oak Island’s sandy shore offers something for everyone: soaking up some rays, building sandcastles, swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, rock-pooling, boating, playing, and strolling along the sands; there are so many possibilities!
You’ll find a free parking lot at Caswell Beach and another just a stone’s throw from Oak Island Pier. Most public access points to Oak Island’s beach have parking nearby, just make sure it does not have a reserved resident sign. Also, please don’t be tempted to park up on the sidewalk — there are strict rules against it.
For those who love exploring, kayaking, and fishing… you’ll find it all here. If you’re looking for spots for wildlife viewing, a trip to the Oak Island Nature Center might just be right up your alley. There is also the Environmental Outlook Trail and many other outlook areas available. Want to learn more? Check out our guide to recreation and nature on OKI.
Here during the peak season? Take the kids to Oak Island Jungle Golf & Arcade for an afternoon or evening of family fun! Soak up the gorgeous vistas from the piers, snap a selfie in front of Oak Island Lighthouse and walk through the historical remnants of Caswell Fort. Or, treat yourself to some pampering TLC with a spa treatment, browse in local gift shops, and enjoy a cool beverage in a laid-back bar.
And, if you visit between May and August, you’re in for a treat — it’s the turtle hatching season! Watching tiny loggerhead turtles crawling across the sands is quite magical. The Farmer’s Market is also up and running from May to September, which is a great place to visit. Want even more? There are many cool historical spots and museums within easy reach of Oak Island.
Vacation Home Rentals on the Island
Haven’t found your perfect coastal vacation rental on Oak Island for your next vacation adventure! Our team would love to help you find a place that will meet all of your needs and answer any questions you may have. Start planning your next stay by browsing through our large selection of premier vacation homes on the island.
One of the big draws of Oak Island as a top tourist destination — after the beautiful scenery and gorgeous weather — is the range of engaging events the town puts on each year. Summer is a time to celebrate, precisely what the Oak Island Summer Concert Series aims to do. This Music Concert is an annual event that seems to get better every year, and the line-up for 2022 doesn’t disappoint.
You’ll never be out of things to do throughout the summer with this selection of talented artists. For a sneak peek of what’s in store, read on.
Your 2022 Free Music Schedule
Taking place at Middleton Park between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm each Friday this summer, the Oak Island Summer Concert Series kicks off on the last Friday of May. The first act up is a musical group that more than lives up to its name: The Main Event Band. Their mix of R&B, soul, beach, country, and funk creates the perfect vibe to start a fantastic summer series.
Throughout the summer, you’ll hear a variety of genres, from funk and soul to rock and pop. There are going to be genres to suit all kinds of tastes. You can see the full and fabulous schedule yourself below.
- May 27th – The Main Event Band
- June 3rd – The Cruise Brothers Band
- June 10th – The Sand Band
- June 17th – The Tim Clark Band
- June 24th – The Entertainers
- July 1st (OKI Beach Day) – Cat 5
- July 8th – Too Much Sylvia
- July 15th – Chocolate Chip & Co. Band
- July 22nd – The Embers feat. Craig Woolard
- July 29th – Pink Slips
- August 5th – Uptown Easy Band
- August 12th – Rivermist
- August 19th – Carolina Line Bluegrass Band
- August 26th – Old Man Mafia Band
- September 3rd – North Tower
More Amazing Things to Do this Summer on Oak Island
But of course, the Summer Concert Series represents only a fraction of things to do on Oak Island this summer. Of course, there are beautiful beaches, but there’s also the option of zip-lining and taking a swamp tour at The Swamp Park Eco Adventure Zip-Line Park. This park is an excellent option for kids and adventurous adults alike.
Kids will also love the Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium, rounded off with a few rounds at the Planet Fun Bowling & Arcade or Oak Island Jungle Golf. For the adults, what could be better than a trip to the Silver Coast Winery, located a few islands down and mere moments from the beach at Ocean Isle?
The list of unique Oak Island tourist attractions goes on and on. There’s an abundance of things to see and experience on Oak Island. You’ll find there’s so much to do in this magical place you’ll barely see the inside of your luxury vacation rental.
Enjoy the Oak Island Summer Concert Series and Much More
When it comes to fun and festivities, the Oak Island Summer Concert Series is only the tip of the iceberg. Experience everything this amazing location has to offer this summer. Get in touch to book your own Oak Island vacation rental today.
Are you excited about a trip filled with coastal adventures and creating vacation memories with your loved ones that will last a lifetime? One of the most popular pastimes for families and friends is spending an afternoon or evening at an Oak Island Pier! Here is where you’ll find kids playing, friends laughing, and families strolling along, taking in the seaside sights.
If you’ve never visited OKI before, you might not know that there are two great piers on the island: the Oak Island Pier (formerly the Yaupon Fishing Pier) and the Ocean Crest Fishing Pier! Keep reading to learn all about both piers and what there is to do nearby.
The Oak Island Pier (Formerly: Yaupon Fishing Pier)
This gorgeous, historic pier was built over 65 years ago and happens to be the highest pier in North Carolina! It measures 27 feet tall and runs a whopping 880 feet in length, which provides visitors with 30 different fishing stations. Talk about the perfect place to cast your line and reel in a delicious catch!
Aside from the exquisite fishing opportunities, you’ll find countless things to do during your time at the Oak Island Pier — from The Pier House and three dining options to an oceanfront center for all of your event needs. The beach lovers in your group will also love being able to quickly take a stroll along the sandy shore, while the fisherman can stay behind and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.
The Pier House
Forgot to bring your fishing rods or tackle? You’ll find a wide variety of poles, tackle, and gear you’ll need for your fishing venture on the pier. They even have rental options for those who do not wish to purchase gear during their time here. In addition, to live bait and fishing equipment, you’ll also find souvenirs, snacks, and unique apparel for the entire family.
Dining at the Oak Island Pier
Are you looking for oceanfront dining on Oak Island? Look no further than the excellent restaurants at the Oak Island Pier (formerly the Yaupon Fishing Pier)! If you start your day with a fresh cup of brew or feel like grabbing a bite before heading out for a fun-filled day in the sun, the place to go for breakfast and lunch is Ruby’s Coffeehouse! This popular eatery has all your favorite coffee, teas, and delicious baked treats. It’s open from the morning until mid-afternoon Tuesday through Sunday.
Another excellent place to grab a bite to eat and your favorite beachy cocktail is Koko Cabana! You’ll find island vibes and an assortment of dishes to please even the pickiest diners in your group. The menu includes snacks, salads, seafood plates, island bowls, and more. They’re typically open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 8pm, making it a terrific stop for lunch and dinner.
A quick walk away is where you’ll find the 3rd spot to stop for a bite to eat near this OKI pier, Lazy Turtle Bar & Grill. This popular oceanfront restaurant is known for having some of the best views on Oak Island! You’ll find a casual dining atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating options. Their menu offers fresh seafood, salads, chicken wings, sandwiches, burgers, and more. They’re open 7 days a week and always have fun events like Bingo and Trivia, making it an entertaining, family-friendly hangout!
801 Ocean Event Center
If you want to plan an event at the beach in North Carolina that your guests will never forget, you’ll find that 801 Ocean offers a spectacular experience! The chic coastal atmosphere paired with the beautiful exposed ceilings makes the interior an event planner’s dream. Not to mention, you’ll have your choice of add-ons like catering and auto-visual services. This oceanfront event space will take your breath away from weddings and anniversaries to birthday parties and ceremonies. Plus, it’s open year-round and can host up to 200 guests.
Ocean Crest Fishing Pier
The second pier on Oak Island is the Ocean Crest Fishing Pier, which holds the title of the longest fishing pier on the Southern Cape Fear Coast at 893 feet long! It’s also been voted as the most popular fishing pier in North Carolina by Fisherman’s Post and has been recognized by its T-shaped end that’s 50 feet wide. Even though this unique end was actually damaged and lost in Hurricane Isaias, it still remains to be the ideal spot for catching king mackerel and provides dazzling views for miles from the large boardwalk.
The amenities include landing nets and cleaning stations, rod rentals, handicap-accessible restrooms, nighttime lighting, bench seating, and easy beach access. It’s open 7 days a week from 11am to 8pm during the warmer months, so don’t hesitate to stop by and enjoy everything there is to do: eat, dine, and relax!
The Ocean Crest Pier House
The pier house at Ocean Crest is the perfect place to rent fishing rods along with an assortment of bait, like frozen shrimp, squid, cut mullet, and more! It’s also a hotspot for hanging out after your fishing excursions! Grab a drink at the bar, pick up some snacks and refreshments, and browse through all the souvenirs available. There’s even a wide range of Oak Island apparel to choose from — hats, shirts, shorts, and more.
Dining at the Ocean Crest Pier
More oceanfront dining options on Oak Island? Yes, that’s right! The Seahorse Eats & Drinks can be found overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Ocean Crest Pier. Grab a cold Carolina brew from their massive beer menu or pick from over 10 types of wines as you relax after a day fishing from the pier! They even have live music performances and often host various events.
If you’re searching for a more upscale dining experience with sweeping panoramic views, you’ll love Island Way! It’s Oak Island’s favorite oceanfront steak and seafood restaurant. On the menu, you’ll love fan-favorites like their mouthwatering jumbo lump crab cakes grilled to perfection and shrimp and grits that will have your taste buds going wild! Reservations are strongly recommended, and they’re open Wednesday through Sunday from 4:30pm to 9pm.
Oak Island Fishing Pier Webcams
Curious to see the current weather conditions at the Oak Island piers? You don’t have to be here to see the sights firsthand. There are webcams set up that offer 24/7 live streams of the ocean. It’s a fun way to feel like you’re seaside and see what’s happening in real-time near the coast. View what it currently looks like on the Ocean Crest Fishing Pier webcam… or on the live camera in Southport at the waterfront park!
Is a NC Fishing License Needed?
One of the best things about pier fishing in North Carolina is that you don’t need a fishing license! If you want to fish at other spots on the island, you must purchase one on the North Carolina Wildlife Resouces Commission website.
But, don’t worry — it’s super simple to do and is very affordable. If you prefer buying a fishing license over the phone, you can call them on 888-248-6834 (Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm). Additionally, most bait and tackle shops in the area allow you to pick up a NC fishing license in person.
Oak Island Vacation Rentals Near the Piers
There is nothing like a day and evening spent at the Oak Island Piers! Whether you’re in town for one of the fishing tournaments or on a family vacation, there’s something for everyone in your group to love here. And, when you’re ready to start planning your next OKI adventure, our team is here to help you with all of your needs. Either pick up the phone, send us an email, or start browsing through all of our premier Oak Island vacation homes today: