Comprised of the Town of Oak Island, our coastal town is a scenic retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life and the largest and longest of the five barrier islands that comprise North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands! We’re nestled along the southern coast of North Carolina, just minutes from historic downtown Southport and the vibrant city of Wilmington.
Visitors have a chance to experience what life was like before high-rise resorts and crowded beaches. With more than ten miles of sandy shores, our island is the perfect place to relax and enjoy all that nature offers, including fishing from the two fishing piers, swimming, boating, and shelling. And for those who enjoy a little adventure, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the island’s maritime history with charter fishing trips, kayaking tours, and even treasure hunting!
How to Get to Oak Island
You’ll find Oak Island just south of Wilmington, and it’s easy to get to whether you’re driving or flying. Specifically, we’re just a hop, skip, and jump across the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge from historic downtown Wilmington. Only a short drive down Interstate 40, you’ll find us on the Intracoastal Waterway, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the mainland. We’re also a scenic ferry ride to the beautiful Bald Head Island and a quick drive to the vibrant city of Myrtle Beach.
Want a closer look into where Oak Island is located and get directions from where you are? Check out this map of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands:
Is The Curse of Oak Island Here?
The short answer is no, our barrier island in North Carolina is not where the History Channel show The Curse of Oak Island is filmed. The popular treasure hunting show with Rick and Marty Lagina is actually based in Nova Scotia, Canada. While we wish the Lagina Brothers and Dan Blankenship the best of luck in their quest to uncover the mystery of Oak Island, you’ll have to travel much farther north to the coast of Nova Scotia to get close to this island in Canada.
Granted, coastal North Carolina has a storied past all of its own, filled with pirates and ancient treasures abound! Before it became a popular vacation destination for families and couples, it was home to Native Americans, pirates, and even the Knights Templar of North Carolina starting in the early 19th century.
Right down the road is where the real-life Pirates of the Caribbean, Blackbeard, ran the Queen Anne’s Revenge aground off the coast of what is now Beaufort Inlet. Blackbeard and several of his crew were killed in a battle with the Royal Navy shortly after that, but many believe that the pirate’s treasure still lies hidden somewhere off the coast of North Carolina.
A Brief History of Brunswick County
Brunswick County was established in 1764, named for the British Royal House of Hanover, whose ruling monarch at the time was King George III. The county was originally part of Bladen County, but the western portion broke away, and Brunswick County was born.
In 1776, the first Brunswick Town was burned to the ground by the British during the Revolutionary War. The second Brunswick Town was established in 1779 but was again destroyed, this time by a hurricane, in 1786. The third and final Brunswick Town was built in 1787 and is now the site of the town of Southport, which was founded in 1792.
Today, Southport still feels like a step back in time with its historic buildings and quaint shops lining the streets. It’s home to a wide variety of activities and attractions, including the NC Maritime Museum, Fort Johnston-Southport Museum & Visitors’ Center, and the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry. It’s a great place to visit during your stay on Oak Island, only a stone’s throw away! Alongside the shops, you’ll find an abundance of restaurants, art galleries, and antique stores to explore.
Start Planning Your Next OKI Stay Today
Whether you’re looking for a place to escape the grind or hoping to find some buried pirate treasure, Oak Island, NC is the ideal destination for your next vacation! Our team would love to help you find the perfect vacation home for you and your family or group to make memories that will last a lifetime. We’re only a call, email, or live chat message away, and we can’t wait to welcome you to the island!