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Oak Island

Discover a warm community, beautiful views, and unforgettable seafood.

Welcome to Oak Island

Oak Island is the largest of North Carolina’s barrier islands and has a vibrant seaside community. Beloved by locals and vacationers alike, you will never run out of things to do, indoors or outside. Local venues feature live concerts, sweeping lighthouse views, seaside dining, water sports, beautiful parks, and a cultivated golf club. 

Oak Island is also excellent for dog owners, as many indoor-outdoor oceanside venues have dog-friendly decks and terraces. You can enjoy the delicious gourmet and homestyle seafood walk of Oak Island, tossing hush puppies and fish nibbles to your dog.

What to Love

Oak Island is a charming island community just far enough from city life to feel like it is worlds away—but not too far for deliveries and nearby essentials. You may love walking the Caswell beach, exploring the Oak Island Lighthouse, or looking out from The Point on the other end. Climb the Environmental Overlook Trail for views of the Atlantic and the town to either side.

But while you may come for the views, you’ll stay for the food. With seafood caught impossibly fresh off the Ocean Crest Fishing Pier, local restaurants have endless practice making the most delicious recipes using only the freshest seafood ingredients. Whether you’re feeling like a gourmet lobster presentation or a fish fry, there’s always another delectable local spot to discover just down the beach.

Local Lifestyle

Oak Island is laid-back, fun, and dog-friendly. The locals love to fish and spend time in the many beautiful local parks and along the beaches. You often see furry companions at peoples’ sides as they meet on shady outdoor piers. Oak Island is a fine place to relax, enjoy the beautiful, walkable local shops and restaurants, and stop at one of the many local venues for a little live music. The adventuresome can charter boats and enjoy the sights of the town from the other side of the beach. 

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

There are so many delicious places on Oak Island, and you should try them all. Swain’s Seafood & Cut Restaurant on East Oak Island Drive is known for its incredible homestyle seafood and perfectly charred steaks. Right down the road, you’ll see a summertime favorite, Shagger Jacks, known for legendary down-home seafood, sandwiches, cocktails, and live music (plus a dog bar with free water).

Koko Cabana has a unique fusion seafood menu. Island Jo’s is an excellent place for breakfast and coffee, while Kai-Joe’s is a Mexican Fusion (and seafood) shop.

Check out Strand's Outfitters if you’re looking to shop for local attire or coastal gear. Meanwhile, Mermaid Cove is the perfect place to pick up beautiful accessories, gifts, and gourmet chocolates. 

Things to Do

Oak Island is always alive with things to do. Visit the farmers' market and artisan markets during the summer, along with other unforgettable community events like Concerts in the Park. The seasonal Farmers Market is open every Monday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the soccer fields behind Town Hall. Here, you can find homemade goods (jewelry, furniture, rugs) and fresh produce.

Discover the beauty of Oak Island at the Oak Island Lighthouse, Veteran’s Park, May Moore Park, or the Nature Center. Golfers will appreciate Oak Island Golf Club and Duffer’s Pub & Grill (their burgers and steak fries are amazing).


Like the other barrier islands, Oak Island does not have its own school district. Instead, residents attend the public and private schools of Southport. The best schools near Oak Island are:

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