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Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

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Hannibal, Ohio
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1 post
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Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

I have two little girls that just love to gather sea shells. I was just wondering how the shelling at OIB compares to the Outer Banks. We have not been to either area and were just looking for one final detail to help us choose where to go. My daughters are really looking forward to gathering shells and since vacationing is all about showing the kids new adventures, I would really like to take them where they will have the most fun. I know this sounds like a really small detail when deciding where to go, but we are really torn between the two places and the least little thing could make the decision a little easier.

Thanks for any responses!

Western Ireland...
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290 posts
9 reviews
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1. Re: Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

I have been to Ocean Isle Beach twice and the Outer Banks twice. Ocean Isle has a lot of great shelling. The beach is wide and flat, and the waves roll in, making it very kid friendly. Now I must say both times we have been there we stayed at the the Islander Inn and this July we are staying at the Ocean Isle Inn, but in front of these hotels and a short walk in either directions my daughter and I picked up bags full of shells. Now the Outer Banks is another story. I didn't like that area because the waves pounded into shore and I didn't find not even 1 shell, so we have not gone back. And the ocean temp in the outerbanks, which is a lot further north, is not as warm in the summer. I think you will be very happy with Ocean Isle Beach-nothing to do but enjoy the ocean.

Charleston, South...
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124 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

Shelling is pretty good-last year we found lots of whole sand dollars and sea biscuits and some fairly large conch shells. Get up and go early and you will find the best shells. Your daughters will love OIB, and there is lots of beach to enjoy-its not crowded at all. They will love the turtle watching at the museum of coastal carolina as well, plus the community center has arts and crafts throughout the week for your little ones(or they did when my daughter was younger). I think you will enjoy OIB.

Seneca, SC
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63 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

We have never been to the outer banks, but OIB is great for shells. The only other beach that I have found more shells is Jekyll Island, GA and that was after a hurricane had moved up the coast!

I think you will love OIB--be sure and take your kids to the museum there!

North Carolina, USA
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3 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

We offer free children's activities at the Community Center (on the ocean) on E. First Street from June 2 until August 22. The time is from 10:00 until 12:00 M-F weather permitting. The age limit is 3 years to 10 years. An adult must accompany and stay with each child during the camp. We play games, dance, do crafts, and each day has its own theme:

Monday - Sea Turtles

Tuesday - Tropical Tuesday (mermaids/seahorses)

Wednesday - Beach games and shells

Thursday - Pirates

Friday - Fish

Call Town Hall for further info, or watch the local channel 8 when you arrive at Ocean Isle Beach.

Welcome to paradise!!!

Rural Valley, PA
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1,256 posts
28 reviews
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5. Re: Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

I agree to the previous comment...

Welcome to paradise. I've been to both OBX once, OIB 7 times. That should say it all. If you want a really nice walk, drive as far as you can drive to the east end, then walk... on low tide evenings. Beautiful. Plenty of shells, birds, you are past all the houses. Lots of little tide pools for the kids. It's a great place!

Rural Valley, PA
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6. Re: Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

PS Went to the turtle program a couple years ago. It was a great program!

western north...
5 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

Drive down to the very east end during low tide for shells. I've not done this for a couple of years, but there used to be parking at the dead end road. I'm not sure if erosion has changed anything either. Years ago, my grandmother and I would find bagfuls of sand dollars, conchs, olives, tiger eyes, etc... But that was years ago at this location. It may be worth a try. Anyone try shelling at the east end inlet lately?

Charleston, South...
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124 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

actually we found more shells this year than we ever have-big conch shells, and lots of olives. This year we were pretty much smack dab in the middle of the beach, and if it was good there it surely is great at the inlet.

North Carolina
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2 posts
38 reviews
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9. Re: Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

This is very late in replying but in case anyone ventures to this forum like I did, I would like to put my two cents worth in!

We have grown up going to OIB all my life (I'm 50) and my sister currently lives there. The last two years, we have rented a place on the East End that is now, sadly, on second row. The view from there is great and the beach is right across the street. Fortunately, the east end for shell hunting is just a bike ride away. They have closed the road for parking but there is public parking and a small walk to get to the end behind the last set of condos down there. It is the BEST place to shell hunt. Early morning and low tide is the best time. At low tide, one can actually walk to the west end of HOlden! Shells abound and I have buckets of olives (my favorite) from my excursions down there. We've always preferred the east end when our kids were small because the low tide caused so many puddles that would warm up with the sun. OIB is great!

10. Re: Shelling at Ocean Isle Beach

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