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1st time visitor . . . a few questions

Princeton, NJ
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1st time visitor . . . a few questions

We're planning our first vacation to Ocean Isle in July 2005. Just wanted to get a feel for the Island (we'll be renting a house near Newport St.) Any activities/shops/restaurants within walking distance? or are they all along the main road onto the island?

Any good coffee houses?

Thanks!!

Charlotte, North...
Destination Expert
for North Carolina
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2,956 posts
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1. Re: 1st time visitor . . . a few questions

hi,

We own a beach house on the next beach up, Holden Beach. I've never stayed on Ocean Isle, but have visited many times. Most of the shops, restaurants and such are on the road coming into the island. We were just down there two months ago for their Oyster Festival. We drive our boat from Holden beach down the Intercoastal waterway to Ocean Isle. There is a marina there where I think you could probably rent a boat. The waterway is a great place to see a different side of the coast. Kayaking there is also becoming more popular. Back to O.I. there is a fun restaurant there right off of the waterway, on the road into O.I.; the name is Sharky's. They have great food, and great atmosphere. They also sometimes have live music. There is a great little museum on O.I. , The Museum of Coastal Carolina. The island also has a mini. golf course (putt-putt) and a water slide. There are several neat little shops. I'm not much on coffee, so I'm not sure about a coffee house. Many people use bicycles to get around, there are several places on O.I. to rent bikes.

To me the great thing about these barrier island beaches is that they are so laid back. Sometimes we go down to our house and never leave the island; just relax on the beach, take our boat out, do some fishing, and ride our bikes. Sometimes, however I'm in a mood to do things, and there's tons to do in the area. For world famous seafood restaurants, Calabash, NC is a short drive south. A little further south is Myrtle Beach, with tons of shopping, amusement and water parks, dinner shows,etc. (check out- funbeaches.com) Lots of action going on! The entire area is known for it's golf courses, they're everywhere! To the north of O.I. there are many nice things to do for a day trip. Southport is a historic little seaside town with lots of antique shops and good restaurants. There is a ferry that leaves/returns there to/from Fort Fisher. It is a fun trip in itself. There is a great aquarium at Fort Fisher and also a Civil War historic site and museum. From there it is a short drive into the historic district of Wilmington. There are beautiful restored historic homes and shops near the Riverfront. There are tours offered there. The U.S.S. North Carolina battleship is located located there, it is very fun and interesting to tour it. I'm sure if you contacted the Chamber of Commerce for Brunswick County, N.C. they can give you lots more visitor info. on O.I. and the surrounding area. I believe that they also have a website with some good info. Hope this helps.

Best Wishes!

Seneca, SC
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2. Re: 1st time visitor . . . a few questions

We have been to Ocean Isle for the past two summers.....what we like is the lack of activity! Of course, you have the beautiful beach, which is worth the entire trip, and there is a water slide, coastal museum. As for places to eat, Sharky's is great, as is the Giggling Mackerel--both casual. For more formal meals you have The Isles on the south end of the beach and Stars Waterfront Cafe. The shops are your usual beach shops with t-shirts, shells, etc. No coffee shops that I know of!!!

Atmosphere is very laid back---bring good beach books and sunscreen! If you must have entertainment and coffee shops, Myrtle Beach is about 45 minutes south!

Charleston, South...
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3. Re: 1st time visitor . . . a few questions

We have been going there since 1998 and wouldnt go anywhere else because of the quietness there. Even on the 4th of july you dont see the crowds like Myrtle Beach and it is soooo much cleaner and nicer there. Our friends live there and are on the town council so I can tell you this-they know that the beach is the towns bread and butter so they really keep it up nice. You probably will have to go to Calabash to get a coffee shop--I think it is SonRise if i remember correctly. Also go to Tony's-it has the best Italian. Dockside is pretty good seafood, but you really need to try Sharkys and the other one that is right beside it,cant remember the name. You are staying on the canals right, so you will have the best of it all, that is where we stay and you really dont miss not being oceanfront esp if you have a widows watch. Plus it is like a family reunion you get to know the neighbors and if you want you can swim in the canals-we do sometimes. Last time we were there dolphins were in the intercoastal waterway and it was so neat. Our family wouldnt go anywhere else for vacation. It is the only place i would seriously consider letting my child go out on the beach and let her kind of walk a distance away from me, because it is such a family atmosphere. We are going in July2005 and stay on Union street. We have the days counted down!!

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