Ocean Isle Beach Attractions
The Museum of the Coastal Carolinas at Ocean Isle Beach is one of the top Ocean Isle Beach Attractions. A natural history museum that offers excellent, free children’s programs where they can discover the nature of the coastal environment. Programs include educational programs for school groups, an outstanding monthly lecture series, and outdoor classroom activities on the island in fall, spring, and summer. The Museum is often the first stop for familes on their summer vacations. Summer programs include afternoon children & family programs, live snake programs, and Family Night at the Museum program. http://museumplanetarium.org/
Between Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach, is the Ingram Planetarium where you can explore the heavens. Ingram Planetarium has interesting astronomy and science programs for all ages in the 85-seat Sky Theater. All shows are 1 hour or less. The theater simulates a perfectly dark, starry night and it is unsafe to move around during the shows. Late arrivals are not admitted to the theater. We strongly recommend that young children attend the 3 p.m. show. During the busy summer season we offer fun family activities on various topics. http://museumplanetarium.org/
The House of Blues located in South Carolina’s most popular and number one attraction, Barefoot Landing is world famous for it’s top name Concerts, Gospel Brunch, food fun and music, music, music! The Gospel Brunch offers great southern style buffet with live gospel music performed by “Glory” every Sunday morning. So praise the lord and pass the biscuits! No tickets or reservations, it is first come first serve seating. If you would like more information call the House Of Blues box office at (843) 272-3000. http://www.hob.com
Awarded North Carolina Event of the Year 2007 by the North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events, the Annual North Carolina Oyster Festival features: Live entertainment, a road race, a surf contest, kids area, over 120 arts & crafts vendors and food vendors, North Carolina Oyster Shucking Championships and an Oyster Stew Cook-off.
If you’re not a fan of the oyster don’t let that stop you. There are all kinds of food vendors with everything from Greek gyros to cheesesteaks to homemade ice cream (not to mention funnel cakes, cotton candy and burgers and hot dogs).
Hotels tend to book up way ahead for this nationally recognized festival so make plans and reservations as soon as possible!
OIB Community Center…
Come join the activities of the Ocean Isle Beach Community Center.. The Community Center, located at 44 East First Street, will be open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. during March through November. During the summer, planned activities for children will be held Monday thru Friday. Visit our web page for a listing of these activities.
May through October offers nesting and hatching of sea turtles along our Islands. Experience the wonder of a nesting loggerhead turtle or the “boil” of a hatching nest! What an experience! During nesting lays, you may have an opportunity to name the nest for a small donation to the turtle watch program. “Nest parents” (volunteers) watch nests nightly during their expected hatching times to assist the babies into the surf and to protect them from predators. The “Turtle Lady” of Ocean Isle Beach, Gloria Hillenburg, holds weekly learning lectures at the Museum of Coastal Carolina on Monday nights during the summer. This is a must do activity for kids and families of all ages. For more information visit their website at www.OIBTurtlePatrol.com or 910-754-9513.
The state’s oldest remaining lighthouse is open for tours daily on Bald Head Island. Built in 1817, the 90-foot brick structure helped guide ships safely to the mouth of the Cape Fear River until 1935 when it was replaced by a new lighthouse at Caswell Beach. Some 100 steps and a wooden ladder lead to the top and a spectacular view of the island, Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. You can explore this island by bike or golf cart (available for rental on the island) but no cars are allowed so you must reach the island by ferry from Southport. Admission to the lighthouse is $3.00 per person. The ferry charge is $15 per adult and $8 per child under 12 for round trip. For additional ferry information please call 910-457-5003. Additional information regarding Old Baldy may be obtained by visiting their website at www.oldbaldy.org.
Brunswick Town and Fort Anderson were founded in 1726 and burned by the British in 1776. The state historic site has been excavated, revealing much of the life in this colonial town. A museum displays artifacts gathered from the ruins. Ruins include St. Philips’s Church, the home of two royal governors and the earthen mounds of the confederate Fort Anderson. Free admission. 910-371-6613.
Fort Fisher Civil War Museum
The last major stronghold of the Confederacy, Fort Fisher was the largest earthwork fortification in the south during the Civil War. It kept the port of Wilmington and the Cape Fear River open to Blockade-runners. The alert visitor may catch a glimpse of the ghost of Confederate General William Whiting who was imprisoned by the Union following his unsuccessful defense of the fort. Free Admission. 919-458-5538.
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Habitats emphasize the regions aquatic life including alligators, sharks, rays, touch tank, educational programs and much more. Open daily 9 am – 5 pm, year-round. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Admission is charged. 910-458-7468.
USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial
Just up highway 17 to Wilmington is the immortal showboat, the USS North Carolina. She survived every major pacific naval offensive of World War II and earned 15 battle stars. The USS North Carolina Battleship was brought to the Cape Fear River in 1961 by the citizens of NC as a memorial to all the men and women who served in WWII. The self-guided tour includes an orientation film, crew’s quarters, galley, sick bay, engine room, pilot house, guns, Kingfisher float plan and more. The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is open every day of the year, including all holidays, as the ship is a memorial. Summer hours (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day) are 8 am – 8 pm. EXCEPT Independence Day when the ship closes at 6:00 pm to prepare for fireworks. Winter Hours (After Labor Day weekend through Thursday prior to Memorial Day weekend) 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, EXCEPT Christmas Day when the ship opens at noon. Admission is charged. 910-251-5797, www.battleshipnc.com.
Myrtle Beach, SC…
This is it for all the bright lights, water parks, music theaters, shopping, amusement park rides you can stand! North Myrtle Beach is a short 30- minute drive and downtown Myrtle Beach can be reached within 45 minutes.
A short drive up Highway 17 offers you the historic city of Wilmington. Here resides the USS North Carolina Battleship. The historic downtown is worth a stroll to view the residences, the quaint shops and coffee houses.
- Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Center – OIB Fishing Central!!
- Coastal Movie Cinemas – Shallote (5min) Theater Info Here
- 18 hole Miniature Golf course (open May – Sept.)
- The Sugar Shack – “Excellent” Jamaican Food (910.755.6166)
- Fort Fisher State Park (Daily 8-7pm)
- Medieval Times (Myrtle Beach- 843.236.8080)
- Silver Coast Winery
- La Belle Amie Vineyard
- The Battleship North Carolina