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Old 03-19-2008, 11:00 AM
 
Location: London, KY
718 posts, read 1,453,792 times
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About a year ago I started a thread about my family taking a trip this summer to Oak Island. Well, the vacation season is getting closer and we went ahead and reserved a beach house at Oak Island. The house is considered "second row" and is 200 feet near the Ocean Crest pier. Can anyone tell me if that is crowded area of the beach? We are going the first week of June, and I know that most of North Carolina's school systems will still be in session....so I think the beach will be a week or so away from being at peak season. Also, where is Ocean Crest pier in relation to the lighthouse and the Oak Island Nature center? Also, about the wildlife....I discovered that there have been several shark attacks since 2000 along the Brunswick and New Hanover coasts, also a fatal shark attack a few years along the Outer Banks. In general, what kind of sharks patrol the waters near the coast? If we're talking Bulls or Tigers, I'll think twice about wading past my knees..LOL.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
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I can't tell you about the crowds but it is my understanding that oak island is a breeding ground for tiger sharks. a friend of mine used to live there. not to worry though, because most of them are very small.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:31 PM
 
Location: southport,nc
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ocean crest pier is on the other end of the island from the lighthouse. you will be driving to the other end from where you enter, since we still don't have the second bridge finished. it is a crowded drive most of the summer. yes, that part of the beach is crowded, but the ocean crest pier has its own restaurant, which is a really good one. it is also close to blue water point marina, whaich has great steaks and seafood. best place for crawfish there is!!

the nature center is on 52nd street, I believe. halfway down the main strip. it is a nice stop for the kids; good picnic spot.

if you ever have a rainy day to fill, head into downtown wilmington to the childrens museum, if you have kids. total fun! if you are in to it, they also have a cool serpentarium- where they actually feed the big snakes and gators in front of you.

hope you enjoy your stay!
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:10 PM
 
Location: London, KY
718 posts, read 1,453,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kateyk12 View Post
ocean crest pier is on the other end of the island from the lighthouse. you will be driving to the other end from where you enter, since we still don't have the second bridge finished. it is a crowded drive most of the summer. yes, that part of the beach is crowded, but the ocean crest pier has its own restaurant, which is a really good one. it is also close to blue water point marina, whaich has great steaks and seafood. best place for crawfish there is!!

the nature center is on 52nd street, I believe. halfway down the main strip. it is a nice stop for the kids; good picnic spot.

if you ever have a rainy day to fill, head into downtown wilmington to the childrens museum, if you have kids. total fun! if you are in to it, they also have a cool serpentarium- where they actually feed the big snakes and gators in front of you.

hope you enjoy your stay!
Thanks for the info..I'll take your advice about the children's museum. We are going to Oak island the very first week of June..when most of the schools are still in. Will this thin the crowd out during the week?
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Missouri
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Honestly it is crowded on the roads but I don't think it will be crowded at the beach or stuff. The nature center in on 52nd street off of yacht drive 5202 which is right off the interwater coastal waterways.There is also a musuem about turtle since we have lots turtles that hatch on the beach. It is off of beach road close to the beach area. I would really recommend going to Oak Island Recreation Center of 3003 E Oak Island Drive which is on the main road of Oak Island. They always have a program for kids and have kayaking tours as well. They can tell you where the turtle musuem on the island and the nature center as well. Also I don't know if you kids skateboard/inline skate but their is a skate park 49th E and Beach Drive. You need to bring basketball,tennis supplies and soccor ball and play at Middleton Park. The light house is located on Caswell Beach which is on Oak Island but far east of the Island. Someone mention the Wilmingtion Musuem make sure you take the boat ferry from southport and bring stale bread or crackers. You can feed the seagull of the boat.It is fun and beautiful. You can also take a trip to Baldhead Island take a ferry from southport as well. There isn't much to do but see the lighthouse,rent golf carts or bicycle and hang out the beach. There is only one Restaurant which is pricey. So you can bring food even your own bikes if you have them to ride the whole island in one day. There are no cars allowed on the road of BaldHead they only allow golf cart/bikes which is a nice day trip. Here is more info about Oak Island and event that is going on. Southport Oak Island North Carolina Chamber of Commerce Look at the events because their are sometime music at the park or movie playing at the park-bring your lawn chair and blanket. Well I hope you Have fun!!!
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Missouri
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My favorite Restaraunt is Captain Stanley off Oak Island drive for fried fish and such. My girls loved there popcorn shrimp. They give you tons of food and it is delicious.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:41 AM
 
10 posts, read 71,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryant View Post
About a year ago I started a thread about my family taking a trip this summer to Oak Island. Well, the vacation season is getting closer and we went ahead and reserved a beach house at Oak Island. The house is considered "second row" and is 200 feet near the Ocean Crest pier. Can anyone tell me if that is crowded area of the beach? We are going the first week of June, and I know that most of North Carolina's school systems will still be in session....so I think the beach will be a week or so away from being at peak season. Also, where is Ocean Crest pier in relation to the lighthouse and the Oak Island Nature center? Also, about the wildlife....I discovered that there have been several shark attacks since 2000 along the Brunswick and New Hanover coasts, also a fatal shark attack a few years along the Outer Banks. In general, what kind of sharks patrol the waters near the coast? If we're talking Bulls or Tigers, I'll think twice about wading past my knees..LOL.
Yes, most of Brunswick County Schools will still be in session in the early week of June. However, since most people have that mindset, that is a choice time for vacationers. As a result, restaurants are usually overcrowded and understaffed.

I go to Ocean Crest a lot.
Oak Island is devided into quadrants, if you will; they're not completely on-center.

There is NE, SE, NW, and SW. The dividing for the North/South is Oak Island Drive, and the dividing for the East/West is Middleton Road. All of the streets are numbered, save for maybe the first ten on the Island (excluding Caswell Beach, which is regarded by most as a seperate town). They're currently doing work on Middleton Bridge, and expanding the lanes, trying to construct a second bridge to Oak Island from the main land.

There is a canal called the Davis Canal running through the lower half of the island. From 40th street to Middleton, there are only footbridges going to the other side, which has streets running parallel to Oak Island Drive for the most part. It is on this side (the beach-side) that the Ocean Crest Pier is. It is on the stip between 19th and 16th street there, I believe (on that side, there is only a street for every three blocks). If you're going from the mainland, there is a lovely footbridge coming from the Waterway side on NE 20th street, and it comes out on NE 19th street on the Beachfront side. If you turn right, the Ocean Crest Pier is about three blocks away.

The OCP is indeed a crowded spot, especially since the Long Beach Pier was demolished. The crowding thins out, though, and it gets nowhere near as crowded as the Long Beach Pier did. There is enough space for you to do whatever you want to do and still have the comfort of knowing that if you got drowned or attacked, there would be someone nearby.

There are two sections of the Nature Center; one is for marine life and the other is for woodsy life. The latter is on the waterway, at the end of NE 52nd. The one for the marine (I forget what it's called, but I've been there), is somewhere around the Skate Park... I believe it's on 49th or 50th, and it's near the ocean, possibly oceanfront.

The lighthouse is in Caswell Beach, and for that, you have to turn in the opposite direction when you come onto the island at the light. Go past BB&T bank and turn left, and there is a long strip of road. About two or three miles on that road will bring you to the lighthouse; it's on the left. It's not open to the public, except for on days that are assigned, and you'd have to check with City Hall or the Oak Island Parks and Recreation Department to see when that might be.

And ice cream carts come past with refreshments (I'm going to be working through spring break and for the rest of the summer).

I'm not sure what kind of sharks are in the water, but they're very small.
Stingrays and skates are around, too.
But really, they're nothing to worry about.
Your best bet is to swim at least a hundred feet away from the pier (they feed there because of discarded fish and bait from the fishermen), and never swim at dawn or dusk. That is when they are most active and hunt to feed.

I've lived here for going on four years, and I haven't had trouble with sharks.
You step on things and they wriggle, and that's more scary than anything, but sharks don't tend to bother people.

My philosophy is that if you take another person into the water, there is a 50% chance that they'll step on something instead of you.

You do want to stay within walking distance of the pier, though; they sell food and snacks, and there is a bathroom there -- a rare thing in these beach streches.

I hope I was helpful.
I'll be checking this post if you need anything; just ask.
If you need phone numbers for the Rec Center or City Hall, or any of these places, feel free to ask.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:56 AM
 
10 posts, read 71,042 times
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P.S.:

You're looking for restaurants?
Won't find much but tourist traps and grease.

A nice, expensive place to go is Island Way, and it's right next to the Ocean Crest Pier.

For good food, you want to go to Southport.
Famous Subs and Pizza is good. It's past Walmart and GoGas, and before the hospital and downtown Southport.

The Sub Shop on the island is good; it's right next to Dairy Queen, on the stretch of Oak Island drive around 58th street.

I've never been to Azzie's Pizza, but it sounds good. It's expensive, though, I think.

For Coffee, don't go ANYWHERE except for The Flying Pig across from Food Lion.

For groceries, don't bother with Food Lion; it's disappointing and expensive. Go to Wal-Mart in Southport.

The best Mexican is San Felipe on Long Beach Road in Southport, in the plaza by Lowe's Foods and Taco Bell. On the other side, in another plaza, is a little Chinese place next to the laundry mat. It's pretty good.

I'm still not sure about seafood; I'm not real big on it, really.
Captain Stanley's sounds like a good bet.

If you want to go get SCENIC coffee, go to Port City Java in downtown Southport; it's by Franklin Square Park and a bunch of antique shops.

There is a wing house by Wal-mart that's pretty decent.

The best seafood I've had here is a place called Provisions by us locals, and it's nestled in the nether-regions of Downtown Southport. I really forget the specifics on how to get there, but I'm sure anyone from Oak Island or Southport could tell you.

And bring your own towels and sunscreen.
Don't spend too much on souveneirs.
Most places here are tourist traps... but they're fun to browse.

Oak Island Fudge and Gifts (right next to The Flying Pig) is interesting, and actually not too expensive. It's owned by the people who own Leaky Tiki Ice Cream, a bit down the road.

Sea Scoops (in the plaza next to Food Lion) is a place called Sea Scoops; it's in the same plaza as King's Beachwear, and it's owned by an old local family, and the prices are decent and the ice cream is good.

Up at the start of Oak Island Drive is a plaze next to a Domino's. Frosty's Ice Cream is located there, and it's REAL ice cream... it's owned by a retired couple, and they're really nice.
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Missouri
1,554 posts, read 4,139,222 times
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Don't go to Azzie for pizza it terrible food and pricey. I am a pizza lover. Pizza Shack is ok for the money. Bella Cucina is by far the best pizza to have in town it in Southport off the 211 hwy. Bella does have an expensive restaraunt next door but the pizza place is right next to it and you either pick the pizza up or eat there it is to die for.
Diary Queens is also a good place if you want different things for ice cream.
The sub shop on Oak Island makes really good sandwiches. I love the mexican restaraunt San Felipe on the Oak Island and in Southport-Walmart center.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:08 PM
 
Location: London, KY
718 posts, read 1,453,792 times
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Thanks Melzilla and Kareybear for some great information. I'll remember your suggestions and advice when we get down there in June. I thought about taking our oldest kids canoeing around the island.....I read there was a canoe trail on Davis Creek. Is there a place nearby that we can rent canoes or kayaks? I don't plan on doing any sea kayaking or even putting in at the Intracoastal Waterway..just some of the smaller streams around the island. Regarding Bald Head, do you all think it's a good place for a daytrip? I would like to see the lighthouse, but I'm not what else we would do there, except for bicycling around the island. I'm coming up with some ideas or small trips we can take to give us a break from the beach. A few that come to mind are the Aquarium, the USS North Carolina, childrens museum in Wilmington, the parks around Oak Island/Southport. I'm sure there a few others, but I don't want to list a book here. Thanks for the tips on restaurants as well...Captain Stanleys sounds good as does the seafood place over in Southport (Provisions, I think). Can you all think of an out of the way seafood place that is not overrun with tourists (like ourselves..lol) and is not particularly well known? It does not have to be in the Southport area, but within 30-40 min I guess. Again, thanks for the help, you all have been great, and I appreciate the responses.
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