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Old 08-09-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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I want to take a family vacation in either Sunset Beach or Ocean Isle.

Which has the better beach?
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Wilmington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaman View Post
I want to take a family vacation in either Sunset Beach or Ocean Isle.

Which has the better beach?
They are both great family beaches, I like Sunset beach because it is flat and level near the water and easy to walk on, plus I enjoy walking down to bird island. OIB has had some storm wash out of the sand in recent years and I found that it was hard to walk on plus there was a lot of washout in the ocean and some big "drop-offs" if you know what I mean, there are no lifeguards on either beach and no facilities, there is a convenience store and ice cream shop close to both of them. Sunset beach is closer to the Myrtle beach area for shopping, mini golf, restaurants, etc.
Hope you have a great vacation wherever you decide to go!
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:39 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
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The farther you get from the Cape Fear River, the better.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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Why is that? Does the Cape Fear cause more erosion, create "dirtier" water due to shipping traffic, etc? Just curious. Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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The only concern I would have today is Ocean Isle has a regular bridge, whereas Sunset still has the old swing bridge which does break often, restricting getting on and off the island.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:12 PM
 
Location: NC's southern coastline
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Evidently the Cape Fear river causes algae in the county water. Ever since we've moved here, our water has smelled so foul, even after my husband put a filter on the entire house. Some people in Leland started complaining recently (for GOOD reason!) about the smell and taste of the water, and it turns out- high algae levels! We had what we thought was stomach viruses that we now think was out water, and when they chlorinate it more to treat the "funk" as I call it....it makes my skin itch when I take showers, even, again, with the whole house filter.

The beach question, I live near both and I like Sunset a lot better but both are nice. The big drawback to Sunset is the bridge, true. It's not bad---but could be if something happened by chance, it's the only way on and off the island. Years ago before I moved here, my inlaws remember when a barge knocked the bridge out and if you happened to be on the island, it took a week to get off unless you had someone personal come get you in a boat (personal meaning, you could not call the police or rescue squad to gte you off just because you wanted- they only got people off who had medical needs from what I understand, you couldn't just call and get rescued.). Chances of this happening are not very good and I have not heard of any major problems nor ever had problems myself, and I like how Sunset is a little more isolated at time, love to walk to Bird Island, and love how flat and wide the beach is especially at low tide, lots of tidal pools for the kids to play in. Ocean Isle has the advantage of a high rise bridge, and more seashells (but never found anything too special)..so if my kids want to find shells and romp, or we're short on time, I take them to Ocean Isle....if they want a nice long walk or a pull in the wagon to Bird Island or they want to play in the water a lot or try to catch minnows in the tidal pools, I take them to Sunset. Supposedly you can still find whole sand dollars off Bird island but I never have...I still love Sunset Beach the best.

Neither of the 2 beaches has much to do in the way of Myrtle, neither beach has many restaurants or entertainment things-- Ocean Isle has a small putt putt place near the pier that's nothing like the flashy ones at Myrtle, but it's still putt putt as well as a little coastal museum...a few restaurants on the island. Sunset is mostly houses, a couple small stores, and most of the other stuff is on the mainland across the bridge, but right there on the mainland is a planetarium and more restaurants and it's close to Calabash- not like Ocean Isle Beach is much further. It just depends on what you want *right there on the beach and island*.....other than that, the 2 are so close that you can easily visit between both.

I would prefer Sunset....I can see how some families like Ocean Isle because they can rent a house and golf cart and walk to the ice cream parlors, restaurants, bike the island, hang around the pier, etc. At high tide OIB is not too wide in places. Neither beach truly ever seems crowded to me, compared to Myrtle....so I would make the choice based on what you want near you, when you stay ....or what you want in the beach itself.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:22 PM
 
Location: NC's southern coastline
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Sunset Beach is not closer enough to Myrtle for that to be a factor, IMO, since you can get between OIB and Sunset in about 10 minutes anyway...so for that I would just make my decision based on what I wanted in the actual beach, and consider the bridge situation, and whether I wanted a little bit more to do on the actual island (OIB has a little more right there ON the island and also since it has the high rise bridge it's quicker to go off the island too)....I am not actually exactly sure what's on Sunset since I don't pay any attention so there might be a restaurant or cafe or two on the island (?) and I know there are one or two small beach type stores..but Sunset definitely does not have as much as OIB, which has the putt putt, beach stores, as well as a few restaurants and a bar. I don't think Sunset Beach has a real full restaurant on the island, like OIB does- I forget the name of the one right there on 2nd street (OIB)that's a bar too...OIB has a pizza place, ice cream parlor...I don't think Sunset Beach the island has any of that, if it does, it's just small daytime places...like I said, I never pay attention- I lived on OIB for 6 months so paid more attention to day-to-day living type things there.

I do always prefer Sunset Beach though, it's nice and wide and flat...you can walk to more isolated areas by going toward Bird Island where it's undeveloped...most of OIB's stretch is developed. There are a few miles of undeveloped strand and of course Bird Island is attached to Sunset Beach and undeveloped...so on Ocean Isle it may not be crowded but you'll pretty much still be in front of houses, Sunset has miles of beach with no houses, just dunes.....nice....JMO....but might be boring at night for someone who wants a little more to do right there on the island. OIB is more active at night.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:24 PM
 
Location: NC's southern coastline
452 posts, read 2,170,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobioAXP View Post
Why is that? Does the Cape Fear cause more erosion, create "dirtier" water due to shipping traffic, etc? Just curious. Thanks!
Also, besides the algae levels this year, I think the Cape Fear river is the one that supposedly has higher mercury levels? Either that or it may be the Shallotte River, but my husband always told me that you're not supposed to eat fish out of one....I'm not sure on this but maybe someone can look it up.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:22 PM
 
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All fish everywhere have mercury. The bigger the fish the higher the mercury level.
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:12 AM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
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Interesting quick read about mercury in SE NC
Powered by Google Docs

You'll discover that mercury tends to be a situation for blackwater fish. Fish in lakes, ponds and brackish backwaters. The result is elevated levels of mercury in certain species of fish.
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