Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina is tucked away between the breathtaking Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean, giving travelers plenty of things to do on the water. When it’s time to step away from the shore, unwind and relax at one of many fantastic Ocean Isle Beach vacation rentals. Moreover, look forward to visiting museums, arcades, and other family-friendly attractions. Don’t forget to eat some fresh seafood at a local eatery. Embark on an Ocean Isle Beach adventure and more with these activities.

1. Stock Up for a Day at the Beach

Chances are that you need to stock up on some things to enjoy a fabulous day on the beach. Beachway Rentals and Services offers chairs, umbrellas, and other beach items, as well as golf carts to help you get around. This company also has a propane filling station if you need to prepare the grill at your vacation rental.

2. Explore the Area by Kayak

If you and your family want to explore the inlets and marshes around Ocean Isle Beach, hop into kayaks from Summertide Adventures Tours. Trips go to places such as Bird and Crab Islands and include guides who talk about local wildlife and creatures of the sea. Your family can even get in some crabbing and clam digging for a true North Carolina shore experience.

3. See the Beach From the Sky

To get a true sense of the magical location of Ocean Isle Beach and the surrounding area, take to the skies with OIMB Heli Tours. The company offers several tour packages, from short trips to view the ocean and Intracoastal Waterway in Ocean Isle Beach, to longer tours to view the entire southern coastline of North Carolina. A helicopter trip makes for lifelong family vacation memories.

4. Explore History

Whether you’re looking for things to do on a rainy day or you just need a break from the sun, head to the Museum of Coastal Carolina for a fantastic review of the area’s history. The museum has displays of waterfowl and aquatic life, along with shells, shark teeth and artifacts from the Native American tribes from the area. There is a playground adjacent to the museum for families vacationing with children.

5. Have a Day of Adventures

It’s not always easy to find attractions near your vacation rental that offer a little something for everyone, but the Shallotte River Swamp Park fits the bill. The park offers swamp boat tours, educational nature trails, and reptile exhibit areas. For more adventurous tourists, the park also has the longest zipline course on the NC coast and a treetop ropes challenge course.

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6. Take a Break With a Glass of Wine

You may not have considered a wine tasting during your beach vacation, but a trip to Silver Coast Winery offers a fun and relaxing excursion. Beyond the great wine offerings, this winery has an art gallery featuring works that you can purchase from local artists. The space itself is filled with dark woods and even has a waterfall room, so it’s a great place to unwind when you need some vacation downtime.

7. Pedal the Day Away

When you want to travel a little further than you can on foot but still want to enjoy the beautiful beach weather, rent bikes from Island Hoppers Bicycle Products. If you brought your own bikes along with you, this shop also offers bike repairs, so you can get back to enjoying your vacation in the event of a mishap.

8. Enjoy More of the Ocean

When you want to really let loose, rent a boat or jet ski from Ocean Isle Boat and Jet Ski Rentals. They offer jet skis by the hour that hold up to three people, so adults can ride with the kids. Boat rentals are for large or small groups, and you can rent them by the half or full day. Take advantage of multiple day rentals if you want to spend more time on the water.

9. Sample the Local Fare

There is no shortage of variety in the food offerings at Ocean Isle Beach, making it easy to find something for everyone. No trip to the shore is complete without fresh seafood, and you won’t be disappointed at Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille or Sharky’s restaurant. For more traditional fare and kid-friendly options, head to Beaches Burgers or Sugar Shack.

10. Hang Ten

When the waves are looking ready and you want to really enjoy the ocean, rent surfboards or body boards from Salty’s Surf Shop. It’s only a short walk to the beach, so it’s easy to drop in your board, and if you forgot sandals or other beachwear, this shop has them for sale.

11. Take the Family Racing

If the kids are getting antsy or the adults want to relive their childhood, strap into a go-kart at Ocean Isle Beach Super Track. They offer kid and adult-size carts to race around the track, and you can purchase bundles of tickets if you want to spend a few hours in friendly competition.

12. Walk the Pier

Sporting not only fantastic views but also good food and family activities, the Ocean Isle Beach Pier is an attraction loved by travelers and locals alike. There is an arcade filled with video games and games of chance, and the pier’s grill offers breakfast and lunch. If you want to fish off the pier, you can bring your own equipment or rent it.

13. Reel In the Big One

For people who love to fish, heading out into the ocean with Captain Brant’s Deep Sea Fishing Charters is a must. The company is based out of the Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Center and offers deep sea fishing charters year-round for small or large groups.

14. Go Turtle Watching

If you are visiting Ocean Isle Beach from May to October, be sure to go to one of the Ocean Isle Beach Community Center’s weekly lectures to learn about nesting loggerhead turtles. You can visit the protected turtle nests along the shore and watch volunteers move the hatchlings safely into the sea.

15. Golf In the Shade

When you need a break from the sun, enjoy the shaded course at Ocean Isle Mini Golf. The concession stand at the course offers drinks, ice cream, and floats. This a great place to get in some exercise along with family bonding while on vacation.

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