Oak Island Attractions
2014 will mark the 34th anniversary of the festival, which will be hosted by the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce.
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!
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. For more information visit The Bald Head Island Conservancy’s Website.
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.
- 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
The Adventure Company
Kayak, Canoe & Bicycle Rentals
807-A N. Howe Street
Southport, NC 28461
Brunswick Little Theatre
Southport, NC 28461
Oak Island Jungle Golf
6321 E. Oak Island Drive
Oak Island, NC 28465
Smithville Horse & Buggy
585 Carney’s Branch Trail, SE
Bolivia, NC 28422
Wilmington Trolley Co., Inc.
460 Baytree Road
Wilmington, NC 28409