5 Unique Ways to Experience Nature on Your Next Beach Vacation

Experience Nature 

No Ocean Isle Beach vacation would be complete without a little adventure and this week we have some great ways to explore the natural environment in and around Ocean Isle Beach. Of course, this means exploring our beautiful waters, salt marshes, and majestic swamps. So grab your camera, fill up some water bottles and get ready to see all the beauty of Ocean Isle Beach with these 5 unique ways to experience nature on Ocean Isle Beach. 

Tubbs Inlet Kayak Tour

Kayak TourLocated between Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach Tubbs Inlet is one of those spots you might miss without a little local guidance.  Luckily we have the folks at Summertide Adventure Tours to take you there. Picture paddling through pristine saltwater marshes. You'll find amazing shelling opportunities along the way and with no motorboat traffic to get in the way, this will be a gentle and relaxing paddle through placid waters. During the tour, you'll stop at a secluded beach and be able to take a dip in the cool waters. Bring along a fishing pole and you'll treat yourself to some of the best fishing on Ocean Isle Beach. Tours are offered by Summertide Adventure Tours and with their experienced staff you'll fall in love with Tubbs Inlet. Don't worry about equipment, they have everything you'll need for this adventure. Plan on being out on the water for two to three hours, weather permitting. 


ICW- Ocean Isle Boat Ramp

Many folks are unaware of the unique water system called the Intracoastal Waterway. Traversing the Atlantic Coast this protected waterway allows vessels to safely travel the north-south route along the east coast without being exposed to the dangers of the Atlantic Ocean's open waters. The benefit to the rest of us is miles of beautiful calm waters to explore. With much of the ICW being a no-wake zone you'll find the waters are easy to explore on a variety of watercraft. The boat ramp can accommodate almost any towable sailboat, power boat, or of course, canoes, kayaks and SUPs. No matter how you take to the waters you're in for a treat, seeing Ocean Isle Beach from a totally different perspective.  One of the best times to explore the ICW is early in the morning when the waters are calm, the temps are low and the island is just coming to life. It is the perfect way to begin any OIB vacation morning. Make sure to stop in at Sharky's for a quick bite to eat.  The Boat ramp is easy to find located at 67 Causeway Drive right here on Ocean Isle Beach. Hint: Look for the large bridge.

Swamp Boat Tour

The good folks at the The Swamp Park at Ocean Isle Beach offer visitors a great experience exploring the beautiful Shallotte River Swamp with their Swamp Boat Eco-Tours. The great thing about this tour is you don't have to be able to paddle a kayak to enjoy the tour. Open to all ages this is a guided tour on flat bottom boats through the Shallotte River swamps. The great staff has years of experience navigating the local rivers and swamps. Enjoy this slow-paced interesting tour all from, as they say, a "frog's view". As you slowly make your way thru the historic cypress swamps your guide, (an experienced Naturalist) will teach you all about the local ecology and the important role our swamps play in keeping Ocean Isle Beach's waters clean and beautiful. You'll leave this tour having a better understanding of the areas swamps and rivers. Make sure to bring your camera because you just never know what you'll see on this tour. You might even get to see a landmark used by George Washington in 1791 or traverse waters famous for Coastal North Carolina Pirates. 

Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium 

Several times a year the staff at the Museum of Coastal Carolina  take folks for a guided Coastal Ecology tour. This tour is great because you don't have to get on the water. For those interested in learning all about the local ecology this is a great opportunity to get your feet wet as you wander the coastal marshes and trails of Ocean Isle Beach. The Museum of Coastal Carolina is a wonderful resource for visitors with a staff of local volunteers who have dedicated their time and resources to the preservation and community education of the local ecology. Tours take place throughout the year so make sure to check out their website for specific dates and special events. Now I know I sound like an infomercial, but wait there is more
for you to learn only this time we'll head over to the Museum of Coastal Carolina's sister organization and take a look up at the sky. 

The Ingram Planetarium is a sister organization of the Museum of Coastal Carolina. Located in nearby Sunset Beach (literally 4 miles from the museum) you'll find the planetarium to be a wonderful way to explore the night sky over Ocean Isle Beach. With several programs taking place daily this is truly one of the hidden gems of an Ocean Isle Beach vacation and a favorite for the kids. Think of this as a bonus activity. After all, one of the most spectacular things you'll experience on Ocean Isle Beach is that beautiful Carolina sky. Now you can find out exactly what you are looking at when you stare up at those twinkling Carolina stars. 

Blackwater Cypress Swamp Tour

The folks at Lighthouse Watersports have a unique opportunity in store for you that is perfect for the whole family. For this tour, you'll need to break out the kayaks and paddles as we are about to hit the waters of the beautiful Blackwater Cypress Swamp. These two-hour naturalist led tours are an amazing way to explore the local ecology all while having a wonderful day of paddling. This is a true kayakers dream. The waters are placid and calm, as there are no motor boats. The temps are cool as the waters are covered in a canopy of Spanish moss draped cypress trees. Around every corner you'll discover unique and interesting wildlife, so bring the camera.  This tour takes you through old growth cypress forest and you will literally see the world as it has been for hundreds of years untouched by man. Make sure to bring plenty of water for this two hour adventure. 


We encourage you to take advantage of these unique ways to explore Ocean Isle Beach. Experiencing something up close and understanding the impact these ecosystems have on our beaches hopefully will help you appreciate the unique nature of Ocean Isle Beach. Being good stewards of our local environment is not just a responsible thing to do, it is also the best way to ensure we continue to have pristine beaches and waters for generations to come. We would love to hear about your experience enjoying nature during your OIB vacation.  Leave us a comment below with your experience.  Make sure to book your tours and Ocean Isle Beach vacation early so you don't miss out on the action.  

Experience Nature Pin

Comment on this post!