Check out our brand new look!

Ocean Isle Beach Day Trips That Are Fun for Everyone

It may be difficult to drag yourself away from the beach during your Ocean Isle Beach vacation, but if you decide to venture out and are looking for some fun day trips that are not too far from your vacation rental, then we have some great ideas for you. From NC historic sites and lighthouses to nearby coastal towns and nearby cities to explore, there is a definitely something for everyone. Though there are so many options, here are a few of the most popular sights and attractions near Ocean Isle Beach that visitors and vacationers enjoy during their time here. How many of these have you done? You better start making a OIB day trip bucket list!

Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach

Located along the Intracoastal Waterway in beautiful North Myrtle Beach, Barefoot Landing naturally combines beauty and nature with the fun and excitement of shopping, dining, entertainment and special events for the entire family. This popular shopping destination is only about 35 minutes south of your OIB rental.Details here.

Brunswick Town & Fort Anderson

Located on the Cape Fear River, the history of Brunswick Town/Ft. Anderson spans centuries. A major pre-Revolutionary port, Brunswick was razed by British troops in 1776 and never rebuilt. During the Civil War, Fort Anderson served as part of the Cape Fear River defenses before the fall of the Confederacy.Details here.

Calabash, NC

Calabash is known as the Seafood Capital of the World. Incorporated in 1973, Calabash was a small fishing village with a handful of seafood restaurants. Today it’s grown but still retains that small-town charm. Try the local fare, go shopping, catch a fishing voyage or dolphin cruise, or come to just relax and enjoy the peaceful beauty of this lovely coastal town. Details here.

Open-Air Ferry Rides

North Carolina’s ferry system consists of 21 ferries and everyday service on seven regular routes across the Currituck and Pamlico sounds as well as the Cape Fear, Neuse and Pamlico rivers. An open-air car ferry between Southport and Fort Fisher is an adventure you might want to consider. Crossing time is about 30 minutes. Reservations are recommended. Details here.

Fort Fisher, NC

Until the last few months of the Civil War, Fort Fisher kept North Carolina’s port of Wilmington open to blockade-runners supplying necessary goods to Confederate armies inland. When Ft. Fisher fell after a massive Federal amphibious assault on January 15, 1865, its defeat helped seal the fate of the Confederacy. Costumed guided tours tell the story of the Confederate artillerists and U.S. infantrymen.Free admission. Details here.

Southport, NC

In 1748 Fort Johnston was built at the mouth of the Cape Fear River in response to pirates, privateers, and numerous Spanish attacks on British settlements on the Carolina coast. A town formed and eventually became named Southport in hopes of attracting a major shipping port (but that went upriver to Wilmington). Southport flourished as a fishing village—and today it is a lovely place to visit and only about 45 minutes from your rental.Details here.

Lake Waccamaw State Park

A visit to Lake Waccamaw State Park reveals unique bodies of water and an interesting geological mystery—the phenomenon of Carolina Bays with species of aquatic life found nowhere else. A 700-foot boardwalk allows for wildlife viewing and fishing, and seven miles of trails let hikers explore multiple ecosystems and rare plants. A visitor center with exhibit hall and free interpretive programs delve into the area’s diverse natural and cultural history.Details here.

NC Lighthouses

Of the seven North Carolina lighthouses, two are easily accessible for viewing and climbing during your Ocean Isle Beach vacation. The Oak Island Lighthouse is one of the most powerful in the world with a light that can be seen for 16 miles. Old Baldy on Bald Head Island is North Carolina’s southernmost lighthouse. Since Old Baldy is only accessible by water or air,head to Southport where you can take the ferry to Bald Head Island.Details here.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach is an iconic destination if you want to spend the day in a place filled with attractions, shopping, theater, amusement parks and all the hustle and bustle of a commercial beach location. It’s only about a 45-minute drive to downtown Myrtle Beach from your Ocean Isle Beach rental. When you’re done, come on back to the quiet, peaceful beaches of OIB.Details here.

Wilmington, NC

The historic city of Wilmington is about an hour’s drive north up Highway 17. From the Battleship North Carolina pedestrian-friendly Riverwalk to all the shopping and restaurants of downtown Wilmington, city life is not too far away to enjoy for the day. Stroll the streets, do little shopping, enjoy a waterfront lunch, and explore this famous Southern port city.Details here.

Do you take any day trips during your ocean isle beach vacation?

We want to know!

Ocean Isle Beach Day Trips That Are Fun for Everyone
Skip to content