I had a reader ask if I’d share what we usually enjoy doing while vacationing at Ocean Isle Beach. Since we were there just last week, I snapped some pics to share with you! First of all, Ocean Isle is a pretty low key beach. Besides the one high rise down on the west wide of the beach, you won’t find other hotels on the beach. You also won’t find a McDonald’s or chain store or restaurant either. Aside from new houses being built, all the regular spots like the putt-putt and boardwalk have been there for years. I know Sharky’s has been there for more than 20 years.
Of course, just like any beach trip, you can just enjoy the beach, pool, backyard and call it a day. That’s usually what we do, unless it rains. This was honestly the first trip where we explored more than usual around the island.
Ingram Planetarium is actually right over the bridge on your way to Sunset, but the kids loved it!
Wheeler’s really into space, so she loved every activity. There’s also a laser show that runs at 7pm and 8pm almost every night there. Light dances on the ceiling while you listen to a specific artist. The Beatles and Michael Jackson are on Monday night. The kids made it through almost the entire hour. They left with one song to go. The music is pretty loud, so if you go, be prepared.
Wheeler loved making different creations from one of her cookbooks she got for her birthday throughout the week.
As for ice cream on Ocean Isle, there are a few spots. There’s one really big one you can’t miss, but there’s usually a line at night and pretty crowded. We prefer one of the others and they’re more low key and less expensive. Try either Salty’s or on the boardwalk.
There’s a brand new playground that just opened up recently. While there is a great one on the island, this one is back over the bridge, on your way to Sunset.
On Friday nights, a band performs beach music and brings out the crowds. If you want a good seat, you can bring your chairs as early as 4:30pm, but you can’t move them onto the concrete until later. The band starts at 6:30pm.
The downside is it’s next to the playground. So we had no luck of getting the kids to stay and dance, when they were constantly asking if they could go play. But I guess it’s a perk too. Listening to good live music, while the kids play. Just a heads up though, it’s packed.
On where to eat dinner, we like the Gigglin’ Mackerel, but tend to head to Callabash and Little River for good seafood.
Sunset Slush is another good spot for a sweet treat. It’s right next to the boardwalk. You’ll also find vendors on the beach, so make sure you bring money to the beach. Putt-Putt is always fun, but it can get pretty hot if you go during the day. I’d wait that one out until later in the day. If you’re heading out of town on a Saturday, drop off any left over food in the museum parking lot. They’ll donate it to a food pantry. I’ve heard people rave about Drift, but have yet to go. It apparently has really good coffee, so I want to check it out. On Saturday mornings from 9-11ish, they have a market where vendors sell everything from fresh produce to beachy treasures. The kids loved it! Both girls scored the cutest little handmade outfits for their American Girl dolls.
For more pics from our Ocean Isle Beach trip, head back to this post. If you have any other spots we should try out, let me know. We’ll be back there in a few weeks!