Sunday, October 19, 2014

Family Time at Oak Island, North Carolina

Relaxing at Oak Island Beach

**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

My sister and her family have been vacationing in Oak Island, North Carolina every year for quite some time. This year marked the year that we were FINALLY able to join them and I am certainly glad that we did! Oak Island is a relaxed yet friendly town situated on the southern barrier island of Oak Island. The seaside town is a little over an hour north and east of Myrtle Beach but could not be more different. The calm and homey atmosphere is very welcome to families on vacay. An excellent place for a little rest and relaxation!


Families relaxing on Oak Island Beach

The beaches in Oak Island are pleasantly pristine and the lack of the rush of other area beaches meant that we could truly sit back and enjoy tranquility. Busy beaches certainly do have their place, but so do quite ones!


During our visit, we took a little jaunt to quaint Southport for a pleasant afternoon. Southport is quite picturesque sitting near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. The town is full of interesting shops including a number of artist galleries providing for a delightful aside as well as a place where you can pick up something truly representing North Carolina. We visited Silver Coast Winery's Tasting Room which afforded my husband and I some time to unwind while enjoying wine or beer from the area. We also explored Ricky Evan's Gallery, home to Ricky Evan's giclee prints and photos as well as the prints, metalwork, jewelry, ceramics and more pieces from local artists. Of course, we came home with a few treasures!

While visiting Southport, we brought the kids to the North Carolina Maritime Museum focusing on the interesting history of the area including ship building, blockade running and pirates! The museum is free and had a scavenger hunt. So, the kids were in heaven!

North Carolina Maritime Museum
On the hunt!

Wonderful displays of artifacts.
The museum had several hands-on experiences that kept the kids engaged. Of course, there was a gift shop but I have to say that they items were fairly priced. We left with some sea glass in a unique shape. A neat memento!

Periscope at Oak Island Maritime Museum
Who goes there?

Near the museum, we ventured to the pier and were able to walk out for a great view. Near the pier, we explored the shore and the kids discovered a few shells to bring home. The shoreline is fairly rocky, so you will want to keep your shoes on (of course, it can be quite a feat to get the kiddos to cooperate).

Pier at South Port, North Carolina
Don't miss the pier when visiting Southport!

In Southport, you can also hop on the ferry over to Fort Fisher to check out the fort and North Carolina Aquarium. We rode the ferry over from Fort Fisher to Southport after our day visiting the historic site and aquarium. It was a first for my daughter and she even got to see a freighter pass by during the voyage. The ferry did seem to back up a bit on the day of our visit, so be sure to check the schedule and arrive ahead of time.


We really loved the pace of the area for respite whether it be for a day or several. As we are beginning to head into colder temperatures here in Chicago, I find myself longing for sunny days in Oak Island! Maybe next year!

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