Summer in coastal North Carolina ushers in more than just warm weather and vacationers. A bit of unsavory weather has been known to grace us complete with thunderstorms, heavy winds, and rain. Oak Island offers visitors much more than just sandy shorelines and gorgeous beaches, many activities of which could save an Oak Island vacation or two when the weather proves less than agreeable. Keep this list handy for those times when your crew has had enough of the sun and sand, or for when the rains fall and put a strain on your well-laid beach plans.
Oak Island and Southport offers everything from extravagant coastal décor and jewelry to repurposed antiques and the customary “Southport” or “Oak Island” novelty item. Spend a few hours (or an entire day) exploring all of the locally owned and operated shops while finding the perfect souvenir to remind you of your Oak Island getaway.
Nothing ruins a good time like a hangry (hungry + angry) person in your party; believe me, I should know because I’m one of those people who suffers from this debilitating funk when my stomach starts to growl and there’s not a morsel in sight. Save yourselves and your Oak Island vacation by visiting one of our fresh seafood markets for a locally caught meal you can prepare in the comfort of your rental home. (Try this simple recipe for Calabash Shrimp with Tartar Sauce for a quick and easy dinner.)
For those who really take a vacation from it all – including cooking – a rainy day provides the perfect opportunity to try out all the local eateries that Southport and Oak Island have to offer. No matter your tastes, this area brims with everything from mom-and-pop hamburger joints and southern-style barbecue smokehouses to elegant restaurants with intimate settings. From brunch to happy hour, we have your taste buds covered.
Explore Your Creative Side
With stunning sunrises and sunsets, charming waterfront scenery and sea life galore, the local beaches have surely inspired many an artist over the years. Why not become one of them and create a piece that memorializes the time you spent on Oak Island? Flex your creative muscles with a private paint party at Pescado Y Amor, a local studio and art gallery which also hosts art classes and summer camps.
If you’re a vacationer who prefers to window shop rather than mixing it up in your smock, numerous art galleries line the streets of downtown Southport for your shopping pleasure. Join others for the First Friday Gallery Walk to enjoy wine and appetizers before a stroll to view the works of featured artists.
Discover Your Destination
A rainy day presents an opportunity to learn more about your vacation destination. The Southport and Oak Island area offers a myriad of museums and sites rich with history. Visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport for a lesson in the maritime history of the lower Cape Fear River. Venture toward Wilmington to visit Brunswick Town and Fort Anderson, a pre-Revolutionary town that includes a Civil War-era fort and display of archaeological finds.
Not a history buff? No problem. Familiarize yourself with coastal Carolina aquatic life with a day trip to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher . Access the Aquarium by either a drive from Oak Island to Kure Beach or simply hop on the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry. With fun and educational programs, families enjoy learning about marine environments while experiencing animals in an up-close-and-personal format with animal feedings and encounters. Adventurers may also head south along Highway 17 for an experience at the Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium . The Museum and Planetarium offer hands-on exhibits as well as theater shows in an effort to broaden the public understanding of our planet and its natural resources, specifically as they pertain to the Carolinas.
Unwind & Unravel
Relaxation from the day-to-day doesn’t happen solely along the shores of Oak Island and Caswell Beach. While the sounds of the ocean and sunshine soothe the soul, one can certainly get a taste of that through other means. Spend a full day pampering yourself and those you love at one of the many Oak Island, Southport or Bald Head Island salons and spas. We guarantee that a facial combined with a manicure and pedicure and coastal-inspired massage will do wonders to refresh and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.
Hang Like A Local
One of the best ways to familiarize with Oak Island is to act like a local. Do what the locals do when it’s pouring cats and dogs. Catch an afternoon movie at Surf Cinema Movie Theater . This local gem offers various show times for the latest releases as well as special showings for kids and their families. (Not to mention, MRA includes a complete list of kids’ showings in our vacation rental guest bags that are given to each of our Oak Island visitors during prime season.)
With kids in tow, head over to one of Brunswick County’s local public libraries for an afternoon perfect for your avid readers. With two locations to serve our area, you can find everything from books, magazines, and DVDs and attend a reading or local author events for all ages. Be sure to call ahead as some branches have limited hours during weekends.
Ride Out The Storm
Locals know the art of “riding out a storm” all too well. Luckily, there are plenty of fun-filled activities that you and your fellow family members may enjoy in the comfort of your Oak Island vacation rental home . Check out this list of entertaining ideas for keeping everyone occupied while the rain falls:
- Go the traditional route and build an old-fashioned fort with cushions, pillows, suitcases, etc.
- Whip things up in the kitchen. Recruit little hands to make homemade pizza or a delicious, after-dinner dessert.
- Play board games, cards or have fun with puzzles.
- Read a book or reflect in a “travel journal”.
- Practice yoga or mindful meditation from the comfort of your home overlooking the Atlantic.
Let’s be honest, the best vacations derive from memories made while just spending time..together. Many of Margaret Rudd & Associates’ Oak Island vacation homes offer the perfect setting for such a purpose. Some feature large game rooms others come stocked with games, puzzles, books and DVD libraries. Contact us for more information on Oak Island vacation rentals, or for suggestions on fun things to do in Oak Island rain or shine!