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Oak Island is a laid back vacation spot
NC beach town has low-key vibe
 
Published Sunday, July 14, 2019
by Sam Palian | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | CAPE FEAR NC
Oak Island, N.C. is a quiet and quaint spot among the Brunswick County beaches.

Everyone enjoys a good vacation.


Not everyone gets to take vacations quite as often as some, but I’m going to let you in on one of my favorite places to go. My family and I have been going to Oak Island for several years, some trips so long ago that I don’t totally remember them because I was younger. From where we are in the University City area, it usually takes about 3 1/2 hours to get there and it is so worth the drive. It felt like it barely took any time to get there this year because I was so excited.


If you’ve ever been to Myrtle Beach, you know it’s very popular, almost always busy and very commercialized in most places. Oak Island is much different. It still has shops and plenty of places to eat, but it’s much more local and a little less loud and bustling.


Of course, if you really want to go toward the more party-oriented areas, it’s just a little over an hour away from Myrtle Beach.


When we go to the island, we typically spend most of our time on the beach. We stayed in a house one row back from the beach this time, slept in just a little and then headed to Russell’s Place Restaurant most mornings for breakfast. After breakfast, we’d get changed and head to a good spot on the beach and spend a few hours out there. We had a golf cart this time, which is unusual for us, so my brother and I drove it around evenings.


As far as the food goes, there really are a lot of good places right on the island, seafood and otherwise, but my family particularly likes to head over to Southport and the Frying Pan. It’s right by the water and the food is always delicious.


Some staples of the Oak Island trips are a round of mini golf, a run to Sunset Slush and the Dairy Queen. My brother and I played mini golf during the middle of the day, which I don’t recommend, but we survived.


The mini golf course has a pond and bridges you walk across as well as fish and occasionally turtles in the water. This year we saw a small alligator in the pond and I’m not going to lie, it was wild. It was just minding its business, but you don’t usually see alligators in the pond.


The Dairy Queen gets really busy within the last two hours it’s open, but usually worth the wait. We tend to run into people we know on the island and this time we ran into some while in line for some ice cream.


There’s a little movie theater nearby and sometimes we’ll go if there’s a movie we want to see and decide to take a day away from the ocean.


Near the movie theater, there’s a Mexican restaurant we like and one of my favorite things is the Books ‘N Stuff bookstore in the same plaza. I try to go every time we’re there because there are so many inexpensive new and used books. I tend to get three to five of them and read at least one on the beach by the time we leave.


I’m already thinking about spending spring break at Oak Island if I can, because it’s such a relaxing beach. I never really thought about it until now, but it’s become a really special place for my family and I. We always try to go back when we’re able and I know we’ll keep doing so because we always leave wishing we didn’t have to.

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