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Oak Island, NC.

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Oak Island Lifestyle

Oak Island, the most populated and largest of the Brunswick County Isles, is home to more than 5,000 residents. The town’s dedication to preservation of the environment has won national recognition. Wind-swept live oaks and yaupon trees, beautiful beaches and nature trails make this a nature lover’s paradise.

A community defined by its dedication to family-friendly activities, Oak Island is a great place to live or visit. With over ten miles of southern facing beaches, the island offers more than 50 public beach accesses, several public boat ramps, picnic areas, extensive sidewalks, nature centers, parks and walking trails. Activities include golf, fishing, boating, crabbing, claming, shelling, walking on nature trails or just plain relaxing on the beach. Visitors and residents appreciate the many colorful shops and dining options also found here. Situated midway between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach Oak Island is close to a host of cultural and entertainment activities, while maintaining the hospitality and warmth of a small town.


Oak Island is 12.6 miles long and averages about one mile across, It consists of the Town of Oak Island and the Town of Caswell Beach with areas of salt marsh, freshwater wetlands, maritime forests and miles of beach strand. With a complex ecosystem, the island is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life. Loggerhead, Green and Kemp Ridley sea turtles, considered to be some of the island’s most important residents, return annually to lay their eggs.

Oak Island History

The history of Oak Island stretches back to 1826 when construction first began on Fort Caswell on what is now Caswell Beach. The Oak Island Lifesaving Station opened and the Oak Island Lighthouse was completed in 1889. Serving to protect and guide sailors around the turbulent waters of the nearby Cape Fear River, the station became home to the first residents of Oak Island.

Throughout the 1800’s Oak Island remained mostly undeveloped and played host to fox hunters, a sport important to the Island’s early development. In 1936 the Inter-coastal Waterway was completed, deepening the Elizabeth River and creating a true “island.” Then in 1936, Earnest D. Middleton purchased land on Oak Island. A timber exporter from Charleston, SC, Middleton began development in an area known as Long Beach and by 1939, Long Beach was open to the public. Oceanfront lots were offered for $350 each and the island hosted about 40 small cottages, a pavilion, dining room and 20 bath houses. On Saturday nights, the town came alive with orchestras and dancing. But the building boom was short-lived as shortages during World War II halted construction. After the restrictions were raised, Long Beach grew to about 300 homes.

Unfortunately, in 1954, disaster struck in the form of Hurricane Hazel, wiping out all but five homes on the island. Residents were forced to take shelter in nearby Southport, but rebuilding began soon thereafter and in 1955 the town was incorporated. E. F. Middleton and developer G.V. Barbee continued development, discovering a safe haven in the woods-side Davis Creek area. Laid out with major roadways running perpendicular to the ocean rather than parallel, the town was considered more of a permanent resident rather than a resort community

Other Links Of Interest

Brunswick Electric Membership
Brunswick County Airport
Taxi cabs
City Transit
 Oak Island Southport Bald Head Island Ocean Isle Beach Sunset Beach Holden Beach Myrtle Beach Wilmington Brunswick County