Jun 27, 2011

Favorite Travel Destination: Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Centsational Girl is hosting a link party about favorite travel destinations and since we recently took a family vacation, I thought this would be the perfect time to post a few pictures from our trip to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.... our ultimate favorite vacation spot!  We LOVE it... family oriented, quiet, relaxing and so, so, so peaceful.

The husband and I have traveled to Ocean Isle with the kids for the past few years during the summer months to meet up with family and friends.  We were here only a few short weeks ago.... beautiful!

Beach

Just about every morning, we'd climb up and over the dunes...

Beach

...to experience this gorgeous view...

Beach

Beach

We'd take a walk...

Beach

... search for shells...

Beach

Beach

Beach

...create a little art...

Beach

... and feel refreshed...

Beach

Ocean Isle is a tiny island on the southeastern part of North Carolina.... about an hour north of Myrtle Beach.  The beaches are fairly quiet and low-key, so our kids are free to run and explore (within a reasonable distance) and have fun.

The housing on the island is mostly residential with a few small shops and restaurants (when I say few, I mean like three or four).  We love to rent beach houses that are located on the east end of the island (we use Cooke Realty).... the tide comes in high at times on the east side, but we think it's the perfect spot for kids, especially young kids.  When the tide goes back out, there are several large size pools of water for the kids to play.... they're always catching tiny fish and crabs in their sand buckets.

Besides the east end of the island, there's several rental houses also on the west end of the island, the canal inlets, and the center part of the island (where the shops are located).  The houses range from old to new, large to small, extravagant to simple.  Here's a few of my favorites....

Beach House

Beach House

Beach House

Beach House

We (and the friends we vacation with) love to cook, so most nights we grill using fresh fish from Captain Jacks and eat on the porch.  The seafood at Captain Jacks is the best around (it's only about a 1/4 mile off the island).... the fish is fresh, clean and there's always several choices.

Captain Jacks

And when we're done grillin', our food usually looks something like this (that's a little bit of tuna and a little bit of salmon)...

Beach

After dinner or the occasional mid-day snack, we head out for some sweetness.  We have two favorites... the first is Sunset Slush.  There's a few Sunset Slushes, but we go to the one that's about a mile off the island (in between Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach).... they serve Italian ice and it is yummm-meeee!

Slushy

Slushy

I usually mix the flavored ice with ice cream to make it similar to a gelati....

Italian Ice

We also go to Andy's Burgers, Shakes and Fries... it's a little further out (in Shalotte, about ten minutes), but worth the trip.  The kids love it (they waited so patiently) and believe me, Andy's piles on the custard... it's sooo creamy, so delicious....

Andy's Custard

Beach

Custard

And our last food stop is always the Sugar Shack.... our vacation wouldn't be complete without a visit here.  You're probably thinking "more sweets?".  Nope, this one is Jamaican food... and the best!  We always save this restaurant for dinner on our last night... it's so good.... it's tiny and always packed, so make reservations (they're only open for dinner)!

Sugar Shack

We like to eat pretty healthy in our house (well, besides all my sweet cravings), but at the Sugar Shack... forget it..... their Jamaican food is too good to pass up.  This is a photo of the jerk chicken and the meat just falls off the bone.... delicious.  I also recommend the mango chicken pizza.... the kids LOVE it!

Sugar Shack

A few other restaurants we've loved during our trips to Ocean Isle are The Boundary House for dinner, Fibber McGees Pub for a drink and appetizers, and Robertos for pizza.

At the end of the day, after all the beach-lounging, wave-jumping, pool-splashing and mega-eating, we love to drive to the end of the island (east end), walk the pier and watch the sunset off the inter-coastal waterway.... absolutely beautiful!

Beach

By the end of the week, the husband and I feel refreshed (while the kids are zonked and sleeping soundly!)... by the look of this picture you'd think we were vacationing in the forest.... it's really just the pathway out to the inter-coastal waterway....

Beach

Such a great vacation at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.... I highly recommend vacationing here... beautiful days, amazing friends and most of all creating great memories as a family.  Happy Summer!!!

What's your favorite travel destination?

Linking up to Centsational Girl.

11 comments:

  1. going into our 7th year here in NC and i have not yet been to the beach with my family! you have put me to shame! ;) looks fabulous!

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  2. Last week we were right outside of Southport, NC - it sounds like that is near where you were! I just posted about it today! When we are there, we go to the beach on Oak Island if you know where that is. I just love the south! Sounds like you had a wonderful time!
    -Shelley

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  3. I love the NC beaches, we just got back from OBX and I want to go back so desperately. My husband is already looking up real estate there, just for fun! I've never been to Ocean Isle, I'll just add it to my wish list. ;-) (found you through CG's party)

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  4. Aren't NC beaches the best? I love that you shared some of your favorite restaurants! I love trying new eats. I grew up visiting Atlantic Beach (North of Emerald Isle) each summer. Finally getting to go back this summer. :) Visiting from Kate's Vacation Destination party. Hope you'll stop by my blog to say hi. :)

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  5. We love the NC beaches!!! Even now that we're out here in TX, we still planned our vacation to visit OIB in NC.... NC beaches top our list as the perfect family spot! Hope you all enjoyed your beach vacation this year!!!

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  6. Ocean Isle Beach is our favorite beach location. Did you go to The Painted Cottage? That's my fav. shop there.

    Thanks for bringing back memories. I posted pics of our trip there here: Ocean Isle Vacation Pics

    Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)

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  7. oooh, The Painted Cottage!!! I loved that store, unfortunately, it was closed when I was there this year. Closed as in another consignment store moved in :(. I really hope they are opening in another location.... they were my favorite too!

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  8. We've been regulars at Ocean Isle several times every summer since I was 4 - about 30 years now! Oh the changes I've seen but how beautiful the place remains. My parents fell in love with it enough that they bought a place there and I still love coming. In fact, I'm there right now enjoying the sun and sand!

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  9. Wow, I live in OIB, so nice to hear these comments!

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  10. Gotta say.... I'm a little jealous of all you who are vacationing at OIB right now or get to be there year-round :))) I'm sure you're having a blast!

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  11. Hi Kristy,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Ocean Isle Beach to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!
    Jane

    ReplyDelete

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