What I wish I had known

So you planed out this amazing vacation at Ocean Isle Beach. You researched activities, booked fishing trips, looked up beach rentals. You are on point! But did you think of everything?

Below is a small list of things I wish I had known before my first few trips to Ocean Isle. They may seem like no brainers but honestly, I never thought of them till after I was already here.

Wait Times for Restaurants

Off season the waits are pretty standard. 10-15 minutes and you can pickup your food, practically no wait to dine in. But Peak season? Forget about it! Popular places usually have a wait time of an hour or more ( Both dining in and Pick up). My advice is plan ahead. Decide with the family what your in the mood for and call ahead atleast 30-40 minutes. This will give you a feel for how long the wait is.


I love amazon just as much as the next person. we are constantly ordering things. Most of the time out in the rural areas the delivery time is fast. But not so much here at the beach. Delivery of any sort is slower then snail mail here. So with that in mind, if your going to order something and have it shipped to your rental, look at the delivery dates and add 3 days to it. I use to order my stuff the wednesday before i was going to check in and even then I would get my stuff like a week later.

If you really need something while your at the beach then head over to Shallotte. They have a Walmart, pet smart, Marshals and many other places to shop.


I think everyone hates traffic. Coming over the bridge and hitting a wall of red lights is horrible. Friday nights are especially bad during the summer. Ocean Isle hosts local bands to come play at night and title it “summer concerts”. Everyone with a golf cart and a 6 pack of beer heads there and man the traffic can get ridiculous. If you plan on leaving the island to eat, plan around this.

Beach front real-estate

I wake up around 7am, make some coffee and look out my back window and watch as people “claim” spots with umbrellas and chairs and then leave to go back home and eat breakfast or whatever it is they do. Then I watch as later on people start funneling onto the beach looking for spots to camp and have fun. Take it from me, Nothing is worse then strolling down the beach access walkway to see an ocean of people set up in prime spots. Get there early, claim your spot.

Beach Rules per the Town of Ocean Isle

Speaking of Umbrellas, please head over to the Ocean Isle Beach website and read over the rules of the beach. Its all pretty basic stuff, but they have a beach patrol that drives up and down the beach and they do hand out tickets from time to time.

When in doubt, Ask someone

Pretty self explanatory here. If you have a question, ask someone. Generally people are nice and love being helpful.

Thats about all I have for right now. Im sure if I started chatting with people they would have thier own suggestions and then I would make a “part 2” to this list. But all that remains right now is to say “Have fun, thank you for reading”

Author: Michael