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3 Aug 2023
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Trip Planning

A vacation to Oak Island promises endless beach fun, sunbathing, and water sports. But what if the weather has other plans? A rainy forecast doesn't mean your vacation has to be a washout. Oak Island offers a variety of indoor activities that can turn even the gloomiest of days into an opportunity for relaxation, exploration, and fun. In this guide, we’ll cover some of the best rainy-day activities in Oak Island, from museums and local hangouts to day spas and even day trips! While we hope the sun is shining your whole visit, should the clouds roll in, we hope this guide will help you feel prepared to explore more of Oak Island.

Museums and Galleries

Oak Island’s museums and art galleries provide a fascinating glimpse into the local culture and history. Consider a visit to the Old Brunswick County Jail Museum, where you can step back in time to 1904 as you explore the old cells and the jailor’s living quarters. The kids will love the special activities designed just for them, while the history buffs in the group will appreciate the knowledgeable staff and exhibits. The museum is currently open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm April through October, as well as Fridays 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm June through August.

Another fun place to check out is the North Carolina Maritime Museum, just a short drive away in Southport. Here, you’ll delight in learning all about the golden age of piracy, megalodon, the indigenous mariners of Coastal North Carolina, and more! Check out their event calendar before you visit so you can know what’s going on that day. With fun activities for kids and even guest lecturers, there’s always something exciting to experience here.

The area is also full of local art galleries that offer the chance to admire, purchase, and even create with local and regional artists. Visit Pescado Y Amor for a guided class with owner and fine artist Missy Tripp Ronquillo, or check out Lantana’s Gallery and Fine Gifts for everything from jewelry to one-of-a-kind art pieces perfect for a unique souvenir.

Indulge in Self-Care

Treat yourself to a day of pampering at one of Oak Island's premier wellness centers. The Beachin’ Day Spa offers exceptional massages from traditional Swedish to hot stone and even deep tissue therapeutic. Consider a couples massage or facial to help you unwind and lean into the rest and relaxation of your beach vacation.

Explore Nearby Wilmington

Less than an hour away sits the charming town of Wilmington, North Carolina. This coastal college town has tons to offer and makes an excellent day trip on your Oak Island vacation. Kids will love touring the Battleship North Carolina, where they can get up close to the artillery, visit the mess decks, and even try to spot the battleship’s resident alligator, Charlie, from the bow!

If the rain hasn’t followed you, take some time to stroll the Wilmington Riverwalk, a charming strip along the water full of shops, restaurants, and exceptional views of the beautiful marshes. If things look familiar, it could be that you’ve stumbled across a filming location for one of your favorite childhood shows. Wilmington was the site for WB/CW favorites like Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill and has been the filming site for many films and shows since. For information on filming location tours, check out this list. There are also a number of historic home tours, walking tours, and even haunted tours that will teach you all about this idyllic oceanside town.

A Culinary Adventure

After a day exploring Wilmington, cap off your rainy-day adventure with a delicious meal at a local Oak Island restaurant. From fresh seared tuna at Shagger Jacks  to delicious all-American treats like burgers and onion rings at Little Bit’s Grill. Afterward, swing by Lil & John’s Sweetreat for a scoop of delicious homemade ice cream, the perfect cherry on top of your day.

Discover More on Your Oak Island Vacation

Don't let a little rain dampen your Oak Island vacation. From cultural explorations in museums and galleries to indulgent spa days, day trips to Wilmington, and culinary delights, there's plenty to enjoy indoors.

When planning your Oak Island escape, remember to search and book directly with Coastal Vacation Resorts at Oak Island. Our team is here to help you find the perfect property that suits your needs and enhances your vacation experience. Browse our vacation rentals, and let us guide you to your ideal Oak Island retreat.