Oak Island

Welcome to Oak Island

An unspoiled seascape of serenity

For those wanting to live in a charming beach town, Oak Island is a wish fulfilled. The beaches face south, the surf is mild, and the water is warm. If you are at the beach in the morning or the evening, you will witness the gorgeous sunrise or sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. Oak Island has a permanent residency of about 8,700 people and is less developed than neighboring coastal areas, so living here is quieter and more serene.

What to Love

  • 10 miles of beachfront
  • Unobstructed views
  • A casual, laid-back lifestyle
  • Dog-friendly community

Local Lifestyle

Locals like the casual, laid-back lifestyle that Oak Island affords them. The expansive beachfront, the marsh area, and the abundance of trees all add to the splendor and joy of living here. In addition, a narrow Intracoastal waterway separates Oak Island from the mainland.

There are several boat and kayak launch sites, two piers, and various places to fish or simply admire the scenic ocean views. Regardless of whether the island’s residents golf, many can be seen driving around town in their modified golf carts or other low-speed vehicles. As for the people that do play golf, they can get in their 18-holes at the Oak Island Golf Club. Oak Island has three recreation facilities that offer classes, and the recreation department sponsors community events throughout the year.

There are some things that locals like that go mostly unnoticed by tourists. For instance, there are two bridges, so there is less congestion when trying to get on or off the island. There are 65 public beach access points, meaning no matter where you are on the island, you can get to the beach. Residents also appreciate that the power lines are underground. It helps prevent power interruptions during storms and makes the area look less cluttered. Moreover, the island has many single-family houses with low profiles instead of tall buildings that block the view, which is a big plus.

Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping

At Koko Cabana at the Oak Island Pier, try their fresh and flavorful cuisine, which also features tasty options for vegan and vegetarian diners. It’s the perfect place to get a bite, especially for seafood lovers. Island Way is an upscale eatery with a wall of windows and a fabulous ocean view. They offer local cuisine, seafood, and vegan options.

D’s Italian Restaurant is located minutes away in Bolivia. The murals and music give you a taste of Italy with your meal. Joseph’s Italian Bistro is in nearby Southport. The water views of the South Harbor Marina set the mood for their Italian-inspired seafood dishes.

Things to Do

Oak Island hosts events throughout the year. One of which, the Oak Island Farmers Market is held on Mondays from May through September and features fruits, vegetables, and handmade items for sale. Another event held throughout the summer is Bands by the Beach, a free outdoor concert series. 

Oak Island works with the neighboring town of Southport for the annual Fourth of July Festival. There are plenty of activities, food, music, and a parade of boats before the day culminates with a spectacular fireworks show. As summer ends, Oak Island puts on the fall Live & Local music series. There is live music, and local vendors sell items. 

The Oak Island Nature Center is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. They offer educational programs, activities, and crafts. In addition, the Nature Center has a tree trail, a butterfly garden, a floating dock, and a fishing tee.

The beach offers a range of fun activities. You can swim, watch the nesting sea turtles, or spot dolphins and whales off the coast. You can take a stroll or fish off Oak Island Pier or Ocean Crest Fishing Pier for a nominal fee. The Oak Island Lighthouse is a must-see activity, originally constructed in 1958.


Oak Island is part of the Brunswick City School District. The Early College High School received an A rating from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. 

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Overview for Oak Island, NC

8,252 people live in Oak Island, where the median age is 60.3 and the average individual income is $49,129. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

60.3 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Demographics and Employment Data for Oak Island, NC

Oak Island has 3,778 households, with an average household size of 2.18. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Oak Island do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 8,252 people call Oak Island home. The population density is 428.18 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

49.15 / 50.85%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes

Around Oak Island, NC

There's plenty to do around Oak Island, including shopping, dining, nightlife, parks, and more. Data provided by Walk Score and Yelp.

Walking Score
Somewhat Bikeable
Bike Score

Points of Interest

Explore popular things to do in the area, including Cape Fear Boil Company, Hippie Chick Granola, and Beach Road Pizza and Wings.

Name Category Distance Reviews
Ratings by Yelp
Dining 3.04 miles 21 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 3.04 miles 7 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 4.65 miles 16 reviews 4.9/5 stars
Dining · $ 2.86 miles 29 reviews 4.9/5 stars
Dining 2.61 miles 9 reviews 4.9/5 stars
Dining 4.19 miles 5 reviews 4.8/5 stars

Schools in Oak Island, NC

All ()
Primary Schools ()
Middle Schools ()
High Schools ()
Mixed Schools ()
The following schools are within or nearby Oak Island. The rating and statistics can serve as a starting point to make baseline comparisons on the right schools for your family. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
School rating
L & L Montessori School
PreK - 8th
No rating available

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