Oak Island is a seaside town located for the most part on its namesake, Oak Island; the town also extends north across the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) onto the mainland. Along with Caswell Beach, its neighbor to the east, it is part of Brunswick County, North Carolina. Per the 2010 census, it has a population of 6,783.
Oak Island is a family-friendly beach community with a small-town atmosphere. The Town boasts 65 public beach accesses on miles of sandy beaches, as well as fishing docks and piers, boat ramps and many other access points to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Davis Canal, making it the perfect location for fishing, boating, kayaking and other water activities. The Town also has a municipal golf course and eight parks, ranging from a fishing T at the west end of the island to a large park on the mainland complete with baseball and football fields. There is a skate park, a dog park, a cabana on the oceanfront with an observation deck and plenty of places to find a quiet spot to relax and enjoy the view. Area businesses, like piers and marinas, restaurants and ice cream shops, also help make vacationers feel welcome while catering to full-time residents.
The Town covers much of the island and includes areas on the mainland around both bridges, such as the golf course community of South Harbour Village. There are also thousands of undeveloped acres near the Swain’s Cut Bridge.
On the island there is a contract post office, a branch of the county library, a Food Lion, an ABC Liquor Store, a few gas stations, numerous small professional offices/retail stores, and a large number of restaurants. Primarily a family beach type locale, the island also provides many other types of recreational activity. The Oak Island Golf Club course and its related practice facilities are open to the public and an outdoor swimming pool is available for its members’ use during the summer. Two public fishing piers jut out into the Atlantic Ocean (one is currently being reconstructed) while motor/sail boats moored to piers dot the ICW as well as the Davis Canal and Montgomery Slough. South Harbour Village has a nine hole public golf course and a marina on the ICW with 1,000 linear feet of alongside dockage. All these waterways also attract a large number of kayakers. The Oak Island Recreation Center located mid-island provides both indoor and outdoor exercise facilities and rents out sports equipment and amenities like balloon tire, beach wheelchairs. Popular sporting events include the „Run Oak Island“ Marathon held in February which also features a half-marathon along with a 5K and one mile run. And then in April, the Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Oak Island Lighthouse Run which includes a half marathon, 10K, 5K and a one mile fun run. As for other activities, the town puts on an ocean front fireworks display as part of its Fourth of July festivities, and a parade down Oak Island Drive just before Christmas, while the Oak Island Library hosts a wide variety of events to include „Socrates Cafe“ and „Meet the Author“ programs.