Beach Recommendations (food, treats, shopping) // OKI + Southport Area

I haven’t been blogging much lately because to be quite honest, I’m out of media space and it costs an arm and a leg to upgrade my WordPress account (that I already pay a small fee per year for my domain name). Somehow, blog posts just seem a little less magical with only words and no pictures, but maybe that’s just because I love a good photograph and also, I’m a very visual learner.

Anyway, I decided to share a little bit about our favorite places around the Southport and Oak Island area so that if you’re ever vacationing there, you can enjoy the same places that we love!

I have been going to Fort Caswell with our ladies’ group at church for years, so I have been familiar with Southport for a while, but this past week was my first time ever staying at Oak Island and honestly, I think it is my favorite beach I’ve ever stayed at. I have stayed at Holden Beach, Myrtle and North Myrtle Beach, Garden City, Morehead City, Cape Carteret, and Folly and Isle of Palms (Charleston) and out of all of those, Oak Island is my favorite.

Restaurants:

The Frying Pan

Location – Right on the water in Southport (319 W Bay Street, Southport, NC 28461)

Atmosphere – The entire wall facing the water inside is glass so you have a beautiful view of the ocean facing Bald Head Island and Fort Caswell and you can also eat outside and it’s shaded which is nice during the hottest months. This is a great place to go for a date night or to get dressed up and go with your girlfriends… not as casual as other places but not too fancy, either.

What I love – The blackened shrimp wrap, the shrimp po boy with thai dressing, the shrimp and grits (you can get grilled or fried shrimp!), their homemade chips, and best of all… their sweet potato biscuits (an appetizer… they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and I never go without getting them!)

Provision Company

Location – Right on the water in Southport (130 Yacht Basin Drive, Southport, NC 28461)

Atmosphere – So casual, it’s not even funny! The entire establishment is pretty much just outside with a cover, and lots of people pull right up to the dock, hop out of their boats, and grab a quick bite to eat. Don’t let the line turn you away; it moves more quickly than you’d expect. There are plastic chairs and tables and drinks are self-serve. You have a beautiful view of the water!

What I love – I can never decide between the crab cake sandwich or the blackened yellow fin grilled tuna sandwich, so I usually make whoever is with me get one and I get the other and then we split! You also can’t go wrong with “thee special” or the blackened yellowfin tuna on a salad! I also tried a bite of my sister-in-law’s grouper salad sandwich (think chicken salad, but made with grouper instead) and it was amazing!

Note: I have been to the Provision Company at Holden Beach… and it’s not nearly as good! I realize this is a bit of an unpopular opinion (ha!) and I’m not sure why I feel this way, but ya’ll know I just tell it like I see it and Southport’s Pro Co is better… hands down!

Kai Joes

Location – 4722 E Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465

Atmosphere – Super casual, outdoor seating at picnic tables

What I love – The avocado bites (fried avocado slices with spicy ranch dipping sauce… so heavenly), buffalo cauliflower bites (also comes with spicy ranch), the “Uncle Swilly’s Quesadilla” (a huge quesadilla big enough to split with spicy chicken, tater tots, grilled onions and peppers, spicy ranch, thai curry BBQ, and cheese).

Desserts:

Sunset Slush

We fell in love with Sunset Slush when we stayed at Holden Beach and we were so excited when we found out there is also one at Oak Island! If you buy a koozie, you can take it with you and get it refilled for $5 (and we usually split that). Also, they have a cart that comes down the beach (and it tastes even better when you’re hot and need a break from boogie boarding haha) so we keep a koozie in our beach bag as well.

Location – 6006 E Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465

Burney’s Bakery

I fell in love with Burney’s years ago and I still think the croissants are even better than a fresh Krispy Kreme doughnut. They have a huge selection of croissants that are made fresh every morning (and ya better get there early because they sell out sometimes). My all-time favorite is the chocolate but we also love the german chocolate, orange creme, raspberry filled, cream cheese, Bavarian creme, apple, and cinnamon sugar flavors.

They also have all kinds of baked goods and pastries that I look at every time and have still yet to try. We always make at least one trip to Burney’s if we’re close by and usually leave with a dozen to bring home.

Location – 808 N Howe Street, Southport, NC 28461

Note: A Burney’s Bakery did open a year or two ago in Charlotte but I won’t go because first of all, I’ve heard it isn’t as good, and second of all… some things just need to be special while you’re on vacation, ya know?

OKI Scoop Shop and Donuts

This little gem has the best ice cream and the best donuts. Everything is good.

Location – 4922 E Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, North Carolina

Shopping:

I’m not a big fan of shopping at the beach (you’ll probably never catch me dead spending a day at the outlets or anything like that when I could be on the beach) but there are a few little locally owned shops we love to visit when we’re in the area!

Ocean Outfitters

This might be my husband’s favorite store in the entire world. They have everything he loves (brands like Chubbies, Patagonia, Old Row, Columbia, Hey Dude, Yeti, etc.) and I love it too.

Location: Downtown Southport (21 East Moore Street, Southport, NC 28461)

Strands

This is where we bought our Shibumi Shade and the kids Yeti cups. They have a great selection of clothes, beach gear, and sun protection (we also buy Sun Bum products here).

Location: 5319 E Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465


Grayson, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, and Landon took a backwater fishing charter one morning and caught several flounder and a sheepshead (which Grayson cooked us for dinner and it was delicious!) and Landon caught the first fish of the day – a six pound flounder – and it was a highlight of the trip! Unfortunately, they weren’t able to keep the flounder (thanks a lot, Roy Cooper) but it was still a sweet memory (and you can see a picture of my proud four-year-old-fisherman on instagram (@coffeedatewithkate). They took Angry Pelican Charters and had a great experience!

On our last night, Grayson and I took the kids out to the point at the end of the island and it was so peaceful and beautiful at sunset. It was one of my favorite moments of the trip!

I also spent more time with my nose stuck in a book than I’ve been able to in years, which was so nice! I read a book called Sea Born Women (by B J. Mountford) that I found on a bookshelf in the beach house we stayed at and it may be one of my favorite novels I’ve ever read! I never wanted it to end!


I’m sure there are a lot of other great places in the area that I don’t know about yet and I look forward to going back and visiting the spots I already love again and trying new ones as well! If you have a favorite spot nearby that I didn’t mention, leave a comment below!

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