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Oak Island Buyers Guide - Geography



Oak Island is a beautiful island located along the Atlantic Beach in Brunswick County, North Carolina. The town boasts 12 miles of sandy beaches, making it a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. The island has many parks and nature preserves, offering opportunities for fishing, walking and wildlife watching. Oak Island is also home to a variety of local restaurants and shops, making it a great place to experience the local culture and cuisine. With its laid-back atmosphere and natural beauty, Oak Island is the perfect destination.


LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:

Oak Island is one of the few south facing beaches, located on a barrier island. The island is approximately 12 miles long and about 1 mile wide. It is situated along the Atlantic Ocean, with the Intracoastal Waterway to the North. The benefits to a south facing beach are: more sun (sun follows along the beach), warmer waters, natural protection and spectacular sunrises and sunsets.


Oak Island use to be divided up into three towns, Long Beach, Yaupon and Caswell. Long Beach and Yaupon joined to create Oak Island.


The Davis Canal runs right through the middle of the island from the end of the West End (aka, the point) to SE 40th Street. This divides the island into sections along with the streets. Along with the Davis Canal, the main dividing points are Middleton Ave., Oak Island Drive and Country Club Road. If you're looking on a map to the left of Middleton Ave. is the West side, the right is the East Side. North of Oak Island Drive you'll see North addresses, this side is closer to the Intracoastal Waterway. South of Oak Island Drive you'll see South addresses, this side is closer to the Davis Canal or the beach, depending on where you are on the island.


Here is my map with the 5 basic sections: West Wooded, East Wooded, Manufactured Homes Permitted, West Beach and East Beach.


Come Take a Drive with me!

Driving Tour Playlist on YouTube:


West Side Wooded

From Middleton Ave. (coming on the island from Swains Cut Bridge) take a right at the light to get to the West Wooded end of the island. This end of the island is very low-key and quiet. It feels more neighborhoody (is that word?) feeling compared to other areas on the Island. From this end of the island, the only beach access is Middleton Ave. At the end of West Oak Island Drive, there is a public fishing pier on the Intracoastal Waterway. This area is beautiful, serene, and full of old oak trees.


The streets are numbered starting with 1st (closest to Middleton Ave, meaning closest to beach access) and going up to NW + SW 30th St. So if you are on NW 15th Street you are 15 blocks from direct beach access.


West Yacht Drive runs along the Intracoastal Waterway, on the North side of the island. It runs from the very end of the West Side Wooded and will pretty much take you all the way to the Old Bridge.


Beach Access:

You can cut down SW 1st Street to avoid the busy intersection at the light at W Oak Island Drive and Middleton by turning right onto White Ln SW. This will take you closer to the little bridge that goes over the Davis Canal. Once you go over this bridge turn onto E or W Dolphin and choose your favorite of the many beach accesses along Beach Drive. You can also take West Yacht Drive to avoid West Oak Island Drive if in a golf cart (golf carts are not allowed on roads over 35mph). You would just cut down NW 1st to access SW 1st to get to the beach. By looking at the street numbers you can tell how far from beach access you are. For example, if you are on NW 14th St, you are 14 blocks from beach access.


Confused yet? Click the video below 👇.

(Chapter: NW 1st Street - Golf Cart Route)


Flood Insurance: The majority of this area is in the X Flood zone. This is the flood zone that does not require flood insurance if you are getting a mortgage. There are areas along the Davis Canal, Intracoastal Waterway, and towards Pinner Point (the very end of the island) that are in the AE and VE flood zones.


NW Wooded

The Northern addresses are North of West Oak Island Drive or on your right coming from Swains Bridge. This side is closer to the Intracoastal Waterway.


SW Wooded

The Southern addresses are South of West Oak Island Drive or on your left coming from Swains Bridge. SW addresses are closer to the Davis Canal. Most of these street dead in on the Davis Canal.


East Side Wooded

From Middleton Ave. (coming on the island from Swains Cut Bridge) you can take a left onto East Oak Island Drive to access the East end of the island. This is the way you will go to access the commercial area of the island.


Coming from Swains Cut Bridge on East Oak Island Drive, the North Side is to your left and South to the right, these streets are numbered starting with NE 1st and SE 1st and continuing up to 79th Street.


Beach Access:

In between Middleton Ave and 39th Street the only beach accesses are the Scenic Walkways located on SE 9th Street, SE 20th Street, and SE 31st Street. You can access the beach via golf cart or car by traveling to 40th Street or Middleton Ave. If you are doing this on a golf cart you must take East Yacht Drive all the way to 40th Street or to NW 1st Street. Golf Carts are not permitted on East Oak Island Drive from 37th - 1st, where the speed limit is 45mph. You can only drive golf carts on the streets where the golf cart can go the minimum speed limit. Typically this will be the 35mph and under streets.


If traveling on E Oak Island Drive, SE 40th Street will be the first street that you can turn on and go straight to the beach. From SE 40th Street up, there is ALMOST a beach access every block.


The Scenic Walkways are located on SE 9th Street, SE 20th Street, and SE 31st Street. SE 31st also has a public kayak launch into the Davis Canal and the Oak Island Recreational Center is located on the corner of SE 31st and E Oak Island Drive. Along these walkways, you can stroll to the beach. These scenic walkways can be used to make a walking loop as well or to enjoy the davis canal. (click on above on Scenic Walkways for more information and to take a walk with me)!


Flood Insurance:

Most of this area is in the X Flood Zone. If the house is on or across from the Intracoastal Waterway or Davis Canal you are likely in one of the other two flood zones, AE or VE.


NE Wooded

You can determine where the house is located by the number of the house. If the street address is in the 100's, you are closer to East Oak Island Drive and therefore closer to the beach accesses. When you see 200's you are typically in the middle of the street and the 300 street addresses are closer to the Intracoastal Waterway on E Yacht Drive.


NE 40th St-NE 64th you are close to everything! You have easy beach access, parks,

restaurants, and shops. Because of this proximity property values are typically higher.


SE Wooded

SE 1st Street - SE 39th Street dead end on the SE side at the Davis Canal which comes up the middle of the island separating the Wooded Side from the Beach Side. Again, if the street address is in the 100's you are closer to East Oak Island Drive. There is a sidewalk along this side of East Oak Island Drive, allowing you to walk or ride your bike along for a stroll to the scenic walkways or beach accesses. These streets are often quiet with hidden gems!


Manufactured Homes Permitted

NE 65th through NE 79th Streets were originally platted and zoned for Manufactured Homes. New Manufactured Homes are still permitted on these streets and you'll also find plenty of stick built homes. Unlike the lower street numbers, you can often see the ocean from the middle of these streets. Most of these streets are shorter than in other areas because the island is more narrow here. This allows you to be on the NE side and still be closer to the beach. These streets allow for direct beach access on the SE Beach side: 67, 69, 70-74, and 76-79. These streets offer amazing proximity to the beach, pier, shopping, and restaurants, with often lower listing prices.


Yaupon Beach - East Wooded

This area consist of named streets: Crowell St., Sherill St., Barbee Blvd., Womble St., Mercer St., Sellers St., and McGalmery St. Along these streets you can determine how close to the beach you are by looking at the house numbers. The higher in the 200's you are the closest to the beach you are, 300's are located on the South Side of East Oak Island Drive and North of Live Oak Drive, meaning you are still close to the beach but farther than in the 200's. The 400's are located North of East Oak Island Drive, meaning you have to cross over East Oak Island Drive to get to the beach. These Streets all have direct beach access. Womble Street is where one of my favorite places on the island is, Oak Island Pier and KoKo Cabana!


West Beach Side

From Middleton Ave. (coming on the island from Swains Cut Bridge), continue straight to access the SW end of the island. Here you can access Beach Drive taking you almost across the entire island on the South End. W. Beach Drive runs along the beach front from the Point (West Beach) - SE 58th St.This end of the island provides stunning sunsets! Turning right on Beach Drive you can travel to the point, the westernmost part of the island.


Pelican & Dolphin

W. Pelican and W. Dolphin Run West to East. W. Pelican is closer to the Davis Canal and W. Dolphin in closer to W. Beach Drive and therefore the beach. Pelican and Dolphin run (almost) from Middleton Ave. - 42nd Pl W, where the Island narrows. There is another section of W. Dolphin from 54th Pl W - 57th Pl W (where the new Brewpub, Lonerider is located).


2nd Pl W - 69th Pl W

When you come in on Middleton Ave. and turn right to West Beach, the streets running North to South start at 2nd Pl W and continue up to 69th Pl W. The lower the number, the closer you are to Middleton Ave. and the higher the number, the closer you are to The Point. Theses numbered streets connect W. Pelican, W. Dolphin and W. Beach. These are also where the beach accesses are located.


The Point

At the westernmost part of the island is called the point. There are technically two areas that you can visit that are considered the point, one on the Atlantic Ocean side and the other on the Intracoastal Waterway side. They both provide public parking and scerine beaches. To get to the Intracoastal point, you take Kings Lynn Drive from Beach Drive, drive to the end! This is a nice area to paddle-board and a great area for kids. You can see Holden Beach from here!


Beach Access

There are numerous beach access point along West Beach. They are located along all of the numbered streets. Make sure to pay attention to parking!


Flood Insurance:

Most of the beach front homes are in the VE flood zone. If the house is on or across from the Davis Canal you are likely in AE or VE. There are certain areas that are in the X flood zone as well. Wondering what the flood zone is for a property you're interested in is? Call me - 910-712-4747 and I'll find out.


East Beach Side

From Middleton Ave. (coming on the island from Swains Cut Bridge), continue straight to access the beach side of the island. Turning left onto Beach Drive takes you to the East beach side. You can also access this side of the island from the scenic walkways and via SE 40th Street. After SE 40th Street, there is almost a beach access every block. This side of the island allows for easy beach access.


3rd Pl E - 37th Pl E

When you turn left onto E Beach Drive the streets that run N-S, that connect Beach Drive, Dolphin and Pelican start with 3rd Pl E and go up to 37th Pl E. The closer to 3rd Pl E you are, the closer to Middleton Ave and the closer to 37th Pl E you are, the closer you are to SE 40th st and the commercial area of Oak Island.


SE Beach

Once you get to SE 40th Street, if you have a SE address you are on the beach side. From SE 40th Street - SE 79th Street, you are located on East Beach. Most of these streets have direct beach accesses.


Pelican & Dolphin

E. Pelican and E. Dolphin Run West to East. E. Pelican is closer to the Davis Canal or E Oak Island Drive and E. Dolphin in closer to W. Beach Drive and therefore the beach. E. Beach Drive runs along the beach front from the Point (West Beach) - SE 58th St. Pelican and Dolphin run (almost) from Middleton Ave. - SE 58th Street.


Yaupon Beach - East Beach

This area consist of named streets: Crowell St., Sherill St., Barbee Blvd., Womble St., Mercer St., Sellers St., and McGalmery St. Along these streets you can determine how close to the beach you are by looking at the house numbers. The higher in the 200's you are the closest to the beach you are, 300's are located on the South Side of East Oak Island Drive and North of Live Oak Drive, meaning you are still close to the beach but farther than in the 200's. The 400's are located North of East Oak Island Drive, meaning you have to cross over East Oak Island Drive to get to the beach. On the East Beach side of this area the street, Live Oak runs through the middle of these named streets and connects to Country Club Road. These Streets all have direct beach access. Womble Street is where one of my favorite places on the island is, Oak Island Pier and KoKo Cabana!


Caswell Beach

Caswell Beach is its own township. Caswell Beach is located on the easternmost part of Oak Island. The Oak Island Golf Club and Oak Island Lighthouse are located here! Caswell Beach offers a variety of properties from cozy condominiums to beachfront homes. Properties on Caswell Beach tend to be in high demand, making it a great location for real estate investment.




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